Review: Thug Love
THUG LOVE - Zuri Day
Amazon Digital Services
BUY

October 2018
Historical Romance
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A
REVIEW:  It’s the decades of the nineties and prolific author Zuri Day sets her engaging story in the middle of the Hip Hop Era that chronicled the deaths of well-known entertainers like Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. It is the murder of Tupac that takes center stage and brings Traci Johnson, editor-in-chief of the family-owned LA Chronicle and Marcus Moore, LAPD, together. What is more, Traci is a BAP (Black American Princess) whose family’s social standing is quite extensive, while Marcus is a product of the projects in South Central LA. Add to the fact that when Traci first meets Marcus, she labels him a “Thug”. I’ll let you discover why.

The romantic element between Traci and Marcus is deftly explored through the opposites attract trope. The attraction is there, but the social barriers that separate them are also present. Sadly enough, Traci and Marcus find that they share common ground due to the unsolved murders of people who are close to them. Other than that, the hero and heroine find themselves on polar sides of brash assumptions, judgmental walls, and societal rules. There is instant chemistry between them, but for Traci, there is also nagging doubt that Marcus is the man for her brought on by their station in life. Zuri Day does an exceptional job in combining history and romance in unfolding this story. Personalities who are associated with that era like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Tyson, Shug Knight, Lauren Hill and the Fugees are mentioned throughout the story giving a certain authenticity to the storyline. There are genuine ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ moments. Do you know what the T. H. U. G. L. I. F. E. tattoo means that Tupac had tattooed across his chest? You’ll find out when you read the story. It’s a great eye-opener that correlates to the storyline.

There are memorable side characters who populate the story and help to move the story along. For example, there are the mutual friends of Traci and Marcus, Rod and Monique, who offer support and advice to the protagonists. However, my vote goes to the inimitable Mrs. Yolanda Johnson, Traci’s mother, who is the epitome of a judgmental Ice Queen. What a character! The HEA is quite gratifying, and it speaks volumes for some good old ‘Thug Love’.

I enjoyed this story. Kudos to Zuri Day for recounting a great decade that we can relate to.
THUG LOVE is a wonderful addition to the Decades Series, and I recommend it for your reading pleasure. As a matter of fact, I recommend all the stories in this series.

15th October 2018 | romcol@caribsurf.com