To Love, Honor, and Betray: Street Certified Fiction .
Georgia author Crystal Smith is another of the southern state’s peaches on the rise with her newly released novel entitled To Love, Honor, and Betray. Within the pages of her novel she manages to deliver a memorable story full of seemingly stable friendships which in turn have closets overflowing with skeletons.
The main basis of this novel centers around three girlfriends. First, there’s Patience, the adoptee who has a very troubled past, which encompasses child abuse, a helpless mother, a very abusive sick-minded biological father, low self esteem, and numerous foster homes. She has connection issues with men and loving someone in general, while yet; she is strong minded, smart (college graduate), and beautiful. Patience however, lets her past blind her judgement when she meets her Mr. Right (Reggie) who is much more connected (to her and otherwise) than she realizes.
Second, there’s Essence the high yellow, or maybe even Caucasian girlfriend who has everything that (illegal) money can buy, including the seemingly perfect family that’s not inclusive of the would-be kingpin-husband-to-be (Real) whom she develops trust issues with, but has her own skeletons yet to be revealed. Especially, her secretive connection with a strange man named Majesty whose affiliation appears to threaten her appearingly happy home.
Third, is a friend named Jade who completes the trio of girlfriends. her conundrum is being involved in a very abusive relationship with an ex-drug dealer, and owner of several Baller-type strip clubs in Atlanta named King. Jade, is the dependent type of woman who finds herself caught up in one of the most dangerous relationships known amongst lovers of all creeds until Majesty enters the scene and attempts to sweep her off her feet.
However, Majesty seems to be late or either forgot his cape as Jade finds herself struggling for her life (yes, it’s a scene that you don’t want to miss). Put this way; without spoiling the book, in one scene within the pages, King; the abusive woman-beating boyfriend of Jade who has an uncontrollable lust for women; Tri, a dancer at his club has an uncompromising run-in with Jade whose heart isn’t quite ready to let things go. As the scene plays out King-style, Tri frantically screams out, “King, just stop. You don’t want to do this. It’s not worth it. Let’s just leave!”
By the end of the foregoing scene gunshots are fired and blood greets readers like onlookers at a butcher’s shop. Ribs anyone?
With the above put aside, overall I enjoyed the story rather well, even though I personally don’t like chick books filled with feminine issues (I’m a guy so forgive me). The story reminded me of urbanized version of Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan but with an original take albeit.
My critique in general would lead me to recommend Crystal Smith’s work to others but as an author I felt that she needlessly emphasizes or exaggerates many of the characters materialisms (money, type of vehicles driven, and houses lived in…) which for me detracts from some of the characters sophisticated lifestyles and personalities altogether. However, this could be what appeals to the Atlanta Ballers who read urban fiction or otherwise. Nonetheless, I felt that the characters were somewhat well developed, their interactions full of enough complexities to make them appear as real-life individuals. Despite my critique the author still manages to inject enough spice and drama within her storyline to keep readers curiosity levels up to the point where one will more than likely keep turning the pages.
Another area I found lacking at times is the use of unfamiliar local colloquiums that are unknown to the mainstream which should have been expounded on in a few occasions, and a lack of descriptive detail about her hometown areas (streets scenery, landmarks, foliage…). Other than too much focalism on the materialistic side of things from beds to cars, what’s left under the hood is more than enough for a pretty decent story.
In conclusion, don’t judge To Honor, Love, and Betray on what the story lacks; for this is quite common in urban fiction, and this author is no exception. However, authoress Crystal Smith is no slouch when it comes to the pen and paper game. I believe in the future she will be an authoress to contend with. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars…
Show some love and support for Crystal Smith by clicking links below: