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What Exactly Does It Mean To Act White?

When I was younger, one or two ignorant black people in my school, would accuse me of acting like a white person. I didn’t get it then, and I sure don’t get it now.

It all seemed to stem from the fact that I wanted to learn, and I had no time for shiftless idiots, who’s favourite pastimes included playing truant from school. There was no way that was ever gonna happen, that’s just not the way I was raised.

My mother was a nurse, who was on her way to becoming a doctor when she had me, and my father was a policeman who became became a lawyer, then started his own business in lieu of practicing law. Being an abject failure in school, and hanging out with kids past eight o’clock at night were not part of their plans for me. Speaking like an uneducated numpty was also not part of their plans for me, however, because I used proper words when I spoke, and because smoking weed when I was at high school, held no attractions for me, I was labelled a ‘square’. Seriously, moi, square! Can you Adam and Eve it??

I can’t recall the first time I was accused of acting white, but every time that accusation has been levelled at me since, it never fails to annoy the shit out of me. Mostly because to me, it seems that because I don’t speak the way some black people expect other black people to speak, I’m instantly labelled a white-wannabe.

Using ebonics or patois isn’t my thing, it never has been. If I tried either, I’d sound faker than Pamela Anderson’s tits. That’s just not who I am.

The irony is, I understand, and have more of an interest in black history, than 99% of the people who have accused me of acting white. I know more about the world, period, than 99% of those people. Quite frankly, I’m more intelligent than 99% of those people.

I want to know why some black people believe that unless you act a certain way, you’re selling out and white-washing your blackness? Who says that the ability to articulate one’s thoughts is a white-only feat? Since when is the hunger for education and the need to always strive for better, a trait that only white people are allowed to have? Seriously, what the hell?

Why have I brought up this subject, I hear you ask? Well, I was on Youtube last night, watching a Kerry Washington interview, (Love her so much) and some of the comments – mostly from (American) black men it seemed to me (There seems to be a trend here), were just so unbelievably racist. She was accused of selling out because she speaks eloquently. Yes, her diction seemed to be a problem with some folks, who accused her of faking the way she spoke in order to fit in with whites. How ridiculous are some people?

As far as I’m concerned, that right there is the kind of attitude that makes life difficult for blacks who understand that knowledge is power, and that the ability to interact with a divergent group of people on different levels is a good thing.

Rant over.

KarenS Review: Let Me Be The One By Bella Andre

KKB Sensuality Rating: Torrid

Well it’s been a while since I felt moved enough to want to write a review, but here I am all excited about a book, that wasn’t filled with thrills and spills, yet still managed to stimulate my reader senses.

I downloaded Bella Andre’s Let Me Be The One: The Sullivans, Book 6 a couple of days ago, and I finished reading it last night (even though I had to be up really early this morning).

I rather like Bella Andre’s books, I’m a fan. I’ve read every Sullivan book prior to Let Me Be The One, and they’ve all been pretty good, some obviously better than others. You guys should check her out, if you haven’t already.

Here’s the blurb from Ms Andre’s website:

In LET ME BE THE ONE, the brand-new book in Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling series about the Sullivan family, an unexpected friends-to-lovers romance might not only turn out to be so much hotter than anything bad boy pro baseball player Ryan Sullivan has ever known…but much, much sweeter, too.

When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager, it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to protect herself and her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.

Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?

Now you all know that I’m a total sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story, and I have to say, Let Me Be The One was just….lovely. It really was.

This isn’t a book that will grab you by the nuts and totally screw with you, it’s not full of TSTL moments instigated by the heroine, or moments of assholiness from the hero, no no, not at all. This book was a gentle spring day, with occasional bursts of rain, but mostly filled with sunshine.

I know the above sounds kind of whimsical, and dare I say corny, but that’s how Let Me Be The One made me feel.

It was great to once again meet a heroine who not only had common sense, but also one who’s vulnerability and sensitivity didn’t turn her into a walking, talking moron.

Vicki Bennett was a sculptress, who’d met Ryan Sullivan back when she was in high school. They’d immediately connected, after Vicki saved Ryan’s life.

