Beating the Odds by Sherrod Tunstall

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beating the Odds by Sherrod TunstallBeating The Odds by Sherrod Tunstall
Published by Urban Books on August 29, 2017
Pages: 288 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Brad Carter is down on his luck. He loses his job, catches his woman in bed with another man, and he’s days away from being booted out of his home. Wanting to get away from his problems, Brad and his boys go to a nightclub, where they meet a wealthy stranger who offers them each $50,000 to go to Rio de Janeiro and traffic cocaine back to the U.S.

They jump at the opportunity and have the time of their lives in Rio, but when it’s time to return to the U.S. with the drugs, all hell breaks loose. Brad and his friends are caught, and being in jail is not anything they could have imagined. With the help of a fellow prisoner with powerful connections, they plan an escape.

Brad is determined to find his way back to the U.S., but not without Diamond, the beautiful woman he met before things went awry in Rio. Can he rescue her from the clutches of Armand, the sick crime boss who’s been holding her captive for years? He soon discovers that the web of criminal connections between Armand, his wife, and his associates are deep and dangerous. With the obstacles he faces, Brad’s journey to freedom may be impossible.

Beating The Odds by Sherrod Tunstall was unlike any other urban fiction story I’ve read. It’s just something about knowing that the story is literally written in a male’s perspective that just offers a new look to whatever story I’m reading, I feel this way when I’m reading a Scott Hildreth or Leo Sullivan’s story as well.

The synopsis of Beating the Odds really pulled me in because it made it appear as if there would be quite a few struggles that our main characters would have to go through, which translates to me as DRAMA lol.  Before I entered into Tunstall’s story I have to speak on the cover. I’m definitely a reader who will look at the book cover first determining if I would give the book the time of day, with the rating, synopsis, and reviews afterwards. The book cover really didn’t match how I envisioned the main male character based on how Tunstall described him so that really confused me and somewhat made it hard for me to connect to the visual that Tunstall had in mind for Brad’s character.

While reading Beating the Odds I felt like a fly on the wall during everything that was happening with the characters within this story, which I really ended up liking because it showed that Tunstall gave adequate description while speaking through the experiences and observations of Brad’s character, as well as the narrator’s voice.

The flow of Beating the Odds was what really sold me on this story. From the very beginning I found myself glued to its story, not so much because of what was happening but because of the hypnotizing and poetic flow of the words used to create each scene, page, and character’s character. Furthermore, Tunstall did an amazing job in balancing all the different character’s page time, I didn’t’ feel as if I needed to create my own chart to stay abreast of all the drama that each character was having to deal with throughout this story. Tunstall’s transitions were definitely on point.

Will I jump feet first into another Tunstall story, well that definitely depends on the story and the mood I’m in – y’all know I’m picky as heck. But if this story seems interesting to you I really do recommend it, it’s definitely a story that can be finished in one sitting.

Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals by Briana Crosby

Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals by Briana CrosbyCasanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals by Briana Crosby
Published by David Weaver Presents on December 6, 2016
Pages: 218 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads
four-stars

Meet Cassidy, a beautiful twenty-five year old, with a good head on her shoulders and a loving heart. Being determined to care for those that she loves draws her to a new city. Luckily for her, she ends up scoring a win by getting a position at the Alcatraz of the South - Angola, Louisiana State Penitentiary.
What seems like a promising job, turns out to be something that she has never experienced. She gets sucked in by a force she never knew existed. He's domineering, dangerous, powerful, and of course a thug that you just can't get enough of.
This romance will pull you in from the very first page, and will have you wanting more Casanova... find out how Cassidy copes with this possessive force in Casanova & Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals.

My gosh it’s been a minute since I’ve read a story where I was so torn on whether the heroine should give the hero a chance or to simply go on the run because he was a bat crap crazy. Who am I kidding, I love the crazy ones, the crazier the better lol.

