Cover Image: Know Your Place

Know Your Place

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Member Reviews

Another great read from Shelly!

This was a delightful book, that had all the ingredients for a great urban tale; intrigue, drama, plot twists, character building, and an open door for another book.
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The Branch Avenue boys are back.  It's time for more drama from Derrick, Ricky and Jamel.  

Derek is still with the Center, but his love life takes an awkward turn when he messes up and has to make a decision

Jamel still works for the mayor, but he might have bit off more than he can chew and things might turn out for the worse, possibly deadly.  

Each of them must come to a decision that may alter their lives.  Whether it's for better or worse is up to the decision they choose.  

Ricky's life is a mess, especially since his restaurant was closed down, and he ends up caught in between

Shelly Ellis has done an amazing job with this series.  Full of jaw dropping drama and shenanigans that will leave you wanting for more and anticipating the finale of this series.  

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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Know Your Place (A Branch Avenue Boys Novel) is gritty urban novel from author, Shelly Ellis. This is the second book in the series and continues the stories of three men who met as boys and maintained close friendships well into adulthood. The novel is told from the alternating viewpoints of each man but is easy to follow due to appropriately named chapter headers.

Derrick, Ricky and Jamal met as boys at the Branch Avenue Boys Institute, where they had each been sent for delinquent behavior. They formed strong bonds with each other as a means of survival. Unfortunately, life and it’s trials and tribulations are slowly weakening those bonds. Old, bad habits are emerging for all three. Can these friends rally and save themselves and each other? 

Derrick is now director of the Boys Institute but is facing difficulties in both his personal and professional lives. One of his students is in league with a local gangster and has brought his illegal activities into the school. In addition, he’s torn between his fiancée and the coworker he’s been having an affair with. 

Ricky was the owner of two successful businesses but his association with his business partner led to his businesses being raided and him being jailed. He’s being forced to inform on his corrupt partner, which could lead to his murder. Ricky is also desperately searching for the woman he believes betrayed him.

Jamal worked hard for his position as Deputy Mayor, but it’s all on the line. He made a bad deal with the corrupt Mayor. Now he’s living the fast life, drinking, doing drugs and having illicit sex. He’s out of control and doesn’t know how to rein it in. 

Know Your Place is extremely well-written. The characters have been developed even more in this second installment of the series. The plot is compelling. Drama, intrigue and betrayal are all still an intergral part of the story. As with book one, my attention was held from start to finish. Once again, the ending left me wanting more. I’ll definitely be reading the next novel in this series. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to lovers of urban fiction. 

My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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With just right amount of friction given to each characters arc, Ms. Ellis gives you a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and invested in the outcome of what will happen to the people in this story. In the end, our main players learn that sometimes, successes in life come with a price. Ricky, Jamal and Derrick have to learn what they are willing to sacrifice for said price.

Excellent job by this author and I'm looking forward to reading to diving into more of Shelly Ellis's works.
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Ricky, Derrick, and Jamal are back. Know Your Place continues from In These Streets.  Book took started out as a slow read for me.  About a quarter of the way, the book took off and never slowed down.  The three friends have found themselves in deep with some shady and not so stable people.  In this book, morals, values, love, friendship, and mental stability is addressed.  Know Your Place allows you to look deeper into each of the guys lives and make you wonder, what in the world? There is so much going on in this book that you better be ready.  

There were times in the book where I just wanted to slap a few people, yell, and eventually give them a hug.  Everyone is presented with a test in this book. Who will pass the test? Who will fail? You will receive the answers to these questions once you read it.  Purchase your book.
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Know Your Place
Author: Shelly Ellis 
Publisher: Kensington Books

After doing time at a youth center, they learned how to be strong and loyal in tough times. However, as their adult lives took shape the very lessons learned soon became hard to follow. If you add in a drug kingpin, ex-fiance, betrayal, and backroom deals and this story gives you some pretty engaging drama.  I didn't have the backstory on the series as this is book 2 and  I had not read book 1. That being said, I still managed to keep up The author did a good job of developing the characters individually even though their stories were intricately intertwined. 
There were many moving pieces and players so you had to pay attention and not get distracted.  
Player #1 Jamal is involved in a form of politics he was ill-prepared for and never thought he would be a part of at any time. He also had to deal with his ex, a former cop.  Player #2 Derrick has to contend with a fiance, a lover and shady student that could be caught up with a local drug kingpin.  Player #3 Ricky has to deal with the fallout after being caught up in a drug raid. 