Connecting with her peers had always been an issue for Vicki, as her and her family never stayed anywhere long enough to make any real friends. But Ryan changed all that.

This excerpt in the prologue when Vicki was recalling their first meeting, made me feel all warm and fuzzy:

“Ryan made everything seem so easy though, as if the only thing that wouldn’t make sense was them not hanging out.

By the end of their trip to the art store and back, she knew all about his seven siblings, he knew she had two annoying little brothers, he’d told her what he liked about baseball, she’d told him what she loved about sculpting, and she’d been invited to dinner at the Sullivan house.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The best one she’d ever had.”

Because Vicki was an army brat, just over a year later, her and her family had to relocate again. Vicki was devastated to be leaving Ryan, but the two of them kept in touch for the next fifteen years, through emails and phone calls.

Vicki had been secretly in love with her best friend, but because she didn’t believe she was Ryan’s type, and didn’t want to irreparably damage their friendship by confessing her love, she kept her feelings to herself.

Years later, newly divorced from her artist Italian husband of ten years, Vicki comes home.

Ryan is of course ecstatic to see her again after all this time, because unbeknownst to Vicki, he’d also harboured his own secret crush on her when they’d been teenagers.

Ryan was a hero to die for, which is weird, because out of all of the Sullivan brothers, his book wasn’t one that I was particularly looking forward to reading, but I have to say, Ms Andre did an amazing job with his story.

What I loved about Ryan and Vicki’s relationship was how their friendship really rang true to me. Of course I, as the reader knew that they were secretly in love with each other, but that knowledge didn’t detract from the essence of their friendship. They genuinely enjoyed being together, and only wanted the best for each other. The sudden realisation that they could be more, only added to what I thought was already a cracking story.

There were no huge moments of conflict, they didn’t argue needlessly, they were honest with each other, and actually, the only issue they had, was that neither knew that the other felt the same way.

Let Me Be The One was a book that had you routing for both the hero and the heroine, I was desperate for them to realise that they were in love with each other, but fear of ruining a great friendship kept stopping them from making a move.

However, when ‘the move’ came, it was epic. Their love scenes were hot, made all the hotter, by the fact that as the reader, I’d had to endure countless near-miss kisses. I have to say though, the anticipation of their getting together, made the wait, worth while.

Like I said, this isn’t a book that’s chock full of conflict or action, fanfare or explosions, instead it’s a book about two great friends who made it an absolute pleasure for this reader to watch them fall deeper in love.

You can check out Bella Andre’s website here, and download Let Me Be The One from Amazon.com here.

If you guys want to start at the beginning, the first Sullivan Book, The Look of Love, can be found at Amazon.com here. If you want to check out the other books in the series, just click on the book covers above.

Willaful Review: The Space Between Us by Megan Hart

Published by Mira. Sensuality rating: Blistering, physically and emotionally

In a genre that seems to be becoming heavily focused on specific kinks, Hart’s erotica is notable for covering a wide range of human sexuality and emotion. Our narrator here is coffee shop employee Tesla, someone whose co-workers and customers think of as sexually adventurous, “wild,” a characterization which makes her somewhat uncomfortable. Although her background is unconventional and her sexual preferences varied, she just feels ordinary, like herself. “I’m not a straight girl. I’m not a queer girl, either. I guess you could say I’m sexually fluid. Love comes in all shapes and flavors, and I just want to be able to taste them all.”

What some people don’t realize is that Tesla’s openness toward sex doesn’t mean she’s either unprincipled or unfeeling. And what Tesla doesn’t realize is the fact that people “really don’t know me at all” could make her very vulnerable to being hurt. (more…)

Who Knew There Was an Award for "Most Racist Piece of Shit"?

I chanced upon the blurb for the next book in the “Save the Pearls” series today:

“In the sequel to the award-winning, dystopian novel, Revealing Eden, Eden Newman must adapt into a hybrid human beast if she hopes to become Ronson Bramford’s mate. She has no choice but to undergo her father’s adaptation experiment at his makeshift laboratory in the last patch of rainforest. But when the past rears its ugly head, Eden and Bramford must abandon camp along with their family and friends. Luckily, an Aztec tribe that has survived with the aid of a healing plant provides them with sanctuary—or is it? Too late, Eden realizes she is at the center of an epic spiritual battle between love and war. To survive, she must face her deepest fears or lose everything, including the beastly man she loves.”

