Controversial #Reads from Bestselling Authors #BookReview @BeemWeeks @Torrenstp @Darynda


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This week’s book selections cover controversial subjects. In Beem Weeks Jazz Baby we’re introduced to a young teen with a dream of singing Jazz, but will the cost be worth the choices she’s forced to make?

Forbidden by D. G. Torrens is a love story between two people with wide cultural differences. Ones that could tear them apart in ways they never expected.

Betwixt by Darynda Jones is a fun, witty story about a divorced woman who inherits a haunted house and a legacy that’s hard to believe.

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“I’m going to New York City to sing jazz,” she (Emily Ann) brags to anybody who’ll listen. But the Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she’d always called home.

It’s 1925 and the south is steaming under a relentless sun. Young Baby Teegarden is just discovering her body and an interest in boys when her dad is murdered by her mother and Baby (Emily Ann) is shipped off to her maiden aunt with her rigid rules.

Life has no beginning to the tales it weaves, no real end, neither―only additions and subtractions, is all. Papa became a subtraction the morning he died, erased from my life, never to return.

Jazz Baby- Beem Weeks

When a good friend of her father’s shows up with a plan to get Baby on a Speakeasy stage without her aunt’s knowledge, Emily Ann jumps on board, excited for a chance to sing the jazz she loves so much.

But there’s a price to pay for white girls in a colored town and Baby is about to learn she can’t trust anyone.

This is a coming-of-age story of a young girl’s calamitous journey to womanhood in the dangerous world of sex, drugs, and alcohol in the seedy south.

~~ Warning: This book contains triggers of child molestation and isn’t for every reader. ~~~


THE TIES THAT BIND US ARE THE ONES THAT CAN BREAK US…

Jessica never planned to fall in love, but Ajay is special, a man with values who sees his soul mate in her. But Jessica’s strict Christian parents and Ajay’s Hindu family will do anything to keep the pair apart- even if it means committing a crime.

Someone wants Jessica dead and will stop at nothing to ensure it happens. The story begins with her life in jeopardy and then we travel back to the beginning of their relationship. They know there’s no chance the families will ever accept their marriage but can’t resist the lure of the intimacy developing between them.

A trip to India brings the Hindu culture to life for the reader, however the book could have used a good editor.

Overall, a good read.


Divorced, desperate, and destitute, former restaurateur Defiance Dayne finds out she has been bequeathed a house by a complete stranger.

On the heels of a bitter divorce, Defiance receives a letter bequeathing her a moody old mansion in Salem, Massachusetts. With nothing left to lose, she makes the drive and meets a very nervous lawyer down the street from the house, whose name is Percival (more on that later). Between a wind that gusts out of nowhere and the lawyer practically shoving the papers into her arms without explanation, Defiance finds herself the owner of a mausoleum she can’t afford.

I eyed the paper with a suspicion born of far too many deceptive relationships. “How about we go inside and talk about this?”

Her face, a face that had been rosy not thirty seconds earlier, paled at my suggestion. She backed away as though I’d just told her I was going to murder her and keep her heart in a jar on my desk.

I would never do such a thing. I’d keep it in a jar in the cupboard. I wasn’t morbid.

Jones, Darynda. Betwixt: A Paranormal Women’s Fiction Novel (Betwixt & Between Book One) (p. 4). Feather & Leaf, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Soon, we’re introduced to Mrs. Goode, Dephne’s benefactor, and the deceased grandmother she’d never met, who just happens to talk to her through her laptop. An impossibly hot handyman in a kilt that turns out to be a shifter, and a variety of characters looking for Defiance to save their lost loved ones.

This was such a fun read!

Defiance learns she is a powerful witch, born into a royal family, and is in danger from those who wish to steal her legacy before she can figure out how to protect herself. There are many moments of snarky goodness, some fast-paced action, a whisper of sexual tension, and a wonderful cast of characters.

I picked up the next-in-series as soon as I finished Betwixt- a five star read from me!


