The Glamorous Life

( 95 )


The lure of Richmond, VA’s streets is too strong for Bambi, a good girl from the right side of the tracks, who fell in love with, Reggie, a young hustler. Her thug love not only corrupted her but blinded her with the bling and cash that come with living the glamorous life of a gangsta’s girl–until Reggie hit her with a low blow, crumbling her heart. From that day forward, Bambi vowed that whoever crossed her or anyone she loved would pay–usually in large bills.

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The Glamorous Life

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The lure of Richmond, VA’s streets is too strong for Bambi, a good girl from the right side of the tracks, who fell in love with, Reggie, a young hustler. Her thug love not only corrupted her but blinded her with the bling and cash that come with living the glamorous life of a gangsta’s girl–until Reggie hit her with a low blow, crumbling her heart. From that day forward, Bambi vowed that whoever crossed her or anyone she loved would pay–usually in large bills.

With the street knowledge she gleaned from her ex as well as her own business savvy, Bambi builds a multimillion-dollar party planning empire. Along the way she runs across all kinds of dudes who try to run massive amounts of game, and ultimately she becomes a first-rate swindler and top-notch gamestress in her own right. Then she crosses paths with Lynx, a young drug dealer who sees more in Bambi than the gold digger she is rumored to be. He methodically penetrates her shield layer by layer until he captures her heart. But is she just setting herself up to be played once again?

The #1 bestselling author of A Hustler’s Wife and A Project Chick, Nikki Turner gives up the game that could never be sold, only told.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Turner creates colorful, yet emotionally driven characters that captivate.  Despite the deceit, cruelty, hatred, and unspeakable wrongs, humanity maintains its presence in this glamorous life.”—Upscale

“A gritty street tale of a young woman who has to decide which is more important—money or love.”—Seattle Skanner

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345476838
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/26/2005
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 331,799
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Turner

Called the Queen of Hip-Hop Lit, Nikki Turner is the bestselling author of many novels, including Natural Born Hustler, Relapse, Ghetto Superstar, Black Widow, Forever a Hustler’s Wife, and Riding Dirty on I-95. She is the editor of the short story series Street Chronicles, which includes Backstage, Tales from da Hood, Girls in the Game, and Christmas in the Hood. One World launched her street-lit book line, “Nikki Turner Presents,” in Summer 2008, and it currently boasts such authors as Seven, Freeze, Styles P, and Dana Dane. Nikki Turner lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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Read an Excerpt

What’s Done in the Dark . . .
Will Come to the Light!

Hey, girl!” Egypt greeted Bambi with a hug as she stepped into the restaurant lobby. She handed her a drink—her favorite, a Passion-fruit Alizé. “You are never gonna believe all the people in that back room, and they are all here for you.”

Although she hadn’t let on to Reggie, Bambi had known he was throwing her a party, thanks to Egypt, her best friend since sixth grade. Reggie had asked for Egypt’s assistance not only in helping to pull the party together but also in selecting the five carat engagement ring. Too bad he never suspected that Egypt would consult with Bambi about which ring she wanted, and that was exactly the ring that Egypt selected for her friend. But Egypt made Bambi promise to act surprised when she arrived at the party.

As she looked around, Bambi couldn’t help but be touched by the effort Reggie had made. The restaurant had been beautifully decorated with what seemed to be thousands of white roses, their smell enveloping her as she looked around. Through out the lobby and all over the ballroom, there were enlarged pictures of the couple from their many travels, and also from their two-year journey from the ’hood where they’d met to their first apartment and finally to their personal paradise.

It took everything in her not to cry. She knew she couldn’t because she hadn’t applied waterproof makeup on her face.

“Now, you sure you want to go through with this?” Egypt asked, laughing.

“The party or the wedding?” Bambi asked with a straight face.

“Real funny, real funny.”

The party was already going crazy—there must have been about a hundred people in there, along with seafood buffet tables and three open bars. A DJ was playing “The Men All Pause,” that golden oldie by Klymaxx, and the guests had been liquoring up nicely at the open bar. At the sight of Bambi, the music stopped, and so did everything else, and Bambi could feel every set of eyes in the room glued on her, their smiles paying respect to the queen.