(No links included, for obvious reasons.)

It looks to me as if Foyt thought long and hard about the accusation of racism against her first book and went all out to make the sequel even more racist, if humanly possible.  Best thing about the comments on this upcoming book at GoodReads: everyone who begins, “Award winning? AWARD WINNING?!”

Have you seen this picture floating around the internet? It’s my absolute fav:

Foyt’s books make me feel like someone re-did that image, so the kid is now looking out onto the same horrible world he has to live in.

What Are Your First Thoughts About This Couple?

Click to enlarge.

Yes, they’re married…

KarenS Quickfire Capsule Reviews - Hunger Games, Beauty Or The Bitch, And More...

Free fall by Jasmine Haynes

Sensuality Rating – Torrid

Blurb from Goodreads:

Deanna Rain has always made the safe choice, taken the safe job, dated the safe guys. But now she just has to bust out of her self-imposed chains or she’ll die. She needs to do something wild and crazy. Something like skydiving. What could be riskier or more wild than jumping out of a plane? Jumping tandem with Cole Johnson, that’s what. But with Cole, the risk might very well be to her heart.

Jumpmaster Cole Johnson is barely keeping his head above water. He’s supported his passion for skydiving by starting a parachuting school. But his bills are stacking up and his calendar is empty. Soon, he’ll have to close his doors to return to a nine-to-five job.

When Deanna shows up for a tandem jump, Cole knows this is going to be his last lesson. And he plans to go out with a bang.

Jesus, thank God this book was a freebie.

This story was just so damn random. It all went a bit pear-shaped for me when the heroine had an orgasm twice during a tandem parachute jump. COME ON!! Really? Really??

You can buy Free Fall from Amazon.com here.

The Hunger Games – Book 1

Sensuality Rating: YA Candyfloss (no sex here folks)

Blurb from Goodreads.com

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.

The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I really enjoyed The Hunger Games, and actually found myself crying at a particularly poignant part of the book. Katniss’s relationship with Peeta was wonderfully complex, but yet this reader still wondered at what the end game would be between her and Gale, who she’d obviously left behind.

The conclusion of the book had me going straight to my Amazon page, and downloading the second installment.

The writing in this book was excellent and the world-building was second-to-none, but I stopped short of giving it five stars because the after effects didn’t stay with me long after I read it, which considering the subject matter, surprised me.

Still well worth reading though, and definitely an improvement over Fifty Shades of Grey. OK maybe that’s not saying much…

If you’re one of the few people who still havn’t read the book, you can but it here.

Beauty or The Bitch(A sexy contemporary retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast) by Jasmine Haynes

Sensuality Level: Torrid (the lite edition)

Blurb from Goodreads.com

Reporter Dexter King is about to get the story of a lifetime. Shelby Stewart was the hottest rising star in Hollywood until suddenly, she was cursed. Retreating to her mountain hideaway, far from that fairy tale life, she hasn’t been seen in ten years. Now Dex will ferret out the truth behind her fall from Hollywood grace. But will he find a beauty? Or a bitch?

This was a surprisingly good read. I think I expected something far more graphic, but it was actually quite a sweet book, with good depths. A nice twist to the Beauty and The Beast tale, with ‘the beast’ being an emaciated recluse who used to be a movie starlet. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the heroine, but I didn’t hate her as much as the title suggested that I would. Good effort.

You can buy Beauty or The Bitch from Amazon.com here.

Michelle Review: Her Russian Billionaire by Theodora Taylor

Multicultural/Interracial Contemporary: Black woman, white man

Sensuality Level: Steamy

There seems to be a trend of late whereas authors are taking the “bad boys” to a new level. These bad boys are really bad, as in they’re criminals. And I’m not talking about soft-core criminals like jewel thieves and gentleman robbers. The genre has always had those. Nope, these bad boys are murderers, drug dealers, even pimps and thieves. I’m not sure why this trend is emerging now, but it’s interesting. I do wonder if the Great Recession has something to do with it. Anyway, I assume that authors are inspired by the film, Eastern Promises, as many of these criminals are also members of the Russian mob. Russian billionaires seem very popular as well, and from what I understand it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two! I guess we can add them to the Greek and Arab tycoons as “exotic” heroes.

This is the first time I’ve enjoyed a secret baby book. What? Why are you looking at me like that? Yes, I know that most secret baby books are booty crack because the rationale for keeping the baby a secret makes no sense. Trust me, given the circumstances of this story I would’ve run like hell too.

Eva and Alexei get together when they’re college students. Alexei has left Russia to go to school, but also to escape his mafia family. Of course, he doesn’t tell Eva about his mob connections, and she eventually finds out the hard way. They meet cute, and I love the fact that Eva is the aggressor. Eva’s family cuts her off when they discover that she’s practically living with a white guy, especially one who has no money. So she moves in with Alexei. They’re reasonably happy in their un-air conditioned Texas apartment,  (Yikes!) until Eva finds out about Alexei’s past.

She runs away leaving him a note that she’s tired of living without money and is going back to her family. Alexei vows revenge and spends the next eight years acquiring wealth so that one day he can throw it in Eva’s face. They run into each other at a wedding which leads to one of the hottest near-sex scenes I’ve read in a while. Alexei initiates his revenge plan by buying up the largest employer in Eva’s small town. Then he blackmails her into spending two weeks with him by threatening to shut it down.

I really had a great time reading this book. Eva is a refreshingly off-beat character with a quirkiness that I haven’t seen in many multicultural books. In a word, she’s absolutely adorable. Alexei manages to be alpha without being an alpha-hole. Communication between the two is very open and direct, even when Eva is pissed off at Alexei, she is still very direct with him. The initial relationship evolves slowly and we get to know both characters very well through the evolution of the book. Very good read. Her Russian Billionaire can be purchased here.

"White men do NOT want black women! And here's why..." - An Ignorant Black Man Speaks...

It’s men like this utter cockmonkey who make me question why more black women aren’t dating outside of their race. The ignorance makes me want to chew my own eyes out.

Oh, and he blames black mothers for the number of black men in prison. He doesn’t apportion any blame to the absentee fathers who spread their seed here, there and everywhere, only to run away from their responsibilities.

He writes in the comments section:

“The absenteeism of the black father is PROMOTED by the EMOTIONAL immaturity of the women or girls having these babies. The absenteeism of the black father is promoted by black girls or women who TOUT the strong INDEPENDENT black woman who doesn’t need no man complex. The absenteeism of black fathers in black homes is promoted by black women who know that it is EASY to DIVORCE or force a black man away because CHILD SUPPORT and WELFARE will bail her irresponsible ass out.”

That’s not all, responding to a commenter who wholeheartedly disagreed with him, he wrote this:

“This is just an angry incoherent RANT from a GUILTY white man’s whore. But let me state this for you the incomprehensive, incompetent black bearer of the VAGINA & birth canal & thus the ONLY ONE who DICTATES how a child is born.
NO MAN can stick his dick into a RAW vagina, INSEMINATES SPERM INTO HER WOMB, FORCE a? woman to become pregnant without the consent of that WOMAN. the ONLY bastard babies that come into this world are those by LOWLIFE women & BLACK women LEAD in that LOWLIFE category…”

What an utter wankstain.

Michelle Review: Naughty Games Series by Lena Matthews

Multicultural Contemporary: White male, Filipino female

Sensuality Level: Steamy

I recently went on a brief vacation, and picked up the first book of this series, Seven Minutes of Heaven. After a few pages I knew I’d want to read the whole series. For one thing, I’m an absolute sucker for the “friends-to-lovers” trope, and for another, all of the characters are so interesting that I really wanted to read their stories.

