2020 Book 438: CONFESSIONS IN B-FLAT by Donna Hill

Confessions in B-Flat by Donna Hill 
ISBN: 9781640638990 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781640638297 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781640638303 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781662051647 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781662052507 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B08JHCB9MC  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B0879HJ7S6   (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 24, 2020 
Publisher: Sideways Books

Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation—a story as timely as it is timeless…


The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors?


Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…


One movement, two warring ideologies—can love be enough to unite them?

Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.


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Anita Hopkins is a New York girl that fervently believes in the message of Minister Malcolm X Shabazz, “by any means necessary.” She volunteers for the movement, works as a waitress, is a poet with a growing local following, and a music lover. She doesn’t believe in compromise until she meets Jason Tanner. Jason is from Atlanta, an avid churchgoer, and is devoted to the message of nonviolence taught by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He’s moved from Georgia to New York with the hopes of bringing the message of nonviolent protest to the North. To say that Anita and Jason stand on opposite sides of the Civil Rights movement is a major understatement, but their attraction to one another just might help them bridge the divide. Gradually, they begin to accept that their views will continue to differ but they’re willing to “agree to disagree” to keep the peace as their relationship grows. Eventually, Anita introduces Jason to her parents in Brooklyn and Jason introduces Anita to his family in Atlanta. Jason wants more permanence to their relationship, namely marriage, but Anita thinks that they can simply live together for now. Just when it seems as if their relationship can’t handle another stumbling block, they come together once again until Jason makes a decision that Anita can’t understand or accept. This separation just might be the death knell for them when the Tanner family and Anita receive startling news. Anita might have stopped going to church after high school, but she needs faith and prayer now more than ever before. 


I’ve read a lot of romance novels over the years, beginning with my first Harlequin when I was about 13-years-old. I can’t believe that I’ve never read anything by Donna Hill before now. Confessions in B-Flat is more than a story about opposites-attract romance, it’s also about the two sides of the Civil Rights movement: the philosophies surrounding those movements and the reasons for those philosophies. The story touches on justice, protest movements, and even the early days of Vietnam. There’s a lot going on in this story and I enjoyed it all. I enjoyed the brief scenes with Dr. King, John Lewis, Andrew Young, the glimpses of 1960s Apollo theater music reviews, the inclusion of bits of speeches by Malcolm X, thoughts by James Baldwin, and others. Anita and Jason have a tempestuous relationship, but it was fascinating to read about the development of their romance. I enjoyed the scenes with Anita’s parents, as well as those with Jason’s family. Confessions in B-Flat has tons of angst and drama along with the romance and Civil Rights action. (Although this novel is set in the early 1960s, it is just as topical today with the Black Lives Matter campaigns, protests against police violence, etc.) This might not be a typical romance novel, but it was definitely one I enjoyed and feel can be enjoyed by anyone that enjoys reading romance stories featuring recent history. If you’re not a romance reader, then you can enjoy reading Confessions in B-Flat for just the history alone (not to mention the poetry). I look forward to reading more by Donna Hill in the future and have already amassed a list of her previous books that I want to read. I’ll be getting a print copy of Confessions in B-Flat for my 86-y.o. mother to read because I think she’ll enjoy this one as much as I did.


Happy Reading, y’all!


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the >Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Spotlight: DANGEROUS DESIRES by Dawn Altieri




Dangerous Desires 
by Dawn Altieri 
Genre: Romantic Suspense





Three years after Emma Sloane’s wealthy fiance’s mysterious death, she’s finally ready to move on and pursue her own dreams. But her plans are derailed when she’s attacked outside her New York City apartment in what she thinks is a random violent incident. Then other women who look just like her start turning up dead…

Homicide Detective Jake Quinn is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. When he’s put in charge of a new high-profile murder case, he interviews a victim who escaped a similar attack—and to his shock, it’s Emma, the former fiancée of his unsolved murder victim.

Neither expects the sparks of attraction between them. But the killer escalates, clearly targeting Emma, and Jake’s job is on the line. Can he solve this case before it’s too late for both of them?






Buy the Book:  Amazon * Apple * B&N *Google * Kobo * Entangled Publishing 



A lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, Dawn Altieri has been scribbling stories practically since birth. After reaching a milestone birthday (she won’t say which one), she figured it was about time she took a shot at writing professionally. 

With an overactive imagination and a slightly twisted mind, she enjoys reading dark and dangerous tales almost as much as writing them. When she’s not curled up on the sofa with her laptop, her latest story, a box of chocolates and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day), she can be found volunteering in the world of animal rescue. To keep a roof over her head, she works in the printing industry as a graphic production artist. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and a menagerie of rescued fur-babies. 



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2012 Book 243: ALL THE BROKEN PIECES Review

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
ISBN: 9781620611302 (paperback)
ASIN: B00AJOW1SQ (Kindle ebook)
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing


What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?


Olivia “Liv” Stein wakes up and is told that she is recuperating from a terrible car accident. She accepts that but she has no memory of her parents or her past life and that is confusing. What is even more confusing is the fact that her parents pack up the family and relocate to Arizona from Minnesota, especially since her parents had dream jobs at the Mayo Clinic. Now her father is a small town cardiac surgeon and her mother has gone from being a premiere neurosurgeon to a stay-at-home mother. 

Her mother is extremely overprotective, supposedly as a result of the accident, and doesn’t want to allow Liv to attend the local high school. Fortunately Liv’s father overrules this decision and Liv is allowed out of the house to go to school. Liv knows that making the transition from home-schooling to regular school is going to be difficult and the difficulty factor is increased because she is the new kid. Liv isn’t sure she’ll fit in at the school but she gives it her best effort. On the first day of school she meets Keira, one of the popular girls and is quickly pulled into the popular clique. Liv likes being part of this group but she doesn’t like the notion that she can’t dress differently from the other girls, have a dissenting opinion or befriend people outside the clique. Her run-ins with Spencer Hale put her at odds with the popular group, but she finds that her friendship with Spencer is just what she needs. Since she doesn’t remember much from before the accident, Spencer takes it upon himself to provide her with the experiences he thinks she needs to have: eating at McDonald’s, bowling, catching a lizard, learning how to ride a bike, etc.

The more Liv experiences with Spencer, the more she wants to know about her past. Liv doesn’t exactly remember Minnesota, but the things she does remember clearly don’t jive with what her parents have told her. She remembers being popular and a cheerleader but poor and an only child. She also remembers being sheltered, in poor health and having a younger sister. She knows these memories can’t be real but she knows that her parents have been hiding something from her. Liv also knows that Spencer is hiding parts of himself from her as well. She forces Spencer to reveal his past and to help in uncovering her own, but can she handle the truth about herself?

Ms. Madsen has provided a somewhat unique coming of age story with All the Broken Pieces. Both Liv and Spencer have had to deal with traumas that resulted in major changes in both their lives. Spencer is gradually overcoming his past with Liv’s help but the secrets of Liv’s past can shatter not only individual lives but those of families. It was rather interesting in seeing how both Liv and Spencer deal with the issues of popular versus unpopular in their school and peer pressure in general. Teenagers may feel the need to conform a bit more than other age groups. The pressures of conformity are found everywhere, and it doesn’t seem to matter if teens are residing in a large city or a small town. Liv and Spencer are typical teenagers just trying to get good grades, make friends, fit in and survive. I found All the Broken Pieces to be a quick read that held my attention from the first page to the very last. If you enjoy contemporary fiction, a touch of romance and a coming-of-age bent, then All the Broken Pieces may just be the read for you.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from Entangled Publishing. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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