Bambi couldn’t believe all of the people who had blessed her with their appearance. She saw a man who was obviously Reggie’s dad. She had never met him before, and she was touched that he’d come all the way up from New Orleans. Of course her favorite cousin, Zonna, was there. But there were her friends and family there, too—folks Reggie didn’t even know but somehow had managed to invite, like her Grandma Ellie.

Grandma Ellie was her mother’s mother, and when Bambi was growing up, Grandma Ellie was her only ticket to the free world. She’d loved to go over to her grandmother’s house. It was there she got to let her hair down and have fun. Grandma Ellie wasn’t snobby at all, unlike the rest of her mother’s friends or anyone that Tricia had let into the invisible bubble that surrounded Bambi. Grandma Ellie had always been the one to keep things in order when Tricia was out of whack. For the old lady to be anywhere other than church this time of night was a miracle in itself.

Grandma Ellie put her hands on both Bambi’s arms. “Let me look at you. You look so perty. I’m so happy for you, baby. He better treat you right.” Just then Bambi felt a pair of hands slide over her eyes.

“Is that my prince? Is that you, baby?” She knew it was. She could smell his Issey Miyake cologne, and, boy, did it smell good!

When Reggie removed his hands, she turned around to face him. Ummp, ummp, ummp! Lord have mercy, could thugged out Reggie rock a suit or what? It was a crisp white Armani double-breasted suit, hemmed perfectly to lie well over his shoes, with a white pimp-daddy hat cocked a little to the side over his white do-rag, which covered his neatly braided cornrows. Reggie had his collar pulled up to try to camouflage the scratch on his neck from the squabble earlier, but she noticed it anyway. Ulll, she thought. Thinking of the pain that scratch must have caused turned her stomach, but that only lasted a moment because seeing him done up so nice made her wet between the legs. For a second she thought about pulling him to the ladies’ room to hop on his dick real quick, but then she remembered that she’d have him for a lifetime.

“May I have this dance?” He extended his hand to her and smiled with his gold teeth glistening.

“Yes, you may,” she said with a smile, giving him her hand as they took to the dance floor. Reggie usually just stood against the wall and nodded his head. Tonight was different. He knew Bambi loved to dance, and tonight and from this day forward her wish would be his command.

The DJ began to play Tony! Toni! Tone!’s “Anniversary.” Straight old-school all of the way. Could things be any more perfect?

After the song was over, someone tapped her on her shoulder. “May I cut in and have this dance with your handsome man?” Bambi was surprised at the voice. It was her mother, and although she hadn’t seen her mother in months, as always she was as clean as the board of health. She had on a soft pink Chanel suit with the shoes, hat, and bag to match. It didn’t even matter to Bambi that her uptight mother was tipsy as hell. Bambi knew she had not only had a few drinks but she had probably dropped a Valium or something to have her so laid-back and relaxed.

She hugged her mother and said, “Thank you so much for coming, Mommy! I’m so glad you are here with me.”

“I would not have missed this for the world! Now, baby, go to the restroom and fix your makeup because your forehead is glowing, and let me get my dance on with my future son-in-law,” Tricia said, speaking with perfect composure the entire time and holding her breath as she looked directly into her daughter’s eyes.

Bambi went to the bathroom to check her face. When Bambi was growing up, her mother had made her go to Sunday school and church every week. Since she had gotten with Reggie, she wasn’t as religious, but looking in the mirror, she said a silent prayer: Lord, God up in heaven, I just want to take this time to thank you for showing me all the signs and for giving me a reason not to walk away from this relationship. God, you know all about my problems with this man, how I was holding on to my sanity for dear life while he was in jail. Thank you, Lord, for revealing the big picture to me and, most importantly, for helping me maintain my peace of mind. And had this not worked out, Lord, I knew you had my back as long as I was steadfast. God, I could go on thanking you all night because you do so much for me. But I am going to keep this short and sweet! In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Bambi hurried and washed her hands. When she exited the bathroom door, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Some dude was standing right in front of her, blocking her path, wearing the very same sweater she had on: an N. T. Original, cut from the same cloth.

