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Don't Want No Sugar Hardcover – September 9, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Big passions lead to deadly romantic triangles for two generations of African-Americans in Mason's latest (after 2003's One Day I Saw a Black King). The story begins in the 1930s, when 14-year-old Roberta Adams sets her sights on handsome mill worker Charles Brooks, even though he's passionately involved with Nadine, a married woman. But Roberta is crafty: when love potions don't work on Charles, she tries poison on Nadine. One night, as Nadine lies dying, Roberta pounces on Charles. The seduction works; Roberta gets pregnant and Charles must marry her, a union that turns out quite well considering its provenance. But Charles eventually goes astray when his side job as a handyman brings him in contact with pretty young Sara Tate, whom he handily seduces and impregnates. And, oh, the lurid lives of smalltown Texans! Roberta, inflamed by jealousy, tries to kill Sara's child and then wakes her husband up and stabs him, nearly slicing off his head. The plotting turns even more cartoonish when Mason leaps ahead to the 1960s. Roberta has just been released after years of incarceration, and Sara's mentally handicapped son, Adam (people call him "Fool"), is accused of rape when the girl he loves gets pregnant. Mason's flair for fast-moving narration makes this an easy read, but readers may find there's far too much meanness, deceit and violence.
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From Booklist

In this novel, generations of black Texas families struggle to survive love, lust, and betrayal. Eula Mae Adams loses her senses over her affair with a married man. After her death, her daughter, Roberta, is taken in and raised by the local midwife, Martha Armstrong. Roberta wants to get away from Martha and sets her sights on the handsome Charles Harris, who is having an affair with Nadine Cooper. To get rid of their baby, Nadine buys some of Martha's abortion potion. Roberta takes advantage of Nadine and Charles' hiatus and seduces him. Recognizing that Roberta is pregnant, Martha demands that Charles marry her. Thus, Roberta sacrifices love for an illusion, and Charles sacrifices love for honor and duty. It isn't until he meets Sara Tate that he loves a woman with the intensity that Roberta loves him. Charles attempts to maintain two families until Roberta discovers him with Sara and seeks revenge. Mason's prequel to her novel One Day I Saw a Black King (2003) is full of surprises and answers. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312301588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312301583
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,611,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"I started with a goal in mind, and I prayed. "Lord, just let me be able to write books for 10 years. If I can write for 10 years, I can finish 10 books. And then I'll retire." I feel like I'm just getting warmed up, so I definitely think I need another 10 years." --J.D.

J.D. Mason has been writing professionally for more than a decade, beginning with her first novel "And On The Eighth Day She Rested" which she self-published, not once, but twice. Since then, Mason has gone on to sign with a New York City publisher and has penned a popular series based off of her second book, "One Day I Saw A Black King". J.D.'s work has been featured in Today's Black Woman, Essence, Denver's Urban Spectrum, and Jewel Magazine. Her books have consistently been selected as main selections for the Black Expressions Bookclub and have been and has appeared on bestseller lists in the Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, Black Expressions Book Club, and J.D. currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and is hard at work on her next novel.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Henley on October 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Don't Want No Sugar" is J.D. Mason's third powerhouse novel which gives us the family history of one of previous characters, John King from "One Day I Saw Black King."

We are introduced to Roberta Adams, who by virtue of her mother, Eula May's untimely suicide over the death of her lover Robert Lewis, goes to live with the town's midwife. Roberta seems to have been cursed from the very beginning; being the love child of Eula May and Bobby Lewis - a love that was forbidden and taboo from the start - and possessing the outright beauty of her mother. Roberta's life seems to travel down the same unfortunate paths as her parents.

J.D. Mason introduces some of the highest degrees of obsessive love that one can imagine. Roberta loves no man or any one person - including herself - more that Charles Brooks. Handsome, charming and with dimples, Charles could have any female he wanted.

Unbeknownst to him, Roberta has been secretly watching and pining over him since she was a young girl. Fantasizing what life would be like as his wife, she sets her trap when given the opportunity. So as fate would have it, she becomes Charles' wife and here the levels of obsessive love begin.

Her unabashed love for this man causes Roberta to obsess over her husband to the point of dementia. Being that she was raised by the town's midwife and resident "witchdoctor", she has been taught the tricks of the trade so to speak, something that allows her to first initiate her relationship and union with Charles and ultimately becoming the very thing that takes her over the edge. So obsessive is her need and desire for her husband, Roberta winds up doing the unimaginable, causing many lives to change in dramatic fashion.

Ms. Mason has truly done it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Brown Girl VINE VOICE on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
J.D. Mason continues to hone her craft with vigor and finesse. Rarely does a prequel deliver with such fervor and depth! To explain how One Day I Saw A Black King character, John King, came to be, Ms. Mason takes us back to 1931 Bueller, Texas to examine the intricate shenanigans of John's grandfather, the very good-looking and equally hard-working Charles. He is every woman's dream, including a conniving, teenaged beauty, Roberta, who upon her eccentric mother's suicide has resided with the local midwife for the past 10 years. Every man has a weakness and Charles has a penchant for pretty women - thus this story centers around the three beautiful women in his life: Nadine, Roberta, and Sara.

Without telling the entire story and giving away the page-turning secrets, let us just say that after Nadine's untimely death, the grieving Charles succumbs to one night of passion that results in a loveless marriage to Roberta. Charles accepts this miserable existence until he meets Sara Tate - and their instant attraction leads to scandal, another murder, and the conception of Adam (John King's father).

This is a story that had me turning pages until the very end - it was perfectly paced, contained full bodied characters with their own agendas (which usually involved sticking their noses in other people's business), and included just enough voodoo and old wives tales to keep a ethereal vibe flowing just beneath the surface as each of the main characters truly wrestled with their own demons through out the book.

I truly hope Ms. Mason keeps her creative juices flowing and gives us another wonderful story of how Connie Rogers came to be. Nonetheless, I'll be anxiously awaiting her next release (regardless of the topic) she has rightfully a place on my favorite author's list.

Reviewed by Phyllis

APOOO BookClub

Nubian Circle Book Club
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was my first by J.D. Mason. She has written a spine-chilling tale of love, seduction, obsession and betrayal that haunted by mind days after I finished reading it. There are very few writers who make such an impact as Ms. Mason - characters rich and diverse spanning different walks of life - making it all believable while shaking your head in wonderment and awe.

This story has taken us to a small backwoods town of Bueller, a woman named Eula May had a daughter, Roberta, but no husband. He belonged to another. Still, she loved Roberta's father to death. She loved him so much that she couldn't bear to part with him after he her bed. Years later, a teenaged Roberta sets her sights on a man of her own, a womanizer named Charles Brooks. When Roberta gets pregnant, Charles is forced to marry her, but Sara holds the key to his heart.

I was flooded with emotion at the revelation. It was a sweet ending to the sad life of a lovable man. Although I felt that some aspects of the story were a bit contrived, (i.e. the way it seems that every woman in the novel who has sex gets pregnant and the way that each pregnancy seems to be the impetus for something awful) I enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the story as a whole. The cover on this book is rather sweet also.

I added it to my collection of favorites. I was captured by Morgan's writing style. The entire book was exhilarating. Morgan has definitely proven to possess exceptional writing skills. This book kept me on my toes from beginning to end. I cannot wait to read more on the family. She painted the picture so vividly, I felt like I was right there in Bueller and Clarksville (where the story takes place for all the prospective readers of the book). Very passionate and realistic....Outstanding book! Highly Recommended!
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