Monday Muse – Keeping Willow

Monday Muse – Keeping Willow

I waited for this story. Like, I ached for Devin and Willow. Why? Because Jacinta Howard is one of the few authors that make me feel. Me. Do you know how hard it is to make me feel? I spend hours a day every day writing books full time to make others feel. I’ve become numb in a sense as a reader because of the level in which I write. But there are some authors and some books that make me feel. That take me in. That allow me to read and just… enjoy a brief moment in this fantasy world without it being my work.

EVERY book that I’ve read by Jacinta Howard has offered me that escape. NO young contemporary African American romance author is on that level. Yes, there are some that can get me every once in a while, but the ONLY authors that have had that kind of power are the old school heavy hitters like Francis Ray, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson and Beverly Jenkins.

Jacinta Howard is on that level, honey. Easily.

Keeping Willow left me empty and drained yet full. Light, but she took me so deep. It was an emotional push and pull that was like torture that soothed my soul. I think it hit me as much as it did because I just completed a book, ‘Just Say You Love Me’ and it was different for me in the sense that the main lead, Luana, had to experience self-love and growth before she could truly appreciate and accept love from the main male lead, Jaxon. I was so fearful of how my readers would react to Luana because of her issues, but here comes Jacinta – giving me Willow.

Sweet, precious Willow.

Willow was a woman who needed to experience self-growth, love, acceptance and appreciation before she could accept any of those things FULLY from Devin. She needed to be satisfied with herself and her life, and that tugged at my heart something serious. It was… calming… to read a story that was kind of like… confirmation that this new route I was taking was the right one.

Jacinta doesn’t just write good romance and love stories. She’s gives you the real. The ugly. That… perfect balance of perfect love shared between imperfect beings. I cannot wait for this book to be available as a paperback so I can add the entire Prototype series to my collection. Yes, there’s two other books for you to indulge in before getting to this one – ‘Happiness in Jersey’ and ‘Finding Kennedy’.

I give ‘Keeping Willow’ an extremely strong 5 stars. My review has already been left. Click here to head over to Amazon and read it for yourself today!


Quickie – If You Ever Change Your Mind

Quickie – If You Ever Change Your Mind

Hey, Beloved!

My next release (the spinoff for Just Say You Love Me) goes live 8.15.17! I’m so excited for you to read Lucas and Hali’s story! They are like… the total and complete opposites of Jaxon and Luana! Here’s the synopsis and a quick sneak peek. Hope you’re ready for the rest Tuesday 🙂


Lucas Berry has never been the type to take the traditional route with anything in his life. Even when he considers it, life throws him a curveball that causes him to take an entirely different path. The last curveball, a pregnant friend with benefits, caused Lucas to make an illegal move that led to his sister, Luana, being bound to Jaxon Jeffries. At first meeting Jaxon, Lucas considers him to be a man that will never be worthy of his respect and admiration, but there is one thing that Jaxon shares with Lucas that changes his life forever – the importance of choosing a wife instead of letting something as reckless and irrational as love choose one for you.

Hali Davison has never been the type to step out of the traditional route with anything in her life. Even when she considers it, life throws her a curveball that causes her to return to the safe, predictable path she grew up on. The last curveball, finding out the man she’s loved all of her life practically was getting married to a woman that wasn’t her, has Hali reconsidering her safe and predictable lifestyle. If her last chance at letting Lucas know how she really feels for him is at his wedding… so be it.

Lucas is stuck between doing the right thing and following his heart. His childhood has made it difficult for him to believe that true love exists, which is a great deal of the reason why he’s fought his feelings for Hali over the years.

With his natural hair product line reaching heights he never thought were possible, Lucas is determined to secure his life mate now before his money, power and status make it impossible to choose a woman who wants him for him and not who he is and what he has. There’s just one question he’s faced with on the day of his wedding; is that woman Shanice, the woman responsible for giving him his first child, or Hali, the woman responsible for giving him his first taste of love – no matter how much he thought he didn’t want it.