Ain’t this some shit? I thought these sweaters were handmade and one of a kind. To top it off, how dare somebody show up at my party trying to outshine the queen herself. But whatever—it’s cool because it’s my night and can’t nobody, and I mean nobody, take my shine away from me. It’s a whole bunch of divas up in here tonight but I am “that diva,” and everybody here knows it, too.

It was a whole lot easier to forgive a man than a woman. Now, if some chick would have come stepping into “her” party wearing “her” sweater, words would have never been exchanged. The only thing she would have said was, “Security get this imposter up out of here.”

The dude had a nice build on him, caramel complexion, hair neatly braided to the back. His linen pants fell perfectly over his Italian loafers, and he was wearing that sweater well, to the point she just had to compliment him. “I really love that sweater, and you’re wearing the hell out of it, too.”

The guy just glared at her. “You just ought to, ’cause your man bought it for me.”

“What did you say?” She knew her ears must have heard wrong.

“You heard me. Your man bought this for me, and everything else he buys or has bought for you—guess what, Boo?—he buys one for me, too.”

“What?” Bambi could barely get the word out.

“That’s right. You heard me, Ms. Two,” he said, jabbing a finger in her face. “I said ‘your man.’ That’s right, yo man, Boo, is in love with me!” The tone of his voice lifted as he dropped the bombshell in her lap. “Your man be laying pipe all up in me, and I slobs the hell out of his knob on a regular, Boo. When I say regularly, I mean just that. But to clear the smoke in the air, I mean seven days a week, and twice on Sundays.”

Bambi couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Who the hell are you?”

“Jack, but you can call me . . . Jackie, beeaaiiitch.”

“Now, I know you just didn’t say what I thought you said,” Bambi said, getting hot.

“Look, let me give it to you in plain ol’ English, because you act like I am speaking Spanish. What I’m saying is that your man’s a homo-thug!” he said, twisting his neck. She was so close to him she could smell the Big Red gum on his breath, which he had the nerve to use to blow into a bubble in her face.

He continued. “And every time you kiss him, you are sucking my dick or eating my ass.” He ended that statement with a snap of the finger as if he was reading her. Now, that last comment snapped Bambi out of her trance, and she did what was natural for her to do. She drew back without even blinking or thinking twice and popped him one right in the jaw. It never dawned on her that she wasn’t fighting an average chick. She was indeed fighting a man, and while her blow might have been hard enough to send a big woman to her knees, it only made Jack, or Jackie, or however the hell he liked to be addressed,stumble a little, but not enough to lose his balance.

Before Jack could retaliate, Egypt appeared. That girl had a sixth sense when it came to Bambi and always had her back. Egypt didn’t hear the exact content of the conversation, but truthfully, she didn’t care the least bit. She just knew by the astonishment written all over Bambi’s face that whatever it was, it wasn’t nothing nice.

Egypt began to pummel him, and Bambi threw a hell of an uppercut; and Jack began to scream, falling to his knees. Bambi tried to stomp him, but Jack pulled her to the floor and somehow grabbed Bambi’s long, flowing hair, holding on to it for dear life.

The three of them were rolling around on the floor making a commotion when Reggie and some of the guests heard them and hurried into the hallway.

A couple big fellas pried the girls off Jack. They had beaten him around pretty good. One of them turned to Reggie, laughing. “Damn man, what type of shit you into, Reggie? Hope you know what to do with all of that.”

Reggie didn’t smile. He pretended not to notice Jack, giving no indication of their relationship. “Security, get this man the fuck up out of here,” Reggie said as one of his homeboys got the crowd under control and sent everybody back inside of the restaurant.

“Redddggie, oh no, you didn’t say have this man removed! You wasn’t saying that three hours ago when you was laying pipe all up in me.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Reggie demanded, giving Jack an evil look.

“Reggie, please tell me it isn’t so,” Bambi said, with hurt written all across her face. With all her heart, she wanted to believe that this was all some type of cruel joke.

“Look, I can explain! We’ll talk about this later.”

“Bitch!” Bambi uttered, as she spit in Reggie’s face. “Tell me he’s lying.”

“Baby, I said we gonna talk about this later. There really ain’t no need to make no scene,” Reggie pleaded to Bambi. Bambi saw guilt written all over his face. Before he knew it, he felt the smack from her Gucci high heel cluck the side of his face.

