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Desperate Hoodwives: An Urban Tale

( 62 )



In the first book of a drama-drenched new series, four unforgettable women will do anything to escape the hood.

From their front stoops at Bentley Manor, longtime residents Miz Osceola and Miz Cleo have seen just about everything and know all too well that there's no happily-ever-after in the projects. There's only the desperate need to get out by any means possible.

Aisha has ...

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In the first book of a drama-drenched new series, four unforgettable women will do anything to escape the hood.

From their front stoops at Bentley Manor, longtime residents Miz Osceola and Miz Cleo have seen just about everything and know all too well that there's no happily-ever-after in the projects. There's only the desperate need to get out by any means possible.

Aisha has what every other ghetto girl envies: a loving man who supplies her with all the fashion, money, and accessories that scream "hood success." Now that her husband's in jail, Aisha may have to put something more precious than her designer gear up for sale in order to maintain her image. The cost may be too high even for her expensive tastes.

Devani knows she's found her way out of the hood when she sleeps with Tyrik, a star pro athlete. When Tyrik's calls get further and further apart, Devani's mother suggests the perfect scheme: become his baby momma. Will Devani's plans force her man to commit, or backfire with the worst of consequences?

Molly is so in love with her husband, Junior, that she doesn't care if she's the only white girl in the hood. Blinded by her love, Molly lets everyone walk all over her. But Junior may cross the line, forcing Molly to give back all the abuse she's taken.

Lexi has five children - and four broke baby daddies. Now she is married to Luther, Mr. Right in every way but in the bedroom. Determined to finally provide a good man for her kids, Lexi must struggle to fight her cravings for sex with her ex. Will she stay faithful to her husband or give in to a passion that may very well prove deadly?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The title only hints at the freaky-deaky content in the first installment of a street lit series that could also qualify as urban erotic horror. In Atlanta, Bentley Manor is a cage for four young women. Aisha, whose pampered lifestyle takes a big hit after her dealer husband gets locked up, goes to dangerous lengths to keep up her ghetto fab image. Devani is single and, at her mother's direction, plans on tricking NFL star Tyrik Jefferson into marrying her by getting pregnant. Lexi has five kids by four men and hopes Luther, the man who finally married her, will buy them a house, but will his sub-par sack performance tank her dreams? Molly is the "white trash" wife of oversexed, abusive and often absentee Junior; she, like the other women, dreams of getting "up out Bentley Manor." The authors, who also publish under Niobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd, hold back little in this cautionary tale dripping with sex, vice and yearning. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Mink (Hot Like Fire) and Diamond (Feel the Fire) portray four young women trying their best to escape the hood in this first in a series of street lit novels set in the Atlanta housing projects. Named Bentley Manor, this development is also home to two longtime residents who know how difficult it is to leave the ghetto.

—Ann Burns
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416537526
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 1/8/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 192,555
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 0.70 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Meesha Mink is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books written under three names, including the Real Wifeys series and co-authoring the explosive Hoodwives trilogy. She was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, and lives in South Carolina. For more information, please visit

De'nesha Diamond is the award-winning, national bestselling author of more than twenty previous novels. She lives in Georgia.

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Read an Excerpt


Look, I don't want to keep up with the fucking Joneses. I am the Joneses. Especially when it comes to these fools living in Bentley Manor.

See me. Envy me. Want to be me.

That's all these broke, welfare heifers and food stamps-loving bitches can do for me as far as I'm concerned. Fuck 'em.

Now I'll admit when I first met my husband, at sixteen, I was living in Hollywood Court projects with my mother and two brothers, and just straight struggling. No designer clothes. No nice rides. No money. No nothing.

I used to be ashamed of my tore-up shoes and high-water pants with the faded knees. I was shy and quiet as hell, just trying to make people forget I was around so they wouldn't notice how fucked-up my gear was.

The only thing I felt I had going for me back then was my looks. Light complexion, green eyes, long hair, and a bangin' body. I had curves for days. And that's what drew Maleek Cummings to me that hot summer day in 1998.

He was a big-time drug dealer sitting behind the wheel of his green Lexus SC400. He caught my eye and motioned for me to come to him. Humph. My silly ass was so surprised that he was talking to me that I actually looked behind me first to make sure. Once I saw it was all me, I slid on a shy smile and made my way to him. A little conversation, lots of flirting, and ten minutes later he invited my grown ass to go for a ride. Damn right I got in.

