Perhaps this one is too good to be true --- a busy reader's dream. GOT TO BE REAL is a collection of four fun and sensual love stories written by men. And in the interest of keeping it real, here's why this title is worth reading during the month of love, which is also Black History Month: The combination of tales has something for everyone --- lovers and the lovelorn, married, dating, straight, gay, young, or old.
The quick stories --- none are over 150 pages --- have sensual, mature lovers as well as young pairs in stories that take place in tropical and urban settings. The troubles that plague the characters feel real, making you love these tales even more.
The four authors are Colin Channer, Eric Jerome Dickey, E. Lynn Harris and Marcus Major. Harris's work was the most familiar to me and, as always, he delivers storytelling that is engaging and accessible while making no apologies for male love.
While all four stories are very enjoyable, the standout is Colin Channer's "I'm Still Waiting." His tale, set in Jamaica, has a memorable staying power and appeals to both emotion and desire as it relates a story about stumbling, running and finding your way home --- even when you've closed the doors to your heart. The complex emotions and history involved show that romance doesn't have to feature perfect bodies and simplistic lines to be romantic.
The marketing folks behind GOT TO BE REAL have the right idea in putting top male scribes together. Fortunately for readers, the concept works because the authors are the real deal, delivering engaging storytelling.