Book Review: T.M. Frazier’s King

I was at a restaurant hanging out with the bestie when my long awaited advance reader’s copy of King showed up in my phone’s Kindle app. In that moment, I could have died of sheer happiness and I was literally dancing in my seat. Although I completely embarrassed myself in public, I didn’t care because I had a copy of King before its official release. After impatiently waiting for this novel for over a year, I was in bookworm heaven and I wasted no time driving home to dive into what I can honestly say was an adventure of epic proportions. 

So before we get started, you need to understand a few things about King. It is not a romance novel for those with delicate sensibilities expecting sweet, but misguided characters finding their way to love and happily ever after. Instead, King is a contemporary (dare I say urban) romance novel where the lines between good and evil, lust and love, savior and sinner are as enigmatic as the novel’s dark, twisty, and seemingly unredeemable characters. Moreover, reading King may make you entirely redefine “happily ever after” because, in this romance novel, love and happiness are far too fragile and fleeting. In King, there are no winners in this game of love–just losers.

If I had to summarize Doe and King’s relationship, I would encapsulate it in the lyrics of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-factor.”

It could all be so simple
But you’d rather make it hard
Loving you is like a battle
And we both end up with scars

So here’s the skinny!!! 

The Good:

  • Despite the year long wait, King didn’t disappoint. I simply couldn’t put it down. This might be the first time in my life where I can’t wait for summer to be over so that I can read the sequel. (Tyrant is due for release August 17, 2015).
  • I’m not sure if it was the visit to Grace’s or the carnival date with Doe, but I absolutely fell head over heels in love with King’s gentler side. A few ounces of light in a heart so dark, made this glimpse of him all the more precious.
  • While it was initially harder to see, Preppy was such a lovable guy. He made me laugh and somehow I always thought he was more dangerous than King. Moreover, it has to be said that the violence between Preppy and his stepfather (especially at the end of the novel) devastated and broke my heart.
  • I loved Doe’s unrelenting honesty; it made me laugh especially how it showed up at Grace’s. 
  • The sexual tension between Doe and King was off the charts hot; it was a roller coaster ride I didn’t want to get off. I swear one minute King wants to kill her and the other minute he can’t keep his hands off of her. Doe and King’s chemistry was burning up the pages of my Kindle and I couldn’t get enough.

The Bad: (Yep!!! Blame it on the English Teacher in me!)

  • A few pacing problems. There were times, especially at the very beginning and very end of the novel, where the pace could have used a little adjusting. At the beginning of the novel, I was dying for Doe and King to finally meet and interact and it seemed like it took forever to get there. I think the background on King and Preppy’s friendship could have been moved to a later time. Then at the end of the novel, I felt like the story was flying a little too fast.  I wanted the novel to slow down a tad so I could savor it a bit more. 
  • There is a major life altering incident with Doe that is majorly glossed over and it robs the novel of some of its realism. Without spoiling the novel for those of you who haven’t read or finished King, I didn’t believe Doe when she said she was over the incident. There are some things you do not get over so easily and her response (or lack thereof) to the situation does not match how she had been characterized thoughout the novel.
  • Preppy’s friendships with Doe and King, at times, almost eclipses the relationship between Doe and King. Doe and King’s moments, though explosive, left me wanting more. What can I say? I couldn’t get enough of them. Though he was a very like able character, it made me jealous that Preppy took up so much prominent space in the novel.
  • Bear: I really liked him, but he was a very thinly veiled catalyst character. Basically, he shows up to keep the plot moving between Doe and King, but it’s really clear that this is his only purpose in King. I wish Bear had been given a bigger role because his character had the potential to be so much more. Would it be too much to hope that he might get his own story in a later novel (hint, hint)?

The Ugly:

Romance novels rarely surprise me, but the cliffhanger at the end King caught me completely off guard in the best possible way!  Not only was it bittersweet, but I was absolutely astonished by the sudden revelations we learn about Doe and King by the last chapter. All I can say is be prepared for a heart attack when you read the last page. Trust me, Fraizer saved the best for last. Unfortunately, this also my major beef with the novel. Although, I was aware that there would be a sequel with the release of Tyrant, I had no idea how mind-blowing the cliffhanger in King was going to be. Having to wait until August to find out what happens next is absolutely cruel. OMG!!! How am I going to survive the 56 days, 13 hours, 13 minutes, and 4 seconds until Tyrant is released? 