See what I mean? A lot going on, but it is well worth the read.  From a technical standpoint, the story was structurally sound, well -formatted and executed.  
I received this ARC  via  NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which I gave voluntarily.

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Know Your Place is the second book in the Branch Avenue Boys series and it was just as good as the first one.

Jamel is dealing with the Mayor and all his shady shenanigans which is taking a toll on his life. Jamel is in involved in situations that he never thought he would find himself in and he is just about to his breaking point but he is scared to quit job due to threats from the Mayor.

Ricky was arrested during a raid caused by the woman he loves which resulted in him losing his restaurant , his club and it may also cost him his freedom or his life if he does not corporate with the police and give them what they want.

Derrick is trying to maintain his relationship with Melissa while trying to hid his true feelings and affair with Morgan while dealing with one his students who he thinks is hiding drugs in the Boys Institute for Dolla Dolla.

This book has everything you are looking for, Drama, Scandal, sex, drugs, murder etc. you name it and it has it. This storyline kept me on edge and interested. Melissa kinda made me mad but I understand where she is coming from, but I also feel like her decision in the end was just wrong. I cannot wait for the next book to see how everything will unfold.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
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This book was awesome and had me on the edge of my seat. I literally couldn’t put this book down, this read had so much action and right from the first two pages I was hooked. While I was reading further along in the book, I didnt realize that this was Book 2 of a series and that I haven’t yet read Book 1 but by judging how this book ended, I know Book 1 will be something and setting the tone of all the characters from the beginning. However from this book I will say that I love me some Ricky and Jamal. Derrick however not so much; however in the beginning he was my dude but then I ended up getting mad at his actions and then decided to no longer like him. Dolla Dolla, I actually like his kingpin gangsta self, all the s**t he talk in this book was a complete turn on to me in some weird way. Melissa is my girl and I actually liked Morgan as well. Really both women were victims in there own emotional feelings that I could understand. All in all, even though I read this series completely out of order, I have connected with all the characters in a different way. I cannot wait to read the final book. Of course I will read Book 1 first though. All in all this was truly a 5 star read and I absolutely loved it.
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You know when you're reading something REALLY good? Like, engaging. The scenes play out like a movie, complete with sound effects, pan in, pan out, etc? And the dialog is so real and the action so intense that you have to get up and pace while you read cause you DON'T WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT but you GOTTA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT...

This. book. ya'll. To be fair, I'm a fan and I am fully invested in the Branch Avenue series, but COT DAYUM Shelly Ellis can write a book! 

KNOW YOUR PLACE starts exactly where IN THESE STREETS leaves off, so *yes you need to read book one first*and yes this book has a cliffie... you will live. Read Ellis' other books while you're waiting. As I said, this book picks up where the last book left off, so **SPOILERS ARE COMING. **

Ricky has turned informant to stay out of jail and in an effort to answer some questions, comes face to face with much more than he was looking for. Informing on Dolla Dolla never sounded easy, but somehow it's 100 times harder than he ever imagined it would be. When Ricky gets a taste of what could happen to him when Dolla finds out what's being said (and who is saying it) he knows he's living on borrowed time. 

Derrick's love life is a HOT MESS and let's not talk about his work at the Branch Avenue Boys Center-- it's been infiltrated by a ruthless thug. I mean, Derrick maybe just needs to spend some time alone and figure out what he's feeling and who he feels it for, because a fist fight with his best friend at a high class fundraising banquet involving his ex? Ain't the move son. 

Jamal, who has become much closer to the Mayor over time, discovers some secrets about his boss and trying to right a wrong sends everything skidding sideways. An unjust death and a threat of exposure turns Jamal into a man we never thought we'd see. 

Suffice it to say, life is turning these men upside down and inside out and everyone in the near vicinity is affected. The way this book is set up, Ellis will bring you to the very edge... and leave you wondering, hoping, wishing and praying for the outcomes you need to see in the conclusion of this incredible series. 

A side note: Not a fan of cliffhangers? Aight, but buy it anyway. Then you'll be ready when book 3 drops later this year!
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Shelly Ellis is an awesome storyteller. This is my second book by this author but I will go back and read some others. I truly enjoyed this page turner.
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