Blood Money: The Beginning
4 out of 5 Stars
Blood Money by Toni Coleman is roller coaster ride through a world where the music industry and criminal activities are mutual bedfellows. Jameelah Cole marries her long-time boyfriend, inherits a multi-million dollar record company and gets a huge house complete with two million dollars in cash in its safe. Not bad for a “little girl from Compton”, right? Wrong… Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jameelah’s female intuition leads her to be suspicious of her boyfriend, Michael Mine. Being the CEO of G-Styles, women throw themselves at Michael left and right since its the hottest West Coast record label out. Jameelah is naturally suspicious when Michael rushes to drop her off and go handle some “record company business”.
Michael meets up with the other woman and swiftly swooshes her to his mini-mansion. In the throws of passion, Michael becomes the victim of a serious jack move. His late-night rendevous steps to the side and lets two burglars beat Michael to a pulp and demand the location of the money hidden somewhere within the house.
Gun in hand, Jameelah finds Michael hogtied and hanging onto dear life as the two hooligans hold him hostage. A couple blasts from the shotgun sends the floozy flying out of the room like a ghetto roach and the thugs splattered on the floor like extras in a horror flick. The shots also partially paralyzes Michael, but he survives. That would have been highly unlikely if Jameelah wasn’t a woman that shoots first and asks questions later.
While laid up in the hospital, two of Michael’s closest business partners plan and plot like vultures over the remnants of Michael’s anticipated demise. Bruce Kelly shares ownership of G-Style records with Michael. Ruthless by nature, this red-haired Irishman will stop at nothing to make the business moves that keep him financially secure and keep his business partners satisfied.
The sexy R&B crooner Alan Wise is G-Style’s flagship artist. He was Michael’s bestfriend when they were petty thugs on the rise in the drug game. Allan becomes rapped up in Bruce’s evil manipulations just like everyone else who is too afraid to cross Bruce’s path. Allan’s loyalty quickly shifts from Michael to Bruce because he believes he is going to take Michael’s place as a partner in G-Style.
At the hospital, Michael not only asks for Jameelah’s hand in marriage but also give her all of the inside details of his business operations. Michael had been working on transitioning his interest in G-Style records into his own record company. Jameelah pays attention but has no idea how what she learns in that hospital will be crucial to her survival both physically and business-wise.
Michael’s untimely passing brings much more than his past lovers out of the woodwork. Micael’s former partner in crime and business, Bruce, begins to set in motion the steps neccessary to make G-Style records a burgeoning music empire. He also feels he now has the room needed to turn the record label into a perfect money laundering operation for his “silent partners”.
As Jameelah sorts through the things left to her by her forward-thinking husband, she happens upon the stash of money Michael was getting robbed for. Jameelah and her best friend Renee hand-count one million dollars only to realize they only made it halfway through the total stash. The money turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing for reasons you’ll have to read in Blood Money.
Unbeknownst to both Bruce and Allan, Michael’s secret marriage to Jameelah gives her control over Michael’s interest in G-Style and its transition to a new record label. Her private attraction for Allan come to the forefront as they meet for a sensual encounter that is deliciously guilty and too complex for either party to truly understand.
Blood Money is the perfect title for this fast-paced, action-packed thriller that will keep the reader off-balanced and rushing through the pages for the next plot twist. Blood Money: The Beginning is the perfect title not only because of the money’s origin but also the resulting outcomes the money generates for those who are connected to it. As the marriage and its implications come into play, all three parties attempt a deadly game of chess full of death, deception and dishonesty never experienced before in Urban Lit.
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