Favorite Passage:

I loved sleeping with his big body next to me. I loved the way he made me feel so small. I loved the way his nostrils flared when he was about to kiss me, and then when he did, I loved that he kissed me like he was mad at me. Like it was my fault I was so desirable that he just had to put his lips to mine, his hands on me.


Final Thoughts: (Score: 4.5 of 5)

Although I received King for review, it’s a novel that I would unquestionably spend my money on. Receiving an advance copy, however, made my reading experience all the sweeterI enthusiastically recommend this novel and have already recommended it to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. So, if you’re tired of sappy, Harlequinesque romance novels, give King a try. You won’t be sorry. It’ll be the best $3.99 you ever spent.

4-5-hearts


Blurb:

Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.

King, a notorious career criminal just released from prison, is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, sex or a combination of all three.

King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.


“I’ve been in a maximum security prison. I’ve been around the worst of the worst. I’ve had to sleep with one eye open thinking that any second I could be drawing my last breath.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because. I want you to know that none of those motherfuckers ever scared me as much as you do.”


Published on June 15, 2015, King is the first book in a two part series available in Kindle, iBooks, and Nook formats for $2.99 (for a limited time and then it returns to regular price at $3.99). Tyrant, the second book in this series, is available for pre-order now for $2.99 and is due for release August 17, 2015.  


If you missed my previous excerpt reveals from King, I’ve linked them below for your reading pleasure. 

Warning: King contains graphic adult subject matter, so please keep this novel excerpt out of little hands.

T.M. Frazier-King Excerpt #1

T.M. Frazier-King Excerpt #2

T.M. Frazier-King Excerpt #3


If you’re interested in winning a signed paperback of King & Swag Pack check out the link below. The giveaway end June 28, 2015. 

Enter T.M. Fraizer Rafflecopter Giveaway

***Please note that this giveaway is being sponsored by T.M. Frazier not AllThingsTashia.***


About the Author

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and three feisty fur kids. t.m. frazierShe attended Florida Gulf Coast University where she specialized in public speaking. After years working in real estate and new home construction, she decided it was finally time to stop pushing her dreams to the back burner and pursue writing seriously.

In the third grade, she wrote her very first story about a lost hamster. It earned rave reviews from both her teacher and her parents.

It only took her twenty years to start the next one and it was not about hamsters.

Stalk Her: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.


KING. IS. HERE!

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ALhF4i

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1AOJb0q

iBooks: http://apple.co/1KreL6J

Nook: http://bit.ly/1B7H73R


king book tour

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The Best Valentine’s Day Present is on its Way…

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I know a lot of people think Scandal’s Kerry Washington was snubbed tonight at the Golden Globes when House of Cards’ Robin Wright (previously known best for her role as Jenny in Forest Gump) received the award for best actress in a TV Drama. However, I think the only people who are are shocked are the ones who haven’t seen House of Cards. While I love Olivia Pope, Claire Underwood’s character is grittier and akin to a modern day Lady Macbeth.

I literally stayed up all night to watch season one of House of Cards and not only is it more addictive than Scandal, but it’s more realistic, raw, and intelligent. In other words, House of Cards is everything Scandal used to be in its season one and simply lost because it is on network TV and chasing ratings.

While I definitely think Kerry Washington should be acknowledged for her acting prowess, especially for making the ABC network relevant again, sometimes it pays to be independent. Robin Wright’s more calculated role is fierce competition and less contrived than what Olivia Pope’s over-wrought emotional role is now shaping up to be. Let there be no doubt, I’m still rooting for Livvy and Fitz to get together, but I know the ABC network is going to drag the process out because there is little else to hold the show together. Simply put House of Cards is must see TV while my attention span is starting to wane with so many impossible plot twists and turns in Scandal. Weighing each show equally, I prefer House of Cards, but Scandal will do in the meanwhile.

Below is a preview to the season two premiere of House of Cards, which releases its entire season on Netflix on February 14, 2014. Can you think of a more perfect Valentines Day gift for a political drama junkie like me? I can’t wait to watch House of Cards….will you?

My Natural Hair Dilemma… My Story

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Just a quick video about my natural hair journey/dilemma. I would love some advice on my hair.

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Say What???

