This is one of those times when that saying fits the situation. I initially started off anticipating a good read, and experienced that anticipation for a good part of this read. That feeling deteriorated rapidly, the deeper I delved into the storyline. I sincerely enjoyed the prequel like writings that preceded the beginning of each new chapter. Ms. Shiraz used this unique way to provide the reader with extra eyes to become better acquainted with the qualities that personified that individual. I loved this addition to her storyline and it proved very effective in letting us into the inner sanctum of her characters. I also loved the two storylines involving Shout and Tish and the one involving Jordan and Juicy and the way this author merged the two to bring about a more completed and developed addition to her story. All of these things were good, but I did not feel too good about this book as I kept reading. Shout first appeared to be a deep thinking type of rapper which was kindred to the activist rapper, Common. I was enamored of the way Shout was initially portrayed and suffered right along with him when he was unjustly accused of participating in that vicious act against the women. I was all into this book because of the strength of his character and the ways he gave back to his community.
But then, I was blown away with the way he had no compunction sleeping with a couple of groupies further on down the line while still purporting to be in love with Tish. And to add fuel to fire, he sets her up to prove her loyalty in the most degrading way he could! Where did the Mama loving, love women man go to. Will the real Shout please stand up! This story just left me with so much to be desired. I needed more development regarding Juicy's character. We are treated to the violent act committed against her as an eight year old child, but then we are thrown into her adulthood with little to guide us into how she arrived there. What happened to her addicted mother? I wanted to know how and why Jordan became so obsessed with Shout. Boom and Sydney was another let down for me. Their relationship or lack thereof, added nothing to the storyline. All of a sudden it was just introduced with no rhyme or reason and continued in that vein. I found myself yawning through half of this book and was very disappointed at the let down of what started out as a great read. The so called cliffhanger left me with no desire to continue on the path of reading the other books to this series. What with Shout being a person raised in the tough streets of his hood, did he not heed to the super code of "snitches get stitches"? This book is definitely not a keeper to be read again. I am a bonafide romance reader, but did not find too much of that in this particular read. I believe if Ms. Shiraz wishes to continue in this genre, then some spice definitely needs to be added in her bedroom scenes. Those produced the most yawns of all.
But maybe it's just me. I was left with a void, which was not filled, even unto reading the very last punctuation mark. Ms. Shiraz definitely has great stories to tell, but in my opinion, this one missed the mark. Read and judge for yourself.