Quickie sneak peek – (Unedited)

No one else sensed it, but Luana was able to quickly pick up on her brother’s nervous energy. He was minutes away from marrying Shanice, the mother of his firstborn son – Luca Antony Berry. It was immediately after Lucas cut the umbilical cord that he asked Shanice to marry him, but now that they were minutes away from that actually happening… Lucas wasn’t so sure anymore. Dre, Lucas’ cousin, handed him the small, sample sized bottle of Hennessey that he’d carried in his pocket for this very moment.
“You ready, cuz?” Dre asked, squeezing Lucas’ shoulder, “It’s about that time.”
Lucas nodded, meeting Luana’s eyes. She wasn’t just his best friend and sister; she was also his best woman. Taking all three of her roles seriously, Luana whispered something into her husband’s ear and they both began to respectfully and quickly clear the room until only Lucas and Mayor Jaxon Jeffries remained.
Lucas admittedly wasn’t the biggest fan of Jaxon when he first heard of him, but as time progressed and he got to know him and witness the love he had for his sister unfold, both men learned to respect each other. That, and the fact that Jaxon spared Lucas and allowed him to keep his freedom when most others would’ve taken that or his life.
“Luana figured you needed some time to get your mind right,” Jaxon informed him, “Do you need anything before I head out?”
Lucas grabbed the box that held Shanice’s ring and opened it. He had yet to give it to Luana for the ceremony. Did his hesitation mean something that his mind wasn’t allowing him to register? No. That couldn’t have been the case. He was just… waiting.
“I need you to tell me that I’m making the right decision,” Lucas smiled softly and shook his head. He snapped the box shut and placed it back on the table, “That I’m not setting myself up to experience the same tortured life my parents led.”
Jaxon leaned against the table as he sighed heavily. He ran his hand against his freshly shaved head as it shook.
“That’s one thing I can’t tell you,” Jaxon confessed, placing his hands in his pockets, “I don’t want to be responsible for such a huge decision, and that’s something that really only you can answer. What’s causing your doubts?”
Lucas looked around the room that had suit jackets tossed over anything that would hold them. This wasn’t how he thought he would feel minutes before his wedding. Actually, he never thought he would have a wedding. Him or Luana. But love found her and a baby found him. Now Luana was happily married to the man who Lucas undeniably believed complemented her perfectly, while Lucas was about to be married to the first woman to ever snatch his seed.
“I don’t love her,” Lucas confessed as normally as he would tell someone the weather for the day, “I barely like her. We have our good days, but most of what we had was built on lustful nights. I just… don’t want to risk marrying her and not having the strength or courage to leave if things go south.”
“Then why are you marrying her?”

Find out Tuesday! For now, If You Ever Change Your Mind is available for preorder here.

Until next time,

B. Love


Monday Muse review – If Only for the Summer

Monday Muse review – If Only for the Summer

Very rarely do I run across a book that makes me laugh and smile consistently throughout. As an author who usually pens deep, emotional novels, I find relief in novels that give me the opposite. A novel that makes me feel good. And light. And happy. And it’s even better when that novel discusses real issues, conflicts and insecurities as well.

Alexandra Warren’s ‘If Only for the Summer’ does just that!

From the moment her main characters are near each other you feel the sparks fly! And the addition of Guy’s baby boy Jaxon gives a level of cuteness that made my heart flutter. I thoroughly enjoyed Guy’s blatant expression of his desire for Nova. It was refreshing to read about a man who didn’t play games and waste time.

I rate books on a 5 point scale, and you can find that scale on my page titled – I read too! – because I’m simply too lazy right now to go and copy and paste, lol. 🙂

‘If Only for the Summer’ gets a strong 5 stars from me. I’ve already left my review on Amazon. I suggest you head over to read and do the same!

