3 out of 4 stars
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Simone by Shalonda Crockett is the epitome of a dramatic and raunchy romance.
Simone is a proud, beautiful black woman engaged to blonde-haired and blue-eyed Michael after a brief dating period of 8 months. She is elated and shares the news with her best friend Adon. Simone and Adon had been best friends since they were stationed together in the Navy and they share every detail of their lives with each other. Michael has always survived and never really thrived by lying his way out of tricky situations like going AWOL in the army. He learned this skill from his mother who used her hustling skills for good. Him, not so much. Michael is proud of the beautiful woman he has landed and shares his news with his best friend Roy who has been a pivotal part of his life since they were together in sixth grade. They share many secrets and a rather interesting past…but I will leave the rest up to you to find out from the book.
Crockett does not hold back and I quickly realized that I was in for a dramatic ride. The writing style reminds me of lower-class Americans. The way they act and talk is juvenile and somewhat uneducated, but I believe this was exactly what the author was trying to accomplish.
I enjoyed the storyline and found it to be quite a page-turner. Each character has an extensive introduction, and the story quickly flips from one person to the next in each chapter so the reader gets a very full view of the progression on each one.
If you are looking for a romantic story about true love and happily-ever-after, I would recommend you look elsewhere. This book is anything but that. The crude language, sexist remarks, forced sexual acts, drug use, racist remarks, infidelity, violence, and homophobic hate crime is enough to make you wonder where everything went wrong.
With all the explicit content, I would not recommend this book to readers younger than 16 or to anyone who would find any of the above-mentioned topics offensive. If you are looking for a fast-paced drama with plenty of adultery, this is the book for you.
The book is short with a mere 15 chapters and I believe it could have been even shorter, as there are a few unnecessary details on secondary characters. I did find a few spelling and grammar errors, and I believe the book can benefit from another round of editing. Bearing all this in mind, I am happy to award the book a solid 3 out of 4 stars based on how well the author managed to keep my attention.
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