I am so confused. Last week I totally hated Captain Ballard and this week I want to hug him. Maybe there’s hope for Captain Ballard and Livvy after all. She’s definitely learning that sometimes the best advice we give others is the very advice we need to follow ourselves. When Livvy tells her client to end the affair he’s having with his brother’s wife, I wanted to clap. She tells him straight up, “Stolen Moments aren’t a life.” Finally, the other woman gets it. Fitz are you paying attention to this? And on that note, at least we know why Jake is watching Livvy. He’s not a pervert, he’s working for the president. Oh, joy!!! Way to go Mr. Fitzgerald Grant! You are now at the top of my hate list.

Seriously, what is wrong with Fitz? He’s using government resources to find out about Livvy’s personal life. That is so weak and just goes to prove he’s not over her. I laughed my tail off when Captain Ballard said Livvy wasn’t dating anyone right after she accepted a date with him. Serves Fitz right. I hope he burns up with jealousy. SMH…He really needs to grow up and fast. Especially since he’s stupid enough to trust Mellie with decisions in his presidency. This chick can’t even keep her husband let alone run international affairs. Fitz’s drinking and haterade is impacting his judgement in monumental ways.

In other news, at least Cyrus won this week. He beat Mellie at her own game and did it hellah swell. Mellie got what she deserved and the best part is she didn’t even see it coming. How in the world did Mellie think she could milk Cyrus for intel on how to deal with the hostages and feed that info to Fitz without Cyrus figuring it out? That is so laughable. Clearly, Mellie doesn’t realize who’s she’s messing with. If Cyrus is willing to have the man he loves murdered, the first lady is not a consideration for mercy. Mellie needs to stop trying so hard, but then she’d realize that she can’t win the game she’s trying to play. Men will love who they’re going to love and all the manipulation in the world won’t change that. Proof of that can definitely been seen between Abby and David Rosen.

Wow…Abby and David Rosen were heating up the car, the desk, and everything in between. Hmmm…David says he understands that their sexing means nothing, but did you see his face? That brotha was sprung big time and who is Abby lying to? Herself, apparently. She’s still in love with David Rosen and all these hookups aren’t going to change that. However, I wonder how long these love birds are going to be able to make it before politics interfere again. And as we’ve seen, Abby is willing to sell David out in deference to her job.

Overall, I’m worried about Livvy’s personal life and Huck’s mental stability. Huck is definitely the character you should want to hate, but somehow can’t. He’s like an ugly puppy–somehow there’s something loveable about him in the oddest way. Seriously, the writers of this show have done a great job of making a ruthless killer likeable. Go figure.

PS. Is it just me or are you worried about the longevity of Harrison? He’s a character that’s on the fringe of the show and needs to be better integrated.

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of Scandal? And can you believe we have to wait three whole weeks for the next episode? 😦

Any Victim You Can Play, I Can Play Better…

And the Oscar for playing the most wounded victims in The White House goes to Mellie and Fitz!!! Wow!!! Hands down this is the most confusing and compelling episode ever.

Can you believe these two? Mellie sold Cyrus down the river quicker than you can say amen and pass the peas. An even better question though is whether she sold Fitz down the river on his hostage SEAL mission. Or is this Cyrus’ payback for the shutout? At this rate, Cyrus can’t continue his delusions of presidential power if he has no access to the Oval Office. With that said, Fitz better watch his back because Cyrus is not a man to be trifled with or taken for granted. When a man has nothing more to lose…the sky will part and blood will rain. And don’t think for a second it won’t! Cyrus nearly had James, the man he loves, murdered so a president is nothing. Have no doubt that Cyrus is the ultimate Machiavellian Prince in that “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”

On the other end of the spectrum, who’s this new guy on the scene? Captain Ballard…he seems like bad news for Livvy. There’s something about their chemistry that rings false and now I know why. He has bugged her apartment and all I want to know is why. Regardless of his reasons, this is creepy and oh so stalkerish on a whole new scale. Does Ballard know about Defiance? If so, I think Livvy may be out of her league with this one. As Oda Mae said in Ghost “You in danger, girl!” Then again, maybe this will be an opportunity for Fitz (if he ever forgives her and stops drinking) to play “captain save a hero” for Livvy. God knows she’s over due for her knight in shining armor.

Not so surprisingly, Cyrus has made Livvy and Fitz Godparents to his daughter. And you know Cyrus never does anything without motivation. Man, Livvy and Fitz were burning up that electrical room. Can you say “Fireeeeeeee?” I’m shocked the circuits didn’t melt with all that heat. However, just when I think these two are going to kiss and make up, Fitz pulls his “I’m a cold bastard and you wronged me” routine. Jeeesh. When is he going to grow a pair and stop crying. I’m so over his man tantrums. I was appalled when he told Livvy, “I may not be able to control my erection around you, but we are done.” What kind of trifling mess is that to tell the woman you supposedly loved and just moments before couldn’t resist sleeping with? Fitz needs a reality check quick, fast, and in a hurry. Clearly, Fitz fails to recognize the origin of his power; he continues to be president only because Cyrus and Livvy allow him to be.