“Oh, hell no. We ain’t escorting a soul up out of here. We are going to get all this BS in the open because it’s just that! Bullshit!” Bambi shouted almost at the top of her lungs.

Reggie was cold busted, and so he did what any coward would do in his shoes. He punched Jack dead in the face.

“You lying ma’fucka,” Reggie shouted. But Bambi knew it was just an act.

Jack fell to his knees with tears dropping from his eyes.

“Oh, this is beautiful. Just such a great part of the entertainment, Reggie, but tonight the entertainment is on me!” On that note, Bambi stormed off.

Reggie tried to follow Bambi, but Egypt pushed him out of the way and followed closely behind her.

“Girl,” Egypt said, “that was an Oscar-winning performance, and I can tell this definitely isn’t the time for a commercial.”

Bambi got to the closed door that led into the grand ballroom. As she stopped in her tracks, she turned around to ask Egypt, “Is my face a’ight to go in here in front of all these folks?”

Egypt simply grabbed a napkin from a nearby lobby podium. She spit on the napkin a little and wiped the blood off of Bambi’s face and combed through Bambi’s hair with her fingers to try to get it back in order as best as she could. That’s when Reggie walked up.

“Look, Bambi, we can work this out. I invited you here to ask you to marry me. I love you,” Reggie pleaded.

“Love? You brought me here to marry me? You think I want to marry a freaking bitch with a damn dick?”

“Ouch,” Egypt said, looking at Reggie with a smirk.

“I’m not wit that gay stuff,” Bambi continued. “I mean, let’s be real. What could I do for you now? I mean, come on now, jump in any time. How and where do I start to compete with a man? There is no competition, and I am not even going there with you.”

Reggie dropped his head in shame as Bambi went to put the icing on the cake. She pushed the doors open and began to search for her prey. Misery loved company, and if she was hurt, a whole bunch of other people were going to leave there feeling her pain. She scanned the room like a surveillance camera. She walked toward her potential target as Reggie trailed behind her begging her not to make a scene. Bambi didn’t care about making a scene. Hell, the damage was already done. Her night was ruined; the good life that she had worked so hard for was gone down the drain, thrown out of the window, and flushed down the damn toilet. It was no turning back now. Bambi was the victim and hadn’t done anything wrong but been a fool for love.

“Bambi, please, don’t do this. Please don’t embarrass yourself,” Reggie pleaded with tears in his eyes.

He had no idea what she had up her sleeve.

“Oh, it’s not for me to be embarrassed, and I don’t care if these people know or not, but there is one person I want to know—yo damn momma!”

At that very moment, she walked up to Reggie’s mother, Dot. Dot was on the dance floor doing a combination of the old-school dances—the robot and the funky chicken—having a jolly old time with her ex-husband.

“What’s wrong, Bambi? Is everything okay?” Reggie’s dad asked.

I feel like asking him, Do everything look okay? This is even better, a father to feel the pain of his son being gay. There will be someone coming out of this more hurt than me.

“Hellll nah! No! Everything’s not okay. I just found out that your son is fucking men now. He’s gay, a fucking faggot.”

“What?” he said, more confused than angry.

Before she could explain further, Ms. Dot looked at Bambi with deep sincerity, took her into her arms, and pulled her tight to her bosom as only a mother could comfort a child. “I am sorry you had to find out like this,” Dot whispered in Bambi’s ear. For the first time that night, Bambi let loose the tears she’d been holding back. But then she realized what Ms. Dot had said and started to get very angry. How could Ms. Dot, a woman just like she was, who had claimed to love her like the daughter she’d never had, withhold such a heart-wrenching secret from her? How long had they expected this charade to go on? Did they not think that such a skeleton would ever fall out of the closet? Hadn’t Ms. Dot heard of that saying: “What’s done in the dark will always come to the light?”

Bambi pushed away from Ms. Dot and did something she’d wanted to do from the first day she had met her, but would never have dared to do till now. She reached over and snatched off that funky-looking wig that Ms. Dot was certain made her look like Foxy Brown but which actually made her look like Foxy Clown. Bambi wanted to make her feel as humiliated as she herself felt.

As she tossed the wig on the floor and turned to go, she realized it was going to be a long time before her broken heart mended!

