Clarence Nero is the new urban literary hotness. Maya Angelou has described Nero as "one of our most promising young authors." Beyonce Knowles wished Nero good luck on his book from the set of Dreamgirls. Nero's second novel, Three Sides to Every Story, was a scorching love story with an unapologetic black, gay aesthetic set in fabulous, pre-Katrina New Orleans. Johnny, the college football star whose father is a prominent anti-gay mega-church pastor (sound familiar?), prefers to be discrete. James is unashamedly gay and flamboyant. The unlikely love story of Johnny and James returns for the sequel Too Much of a Good Thing Ain't Bad, which just dropped from Broadway Books. Read a sample chapter here and continue reading the review for your chance to win a free copy of the book.
Too Much of a Good Thing Ain't Bad picks up immediately after Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans. Johnny and his family relocate to Washington D.C. and Johnny attends Wheatley College, "one of the top black schools in the country" and rival to Howard University. James moves into Johnny's apartment, which immediately causes friction because Johnny is pledging his father's fraternity. "I accepted James for who he was and loved everything about him, but sometimes he was just over the top with his fashions and exotic hairstyles. That shit was embarrassing to me. Can you imagine walking down the street with a six foot man sporting pink and blue hair and wearing high platform shoes?"
Add Sheila Doggett to the tension, the "pretty dark skinned sistah with the tight ass body: and Harvard MBA. Sheila was introduced to Johnny by family members who are intent on "turning him on the straight and narrow." Oh and coincidentally she is James' boss at the school where he works as a teacher's aide, and, intent on getting him fired.
Too Much of a Good Thing Ain't Bad is great summer reading. The characters are captivating. The dialogue, and situations, written from three points of view, is at times laugh out loud funny, other times deep and introspective. It's always fresh and always entertaining. Most of all the subject matter should be intimately familiar to Rod 2.0 readers—bourgeois vs. "hood" culture, homophobia, the anti-gay black church, feminine vs. masculine stereotypes, and HIV/AIDS in the black and black gay communities. Oh and there is a special shout-out to Rod 2.0 and its readers in the book, too.