Peter Mack’s Ayana: The Return is a fascinating book about love, sex and intrigue. At its center are characters that have appeared before in Mack’s books, including the exotic Prada, a transgender escort with expensive taste. This was the first Peter Mack book I’ve read, but even though I was new to the world, it was easy to enjoy the plot and characters.
It’s hard to know what to expect from self-published eBooks because they usually don’t have the quality of popular authors who sell first edition hardcovers. This is true for Ayana; a good editor would have polished the formatting and insisted he write in past tense instead of present tense. Despite the flaws, Peter Mack has crystal clear characters, a solid style, and a sense of what makes a good story.
The characters include the aforementioned Prada, the main character Ayana, a grieving pastor with his own history, an evil villian straight out of the Bayou, and more than enough colorful secondary characters. Instead of each person being a stereotype, they have clear motivations, backstories, and personalities. I appreciated this, especially when I learned Prada was transgender. The black community can have a lot of hurtful stereotypes about transgender women, but I saw a lot of truth and thoughtfulness in her story. Ayana is similarly thought out and well written, and their relationship jumps off the page. I don’t know anything about Maserati or Gucci, but I’d love to be their friend. And just in case you were wondering, Prada and Ayana have multiple relationships (some ethical, some not) that make up the sweetest parts of the story. I’m happy to see a male author write multi-dimensional female characters, and I’ll forgive him for mentioning their breasts so often.
The plot seems to be part three in an Ayana series, but I don’t think I missed a lot by jumping into the middle. The story starts out with a bang (literally) and keeps up the momentum until the dramatic conclusion. I only wish I could have spent a little more time with the good guys after the bad guys were vanquished, instead of the climax and denouement being squashed into the same scene. That points back to Mack’s strength in writing characters. Luckily, they all appear in multiple other books. I’m interested to read the Licks trilogy, set in Los Angeles with the drug dealers we only got a glimpse of in Ayana. I don’t know if any of the lifestyle is true, but, just like any thriller, it’s more fun to watch the drama than to wonder about accuracy.
Peter Mack has written 16 books, all available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. I recommend him if you’re looking for exciting and sexy reading. Peter Mack is the pen name of Isiko Cooks, a member of Black & Poly. You can find links to his books, social media, and website below.