Raven's Reviews

African American Romance Reviews

Adrianne Byrd’s “Queen of His Heart” December 27, 2009

Okay.  I probably need some introductory post about why I created this blog and just who do I think I am anyway writing reviews of AA romance novels.  That will come later.  I promise.  Right now I’d like to focus on Adrianne Byrd’s Queen of His Heart.

I’d never read a Byrd novel before and everything I heard about this one was promising.  In particular, readers raved about the hero, television produce Keenan Armstrong, and the incredibly hot sex scenes.  Sounds like a winning combination, right?

Wrong!  Wrong! Wrong!

I wanted to like this book.  I really did.  It started off great.  The opening conversation between pals Jalila (our heroine) and friends Martina and Fantasia was hysterical and relatable.  (Actually, Martina wound up being the best part about the book.  Her ever-changing hair color, big butt, and “catch and release” philosophy on men were a hoot.  I want to read a book about her.)  And Keenan’s still broken heart after a disastrous marriage (not to mention his 6’6″ frame and juicy LL Cool J lips) made him incredibly sympathetic.  I was all ready to see how Jalila would become queen of Keenan’s heart.  I was ready to fall in love with them both.

Then they got together.  Then they had sex.  Oh, the sex.

I’m no prude.  I like a steamy, yummy, sexy sex scene as much as the next girl.  I’m not at all turned off by explicit sex.  But this:

“You taste so good,” he murmered, skimming a hand down her body.  “Look at these pretty titties.”  He pulled at her marble-size nipples and then released them so he could watch them bounce and jiggle before his eyes.

Maybe this does it for some people.  Maybe these are just the words some of you want to hear.  But this made me giggle and completely took me out of the moment.  This scene goes on for *pages* and I couldn’t take Keenan seriously AT ALL after this.

And to top it all off, the relationship between them made no sense.  They had, maybe, two conversations before they had really raunchy sex.  Then he’s a jerk about it.  And then more raunchy sex.  And then, LOVE.  Even allowing for the quick pace of contemporary romance (we need to get to the HEA in 300 pages after all), this was just too much.  You’re head over heels for some guy because he put it on you good?  You’ve found your soul mate because you like her titties?  Please.

And finally, the resolution of the story’s main conflict–what to do about the dating reality show Jalila stars in and Keenan produces when the love match is actually happening off-screen–is LAME.  It’s a good conflict really.  I kept reading because I wanted to know how Byrd would manage the disaster.  I love a story that sets up impossible odds.  I love a story that overcomes those odds in believeable ways.  This is not that story.  I won’t ruin it for people who may still want to read this, but it’s totally not worth it. 

There’s was little romantic about this story.  I was really disappointed.

Grade: C