If Only for the Summer


People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

Hardly ever do I hear a quote that follows me over the years. It’s even more of a rarity for that quote to come from someone that I don’t consider a mentor or loved one. And a comedian?? Oh no. Never thought that was possible.

But it was.

Aaallllllll the way back in 2008 I heard something that has resonated within me over the years. I will admit, I have just recently started putting this into play, but it’s been there for years.

Can you guess what it was? Don’t bother. You won’t be able to figure it out. It was Katt Williams talking about the need to be in tune with your star player. And who is your star player? YOU ARE, HONEY!

Now, with me being on my whole self-love journey over the past year or so I have seriously been putting my star player first. Staying in tune with my star player. Why? Because I understand that in order for me to pour into the lives of others I must first be full myself.

With me learning to love myself on a deeper level, I realized the need to celebrate myself more as well. Have you ever noticed when you give women a compliment most times they’re bashful and unwilling to take the compliment? Or if they do, they draw your attention to a flaw? Maybe it’s just me *shrugs* but I used to have a bad habit of accepting a compliment and pushing the attention away from myself, or drawing attention to a flaw. Why? It was hard for me to receive compliments from others because I wasn’t complimenting myself.

Two dangerous habits can form when we don’t celebrate ourselves – 1. We seek to have ourselves validated by others, or 2. We train our brains to filter out the good and only focus on the bad from ourselves and others.

Both of these are horrible because if you seek validation from others you give them the power to lift you up AND pull you down. AND if you focus too much on negativity and your brain starts to think that’s what’s most important to you that will be what it filters in consistently. You will create an extremely toxic habit of being able to only see the negative about yourself, and that will eventually lead to every other area of your life. And what type of life will that be?

With my last release, Just Say You Love Me, it came to my mind that I stopped celebrating myself and my accomplishments. I stopped taking the time to say, “Girl, you’re living your dreams. You just published an amazing novel. Celebrate yoself!” I stopped going to get manicures and pedicures and birthday cake pops on release days. I stopped making those my rest days, and immediately started working on the next project.

I stopped savoring the moment. Appreciating the gift that is within me. Celebrating my creativity. My black girl magic. The fact that gold seeps from the tips of my fingers and enriches every person that reads my masterpiece.

That’s right; I create masterpieces.

And for a second, I forgot that.

I got so caught up in the hustle and the process and the work that I failed to take a moment to appreciate the weight of me accomplishing such an amazing thing.

Do you celebrate yourself? Do you compliment yourself? Do you value the beauty and the beast within you?

Have you ever just taken a moment to stop and say, “Honey, you’re doing an amazing job,” to yourself and mean it???

I dare you to start taking one brief moment a day to celebrate you. It can be something as simple as praising yourself for not exploding into a fit of road rage, completing an important task on time or getting your kids ready to leave out in the morning. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, celebrate your dopeness.

And while you’re at it, celebrate mine too 🙂 Check out my latest novel on Amazon. It’s my best work if I do say so myself 😉

Just Say You Love Me


Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Hey, Beloved!

Tomorrow is the day! Just Say You Love Me goes live tonight at midnight! You can preorder it here to have it delivered as soon as it goes live.

Here’s one last unedited sneak peek to hold you over 🙂

Snatching his briefcase and phone from his desk, Jaxon sauntered over to his door… powerful swagger in no way affected by the swiftness of his steps. In usual Jaxon manner, he was focused on one thing and one thing only – getting through his interviews as quickly as possible to meet Luana – so when he opened the door and saw his mother and Tiffany standing on the other side of it he was unable to stifle his irritated groan. Faith valued no one’s time but her own. It didn’t matter how many times he told her he had to leave, she wouldn’t release him until she was done saying what she had to say.

“Now’s really not a good time, Ma,” Jaxon informed her as respectfully as he could.

