My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Natavia Presents, LLC literary production
A N.L. Hudson novel
Ises Turner | Chaz Washington
All I Ever Wanted Was a Love Like Yours
Vic — twenty-something co-owner of the popular Chicago nightclub The Groove, Chaz Washington’s best friend, Micah’s dangerously passionate love interest, and all-around ladies man
Micah — twenty-four-year-old computer software engineer with a Bachelor’s in software development, deep well of promiscuity, self-professed gold-digger, bedroom twerker, cheeks clapper, Ises Turner’s best friend, and a sprung Vic’s dangerously passionate love interest
Andrew — married, thirty-four-year-old civil engineer, adulterer, and obsessed former love interest of Ises Turner
Latrice — thirty-something, four months pregnant dishrag of a wife to the straying Andrew; crazed, low self-esteem filled and murderously envious archenemy to her husband’s much younger and more beautiful mistress, Ises Turner
Nikki — twenty-something liar and misguider, bi-racial hoochie, back biting gold-digger, jealous-hearted life wrecker, troubled soul; Chaz Washington’s scorned ex-girlfriend, and murderously envious archenemy to Chaz’s more beautiful and new love interest, Ises Turner
Teresa — twenty-something connoisseur of financially stable married men, intimate stalker of Vic, neighborhood sleaze, and best friend to Nikki
Teddy — bit player with deep pockets and Micah’s lust fulfiller
Carolyn Turner — battered wife and Ises’ kind, loving, and emotionally attached mother
Terrance Turner, Sr. — Ises’ alcoholic, physically abusive, mentally abusive, and incarcerated father
Terrance Turner, Jr. (TJ) — Ises’ younger, incarcerated brother
Eileen Washington — Chaz’s stylish, youthful, feisty, and no-nonsense mother, otherwise known as “ma dukes”
Jacob — nonspeaking but credited as Nikki’s younger brother
Joshua — nonspeaking but credited as Nikki’s younger brother and Jacob’s identical twin
Janice — Micah’s lovely, lively, and outspoken mother
Anton — Nikki’s cruel, weak, and menacing foster brother
The Good, the Bad, the Lowdown and the Scanlous.
Set in The great city of Chicago, this astounding and exceptionally penned urban drama and suspense fiction opens with the reader being introduced to its chief protagonist, the twenty-four-year-old Ises Turner, as she stands in the bathroom of her townhouse gazing in shock at the white stick indicating two pink lines. The white stick is a home pregnancy test, and the appealing Ises has just learned that she is with child, courtesy of her current (and ten years older) boyfriend Andrew — whom, by the way, is in laying in bed in the next room awaiting his young lover’s return.
Now frightened and in disbelief about her new pregnancy, the Financial SaIes Representative turned Assistant Branch Manager of a major Chicago bank returns to Andrew’s side in tears as her emotions are in yo-yo mode. A “concerned” Andrew inquires as to why Ises is crying, but she doesn’t tell him the truth at the moment, preferring to keep the secret to herself for the time being. She answers him by simply saying that she doesn’t feel well. That’s just fine with Andrew as he suddenly tells Ises that he has some place else to be. While Ises wonders to herself ‘where?’ she doesn’t voice it to the man she loves; she only watches as he quickly kisses her goodbye and makes his suspicious exit from her townhouse.
Ises is come from a dreadful childhood of misery, physical abuse, and verbal abuse inflicted upon not only her, but also her helpless mother Carolyn and her younger brother T.J., no thanks to her sloppy and distasteful alcoholic of a father, Terrance, Sr. And all she wants to be—for once in her life—is truly happy. She loves Andrew but he no longer satisfies this nagging need.
Micah has been Ises’ best friend since the two women were children, and naturally Ises has shared the news of her pregnancy with her nearest and dearest gal pal. Over lunch, the gorgeous duo discuss not only Ises’ conception but also Micah’s latest conquest: a man named Will. Promiscuous is too honorable a word for the strumpet who is Micah, what considering that her lustful body is in itself a revolving door through which many men—so long as their pockets are deep—push themselves.
Shamelessly comfortable with her gold digging, love-’em-and-leave-’em-hanging-limp status, the formerly decent and self-respecting Micah has had her heart badly broken by her first love, and is on a mission to stick it to men with everything in her know how. For inwardly, she dreadfully fears falling in love and having her heart broken again so she takes on the role of the “aggressor” in her many intimate trysts. For a long time Micah has “punished” her numerous partners for all of the pain that her first love caused her, and she’s still on a roll wearing the men out with her twerking skills in bed and her list of rules that each one must abide by. Indeed, the curvaceous, dark-skinned, and totally lovely Micah is wrapping the monied gents around her seductive finger . . . until she soon meets her match in a man named Vic.
