Hello again! Books beyond the story here ready to give you another review on my blog!
Today’s review is ‘Homie. Lover. Friend’ by Shawn Thompson. The author contacted me giving me a free copy of his book in exchange for a free review.
I started to read this book and was instantly intrigued. The setting and culture is very different to my own but I had no trouble picturing the character’s and key places set in Atlanta. The story follows three narratives of Beau, Roland and Monae, each dealing with their own problems in their love life and what it really means to be a homie, lover and friend. Only a few sentences in, Beau starts off with this beauty of a statement: “I find it interesting that for someone with a name basically meaning “love” I was having a difficult time finding it”. I find that irony is a running theme in this book; as well as Beau’s struggle to find a real loving relationship, Roland is a narcissistic cheater who disrespects women with his lack of monogamous values and yet finds himself chasing the one girl he can’t get; Leah. Furthermore, Monae has tried hard to forget her sad and emotional past but ends up discovering love along the way.
I have to say, I really enjoyed how this book had three 1st person perspectives; it gave a clear indication to the character’s thoughts and feelings towards each other and how they are as a person. Equally, at some point in the book, each of these characters has their own take on ‘Homie. Lover. Friend’ so you get an good idea about their personality through their interpretations.
Beau, who has struggled to come to terms with his sexuality in the past, wants a real relationship but for him, love is hard to find. This is until one night at a bar, as fate would have it, Beau might just be in luck. I believe his character development through the book is strong, especially as the narrative gives flashbacks to Beau’s earlier struggles of being in denial. His two best friends, Roland and Monae also make an appearance in his flashbacks which show their character development too, in addition to some secrets that they have been hiding. Furthermore, when suspicious events start to occur, Beau must have the courage to know the truth. Beau is a very likable character; he always wants to keep the peace and solve problems and remains loyal to his friends. He doesn’t judge people for their actions (a very admirable and strong quality to have!) and respects his friends (even if sometimes they drive him crazy!).
Roland is a womaniser, using women for pleasure and then moving onto the next one. However, when the mysterious Leah comes into Roland’s life, he gets a taste of his own medicine when she does not fall for his usual charms. But is Leah all that she seems? Roland’s narrative also contains some rather erotically graphic scenes. In some books, I would say these scenes are unnecessary however, with Roland, they fit well with his character and worked well with the novel as a whole.
Monae is a savvy strong, level-headed, independent hard-worker trying to show the world that women are empowering and can achieve anything they put their minds to. Although she is Roland’s ex, she remains friends with him, (more for Beau’s sake) and is now engaged to a successful man in her company, Sterling. Yet when she runs into an old flame, Monae’s life may take an unexpected turn.
Even the secondary characters give an edge to the novel and fit well with the story line. Themes of friendship are also significantly prominent in this novel which strengthens the bond of the main characters, but also the secondary characters which emote the novel further.
As I mentioned before, the language is quite descriptive with the setting, but also the characters and the situation. The plot is well presented throughout, a fantastic urban read!
The ending is wrapped up nicely (no spoilers don’t panic!) yet I did wonder what some of the characters got up to next… however this does leave room for a sequel perhaps?!
A sexy, daring and ambitious novel from Shawn Thompson. With suave yet sophisticated characters, and a hint of wit and naughtiness 😉 this novel is definitely one to watch!
If you want to get your hands on a copy here are the links!
You can also follow the author Shawn C Thompson on Instagram @author_shawnchris
As always, happy reading! Lx