We just rode around cruising the different neighborhoods. I had my window down profiling like crazy. I didn't think about the police pulling us over and maybe getting locked up because Maleek had work — drugs — in his car. I didn't think about someone wanting to hurt him and shoot up his ride while I was in it. I didn't think about him being twenty-one and I was just sixteen.

All I had on my mind was how lucky I was to be riding with Maleek. But I was smart about shit. I already knew that no matter how fine he said I was, no matter how many times he licked his lips like LL Cool J and gave me that I-wanna-fuck-you look, I was not giving up the goodies that easy. My momma been taught me that it was up to a woman to always make sure a man had more to give a woman than just a wet ass.

And it worked. Just two weeks later the shy girl with the raggedy clothes became Maleek's girl.

My life ain't been the same since.

From no name to name brand. Riding the bus to getting dropped off at high school in Maleek's Lexus. Being broke as a joke to laughing my fine ass all the way to the goddamned bank. From watching my momma struggle to being able to help her take care of my little brothers. I felt like the world was mine.

Six years later I went from wifey to wife.

Maleek was the kingpin and I reigned as his queen.

My only complaint was that he moved us from one bullshit apartment in Hollywood Court to another in Bentley Manor.

When he first told me to go and fill out an application, I was like, "What the fuck?"

Don't let the name fool you. Bentley Manor is a low-rise project that has seen better days. The red brick has graffiti all over it. The parking lot has more potholes than a freeway. Tiny shards of broken glass litter the street like sparkling confetti. Crackheads and dope fiends battle with the rats and roaches for prominence.

It damn sure ain't my dream of a nice home in a gated community.

Far the fuck from it.

I wanted to be in a home. My home. With my husband and my kids — the ones I won't have until I'm thirty.

Once a week I'd drive by Whitewater Creek — a gated community near Peachtree City — and long for the day I'll lay around in one of those half a million-dollar homes. But Maleek didn't want to draw too much attention to himself with such a big house and neither of us working. "Let me get something legit off and poppin' first," he said as we lay in bed together smoking a blunt. "And then Whitewater Creek's yours."

So fuck it. My man's in the game moving major weight and I feel if his big, black, sexy ass was in Bentley Manor, then I'd be right up in there with him.

Shit, better me than the next bitch.

And tricks are always trying to get at my spot, but I have that shit on lock for sure. I made sure to give my man the three p's to a happy relationship: pussy, pussy, and more pussy. If the wind blew and made his dick hard I made it my business to drain that motherfucker of every last drop.

Our sex is that type of freaky-deaky, stop-before-you-give-me-a-heart-attack type of shit. There's nothing we don't do to or for each other. When it's on it's on.

Maleek taught my ass very well about what he likes and don't like. Hell, when a nigga's taking care of his wife as good as Maleek takes care of me, what's a little request for a rim shot or a hot lick of his ass?

Fuck it. That's how we get down.

I park our silver chromed-out Benz in the first spot I come up on in the crowded parking lot. Before I get out I reach into my Gucci crocodile purse for my compact and double-checked my makeup. I wink at the almost identical image of Lisa Raye looking back at me. Matter of fact, that chick from Player's Club ain't got shit on me.

When I stepped out my apartment that morning I knew all eyes around the Manor were always on me. Bitches straight-checking for one sign of me slipping. One clue that I was wobbling and ready to fall, but that was nothing. Them hos needed to fall back because my game would forever and always be tight.

My Mary J. "Be Without You" ring tone echoes from my purse. Damn, Mary can sing. I'm feeling her because I didn't wanna be without my baby.

Like always, I let the whole ring tone play before I flip my phone open.


"I need a favor, Aisha."

Usually I hate a begging ass...but this is my mother. Still, a little greeting would've been nice. No hi, hello, how you doing? Just straight asking for something. But I couldn't refuse her. I wouldn't.

"How much, Ma?" I ask, climbing out the car and locking the door.

"You know I hate to ask, but I want to get some groceries in this house for the kids."

My mother works every day of her life but she always has one of those living on a shoestring budget kinda jobs: cashier, clerk, school aide, janitor-type shit. But when me and my baby brothers we're growing up she always kept food on the table and the best clothes she could on our backs. I have to give her credit because she didn't chase men, drugs, or parties. She stayed home with us. She just didn't have the skills or the know-how to step up her cash game. Where she falls short, Maleek and me step in.

Ma is well aware Maleek make his money via his street game. She loves him to death and don't give a shit 'bout how he make his money. Especially when he's so free-giving with her.

"I'll stop by on my way home."

"Tell my son-in-law I asked about him and thank you, baby."

"You welcome, Momma."

I will never tell her no.