Essentially, it’s like an erotic version of the TV show, “Friends,” but with much more engaging, and less annoying characters.  Seven friends, four guys, and three girls, met in college. Of course, there was all types of attraction going on, but everyone was too afraid to act on it. The group stayed together even after school, attending parties and vacationing as well. At varying times prior to the beginning of the stories there have been hook-ups amongst the couples based on naughty games, all of which have ended disastrously. Though they’ve remained friends, several of the couples have been pointedly avoiding each other.

Each book starts at the same point; Shane, who is the self-appointed leader of the group, and the only one who knows the details of the disastrous hook-ups, has gotten them all together again for his birthday. He gives them all some very pointed gifts as a way to bring about a reconciliation.

Surprisingly, Seven Minutes of Heaven, was, for me, the weakest of the three stories. At a previous party Bev and Holden had wound up in the closet playing the game, Seven Minutes of Heaven. While in the closet, they have a very sexy, very well-written make out session, when it’s over Holden tells Bev that he manipulated the game so that he could draw her name. Somehow Bev gets it into her head that he’s done this out of pity, and storms out, refusing to speak to Holden for two years. I wanted to slap Bev more than once, she’s definitely the “Monica” of the group, and I always wanted to slap that character as well, but Holden was so engaging that I stuck with it, and I did like the resolution of their story, though I think Bev owed Holden an apology, her response was simply over-the-top.

Contemporary MMF

Sensuality Level: Torrid

The second story of the three was far more emotionally engaging than the first, and it’s definitely the grittiest of the three. For years everyone in the group has been waiting for the group’s princess, Skylar to choose between Gideon and Tripp. Problem is, she wants both. After a drunken game of I Never, she gets her wish, not only that but Gideon and Tripp engage in some hip speeding of their own. Tripp freaks out in a really ugly case of “gay panic” and they haven’t spoken since. Tripp’s reaction is understandable. He’s a professional hockey player and if anyone ever discovers he’s gay, or bi, or whatever, his career could be trashed. This story is very realistic, and the three of them have to work really hard for their HEA.

Surprisingly, Skylar, who is definitely the “Rachel” of the group, comes off as very likable and very self-aware. Gideon was a very strong character and I felt a great deal of empathy for the way he was drawn. He’s hurt, and he’s angry and with good reason. The only weakness in the story is that there is a gay player on the team, and he doesn’t seem to have experienced any repercussions, so that weakens Tripp’s justifications and that aspect of the whole story is resolved a bit too neatly for me.

Multicultural Contemporary: Black female, white male

Sensuality level: Steamy

And finally we get to Shane’s story, and his love for Paige. Shane has used outright bribery to get Paige to attend his party. A few years ago, Shane had a bad automobile accident. Paige, a nurse, was very supportive while he went through a long recovery. During a weekend at his family’s cabin, they wound up having sex after a game of Double Dare. Afterwards, Shane, who had very good reasons was reluctant to engage in a relationship with Paige. Paige was understandably angry, and left without waiting to hear his explanation. She hasn’t spoken to him since, until this party.

All three stories were fun and engaging. To my mind there were only two flaws; Why were the guys the only fuck ups here? I mean, I think at least one of the communication problems was more the girl’s fault than the guy’s, but he was the one groveling.

Also, because each book begins at Shane’s party we get that same scene over and over again, though told from a slightly different viewpoint. By the time I got to the third book I was ready to smack the author, but I didn’t dare skip those pages for fear of missing some detail. All three books were very entertaining, and I enjoyed the set-up.

Seven Minutes of Heaven can be purchased here.

I Never can be purchased here.

Double Dare can be purchased here.

Paranormal Heroines: It's Okay to Kick Ass, but Not to Get Some Ass

Paranormal romance is the home of the hyper-masculinized hero. They’re bigger than mere men. Broader. Immortal. And I’m not just talking about their erections. But this is okay, because the Hyper-Masculinized Paranormal Hero is generally paired with the Kick-Ass Paranormal Heroine. She’s tough. She’s ruthless when necessary. She knows what she wants and goes after it. She wear tight, sexy clothing and has been around the block a few times.  Or wait… has she?

I’ve been noticing something odd in the paranormal romances I’ve been reading. The oversexed heroes are being paired with women who are — or rather, were til they met the overpowering hero — anything but. (more…)