Bambi lay in her hotel suite crying, mascara everywhere, still wearing her party outfit, when she heard a knock on the door. She didn’t want to answer, but whoever was knocking wasn’t going to leave her alone. Finally, Bambi got out of bed and was surprised to see Tricia with a bottle of Dom Perignon in a bucket on ice.

“Do you mind if I join you?” Tricia said. Her voice was a little slurred, but she wasn’t too far gone.

“Come on. Just don’t tell me ‘I told you so.’ Because, Ma, I can’t take it right now.”

Tricia kicked her shoes off and pulled up a chair in front of the bed. “Look, baby, I know this is not what you expected to come out of tonight, but better you know now than ten years from now.”

“I know, Mom.”

Tricia popped open the bottle and poured champagne for herself and Bambi. “Over the years I’ve seen you and your grandma look at me sideways because I’ve only been interested in a man’s possessions. Well, in all your years have you ever seen me cry over a man?”

Bambi looked at her mother and then shook her head no.

“Do you know why?”

Bambi was silent as she looked at her mother and waited to hear what she had to say.

“I was never emotionally attached to those men, just to their bank account. I loved what they had, what they could give me. And when the money ran out, there was nothing for me to like about them.” She added, “To sum it up, when the money was gone, I was gone.”

“You don’t have to tell me all of this, Ma.”

“I know, baby, but it’s important,” she said, pouring herself another drink. “I need you to make me a promise. I need you to promise that you’re never gonna give a man your heart again.”

“The way I feel right now, I could kill every man in sight.”

“No sense hurting them physically, baby. You already done enough of that tonight. Next time you hurt them, do it where it hurts . . . in their pockets!”

For the next few weeks, Bambi would play those words over and over in her mind, time and time again!

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First Chapter

The Glamorous Life

By A Nikki Turner Original

Random House

A Nikki Turner Original
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0345476832

Chapter One

Chapter 1

When You Look . . . You Won't Find

There are two kinds of girls: those who like thugs, and those who lie to themselves and think they don't. As Bambi lay on the king-sized bed in her room, looking at a gold-framed picture of her and Reggie, she thought, Damn I love this motherfucka. I never felt more right about nothing in my whole life.

All of the sacrificing she had done for Reggie had finally paid off. Just a day short of their two-year anniversary it was going to be official: They could start planning the rest of their lives together, like a normal married couple.

Ringggggg, Ringgggg, Ringggg.

The jangling sound of the phone caught Bambi off guard. She located it beneath her oversized terrycloth bathrobe, looked at the caller ID, and saw that it was Reggie on the line. Even his call sent chills up her spine.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hey, baby,” he purred. “You gon' be looking good for me tonight?”

Even after all of this time, the sound of Reggie's voice still did something to her. Thinking about how good he made her feel sometimes scared Bambi a little and made her feel weak.

“Have I ever disappointed you?” she asked as she looked in the mirror and imagined how gorgeous she was going to look later—although truth be told, she didn't look too bad even without makeup. She was dark skinned with slanted eyes, five feet seven, with long firm legs and a Coke-bottle figure. Her straight shiny coal black hair grew past her shoulders.

“Boo, straight up I don't think you would know how, and that's from the heart,” he said. “Anyway, I just wanted to make sure everything was a'ight.”

Bambi could sense something else in his voice. “I'm good, baby. I just need to know that you're okay?”

“I'm good, Boo. I just had to get some shit straight. This mark-ass nigga owed me some money, and when I got over there, don't you know this nigga came with some short money?”

“For real?”

“Yup, matter fact, dude was a few thousand short. Me and him got da rumbling and that bitch-ass nigga had the nerve to scratch me on my fucking neck and shit.”

“Oh, my God! Baby, are you all right?” Bambi asked. She knew he could fight, but she also knew how cruddy dudes were on the street.

“I'm a'ight, I'm just going to put some peroxide on it. This shit just got me running all behind schedule. I'm going to need you to meet me at that restaurant at the Brander Mill Inn. Don't forget I want you to wear that sweater I had specially made for you, the N.T. Original.”

“I know, baby. I'll see you in about an hour and a half then?”

“That's cool, and make sho it's an hour and a half and not two. I know you and time,” Reggie teased before hanging up the phone.