On the Livvy front, this sistah better do something soon or else she’s going to be a victim (if she isn’t already) to her own passion. She’s in love with a man who is presently too selfish and egotistical to be capable of real enduring love. Fitz is a man who believes in fairy tales. He can’t handle the realities of being human and therefore being fallible. Unfortunately, the worst part of it all is that Fitz is a man full of insecurities. And I think we all know, insecurity and power are an epically dangerous combination. So, it’s becoming doubtful that he will ever recognize the sacrifice Livvy made for him and reconcile with her before it becomes too late.

Oh my, so many plot twists. Now David Rosen is on Team Livvy. This is sad and ludicrous all at the same time. However, I’m so glad Livvy put at least one man in his place tonight. I couldn’t believe this broke brother, David Rosen, asking Livvy how much he owed so he could be done with her. SMH…silly rabbit. I just had to laugh at his foolishment. So I was hardly surprised when Livvy replies, “You can’t afford me” and walks away.  Checkmate! I hope David left room for all that humble pie he’s going to be eating. 🙂

So, what did you think of Scandal this week? Are you dying to see the next episode like I am?

Bye, Bye Duo Matte 218

My Favorite MUFE Product Discontinued...

My favorite MUFE product is being discontinued. I swear…just when you start to love something in the beauty world, the company decides to reinvent the wheel or to improve it when they should have just left it alone. Yeah, I said it.

I’m so bummed that Makeup Forever is discontinuing its Duo Matte Powders. This was the best powder foundation I’ve used and the #218 was the perfect shade for me.

Now, sadly, I can’t find my right shade in their new Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation. Everything is either too light, too yellow, or too dark. 😦  It looks like I will be switching to the MUFE liquid HD foundation in 175 when my Duo Matte powder hits pan.

Sometimes change is not good. I seriously want to start a protest to bring the Duo Matte line back. I even sent a polite tweet inquiry last week, which went ignored. Seriously, as a sistah of color this is a travesty because not too many companies do a good job of having a wide range of foundations. This new line is very limited in comparison to the the Duo Matte line and my heart is broken over it.

I guess after my beauty diet, I will have to be on the hunt for a perfect powder foundation. Wish me luck.

This Was a Do-rag Don’t

It never fails that something always goes crazy when you’re running late for work. And for me, today was no exception.

I overslept and woke up to hair hell–an extra tangled, dry frizzy mess of semi waves and wannabe curls. Why oh why God did I give up my relaxers? I could have been in silky hair heaven, but oh no I had to be health conscious and choose natural hair. On a bad hair day like this, I start to seriously rethink my anti-creamy crack hair mantra. I mean do scalp burns really matter when you can avoid crazy hair days like this? SMH…Yes, I’m tripping.

Well anyway…long story short…I did what I always do…I went straight for the brown protein gel and an elastic band (my lifelong bad hair day get out of jail card that my mother hates). I slicked my hair back, but the frizz just didn’t get the memo and lie down. Oh no…every frizzy strand decided to forge a full on assault, so I had no choice but to slap my do-rag right back on my head for the drive to work. (This method never fails to smother all the frizz.) Only in doing so, I broke the cardinal Black woman commandment: “Thou shall not leave thy house in thy do-rag.”

Yeah…I did it and got busted even before I could completely back out of the driveway. Clearly, I am not a pro at being inconspicuous. As it just so happens, my neighbor Mr. S wanted to give me a calendar as a thank you (ask me about my happiness project later). Unfortunately, I did not see him when I was backing out the driveway and he nearly scared me to death.

Sadly, it was not until after he had handed me the calendar that I realized what horrific deed I had done. I had left my do-rag on in public. (Jesus, please take the wheel.)

I guess the end justified the means and all that really counts is that the frizz died by the time I arrived at work. Too bad the embarrassment of it all lasted all day. I really need some bad hair day intervention. I can’t even imagine what my neighbor must think of me now. Sometimes, it’s tough being part of the 1% in El Paso. Just two weeks ago a kid ran up and touched my hair like I was part of a Black in America exhibit. SMH…

So, how do you deal with a bad hair day?