Chaz Washington is a former inner-city street thug turned legitimate businessman. Both he and his best friend Vic finally decided it was time to put away the childish things in exchange for adult responsibilities. And with that the two best buddies gathered up and combined their finances to purchase the property that would—in all due time—be a nightclub they together would name The Groove. As both men had expected when they envisioned the establishment, The Groove became one of the most sought out night spots in Chicago, bringing its two owners into vast riches, wealth, and local fame.
The sky is the limit and Chaz and Vic both aim high. The men, especially Vic, take great pleasure in “stunting,” and nothing less than the best will do: Mercedes Benz luxury vehicles, Lexus series luxury vehicles, Audemars Piguet (Swiss made) timepieces, the finest names in clothing and footwear, top of the line residences, and the most exquisite of cannabis filled cigars. But for some peculiar reason, neither man, despite his achieving a great deal of success, can seem to pinpoint his very own “Ms. Right.” While tacky, unelegant, loose, trifling, easy street-seeking, deceptive, and immoral women are aplenty in the two men’s lives, those self-respecting, classy, honest, and upstanding women of the world derisively elude them. That is until they both meet Ises and Micah.
If promiscuous is too honorable a word for Micah, the odds don’t fair any better in the case of Nikki, Chaz’s current migraine. In the wake of gaining knowledge, per Vic, about Nikki’s most resent indiscretion—where she was seen entering a hoetel, pardon, hotel with another man not himself—an enraged Chaz is in the process of evicting the freeloading and unsavory woman from his opulent abode. Not to mention threatening to murder her if she doesn’t get a fast enough move on. And regardless of her crocodile tears or her flimsy attempts at an explanation as to why she betrayed his trust, Chaz wants Nikki out of his home and his life . . . immediately.
Having grown accustomed to the lifestyle which Chaz’s good fortune has bestowed on her, especially after coming of age in the State’s rough and hostile foster care system, Nikki is forced to leave, however grudgingly. But she will stop at nothing to make amends with the only man she has ever loved. Nikki will never give Chaz up. Ever. Seemingly without a conscious, she goes hard, underhanded, and dangerous in her efforts to reclaim him, even pretending to be diagnosed with the same terminal illness to which Chaz’s much loved grandmother succumbed.
Latrice has known for quite some time that her husband Andrew is having an affair. Only with whom, she can’t imagine until the day that she follows her philandering spouse to the comfy confines of Ises Turner, his much younger and certainly more attractive mistress. Latrice confronts Ises to warn her to stay away from her husband. And this news is a shock to Ises’ system as she had no idea that Andrew was married—for all of eleven years to be exact. Ises stresses to convince Latrice of as much, but jealous of the younger woman’s beauty and confidence, not to mention her three-year-long affair with her untruthful husband, Latrice concludes right then and there that the only way to end the affair is by murdering her “rival.” And she straightaway begins making plans of just how she would do so. Not with Andrew is she infuriated, oh no, but only with Ises.
Our leading lady is stunned numb as she and her lover’s wife continue to verbally quarrel in the doorway of her home. And when Andrew suddenly arrives on the scene—unexpectedly coming face to face with both of his pregnant women—the devil seizes the opportunity to get busy.
Ises Turner and Chaz Washington meet at a park that the two normally walk the path of on a weekly basis. After their official introductions, the duo converse for nearly two hours. And realizing their attraction one to the other, Chaz and Ises both agree to become “walking buddies.” However, with the passing of time, a passionate and happy new relationship blooms between them. And once news of their genuinely shared affection breaks not everyone is happy for them. Especially not the likes of the stony-hearted Nikki whom, no sooner than she encounters the lovely woman who has “stolen” her man, deduces that she must do whatever is necessary to destroy Ises . . . even if that means she has to kill her.
The envious and devious Nikki wants Chaz back and hates the guts of his new ladylove, Ises. With Nikki, things only go from bad to much, much worse. And her fierce wrath catches Ises unprepared.
Vic and Micah meet for the first time when both she and her beloved best friend Ises enjoy a night out at The Groove and are spotted by the Ises-smitten Chaz who invites the women to join him in the club’s VIP section. As the quartet take their chosen seats (each woman beside each man, of course) neither of the women know that Vic and his beloved best friend Chaz are the sole owners of the popular night spot. But that doesn’t stop the ladies from regarding their hosts in the utmost regard. So, with the overall atomosphere cozy and the thumping overhead soundtrack rosy, their casual conversation—along with the top shelf liquor—flows in smooth, fluid orientation.
But in spite of their lively banter, Vic and Micah quietly clash; for the lascivious former can discern a gold digging and belligerent user in the unchaste latter, and the unchaste latter can discern an arrogant, selfish, and disrespectful jackass in the lascivious former.