Chicks better understand that tonight is my night, Bambi thought to herself. This is the night my man gives it all up for me! The streets, the quick money, the dope slaying, the late nights, and the whole nine yards. He's going to stand in a room, in front of all our friends and family, confess his love to me, slip a fat engagement ring on my finger, and look into my eyes and wait for me to say yes to him. And everybody knows I'm not going to say no. See, everybody thought I was crazy in the beginning. Not me. I knew it was love at first sight straight from jump!

Two years earlier Bambi had been out running errands for her mother on a hot July afternoon. Frustrated with the traffic and a “to-do” list almost a mile long, Bambi hopped off the expressway. After taking a shortcut, Bambi found herself in one of the busiest crack-slaying corners in Virginia's capital city and smack dead in the middle of a dangerous housing project. The closest she had ever gotten to this side of town was when she visited her grandmother, who lived in one of Richmond's oldest historic neighborhoods. When she went to Grandma's house, it was always during daylight hours and she was never allowed to play outside. So before that day she had only seen this side of town from the highway or during News Six television crime reports. Seeing it up close, she found herself mesmerized by all the excitement going on around her.

The area was like a small village within the city. Three-story apartment buildings lined both sides of the streets, some with clothes hanging over the balcony. The once-yellow buildings were now covered with dirt and graffiti. She read the words “Boo is a slut” and “Kiki was here” scrawled in huge letters across one wall.

The hustle and bustle of the area was a sight to see. As she sat at the stop sign, which had black writing all over it, she noticed a braiding shop to the left. Well “shop” may have been a bit of an overstatement. A girl was getting her hair braided in a black and faded gold lacquer chair on somebody's front porch while two other girls sat waiting their turns. One swung two white plastic bags of horse hair in her hands. To the right there was another girl walking down the street in a hoochied-up outfit. The black and gold striped shorts should not have been worn by anyone but Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. The short black fringes were the only thing that kept the cheeks of her butt from being visible, and an enormous amount of cleavage spilled out of her too-small halter top. The way she strutted in those platform shoes made it clear the outfit wasn't intended for daylight.

A yellow school bus with the words “Meals on Wheels Snack Truck” was parked on the side of the street, and a crowd of children in the neighborhood were huddled around it. One guy stood at the front of the line passing Popsicles to all of the children. A grown man rode around on a child's bike, and a woman on her knees behind a Dumpster gave a blow job to a young boy who didn't look old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Bambi took all this in as she drove. When she pulled up to a red light, a tall, skinny, light-skinned dude with a mouthful of gold teeth walked up to the car and asked, “Yo, shawdy, you looking?” He spoke slowly with a deep down-South drawl.

Bambi looked him over, from head to toe. She knew she should have been afraid; but he was very handsome, and the whole atmosphere kind of excited her.

“Do I look like a mother-fucking junkie?” she asked, knowing good and well that he was a drug dealer, and she wanted him to know that she was hip.

The dude answered, “Nah, shawdy, I wasn't asking if you was looking for no drugs, I was asking was you looking for me?”

Bambi looked him up and down again like he was crazy and said with as much attitude and spunk as she could, “Nooo, I wasn't looking for you either. And I would have thought a dude thinking himself as cool as you think you are could have or would have come at me with a better line than that one.”

He nodded his head and smiled. “Well, they say when you ain't looking, you find. And sometimes it ain't the line, it's the nigga's style that attracts.”

Bambi tried to hide the little smirk on her face, but she was enjoying his come-on and he knew it.

“Look, baby, I ain't catch yo digits,” he said.

“Maybe because I didn't throw 'em,” Bambi said.

Just then a Datsun with what sounded like a hole in the muffler rolled up beside them. A toothless, scary-looking lady with the short of a cigarette in her hand hung her head out the window. She had no shame in her game.

“Yo Reddggie,” she slurred as slobber ran out of her mouth. “I got seven dollars, can you work wit that?”

“Hold on, I'm coming. Just pull over there and cut that loud-ass car off before you make this block hotter than this shit already is,” Reggie responded.

Bambi gave him a look, saying nothing. Reggie could sense her awkwardness, but before he could smooth over what had just taken place, two dudes rode up on a bicycle: one was pedaling and the other was on the handlebars.