Do you like controversial stories? I feel the best way to open our minds is to open our hearts. Have a great week, everyone 🙂

62 thoughts on “Controversial #Reads from Bestselling Authors #BookReview @BeemWeeks @Torrenstp @Darynda

  1. Thanks for the reviews, Jacquie. I love Beem Weeks’ writing and have been tempted by Jazz Baby multiple times, but the trigger warnings have made me shy away. Maybe I could skip certain parts. I know Beem always tells an outstanding tale.
    Congrats to all the authors!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mae. I appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. He does a fabulous job with dialect. It makes all the difference to the sstory.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He excels at that. Everything always feels so authentic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Quite a nice collection of books here. “Jazz Baby” really has me intrigued. The 1920s are one of my favorite time periods to read about. It does sound intense, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is intense. Life can be rough when you’re poor and a woman- at least in those days.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love controversial stories, Jacquie! I read Jazz Baby years ago and it made me an instant and forever fan of Beem Weeks’ writing. In fact, I just may read it again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing these!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for always being so supportive, Jan. It means the world to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. All of these look like gripping reads. I read and loved Jazz Baby and will have to check out the other two books. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for always being such a wonderful supporter, Harmony. I am grateful.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sounds like some good reads, Jacquie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s interesting how I seem to read in themes, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think a little controversy is a good thing. Thanks for sharing these.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, life isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be in the books we read, either. Thanks for stopping by, Craig 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie. Definitely some interesting reads!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Variety is the spice of life, they say 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing Jazz Baby, Jacquie. I appreciate your review. And thanks for pointing us toward the other two novels. I am on my way to Amazon to grab copies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thoroughly enjoyed Jazz Baby, Beem. You do an amazing job with your characterizations.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful reviews. I read and loved Jazz Baby. Reality can indeed be controversial, dark, dangerous. It’s the nature of life. Certainly not a read for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like how Beem brings us right into the gritty reality of the world he creates- talented writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, Jacquie, for sharing your reviews. I read Jazz Baby a few years ago, and in doing so, I discovered a great writer — Beem Weeks. He tackles a difficult topic but manages it astutely. I’m looking forward to checking out the other books as well. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I am honored to have you as a friend and supporter.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. This is the second of Beem’s books I’ve read. I’m impressed with his talent for bringing readers into the era he writes in. The vernacular and settings are wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, a very eclectic group of books, Jacquie. Darynda Jones has a such a great sense of humor and this sounds like an entertaining story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t read her Charlie Davidson series yet, but it’s high on my reading list.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read the first few, but need to finish it. It is quite different, but still good.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Controversial stories allure me, as they bring out challenging characters; their stories need to be told. Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking reviews Jacquie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, Balroop. They’re written to make us think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader February 16, 2022 — 12:07 pm

    Darinda Jones’s book seems just my kind of book!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I first tried her Sunshine Vicram series and fell in love with her snarky wit- now I’m hooked 🙂

      Like

  14. I don’t mind controversial reads at all – it just depends on the subject matter and content warnings. Great reviews, Jacquie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, as long as you’re prepared going into the book there won’t be any surprises.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. petespringerauthor February 16, 2022 — 4:24 pm

    I’m a big fan of stories where the stakes are so high. The first two are tales that have my full attention. Thanks for sharing, Jacquie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Make me realize how blessed my life is, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Terrific reviews Jacquie. Nice to see Beem here with Jazz Baby.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words, John.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I do usually avoid controversial books, but none of these sounded terribly over the edge. I think I’d enjoy any of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They’re designed to make us aware of the way society treats ‘different’ cultures. Good reads, Jacqui.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. D.L. Finn, Author February 16, 2022 — 10:55 pm

    Great reviews, Jacquie 🙂 I enjoyed Jazz Baby and will head off and pick up Betwixt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Denise. Much appreciation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. D.L. Finn, Author February 20, 2022 — 9:37 am

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I do like controversial stories, Jacquie, but I have to be in the mood to take them on, maybe bookend them with lighter readers. If they’re well written, I’ll get emotionally involved, and sometimes that can wear me out. Thanks for the reviews and recommendations! Congrats to Beem, D.G., and Darynda. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Excellent reviews, Jacquie. I’ve had my eye on Jazz Baby ever since I read my first Beem Weeks work (The Thing about Kevin). But I hadn’t heard of the other stories. They all sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bought The Thing About Kevin after reading your review and was impressed with his talented writing style, so thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations to all the authors and I do agree Jacquie that we do need to keep an open mind as well as an open heart.. hugsx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is it just me or is the world going crazy? Thanks for stopping by to check out these writers, Sally- stay safe!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Good thing we have each other, then {{hugs}}

          Liked by 1 person

  22. “Jazz Baby,” was an great read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gritty and atmospheric, Mark. Beem is a talented writer!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Mark. Much appreciation for your kind words.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. These all sound very good, Jacquie. It’s a pity that Forbidden needs editing. That is a very intriguing topic but I think a lot of errors would irritate me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If they’re bad enough it can pull me out of the story, which is annoying.

      Like

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