by Christine Racheal

Reviewed by Delonya Conyers and Reads4Pleasure
March 2010


Trickery abounds in this story of love, heartbreak and manipulation.Taj Jenson is beautiful and sexy, just like her name brand clothes and hot rides that change every week. She uses her savvy to keep her hustle going, performing sex acts with women for a male audience. While she rakes in the cash and basks in the desire, she returns home to a lonely apartment each night. Everything changes when San enters her world. San opens up to Taj, showing acceptance, passion and natural beauty. The two women develop a friendship that blossoms into a relationship. For the first time, Taj experiences intimacy along with great sex. When her old ways come calling, Taj cannot resist.

Reviewed by: Delonya Conyers

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Florida is the backdrop for Trickery as author Christine Racheal attempts to make her novel as hot as the temperature of its locale. Taj Jensen is an ex-stripper who’s found a much more lucrative way of making money. Tired of being caressed by dirty hands in a darkened club and then being shortened dollars from tipping both the DJ and bouncer, Taj decides to put on girl on girl private shows where she makes the rules. With the first rule being no touching of course; and at $100 for each attendee Taj is living lavishly. Being bi-sexual helps make the shows that much more authentic and allows Taj to get paid while fulfilling her sexual desires.

Although sexually and financially fulfilled Taj still misses true companionship. The hard exterior she places around herself crumbles when she meets San. San is able to break through Taj’s façade and the two women pursue a committed relationship. However tragedy brought on by Taj’s greed strikes the relationship early and neither woman will be the same. Both Taj and San start over separately but when their worlds collide again the secrets they buried can destroy the lives that both of them have tried to re-establish.

Trickery is a very engaging novel with multifaceted characters that readers will identify with. Author Christine Racheal does an excellent job making her characters three dimensional instead of just the typical one dimensional characters found in urban books. The only draw back to Trickery was its length, at only 162 pages everything was left wide open to be continued in the next installment. Unless part two is over 300 pages there’s no viable reason for part one to have been near pamphlet size. This trend towards sequels is an industry wide fad but to do so with a book so small displays some Trickery on the publishing company’s behalf.

What did you like best about the book?
The character development, it was superb. The main character, Taj, was far from likeable but she was created so well that although you didn’t agree with her actions you could easily sympathize with them.

What did you dislike about the book?
The length was definitely a negative aspect. Even seasoned readers would be leery of paying $15 for a book by an unknown author that falls way short of the 200 page mark. Ms. Racheal has a distinctive voice that potential readers might be missing out on due to it.

How could the author improve this book?
The author has an excellent story I think the publishing company did her a disservice by following an industry fad in an effort to increase revenue.

Reviewed by: Reads4Pleasure

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There was nothing about this cover that screamed, "Pick me up, read me, read me!" Even after reading the book, I still can't figure out how the publishing house determined that that picture most accurately portrayed the story or main character. Let me assure that in spite of the cover, this book was a pretty good read.

Trickery is the story of Taj Jenson, a young woman used to getting her hustle on with little regard to whomever may be affected. For years she’s made money entertaining men at private parties with the assistance of her sidekick. It’s a lonely existence, but Taj has built up a wall around her and prefers solitude to the company of others. That changes the day she meets San.

The quiet and brooding San is different from any woman Taj has met. Where Taj can be loud and boisterous when needed, San brings a calming presence to her world and it doesn’t take long before the two are inseparable. First as friends, and eventually as lovers, the two build a world together based on the desire of each to get their children back.

A tragic incident threatens their once close relationship and leaves the women devastated. While one woman quietly seethes and seeks revenge, the other finds that she must try to rebuild the semblance of a life she once had. Unable to reconcile their feelings for one another, they go their separate ways.

When Taj begins dating a handsome doctor named James, she begins to live a life she’s never imagined. From the spur of the moment shopping sprees to the luxurious Mercedes Benz and a good looking man bending to her every whim, Taj has everything she could ask for. Life is looking up for her until she meets her live-in boyfriend’s best friend, Melinda, and senses underlying sexual tension between the two.

Melinda has always been there for James. She stood by patiently when he married and divorced his first wife and has no doubt that Taj’s time with James is limited. As she bides her time waiting for Taj to slip up, she learns that Taj is a walking time bomb of her own and given enough time, she’ll implode with no help from anyone. And just when it couldn’t get worse for Taj, Sen comes back into her life.

What did you like best about the book?
It was well written. Unlike most urban lit, it doesn’t have such a grungy, street feel to it that the average person can’t relate to it.

What did you dislike about the book?
I would have liked a better ending, but I suspect the author set it up this way for sequel purposes.

How could the author improve this book?
The book was interesting from Taj’s perspective, but readers would get a fuller appreciation for other characters if they were given a voice.

The views expressed in published reviews are solely those of the reviewer. The Urban Book Source cannot be held accountable. The information featured, represents that of the reviewer and not that of The Urban Book Source. The reviewer takes full responsibility for the information presented.

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