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Nov 14, 2011

Book Review: Hardware by J.L Campbell

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  2:33 AM

Author:    Jayda McTyson
Series:      N
Genre:      Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (November 1, 2011)


The story is told from mainly two points of view, that of Camille (our MC) and her boyfriend, Quincy.
The books starts off with an attempted rape scene where Camilla first meets Quincy as a thug tries to violate her in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. He comes to her rescue at the nick of time. A year later, unbeknown to them,  they meet again at her place of work where he’s a client. Sparks fly immediately as sexual chemistry hits fever pitch but Camille refuses to succumb as she has very little regard for the typical Jamaican male and this one is no exception with his fine physique, roguish good looks and lecherous eyes.
She’s happy with the safety of her current lifestyle. Little does she know that all hell’s about to break lose in her life and she’ll need this man to help her keep it together. In between boyfriend murder drama, girlfriend pregnancies and suicides, blackmails of step daddies for homosexual and bigamous tendencies, we see Camille come to realise that not all men are “dogs”, even in matriarchal Jamaica.

  • Camille is the MC and it is she that holds every one and all events together in the story.
  • Quincy has an equally strong voice and is the man that gets Camille to overcome her strong prejudices.
  • Penny and Anya are the flighty best friends of Camille who are the total opposites of her but share a 20 year bond together.
  • J.L’s (aka Jayda’s) writing has such amazing depth that its impossible to list everything. Everyone of J.L’s books that I’ve read has a way of deeply pricking my conscious and making me check my moral compass, this one has been no different. I think that's a valuable quality in a book.
  • I loved Quincy right off with his deceptively bad boy image. He’s just the kind of man to change a woman’s opinion about men. He is unapologetic ally his own man, at the beginning he comes off brash and maybe arrogant. As we get to know him we see him  just as someone who knows what he wants and is willing to do what he has to, to get it. He’s a really solid character.
  • The female character that crept her way into my heart is Penny. I suspect it’s the hopelessness of her situation that makes me really feel for her. Penny is the perfect example of some of those who are raised in environments with a degenerated moral fibre. She has no sense of self worth or love largely due to her over bearing, critical and domineering mother whom we never meet but hear much about. She develops into an insecure adult who overcompensates for her shortcomings by being fast, loose and loud. The total opposite of Camille. We never hear of her father and so I gather that her long string of unstable, short lived relationships is as much as search for love as they are for a father figure. The biggest problem is her lack of confidence in herself has her believing she doesn’t deserve better and leaves her unconsciously picking rotten to the bone men. This vicious cycle predictably becomes her undoing as it leads to a tragic end.
  • This is a Hot and Not So Hot in one: The MC is a strong individual with strong values and an equally jaded view of any life that includes men. I like some of her traits such as when she stands up against her mother’s manipulation by her step father (Uncle Travis). For the most part though I must say she was most probably the only other prominent person in the novel I sincerely didn’t like but was probably meant to. Although I could identify with some of her decisions, I found her very petty, full of grudges she wouldn’t let go off and exceedingly uppity. I was actually quite angry that she held out on the “jittery pokkery” for so long with the wonderful Quincy and then be such a none performer when she does give it up. Especially considering her own exploits with older men. For her sake I thank God Quincy was willing to look past his sexual trysts with Crystal for the sake of true love with Camille.
  • In a country like Jamaica, police are always depicted as unscrupulous and corrupt but I found it very refreshing that as much as that was not glossed over, J.L did not create a place of total incompetence. The police did their job at the end of the day, which most do, despite the few bad apples who cast a nasty shadow over the force.
  • The breakneck speed pace had me thinking now and again: can they please get just a little reprieve, I out of breath and I'm only reading. I was relieved when from the last third of the book, although lots was still going on, the pace slowed marginally, just enough to not feel like they were running sprints. This allowed time for us to see the relationship develop between Quincy and Camille and for Camille to show the changes in her personality. 
There is so much about J.L's Jamaica that resonates with me because the social issues facing Jamaica are very similar to if not the same as those facing my own South Africa. I always feel like i know her characters personally and have grown up with some of them. Her books not only entertain but are also deeply thought provoking and encourage my mind to ponder things I wouldn't  normally dwell on. The social consciousness i find finely threaded through most of what I've read from her books I think really sets her apart. Her books not  only entertaining but also have a certain relevance that goes beyond the entertainment. Hardware is no different. She is someone who's books I will read for a long time to come and am convinced that one of these days the world will suddenly awaken to the genius that is J.L Campbell.

Note: Received Courtesy of J.L Campbell (author) from the Character Depot.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Hi there Wendy! Thanks for doing this review for Joy. She is a fabulous writer and it's awesome that it's her time to shine!


  2. Its always a huge pleasure for me to feature her work in one way or another. L' Aussie. So lovely to see you

  3. What a great review for JL. I love the format and your honesty.

  4. Thank you Clarissa for that wonderful compliment. Its one I never get tired of hearing. LOL

  5. From the few works of JL I've read, I've found JL tills her narrative to whip up the right emotion inside her readers.

    Great review, as always, Wendy-dearie.

    Kudos to Reviewer and Reviewed.

    Sochi (@a_iki)

  6. Sochi you are a babe. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

  7. I look forward to reading this book.All the reviews so far have been great.

  8. Wendy, thank you ever so much for your review. Camille is indeed a hard character to like - that girl's got a whole lotta baggage weighing her down.

    It's amazing that we look at our work and don't see certain aspects of it. For instance, right up to publication and even today, I was wondering if people would find the pace too slow. So much for that. :)

    I really appreciate the depth of your review and I'm glad to have captured some of the reality that is Jamaica.

  9. But you know J.L, that is my opinion. The next review you'll get will most probably say it was a tortoise paced and not my hare. Someone else will say it was just perfect. Well all you can do is what feels write for you in your writing and hope for the best sometimes.


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