“Reggie, man, we struggling badder than I don't know what. Look, we ain't got but twelve dollars in quarters, can you look out real decent for us?” the rider on the handlebars asked.

Reggie just shook his head. “Man, what the fuck I'm gonna do wit forty-eight quarters jingling round in my pockets?” He smacked his lips. Bambi could tell he didn't want to let that money get away from him. “Damn man, I got y'all. Just park and gon' head in da store and get me some dollars for all the gotdamn change.”

Just as he said that, a little boy who didn't look old enough to be out of elementary school, apparently working as a spotter up the block, put both of his hands around his mouth and called out, “Yo, Regg, five-oh coming through the cut!”

Reggie looked Bambi in her eyes. “Look, give me yo digits. I'm going to remember it, cuz the police coming and I am dirty as a fat baby's shitty ass.”

She called out her number to him as she pulled off.

“A'ight baby, I am going to hit you up in a li'l while,” he yelled, and then took off running into someone's house.

As Bambi continued her mother's errands, she couldn't help thinking about Reggie. Most girls who had lived such a sheltered life with an overprotective mother would have been scared off, would have run as far as they could get from the whole scenario of the 'hood—the crack heads, dope fiends, the scary-looking whores out tricking, willing to sell their body, their temple, their prized possession for a rock (they would suck the devil's dick for a quick escape from the pain and misery), not to mention the police running through the cut—but not Bambi. She wasn't the average suburban girl from the Valley. This life excited her and got her blood pumping, her heart beating, and her adrenaline rushing. Her own life had always been so safe. She liked the feeling of desperation that the streets offered, but her mother had done everything in her power to keep her away from that lifestyle. Bambi saw Reggie as a conduit to feed her desire to know and to experience life firsthand.

Bambi was naïve, but she was far from stupid. No matter how much her mother sheltered her and kept her tight under lock and key, Bambi had a thirst for excitement, drama, and living on the edge. She could tell exactly what kind of hustler Reggie was from his gold chain down to his brand-spanking-new Air Jordans. She had read enough and heard enough to know that the real drug lords lived in Colombia or were vacationing on a yacht somewhere or held a powerful position in the government, and no matter how much the police raided the projects, it would never stop the real problem with drugs.

Bambi figured that Reggie was a small-time hustler. He hustled for tennis shoes, hotel money, and rims for his hooptied-out Cadillac. His pockets were bulging because he probably carried every penny he owned around in his pocket in a wad of cash. She was intrigued with the way people tracked him down for his product. Just from that brief meeting, there was one thing of which Bambi was certain: This dude was hungry and determined, and from what little she could see or feel in her gut, he had the potential to go from being a nickel-and-dime hustling shorty to becoming “the Man” one day! By the way he dictated authority over his surroundings she felt that his domain should be larger than just a few measly street blocks.

He was also fine as all outdoors, the kind of man who could make any chick want to get up the nerve to smack her mother. Reggie stood six feet tall. He was light skinned with three gold teeth on the bottom and three on the top of his mouth. He was thin, and his oversized Levi jeans hung off his butt. She could tell by his sideburns that they were not artificial waves under his black do-rag. When she looked down at his shoes, he was definitely in. He wore the new Air Jordans that came out that day.

The phone rang as Bambi returned home. She hurried across the foyer to the hall and picked it up.

“Hey, how you doing? This is Reggie.”

Bambi looked around for her mother. Thankfully, she was nowhere to be seen. Bambi tried to sound relaxed: “Oh, hey, Reggie. How you doing?”

“I'm cool, but look you're going to kill me.”


“Because I never caught your name.”

“It's Bambi, and don't even ask me how my momma came up with it.”

Reggie laughed. “How did she come up with it?”

“A deer hit my dad's car when he was on the way to the hospital. So, my mom thought it would be cute to name me Bambi.” Of course, that was the only time her sorry excuse for her father had gone out of his way to see her.

Reggie laughed, then cut to the chase. “Look, come and scoop me up so we can go eat.”

“I don't have a car right now; the car I was driving was my mother's. Don't you have a car?” Bambi asked.

“I got a Cadi. You might have seen it parked on the corner. Da police is round here deep, and I ain't got no license so I can't go nowhere.”