“This will only take a second,” Faith tried to assure him, but Jaxon knew that wouldn’t be the case. Faith stepped in front of Jaxon, waiting for him to move aside and let her enter. When he didn’t, Faith used the back of her hand in the center of his chest to gently guide him out of the way, “Speak to Tiffany,” Faith instructed, sitting in front of Jaxon’s desk.

“Tiffany,” Jaxon spoke with as little enthusiasm as he had patience.

Tiffany smiled widely and stepped into his office, finding her place in the seat next to Faith while Jaxon closed the door. Unbuttoning his suit jacket, Jaxon exhaled a long, deep breath as he prayed silently and walked back over to his desk.

“What’s up, Ma? I have quite a few interviews me and Kingston need to get to before a meeting.”

“I wanted to reintroduce you to Tiffany. Your new wife.”

Waiting for the punchline to her joke, Jaxon continued to stare at his mother silently. She had to be out of her mind if she thought Jaxon was going to spend the next few months attached to Tiffany in any way. Tiffany was the kind of woman normal mothers warned their sons to stay away from. Not Faith. With her, it was all about status, power, position and legacy. It didn’t matter how much of a gold digging leech Tiffany was who spent her days working to secure her next sugar daddy; in Faith’s eyes, she came from good stock. And that mattered more to her than a woman’s morals and values – or her son’s interest and happiness for that matter.

When Faith didn’t continue speaking, Jaxon pulled his phone out and shot Kingston a quick text to let him know he was going to be a few minutes late before speaking.

“I agreed to the whole marriage thing, but I’m picking my own wife, Ma.”

Faith looked at Tiffany and smiled softly, then she sat up in her seat… hanging over Jaxon’s desk.

“You can pick your own wife just as long as Tiffany is your pick.”

“Tiffany,” Jaxon called, “Can you step outside and give us a minute alone please?”

Tiffany stood, smiling when Faith patted her hand softly. They both watched her leave, and as soon as the door closed behind her Faith whispered loudly, “What is wrong with you carrying on like that in front of her? She’s going to think you don’t want to marry her.”

“I don’t!” Jaxon seethed, eyebrows wrinkling and teeth grinding. It wouldn’t do him any good to be upset with his mother. It wouldn’t change anything. She would stand firm behind her desire no matter how horribly matched Jaxon and Tiffany were. If anything, his anger would make Faith calmer and firmer.

“Why not? She comes from good stock. A wealthy and political tree. Do you know how powerful a union the two of you would have? The Jeffries and Russel stock could be the combination that gets us in the white house. Tiffany is perfect for you, Jaxon.”

“No she’s not,” Jaxon argued, standing from his seat and peering down at his mother, “She just got out of one marriage with a seventy-year-old man whose death almost made her a millionaire. I’m not going to let her ride off of me to reach that point. She’s a gold digger whose only concern is the size of a man’s wallet. That’s not the kind of woman I want at my side.”

“Yes, Tiffany has the sense to secure her future financially, but that’s not a bad thing. That should let you know that she’s going to do whatever it takes to satisfy you and help you win. She’s a chameleon. She can be the basketball wife, the politician’s wife, the drug lord’s wife. The woman is ever changing and evolving her men, Jaxon. She can help you, son. Tiffany is the one.”

The only thing Jaxon saw Tiffany changing was the money in his bank account and respect he had from men who valued a higher class of woman.

“Tiffany is not the one. You told me I needed a wife to soften my image. There’s nothing about Tiffany that’s feminine, soft or genuine. She’s a known money chaser. I won’t look like a caring, big hearted family man; I will look like a fool getting played like all the others.”

Faith stood, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Like Jaxon didn’t get his stubborn streak from her.

“We’re not finished with this conversation. I’m going to go because I have a case this morning, but I want you to let Tiffany ride along with you.”

“Ma,” Jaxon whined, feeling like a seven-year-old all over again.

“Keep her at your side while you handle your business today just to see how it feels.”

“So you want me to rent a wife for the day?”

Faith shrugged before walking over to Jaxon and pulling his pocket square out.

