If there's one word that sums up Pearl Cleage's style, it has to be "refreshing." Her heroines are clear-headed, frank-talking, no-nonsense African-American women who aren't desperate to find a man or wrapped in a ball of quirky neuroses meant to be charming. Cleage's stories are about people reclaiming their communities, utilizing an activism that isn't about placard-waving and chanting, but taking the personal initiative to create safer, better ways of living.

Blue Hamilton embodies this literally. He's a magnetic former blues singer turned neighborhood enforcer who's determined to clean up his small portion of Northwest Atlanta and make it a safe place by any means necessary.

When Regina Burns comes to town to work on a project for her former boss—a woman-empowering motivational speaker reminiscent of Oprah but with political leanings—she can't help being swept away by this blue-eyed brother who knows how to blow.

The powerful, yet easy, love story of Regina and Blue and their pro-active approach toward social responsibilities make an uplifting, feel-good read. (Sep., 288 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino