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Michelle Review: Snatched by Sharon Cullars

Sensuality Rating: Steamy

Multicultural Romantic Suspense: White man, Black woman

In the interest of full-disclosure and in accordance with that fucked up blog law, I acknowledge that I received this book gratis from the author. I further acknowledge that I’d already bought the damned thing as Cullars is an auto-buy for me.

In the beginning of the story we’re introduced to Eric, who goes by the name Dele. He is an undercover cop who has infiltrated a motorcycle gang. Cullars lets us know from the very beginning what kind of sociopaths we’re dealing with here. Dele is suspected of having stolen a stash of heroin from the leader of the gang, and things are about to get ugly. Then when they couldn’t possibly get worse, we’re introduced to the heroine, Nailah. Nailah is a bit down-on-her- luck and unemployed. Having had a bad job interview she has decided to pick up some ribs from a favorite barbecue joint. The gang causes her to drop her much-coveted ribs in the street, and she retaliates by hurling the ribs after the bikers. (Yeah, I almost lost it laughing at the notion of assaulting a motorcycle gang with meat.)

Embarrassed, the gang snatches Nailah off the street and makes her Dele’s property as he was the target of her rib attack. So Dele has to keep himself alive, keep Nailah alive and collect information to put the motorcycle gang away.

I read this story in one night because I absolutely had to know what happened to these characters. Nailah annoyed the crap out of me at times, but honestly her reactions were very real and given the circumstances, understandable. She wasn’t a TSTL heroine, but at times she came close. Eric makes a very good hero and shows a great deal of savvy in dealing with the gang leader who is pretty much one of the craziest mofos I’ve come across in a while. This book is gritty, and some of the language used, including racial epithets, can be a bit brutal, but this is a motorcycle gang, and I didn’t find the usage over-the-top by any stretch of the imagination. The gang’s casual violence is chilling and some passages are so vivid I had a hard time reading them. Dele and Nailah make a great team, and I found myself rooting for them throughout the story.

This book had only one failing; it simply wasn’t long enough. I think with a longer story, we could’ve gotten more of a sense of Dele and Nailah as a couple. As it is, all the action takes place over a very short period of time, just a few days, and it’s hard for me to believe in the HEA. Still, as an action/suspense it is quite engaging and gripping.

Snatched can be purchased here.

Marriage & The Black Woman

I think one of the saddest statistics within the black community is the number of women who aren’t married, and in some cases will never get married.

According to stats, more than two out of every three black women are unmarried, and they are more than twice as likely as white women never to marry.

Linda Young from Psychology Today writes:

“We have been hearing for several years that about 70% of black women are unmarried (including never-married, divorced and widowed). According to the 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS) of the U.S. Census1 nearly twice the percentage of black women (44.5%) as white women (24%) and Asian women (23%) have never been married. They also significantly outnumber never-married Latinas2 (32%).”

Young also writes:

“She was a 40 year old black woman with a Ph.D., ready to find a mate in a city that is only 5% black. One day a tall good-looking black man about her age approached her in the gym. He hadn’t finished college but was smart, funny and interesting and she was happy to go out with him. At the end of what she thought was a fun, easygoing dinner he said he was really attracted to her and tried to get her to stay at his place. She refused, telling him it was too fast for her but that she would love to see him again. His response? “Just because you have a Ph.D. you think you’re too good for me?” She was so taken aback by his comment she’s never forgotten it. That woman was me.”

Ralph Richard Banks, author of Is Marriage For White People, seems to agree with young’s implication that educated black women have a harder time finding a mate:

“One reason that marriage has declined is that as black women have advanced economically and educationally, black men have fallen behind. Nearly twice as many black women as black men graduate from college each year.Thus, not only are many college-educated black women unmarried, they are more likely than any other group of women to marry less educated and lower earning men. Half of college-educated black wives are more educated than their husbands.”

This ABC report touches on the issue, and is very interesting:

In my real life, I see the above reflected in the black women around me.

I have a particular friend who’s university educated, has a good job, and she’s unmarried. She’s attractive with a good figure, good sense of humour, and I think probably has all the desirable traits that a man would want in a woman. Unfortunately for her, the pickings are slim.

Also, my friend has a preference for black guys. This makes things even harder, because as far as I can tell, the only decent black guy in our little town is my brother:) And he’s married.

I bet you guys are thinking that she’s probably too choosy, but to be fair, all she wants is a guy who’s educated, ambitious, has a good sense of humour, doesn’t have any prior baggage (i.e. kids) and isn’t physically aggressive. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, but you’d be surprised by how hard it is to find such a black man, in our corner of the world. If she took away the lack-of-baggage prerequisite, then she might have a few more men to choose from, but that’s a deal breaker for her. It probably would be for me too, in all honesty.

Of course I’ve tried opening up her mind to dating outside our race, but she’s a little stuck in her ways with regards to thinking beyond the black man. Don’t get me wrong, she’s met the odd decent black guy, but the problem has been that none of those guys have wanted to commit. Of course as a woman, she thinks that the problem might be her, so she’s tried changing in order to attract the black man that will put a ring on her finger. As far as I can tell, unless she widens her dating pool, she’s onto a loser. Whilst black men in our corner of the world don’t have a problem impregnating black women, marrying them seems to present an impossible challenge.

Funnily enough, the married black men that we do know, are married to white women, and the black women who dared to date outside their race, are married to their white men. I’ve never really managed to figure out why IR couples don’t seem to have the same problem committing to each other.

I really hope this state of affairs changes soon for the majority of black women, it’s bad enough being considered to be beneath the notice of black men, but being considered not good enough to marry just adds insult to injury.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Are there any black guys out there who would like to weigh in and give their opinion on this subject?