“Call it what you want, son, but I want you to give her a trial run. Give her a genuine chance. I really like her for you. For this.”

Jaxon remained silent as he watched his mother fold the square and return it to his pocket. If Faith liked Tiffany for Jaxon she didn’t know her son at all. What Faith didn’t know was that Jaxon had already tried to secure a future with Tiffany years ago. While he was still in college lending money to other students. Getting a feel for his knack of lending and gaining money in interest in return. Before he started his business and grew a name outside of his family.

She didn’t want him then.

When he was refusing to live off his parents’ money and struggling to make his own.

When he had nothing but his love and affection to offer her.

As if that didn’t hold more weight than any amount of money.

Tiffany didn’t want him when Jaxon had nothing; and he didn’t want her now that he had everything.

I hope you’re as excited to read their story as I am to bless you with it!

Until tomorrow,

Love, B.


Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Here’s an unedited sneak peek into my release for 8.1.17 – Just Say You Love Me

“I don’t know how to say this, son, but it’s not looking good,” Governor Jacob Jeffries confessed.

“They say you’re selfish, hard, uncaring, and passionless,” his wife, Judge Faith Jeffries, agreed.

“Not everyone,” Jacob clarified, “You’re doing really well with our people and other minorities, but if you want to secure the votes of Caucasians, Asians, Japanese…”

“You have to show them that you care about them too,” Faith added, stopping her husband’s rambling, “That you care about the things they care about too. That you value what they value too. We understand your commitment to blacks, but you won’t become Mayor off our votes alone. The election is less than a year away. We have to change your image and secure at minimum another twenty thousand potential voters.”

Jaxon Jeffries sat back in his seat and groaned silently. If he would’ve known this was what his parents wanted to talk about he never would’ve agreed to lunch. Yes, Jaxon was fully aware of his success in the black community and the lack of commitment and belief he was facing with other races, but he didn’t care about that. From the moment he announced his plan to run for Mayor, Jaxon made it perfectly clear that his purpose was to serve his people. In his eyes, they had been ignored and neglected for so long – it was time that changed; with him.

“Three years ago, when I announced my plans to run for Mayor after Truman was elected, I made it perfectly clear that my people were my priority,” Jaxon reminded his parents.

“We understand, but you will not be able to serve your people if you lose,” Jacob countered.

That was true.

There was no way he could serve the African Americans in his community as their Mayor if he wasn’t elected. There was only so much he could do in position one of their city’s council. And he also made it his business to help entrepreneurs with his investment firm. Jaxon needed, however, to be placed into a higher position of power. With his father as Governor and his mother a highly respected Judge, they had the influence to bring great change to their city. Now it was Jaxon’s turn to take on what their hands were too full to carry.

“I hear you,” Jaxon agreed unwillingly, sitting up in his seat and looking over the menu. He didn’t plan on having a drink this early in the afternoon, but now he was sure he would need one to get through this constructive conversation, “I’m sure the both of you have a way to make this right. Have you spoken to Kingston?” Jaxon asked, referring to his campaign manager and one of his father’s closest friends.

“No, Jaxon. For this, we need to speak with you.”

Jaxon’s eyes met his mothers. Her voice was soft and low which meant she knew he wasn’t going to willingly agree to what they had to say.

“Let me get a drink first,” Jaxon requested, sinking back down into his seat.

His parents began to talk amongst themselves, and Jaxon completely tuned them out as he looked across the dimly lit restaurant for their waitress. He couldn’t help but have his spirit dampened by the sight of all the smiling faces involved in what looked to be happy conversations. Jaxon couldn’t recall the last time he smiled and laughed with his parents or anyone else for that matter. The past six months of his life had been filled with nothing but work. His mayoral run. Position on the city council. Investment firm. All of his boards and committee engagements and meetings.

When did happiness and love and joy become things he had to schedule in?

Things he knowingly neglected to take part in?

