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MAINTENANCE MAN II: MONEY, POLITICS, AND SEX: EVERYONE HAS A PRICE
Michael Baisden, the charismatic radio talk show host/social activist/movie producer/author, multi-talented, multi-tasking, and multi-hyphenate has penned the sequel to his best-selling book, Maintenance Man; appropriately titled Maintenance Man II. Returning in MMII is the gigolo with a heart, Malcolm Tremmel. This story is a continuing saga of Malcolm Tremmel whose primary conflict in MMI was concealing his career from the dancer Toni, the woman who had captured his heart at first sight. The story is sexy and original with moments of humour sprinkled throughout.
Several of the characters from MMI; Helen, client of Malcolm’s escort service; Ariel, the sexy employee of Malcolm’s nightclub, Melvin’s Jazz Club and Simon, Malcolm’s friend, confidante and night club manager; also appear in MMII. The sophisticated and oh-so-sexually confident Helen returns in MMII as a sort of business partner for Malcolm’s venture into the international franchise arena of the male escort service business.
The author himself describes MMII as a thriller in the vein of John Shaft meets Jason Bourne meets James Bond. This is a story that will be enjoyed by the average reader who appreciates stories about educated, middle class Blacks, similar to the books of Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, Omar Tyree, and E. Lynn Harris (sans the homosexual themes unless you’d like to include Malcolm’s several ménage a trois).
The book is set in the beautiful, multicultural, multinational Miami. Fans of the Michael Baisden Show know that Mr. Baisden resides in Miami and MMII captures the flavor and flow of the city of beautiful people very well. Writers are always told to write what they know and the author knows Miami.
In MMII, Malcolm encounters an old flame, Alex, who is engaged to marry an unscrupulous politician. Malcolm’s major conflict in MMII is whether to be pulled further into Alex’s complex life complicated by her disastrous taste in men and lies, politics, murder and money. Titillating its readers, MMII takes us on a journey with Malcolm on his attempts to save Alex from her foolish choices and treacherous husband – peppered with a few of Malcolm’s sexual exploits along the way. We also learn more of Malcolm’s surprising past as a Navy Seal which helps the reader to understand Malcolm’s badass attitude.
Full of contradictions, the tough MMII Malcolm makes the MMI Malcolm look like Barney, the Purple Dinousaur. Malcolm has the opportunity to showcase his Navy Seal training both physical and mentally. MMII reveals an über tough, take-no-prisoners Malcolm. Malcolm’s heart is once again revealed through his compassion for Alex. However the compassionate, ambitious, conflicted Malcolm we met in MMI remains.
The story is absorbing, engaging and contains enough thrills to sufficiently propel the story forward; accomplishing just what a thriller should – creating the question in the mind of the reader of “what will happen next?”
Disappointing in MMII were only a very few casual mentions of Toni, Malcolm’s love interest in MMI. At least half of MMI was devoted to Malcolm’s love for and his conflicted heart about Toni and revealing his profession to her. Just a few strokes of the pen or a few presses on a keyboard and Toni is now a "pipedream" versus the 150 or so pages devoted to her in MMI.
While a resolution to MMII is realized, Mr. Baisden has cleverly left his readers with several questions about many of the main characters that perfectly open the door for MMIII. I think Mr. Baisden’s fans would be curious to know what happened to his life in the suburbs with Toni. The character Helen would also make a great story for a sequel.
This is a great read that delivers the quality of story that Michael Baisden fans have come to expect - an engaging, sexy, and exciting story that doesn't disappoint fans of Michael Baisden, the author.