Even still, aside from their different as night and day childhoods—where Vic endured a broken home and was practically raised by Chaz’s mama Ms. Eileen, and Micah experienced a more functional family unit under the guidance of her single mother Janice—Vic and Micah are simply too much alike. And their individual animal magnetism is simply too irresistible for not only each other, but also for those men like Teddy who can’t get enough of Micah’s earth-shattering ill na na, or those women like Teresa who would sell her soul twice over to be a permanent fixture on Vic’s arm.
Both Micah and Vic possess commanding personalities. And as the two battle for dominance one over the other, only one alpha gene will prevail when the last chip completes its fall.
The two sets of best friends ultimately fight like cats and dawgs while falling head over heels in love as time shoves itself forward: Ises strenuously with Chaz, and Micah intricately with Vic. And fiery bouts of eroticism and erotica soon become the unrepressed pastime. But just as Chaz and Ises’ promising new relationship appears to be well on its way, a turbulent Tsunami of barbarous drama ruthlessly threatens to surge forward and overtake them, even to death and ruination.
By far one of the greatest works of literary fiction that I’ve ever read over the last forty years, N.L. Hudson’s All I Ever Wanted Was a Love Like Yours is a supremely scribed effort that I was disinclined to finish. Blessed with a spectacular storyline and a powerful cast of relatable principal and supporting characters whose separate lives are exhibited in sheer and captivating detail, the skillfully crafted page-turner is at once exciting, dramatic, soulful, complex, thoughtful, mesmerizing, profoundly emotional, and wildly suspenseful.
Twisting and turning as if hung out in a strong wind, this urban romance thriller—in its embittered quest for revenge and exoneration—is remarkably challenging to put down as its engrossing and undiluted plot deeply penetrates the psyche.
While reading this fascinating effort, I felt as though I knew each character (primarily Ises to whom I greatly related) personally, and it was extremely difficult for me to part ways with them at the turning of the final page.
Being a native (and current citizen) of Chicago, the narrative is somewhat troubling in that it neglects to mention any of the city’s main arteries and landmarks. Save Grand Ave., the University of Chicago, and Giordano’s, not many of Chicago’s famous locales were referenced here. It should be said that any film or novel set in the culturally diverse and firmly implanted Chicago should give the viewer or reader a feeling that they’re in the city of Chicago. And although I passionately loved this tale and a number of the people cast (particularly Chaz, Ises, Vic, and Micah), I didn’t quite “feel at home” while following its plot.
As I read along, I wondered aloud, ‘Where do they all live?’ ‘Are they on the Southside of Chicago? The Northside of Chicago? The West Side? Where?’ ‘Which one of Chicago’s 570 parks are Ises and Chaz walking in?’ ‘Why is the Lakefront not being mentioned?’ ‘Why is downtown Chicago not being alluded to in more illustrious detail?’ ‘Where are the CTA buses and Els?’ ‘Why is Jewel-Osco not in here?!’ ‘Chicago is a city of neighborhoods so why aren’t any of them touched upon by name?’ ‘Why aren’t any of our streets, roads, drives, ways, or avenues mentioned?’ ‘Chicago is a sports town so why aren’t any of our sports teams mentioned?’ And so on.
What does it feel like to be in Chicago? One might ask. Well, here’s a straightforward example: With Shawn Ryan’s hit TV series The Chicago Code (2011), the viewer felt as though he or she were in the city of Chicago. That is just how well Ryan showcased his sweet home nativity. Inside of an Iceberg Slim novel, the reader will feel as though he or she is in the city of Chicago. That is just how well the late, great Iceberg showcased his sweet home nativity.
Thankfully, Hudson compensated—and wonderfully so—for the aforementioned cons with tremendous storytelling and a superior troupe of fictional performers. Here, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, but the city of Chicago not being given a brighter highlight brushed up against me in a rather offensive manner. Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly forgive the “transgression.”
Would I still emphatically recommend N.L. Hudson’s All I Ever Wanted Was a Love Like Yours to those fine enthusiasts of urban fiction/urban romantic thrillers for their reading pleasure? Absolutely. Even unto all eternity.
Five . . . Chicago-style deep dish stars.
• It is my kindly pleasure to thank Natavia Presents, LLC, as well as N.L. Hudson herself, for the author-issued copy of All I Ever Wanted Was a Love Like Yours in exchange for my honest review.
Analysis of “All I Ever Wanted Was a Love Like Yours” by N.L. Hudson is courtesy of Reviews by Cat Ellington: https://catellingtonblog.wordpress.com
Date of Review: Saturday, December 23, 2017