Finally, his eyes spotted their waitress, but before he could try to get her attention to change his drink order, Jaxon’s attention was drawn to the waitress standing next to her.

It was her smile… like a literal beam of sparkle radiating from her face to the other waitress – getting a reaction out of Jaxon that he didn’t know was possible. Honey brown skin covered a tall, toned frame. A tall, toned, curvy frame. One with enchanting thighs, inviting hips, a flat stomach made for the tips of his fingers and perky breasts. Even her eyes smiled in their darkness. They were covered by long and curly eyelashes that made an already beautiful pair of almond eyes even more captivating. Her hair hung to her shoulders in big, playful curls that framed her heart shaped face perfectly, but it was that smile.

That smile held rays of sunshine on her face.

That smile was the best looking curve on her shapely body.

A tray covered with drinks was placed on top of the bar, and their waitress picked it up. When she did, she began to walk towards their table while the beauty headed in the opposite direction. Jaxon watched the beauty until he couldn’t see her anymore.

“Alright, guys,” their waitress spoke, sitting their drinks on the table one by one, “Are you ready to order appetizers or lunch or do you need a few more minutes?”

“I want her,” Jaxon blurted, gaining stares from his parents and the waitress, “The woman you were talking to; I want her to be our waitress.”

Their full story will be available 8.1.17, but it’s available for preorder here now. Thanks for meeting me here.

Until next time,

Love, B.


Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Welcome back 🙂

Monday you got a little more acquainted with me; now it’s time to meet my next set of characters!


Jaxon Jeffries and Luana Berry

Jaxon Jeffries is a 31 year old mayoral hopeful. His main priority right now is to become the Mayor of Memphis, and he’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen – including taking on a temporary wife.

Luana Berry is a 25 year old senior in college. All she’s had for most of her life to rely on is her brother, Lucas, and for the most part she’s been okay with that. When Lucas needs her help, Luana’s natural reaction is to do all she can to help her brother – even if that means being Jaxon’s temporary wife.

When Jaxon and Luana first meet they put up no effort to deny their attraction to each other, but neither of them have any plans of being in a real relationship any time soon. After they are forced into their fake relationship Luana’s attraction for Jaxon quickly turns into disdain while Jaxon’s attraction for Luana deepens. Even still, he refuses to allow love or anything else to pull his focus from his campaign.

As they force themselves to show each other love, they begin to realize their true feelings for each other. Neither of the two deny them, but neither of them want to be inconvenienced by love either.

So, by the end of their journey together it becomes a matter of priority. A matter of trust. A matter of vulnerability. A matter of simply saying, “I love you, and I want to be with you.” A simple statement indeed, but for two people who have sworn off love for the time being that statement is buried deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds – having no intentions of erupting. Ever. Even if their newfound love is on the line.

Synopsis –

Luana Berry’s plate is full. Not only is she juggling two jobs and an internship, but she’s doing so while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at the most expensive private school in Memphis, TN. Just a few months away from being the first college graduate in her family, Luana plans to continue her education and become a Lawyer. There’s just one thing standing in the way of her dreams – her brother, Lucas Berry.

Jaxon Jeffries’ plate is full. Not only does he have his own investment firm, but he’s also on the city council and running for mayor. When his parents suggest that he take a wife to soften his image and show his loving, compassionate side to voters, Jaxon is against it – until he saves Lucas Berry in exchange for the chance to have his sister Luana.

With Lucas being the reason Luana had the opportunity to even attend college, she feels obligated to help her brother during his time of need. So much so that when the choice is his freedom or her singleness she agrees to stand by Jaxon’s side as his wife.

Jaxon and Luana have one goal – to prove to the world that they love each other before election day. Neither desire real love, especially from each other, but the more time they spend together the more they realize love is no respecter of persons, time, deals and enemies made, or hearts that intend to be saved.

Prepare to watch these two fight themselves and their feelings 8.1.17 ❤