The Final Play

The Final Play

by Shelly Ellis


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Three best friends from the streets found success—in very different ways. But with a crisis detonating around them, their bond could also destroy everything they care about . . .
No matter how tough the odds, Ricky, Derrick, and Jamal learned to unite and fight during their time at the Branch Avenue Boys’ Youth Institute. But their adult lives have driven them apart—and set off a series of events their friendship may not survive.
All Jamal's political achievements can't erase his bargain with D.C.’s corrupt mayor. And when he finds himself the latest target on Mayor Johnson’s hit list, he’ll risk everything to end the mayor’s deadly reign—even if it's the last move he ever makes.
Institute head Derrick refuses to cave to D.C. drug king pin Dolla Dolla and sell out all he believes in. But his courageous stand might cost him the Institute—and the woman he loves . . .
With a pregnant girlfriend, Ricky can't stay on the run forever. Now he's making a dangerous play to win. But with Derrick and Jamal in Dolla's sights, Ricky and his friends must resolve the conflicts keeping them apart if they want to come back together—even if that means none of the Branch Avenue Boys will be left standing . . .
“Ellis makes a promising start in her new Branch Avenue Boys series, which expertly melds elements of gritty urban fiction with contemporary multicultural romance and tells a captivating tale from three different perspectives . . . sure to please fans of De’Nesha Diamond and Victoria Christopher Murray.”
—Booklist on In These Streets

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496724670
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Series: The Branch Avenue Boys Series , #3
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 332,992
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Shelly Ellis is an award-winning journalist who earned her journalism degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her novel, Another Woman’s Man, was nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. The romance and women’s fiction author is also a film buff and amateur painter. She lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, not far from Washington, D.C., with her husband. Visit her online at

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The Final Play 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Shavonna 9 days ago
The Final Play is the last installment in the Branch Avenue Boys trilogy, once again Shelly Ellis did not disappoint. Derrick, Ricky and Jamel are all in trouble and it all leads back to one person Dolla Dolla. I have enjoyed this series and really hate to see it end, it was nice to read books from the male perspective, how they feel about each other and women. This book has everything you want to read. I look forward to seeing what this author has up her sleeve next.
MissM_ATL 15 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the final chapter of the Branch Avenue Boys series! I’ve been pacing since the end of book two, on pins and needles waiting to hear what happens to Jamal, Derek and Ricky… and most importantly, the Mayor and Dolla Dolla. To say this ending was fitting and satisfying is to seriously short change the ending installment to this series. Simply perfect. Shelly Ellis writes delicious drama, realistic and nuanced characters in a vivid setting… I plan to re-read all three books now that the series is over. Already can’t wait for the next offering from this author.
KelsieAL 16 days ago
The Final Play Shelly Ellis The Final Play is a gritty urban novel from author, Shelly Ellis. This is the third and final book in the Branch Avenue Boys 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. Life and it’s trials and tribulations weakened those bonds. Relationships have been broken. Can these friends survive the challenges and dangers resulting from the decisions they’ve made and restore the bonds they once had? Derrick is still the director of the Boys Institute but fears for himself, his staff and the boys he’s responsible for. Local thug Dolla Dolla is threatening all that Derrick holds near and dear to his heart. He must make a decision that will cost him dearly no matter which way he decides. Jamal knows he made some terrible decisions as Deputy Mayor and is determined to right his wrongs, not realizing the real danger he’s placing himself in. Ricky’s girlfriend is pregnant and they’re running for their lives. Ricky vows that no harm will come to his woman or his child, no matter what he has to do to protect them. He’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his new family. Ms. Ellis continues the trend in this series and delivers another excellent read. These are the characters I’ve grown to love throughout the series. The plot is compelling. Drama and intrigue are still an integral part of the story. As with the first two books in the series, my attention was held from start to finish. The Final Play is the perfect finale to the series. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to all 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.