Review: Touch of Smoke


Four20 Bae (Book #7)

Artistry Publishing


Brenda Larnell (A)


REVIEW: This is my last review for the Four20 Bae Series. What better way to finish with one of my favorite authors, A.C. Arthur. Her contribution to this creative and entertaining series presents Ronan “Ro” Simmons and Sariya McKinney. Ro and Saroya have known each other since childhood. Sariya and his sister, Donyell are besties, with Sariya practically growing up in the Simmons household. Ro, being older than Sariya, has always been like the big brother figure. He’s kept his distance although attracted to her as early as 17 years old.  Now that they are adults, that has changed. Ro, after moving up in the banking world, has moved back to Baltimore as CFO of a local bank. Sariya, has a nursing degree, a master's degree in leadership and health care, and a dream of opening up her own wellness center where treatment will also include alternative treatments using medicinal cannabis.

The Prelude of the book takes us back seven years to Ro’s sister wedding. Ro encounters Sariya alone nursing a drink at the reception. No longer off-limits, the adult Ro and the adult Sariya agree to “get together” after the reception. This scene where Ro can finally express himself as to how he really feels is explosive, and Sariya is right there with him. It is one hot love scene, until Sariya bails. The section titled Present Day, finds our couple at Donyell’s birthday party seven years after their one night together. Ro invites Sariya to his home to “reconnect” and to find out more about the clinic she wants to open. Ro has connections, and he is determined to utilize his resources to help the woman he loves fulfill her dream. Realizing she needs Ro’s expertise, Sariya allows the irresistible Ro to help her.

Speaking of connections, that dude, MJ (aka Malcolm Jacobs) makes an appearance when Ro calls him about investing in Sariya’s clinic. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, MJ’s captivating character is a consolidation of brilliant minds. He’s especially created for this series, appearing in all 9 books, and he needs his own story. The “Fine Nine” needs to make it happen. Speaking of characters, look out for Sariya’s mother and her uncle. They have some old beef with Ro. Great scene when they confront each other. I can’t omit Dakota Donovan who appears in the story. She is a member of the inimitable Donovan family, one of the great book families in Romancelandia, created by Ms. Arthur. I’ll allow you to discover her role in this story. The Finale houses the HEA for Ro and Sariya, and a wonderful HEA it is! It all occurs on the 20th of April aka Four20. Get it?

TOUCH OF SMOKE may be a short story, there’s no shortage of love, drama, unforgettable characters. I recommend it for your reading pleasure.

24th April 2024 |