I learned there was no gray area in this game. You win or you lose.



Publisher’s Synopsis:
Mystery, crime, and grit surrounded his family, often bringing power-hungry enemies right to his doorstep. Never one to back down from any opposition, he often stood victorious. But this new threat is something different and not at all one he is prepared for until an old love comes to save him.

Elijah Lewis aka “Smoke” has to decide what to do with the gift of knowledge he’s received. Does he deliver more pain to the people responsible for trying to take him out, or does he take well-meaning advice and get out of this line of work? For people like him, there were only so many places he could go and the top two were: to jail or to hell.

Point of view:
1st person. Alternating between Elijah & Aaliyah.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I saw this on Black Fiction Addiction‘s social and HAD to read it. Smoke launches Aja’s Enigma series which is a spin-off of her Soulmates series. I haven’t read that (though I really want to now!) and don’t feel like that hindered my enjoyment of Smoke at all.

Dark romantic suspense with older MCs! Along with two of his grown children, Elijah “Smoke” Lewis (60) is running a successful empire. He hasn’t been as fortunate in the romance department. While working to uncover an influx of drugs in his territory, he meets Aaliyah (43) – an undercover reporter investigating the death of her foster sister.

I love the world Aja created here. There’s so much depth and detail, presented in a compelling way. I feel like I know Elijah and was completely smitten despite his dubious moral code. There’s virtually no angst between him & Aaliyah, all of the suspense comes from other people and an unsolved mystery.

While instalove isn’t usually my favorite it totally worked for me here because these two are mature enough to know themselves and what they need from a partner. And they were fire!

The secondary characters were just as dynamic. Especially his children, Eli & Sarai. While this book completely covers the arc for Elijah & Aaliyah’s romance to HFN, there’s definitely an ongoing mystery that will weave through the series. I can’t wait for book 2, Maestro.

Content Warnings:
Aja has an awesome “Dear Reader” before the start of the book that goes into detail (without spoilers!) about what to expect. You can read this using Amazon’s “First Look”.

About the author:
You can connect with Aja here:

My Favorite Quotes

I learned there was no gray area in this game. You win or you lose. – Smoke by @AjaTheWriter #UrbanRomance #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

Mr. Salt and Pepper was so fine, that I started to ignore his possible age. – Smoke by @AjaTheWriter #UrbanRomance #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

You don’t have to trust me but trust your instincts. – Smoke by @AjaTheWriter #UrbanRomance #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

God she was gorgeous upset. Eyes flashing fire, lips pouty and ready to spit poetic venom. Hair a tussled mess around her shoulders. I wanted to see her just like that in my bed. – Smoke by @AjaTheWriter #UrbanRomance #Mystery #RomanticSuspense

Published by rellimreads

Avid reader/listener who has finally decided to turn it all into a blog...

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