After five years in prison, Kareem Henderson is starting his life over. Though business is good at his barbershop, his goal is to open a high-end gentlemen's salon. But the road back is rough, and he needs connections in the society he once snubbed to make his dream a reality. He just never expected his second chance to come from the sexy female barber he hired last year.
Patrice "Neecie" Baldwin escaped the pressure of being the perfect daughter in one of North Carolina's most prestigious families to live life on her own. When family responsibilities call her home, she fears going back will expose her to the pressures that nearly ruined her. Neecie needs a shield, and tall, handsome, bad boy Kareem seems impenetrable. So she offers him a deal: If he'll pretend to be her fiance, she'll introduce him to all of her well-connected relatives.
But the more time they spend together, the more the irresistible attraction between them builds. They're from such different worlds, but can this fake relationship make the cut and become something very real?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
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When I made the choice to read this book, I had no idea that it was part of a series. After reading the first couple of pages I discovered that there were two books prior to this. The good thing though is that this can be read as a stand-alone. Now, after reading Kareem’s story I am quite eager to read the books that were written about his siblings. The reason for making this choice was based on my being a huge fan of the bad boy falling for the rich girl type of stories. What I did not count on was that I would become so invested in the story. From the moment I began reading, I was pulled into the story. I fell in love with the main characters and found myself rooting for them at each page turn.
Kareem Henderson was not your typical hero. He was from a well-to-do family and a former gang member. He had spent five years in prison for carjacking. He is now a free man and is determined to prove that he would succeed in fulfilling his dream of owning and operating a high-end gentlemen’s lounge.
Patrice Baldwin aka Neecie came to work for Kareem as a barber. She was from a prestigious family, however she ran away from that part of her life five years ago. Since then she has been on a journey of self-discovery. Her past caught up to her and in a bid to get her family off her back, she enlisted Kareem to pretend that he was her fiancé. In return, she would provide him with the connections needed to fulfill his dream.
The chemistry between these two sizzled from the moment they first met, however Kareem was not keen to act on it. He knew that Neecie is the type of woman who wanted romance, but he believed that was the one thing he could not give. Kareem’s perception of relationships was warped after being a part of a gang and became worse after the time spent in prison. At first he was wary of agreeing to the pretend engagement, but as he got closer to Neecie he realized it was not as bad as he thought it would be. He came to realize that he cared for her more than he had expected to. He enjoyed spending time with her and was willing to make the facade real; however, when you are from different worlds there is always something or someone that will try to pull you apart. For Kareem and Neecie that thing was trust.
MAKING IT REAL was a beautifully written story of second chances. It shows the importance of learning to forgive yourself for past indiscretions, and doing so will allow you to live your life to the fullest and be the best you can be. It had the perfect blend of drama and romance which made for a very entertaining read. –
About Synithia Williams
Synithia has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural she would begin penning her own soon after. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her dream of becoming a published author. She completed her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love, in the fall of 2010 and sold it to Crimson Romance in 2012. Her novel Making it Real was a USA Today Happily Ever After blog 2015 Must Read Romance and A Malibu Kind of Romance a 2017 RITA finalist. Synithia has also written two books under the pseudonym Nita Brooks. When she isn’t writing, she works on water quality issues for local government while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons.