Sweet Jazz by Ursula Renee


Sweet Jazz by Ursula Renee
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Inc
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Heat level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

The Big House’s “Coloreds Only” policy makes the club popular with Harlem residents. The same policy makes it harder for the owners to find and retain musicians. After four weeks of listening to saxophonists with bigger dreams than talent, the owners are ready to hire the first person who walks in and plays “one good note.” Their words come back to haunt them when Randy Jones auditions.

Many of the employees are not thrilled when Randy breaks the color barrier. He does find an ally in Cass, the club’s sassy singer, who goes out of her way to welcome him. Offstage, Cass Porter looks like a teenager, but when she sings she’s all woman. Inside, she’s been hurt badly and has determined never to love again.

As their relationship develops, life at the club for Randy becomes complicated when he has to fight both Cass’s fear of opening her heart and those who want to keep them apart.

When Randy Jones stepped into The Big House, a jazz club in Harlem, to audition for an opening for a saxophone player he is not only breaking color barriers he catches the eye of sassy songstress Cass Porter. Will their hot performances trickle off stage and start to form a more serious relationship that they may not be ready to handle?

Sweet Jazz is a slow romance that took time to evolve the relationship between Cass and Randy. The plot is a refreshing read and also well written. It was nice to read about a couple actually taking their time to go out dancing, talking and discussing issues from their past, mainly growing and building a connection. I thought the book to be stretched out quite a bit with 400 pages of the same equable tone. It just didn’t have any real action for me to have kept the story going on and on. I am trying not to sound contradicting, yes I enjoyed the story but some parts could have been eliminated or shorten.

I like how Cass and Randy took up for each other. I get the feeling Cass could relate to Randy, being they both have been discriminated against; that could be a reason they were drawn to each other. Cass found Randy as someone she could trust to talk to and open up about her past. Randy as well was able to talk with ease to Cass about how he came about playing the saxophone. Each had a story to tell and in some sort of way grew from their past. Well Cass’s growth needed some work and hopefully with patience Randy will be the man to show her what real love can feel like.

The author tells the story in such detail, and depth a reader can’t help but picture the characters in motion, the unlikeable characters as well as the likable. The story is one of hope, determination and passion for the love of song, music and finding love when it’s least expected. I am sure Randy could have given up, packed up his sax and moved on, but he found something worth staying for and very well something worth standing up for…that speaks volumes.

Sweet Jazz is just as the title states. It is a sweet romantic story that like jazz, has propulsive rhythms played out in harmonic freedom. If you enjoy the laid back sounds of smooth jazz, this is a melodic story that you would want to add to your reading list.

Speak Your Mind