Right now I have it all compared to what she has. I'm used to having everything — what I want when I want it.

Everything, that is, except my husband.

Sadness fills my eyes and my soul at the very sight of the Jesup Federal Correctional Institute.

Behind those walls — those bars — is my man. Locked the fuck up like an animal.

I walk into the building feeling sick to my stomach.

Three months already gone and God knows how many more to go before his trial. Some kind of joint police bullshit or another investigated him and some other dudes he dealt with all up in New York and Virginia for nearly three years before a federal grand jury handed down a forty-five-count indictment. They all were charged with everything from conspiracy to possession and distribution of crack cocaine, drug trafficking, money laundering, and gun charges.

Maleek is looking at a ten-year bid.

I hate that there's a stupid fucking point system. He can only get eight days of visits a month — time I have to share with his mother and sister. I hate the shit I have to go through to get inside just to look in his face and hold his hand.

I take a deep breath trying to calm my damn nerves as I walk into the lobby with the other women and kids. Getting checked in makes me feel like I'm the damn criminal. The ID check, the photo they take every fucking time, the invisible hand stamp, and the metal detectors. Only a plastic purse. No more than a twenty-spot. No sexy clothes. Thank God we don't have a baby because them motherfuckers count how many diapers and shit you bring in. They even admit they peep out the bathroom to make sure no woman smuggled in drugs.

Shit, like I'm going to push a balloon filled with dope up my pussy. What the fuck ever. Maleek would never put me at risk like that.

So there's a lot of bullshit — starting with a helluva five-hour drive from Atlanta — but I will do it for the next ten years or more if I have to. Maleek is worth that to me.

As the officer leads me to the visitation room I block out where I am. I try to pretend I'm not inside a prison.

Even when I walk into the visitation room and take my seat I don't look around at the other inmates and their visitors. I find a blank spot on the wall and keep my eyes glued to it, trying not to think of what Maleek might have to deal with.

I mean, damn, what if some of dem niggas try to get at him while he in jail? Maleek ain't no punk but what if a gang of 'em go out American Me-style on him?

Every time I think about it I have to remind myself that Maleek is well known and well respected. Nobody is stupid enough to fuck with him. I couldn't let movies or rumors of men leaving jail livin' life on the down low get at me.

"Hey, baby."

My body nearly melts at the sound of his voice. Tears well up in my throat as I look up at his handsome square face and buff body in these whack-ass prison khakis and Rockport shoes from the commissary. I stand up and wrap my arms around his neck as we press our lips together. I moan and suckle his tongue as long as I can before the officers will step in.

This is my marriage. My life.

God help me.

Copyright © 2008 by Niobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    First-rate storytelling

    The desperation of these characters is practically palpable. This is a riveting story you won't soon forget. I've heard people complain about sloppy street lit with misspelled words and no punctuation, but this book had not so much as a comma out of place. Terrific plotting and execution.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Part 19

    I freeze, my heart thudding fearfully. As the man takes a step forward, I take a step back. You trained for this Cynali, remember, this man killed Akiro and tried to drown you, I tell myself. A black pit of hatred grows in my heart. I draw up some water, ready to defend myself, but the man has dissapeared. I whirl around, expecting him to attack from any angle, when a pain suddenly rips through my body. I scream, and feel myself fall to my knees. I am being bloodbended. Every part of me hurts like fire, my muscles being pulled in every direction. Fresh tears spring into my eyes. Just let me die all ready, I beg inside my mind. Then the pain dulls, and I fall over onto my side. Why has he stopped? Then I see a rope of water lash the man in the back. Noatak? Why was he here? All I could do was watch, if I gathered my energy, maybe I could lash out in an explosive surprise attack. The man directed another water blast away from him and made the ice buckle under Noatak. He stumbled, but didn't fall over. The man directs a forceful blast of snow at him, but he dodges it easily. I remembered, he was Amon. It is hard to watch through the swirling blizzard, but I can make out their fighting shapes. Noatak's face looks so determined, it is actually a little scary. Then the man sticks out his hand. My eyes widen. It is over, I think. Noatak freezes, but continues to walk forward. How is he doing it? The man closes his fist though and Noatak winces, suddenly doubling over. I shakily pull myself to my feet. "No, it is not over yet" I murmur. I raise the ball over water over my head and shoot my ice spikes at the man. They miss, but one snags his hood and yanks it down. At first I don't recognize his face but it is familiar. Where had I seen him before? Then it snaps into place. It is Councilman Tarrlok. This didn't make sense! He was dead! I could only watch as he turned and fled, freezing his path to move faster. Then I ran over to Noatak. His face was twisted in pain. He tried walking but then fell to his knees, his face pale. "Noatak...what's wrong?" I asked him, my voice filled with fear. He looks at me and I feel as though I had been slapped. Twice. There was a small dot of blood in the corner of his mouth. Maybe he cut his lip? Then he coughs, and I see sticky red blood splatter on the snow. "No..." I whisper. I help Noatak get up and we slowly make our way too his tent. Jira is waiting. When she sees me helping Noatak, she gasps and puts her hands up to her mouth. "What happened?" She asks me quietly. "Tarrlok, he is the man that has been hurting ordinary innocent children" I gasp, my voice dripping with panic. "Not my Tarrlok..." she cries softly. We help Noatak into the tent. He is out cold. What is going to happen to him?, tears fill my eyes as I ask myself this. It is all my fault. No one has survived the Blood Plague. To be continued in the next result.....