It was funny how in every single 'hood in Richmond, every hustler's first car is a Cadi. Bambi learned later that it makes no difference to the young, up-and-coming drug dealers what year or style. It could be ten years old, and they would invest in rims and a stereo system that cost more than the whole car. Seventy-five percent of the time the first car that they hustle for is a Cadi. They are so proud of that car, taking it to the car wash damn near every day. It was once said that a Cadi made a brother feel like he had status in the drug or pimp world. Some move on to Benzes, BMWs and Lexuses but most never lose their love affairs with the Cadi and always have one around.

“How you got a nice-ass Cadi, suited all up with rims and everything and no license?”

“Baby, that's just ‘the Life.' Rich girls like you wouldn't know nothing about it,” Reggie said.

“Yeah, whatever,” Bambi said with a little chuckle.

“Look, we could talk all night, but how about you give me your address so I can have my driver pick you up.”

His driver? Bambi liked the way that sounded.


Excerpted from The Glamorous Life by A Nikki Turner Original Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 95 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 96 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2007

    I enjoyed the book

    I really did enjoy the book, but almost did not get it after reading the reviews on this board. I would also have been upset at the ending b/c it just leave you hanging, but before this book i read Forever a Hustlers Wife, and it introduce Yarni'A Huslters wife, and Forever A Hustlers wife' and it continues with Bambi and Lynx.. So to all who have read this book and is wondering what happen to Bambi, Loot'chee, Unique and Lynx i suggest you read Forever a Hustlers Wife. All in all I thought it was a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Love this book

    Love this book great story very well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013


    I give this book 5stars i love this and also why havent you brought out a part two to the black widow i just cant wait for part two to black widow .ms carmell

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    Big fan

    I love to read actually just finished a book and I can honestly say I like all of Nikki books I can not wait for part 2 of Natural Born Hustler

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Definitely not as good as the description portrays!

    The book is rather boring and does not leave the reader with much suspense...very typical story-line

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2012

    Not bad - just not my interest

    My first nikki turner book. Some parts were interesting; some just very foreign to me. It looks like this book has a sequel around the corner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Is a must u read

    Love it keep them coming nikki your one of my favorite writers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Wondering about a Pt.2

    Enjoyed this novel by Nikki Turner she is one of my favorite authors I always enjoy reading anything by her they keep you hooked. Waiting for a Pt.2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Great book


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Loved it.

    Nikki Turner is one of the best!!!!!

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Love it!!

    Nikki did it again...Love this book and it is amazing how her characters from "A Hustler's Wife" and even "Black Widow" are tied together! A must read...that goes for all her books!!!

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Good book

    My first book by Nikki Turner. Read it on my Nook! Good book had its moments where there were missing pieces but mostly good book. Hope i can find another good one.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    great book

    excellent book wished it were a part 2!!!

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  • Posted December 16, 2010


    WOW.i love this book.this book would have you all in the feel like you are the one in-it..i read this book in one day i just couldn't stop or go to bed.i would tell mysefe ok i am going to stop in this chat.and get up in the midde of the night and start reading agian that what a good book would do to u

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2010

    Another Great Read From Ms. Turner

    This was the second Nikki Turner book I read and I loved it. What I appreciate about the author is that is that she brings the same characters back from previous books. They're not gone forever but we get a chance to see what's new with them and see where their life is. Nikki's character's are so life like that you sort of get attach to them w/the exception of Lootchee. I never wanna see this cat again. He's just foul.

    Overall if its a rainy day or you just need time to kill this book is one you should pick up and read. Nikki's a great writer.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Guide To Charging it to the Game

    This was a thrilling book that made me want to secretly do some of the things she was doing :) I have my husband reading it now...

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    glamerous life

    i loved this book. after purchasing it, i read in 2 days!
    i coudnt keep my head out. i had to know what was coming next!

    if your in the glamerous life, u will love this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 12, 2008

    I Also Recommend:


    I love this book its so true so real. While reading this story it was like I visually was living the main character. This book is so good I literally read this book in 2 days.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2007

    Very Good!

    I enjoyed this book. Good story about Bambi and Lynx. I recommend this book. Not bad!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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