From the craziness that was going on in the prison to trying to figure out what all Casanova was involved in to learning how he, as a prisoner, was able to run the prison like he did made Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals a non-stop thrill ride I was too scared to get off. The tone of the story was so different than what I’m used to with an African American Urban Fiction story. Right off the bat Cassidy didn’t move or carry herself as the heroines I was used to reading about from this genre/sub-genre, so this immediately grabbed my attention.

The main issue I had with Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals was how different I felt Casanova was once he got out of prison. He went from being this ruthless man who was so in control of everything and savage with it to this almost cookie cutter guy unless he was killing someone. I don’t know, it just felt like I was reading two different heroes.

Also, I got the vibe that everyone that Cassidy met while at the prison should’ve been people that she keep both eyes, ears, and nostrils on because I seriously felt like there was more to them than what was revealed. In book two I hope Cassidy starts to tighten up her circle even more especially with how her one friend started to act at the end of Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals.

I’m crossing all kinds of fingers and toes for book two to be released sometime soon because the ending of Casanova and Cassidy: Thug Relationship Goals literally had my jaw dropping.

A Hustler’s Tears by Natasha Raynor

A Hustler’s Tears by Natasha RaynorA Hustler's Tears by Natasha Raynor
Series: A Hustler's Tears #1
Published by Leo Sullivan Presents on October 11, 2016
Pages: 220 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Sexy Haitian and former hustler, Truth is officially out of the game and ready to live a legit life with Emilie Baptiste and their twin sons until a ghost from his past drops one heck of a bombshell on him. Emilie is devastated and is unable to hide it. Her devastation pushes Truth away because he feels that she should put her feelings aside and ride for him. The more Emilie acts out the more it pushes Truth away and the both of them begin to fear that the damage isn't able to be undone.

Samir Adams is happily married and faithful. His only flaw is running the streets, but he has no intention of stopping any time soon. Going for a short visit to North Carolina to visit his God brother, Jules Baptiste, changes Samir's life in more ways than one. On top of being shot, he discovers that his wife, Charity, isn't who he thinks she is, and it rips his heart from his chest. Samir vows to never love again, but once he meets a sexy pharmacist, he has to ask himself if that vow is actually a realistic one.

Crucial and his girl, Kennedi, are settled into their new home in Miami and waiting for the birth of their child. Life is great until a freak accident breaks both of their hearts and changes the course of their relationship. Crucial doesn't know how to handle his grief, and it's not the first time that he pushes Kennedi away, but it could be his last. Fed up with his treatment of her, Kennedi begins to question if they are meant to be.

Truth, Samir, and Crucial play no games in the streets, but their women are their weakness, and they all learn the hard way that hustlers feel pain too.

It been a while since I’ve read an Urban Fiction story and I’m glad, somewhat, that A Hustler’s Tears was the first I dived back into.

When A Hustler’s Tears first started I immediately became glad that its story wasn’t going to bog me down with multiple storylines right off the bat, leaving me to utilize my multitasking skill to keep up with who’s who and what drama encompassed their world. In fact Natasha Raynor did a good job of slowly easing her readers into who each character and/or couple’s storyline was so that confusion wouldn’t be the first thing we would be hit with.

The first couple we were introduced to were Truth and Emilie, then the next couple was given their in-depth introduction, and from there Raynor continued on with this trend throughout the beginning of A Hustler’s Tears until all four couples were revealed. In doing it this way Raynor was able to break down the intricacies that made up each couple so that as we read we would know their background and present situations that would then explain their battles as the story went on.

I will say that there were some couples I didn’t care for, but the characters that kept me the most entertained were Truth, Adrika, Jules, Lyric, Samir, and Diamond. With the other ones I’m not saying they weren’t entertaining or interesting just that their storylines were too out there for me to take seriously, especially when a few of their actions had major consequences.

I do want to continue on to see what happens to the characters I liked more but I’ll wait, the synopsis for part two doesn’t seem all that appealing right now especially after the way things ended in A Hustler’s Tears.