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Hello hood

    This book was so good! I love every page . It had me wanting more and more , drama sex crime drugs the hood. I wish it didnt end like that. I wanted it too explain more. Im glad junior died. His nasty ass. He was the hoe of all hoes . I wish it didnt betray the hood like they the book you will love it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012


    The stories are so real and raw. Great beginning and now i must read the rest if the series

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Was recommeded by a friend!

    This book was great, but off to a slow start in my opinon. thought would have more drama just from the title, but in all ending was a shocker.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011


    I really enjoyed this Bentley Manor series, it was very exciting and a serious page turner. I'm hoping there is another book about Bentley Manor in the works. LOVED IT

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  • Posted July 20, 2011


    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted May 21, 2011

    I love it!

    It was a really good read. I did want to put it down.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    One of my co-workers found this book and put me back on a path to reading again. It is a page turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    Good interpretation of the Hood...

    Being raised in the hood, am always intrigued by books that talk about life in the projects, so I enjoyed this book. The only things missing was some sort of success story. There are folks who do make it out of the hood to become successful......but the book itself was true to form. Good reading - kept me interested throughout the entire book.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Read it 2 days

    I really enjoyed this book. If you grew up in the hood you can relate with the characters in the book. I would highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:


    this book is so good you just wont be able to put it down. when i first started to read i was like this book is kinda ggod. when i got to the end i had to see if the had part 2. this book is great =]

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A MUST READ!!!!!


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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read

    I absolutely LOVE this book! I read it in one day. I just couldn't put it down. The characters are so intriguing and just draw you completely into the book. Each character has her own story and each story is different, but yet related to all the others at the same time. The climax in this book is UNBELIEVABLE! It will definately have you with your mouth hanging open from complete shock.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    One of the best books that I ever read!!!

    This book was so good I couldn't put it down. I found myself really hoping these characters found their way through the tunnel of dispair. I really enjoyed this book and so did my mom. I am looking forward to the next book about Bently Manor.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    about this book

    im 22yrs old and i read this book over a year ago. when i started to read it,i couldnt put the book down for anything. it had you in suspense the whole time. im gonna go and get the book for my own personal use. i rate this book 5+ stars. it kept me on my toes. thanks ladies for giving us well me something good to read. it tells what happens in the everyday world. people who try to hate on it dont wanna realize that its happening all around us. keep doing what you all do.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It was OK!

    I started reading the books and thought the characters where ok. I dont like the same ol' same ol' out come of "every" character throughout the entire book, except one out of the 2 books. But if you like drama, this is the book for you.

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  • Posted February 13, 2009

    This was a bangah!

    I just bought this book yesterday 2/12/09 about 7pm and I was up until 2am finishing it. I couldn't put it down. The characters were like people I knew. Just depends on your level of entertainment,whether you think this book is good or not. I enjoyed every moment of reading it. Going today to buy the Shamelss Hoodwives and I hope it's even better than the deparate ones.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    OMG!!!!! this book was the bomb

    So women can be so dumb. And some women do the right things in life and bad things happens to them. Life goes on, always keep your eyes and ears open; ask yourself IS LIFE WORTH GETTING INTO A RELATIONSHIP TO RISK IT OR ENJOYING LIFE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY BEING HEALTHY WHOLESOME? Think about it,the next person is going to get theirs no matter what. Think about yourself, live your life and be happy without starting unneccessary baggage. this book was great I would recommend it, its a great lesson in life.Good luck.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    best story line

    This was one of the best books i have read in a long time. Wants you pick it up its hard to put down. Its like a real life ghetto soap opera. The characters and the story line make the book amazing. I hope the authors keep writing more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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