Heartbreak of a Hustler's Wife [NOOK Book]


Long live the Queen of Hip Hop Lit! 
Nikki Turner is back with another explosive, page-turning sequel to her #1 bestselling novels A Hustler’s Wife and Forever a Hustler’s Wife.

Yarni Taylor is a successful corporate attorney who wants nothing more than for her husband, Des, to renounce his hustlin’ ways and commit to his life as a pastor—especially after ...
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Heartbreak of a Hustler's Wife

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Long live the Queen of Hip Hop Lit! 
Nikki Turner is back with another explosive, page-turning sequel to her #1 bestselling novels A Hustler’s Wife and Forever a Hustler’s Wife.

Yarni Taylor is a successful corporate attorney who wants nothing more than for her husband, Des, to renounce his hustlin’ ways and commit to his life as a pastor—especially after someone tries to kill him. But Des isn’t ready to abandon his old habits just yet. He has to find out who is behind the murder attempt, and he wonders if the brazen robbery that took place during one of his church services is related in any way. But before he or Yarni can regain their footing, a young woman shows up on their doorstep—Desember Day, the eighteen-year-old daughter Des never knew he had. And, unfortunately, she takes after her father, so trouble isn’t far behind. 

With their lives on the line, Yarni must sacrifice everything and take it out of the office and back to the streets to save her husband and her family from their checkered but intricately connected pasts.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the fourth installment of Turner's bestselling series (after Forever a Hustler's Wife), hustler Desmond "Des" Taylor has found a new gig raking in the money as head of the Good Life Ministry, to the dismay of his wife, Yarni. Not only does the once-wild hustler's wife have moral qualms, but as an attorney, she's gaining a new respect for the consequences of crime. Then masked men hold up a church service, gun down one of Des's closest associates, and force his accountant to wire them million. Threats also mount against Yarni, their young daughter, and Des's mother, in violation of the gangsta code. Meanwhile, his previously unsuspected 18-year-old daughter turns up and announces she needs to move in with them. Turner has a gift for making her offbeat characters both sympathetic and memorable, and her entertaining series deserves to break out beyond its core urban lit readership. Author tour. (May)
From the Publisher
“Few writers working in the field today bring the drama [like] Nikki Turner. . . . [She’s] a master at weaving juicy, ’hood-rich sagas of revenge, regret, and redemption.”—Vibe, on Forever a Hustler’s Wife
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345526403
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 66,887
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Nikki Turner
Nikki Turner
“Forever a Hustler’s Wife is one of the most-anticipated sequels of this century. Nikki Turner has once again taken street literature to the next level, further proving that she is indeed ‘The Queen of Hip Hop Fiction.’”

“Always surprising, Nikki Turner’s prose moves like a Porsche, switching gears from tender to vicious in an instant.”
–50 Cent
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Read an Excerpt


The Good Life

Yarni mingled with the congregation of the Good Life Ministry, which was one of her many obligations as first lady of the church. As she looked around at the lavish décor, her heart started to melt. This church was her husband's vision, and if she hadn't known any better, it was something that God had bestowed upon Des.

The transformation from super grocery store to megachurch was spectacular. Everything about the place was nothing less than first class and Des had spared no expense bringing his vision to life. The stained glass windows were imported from Europe, while the hand- crafted padded pews were adorned with intricately carved arms and backrests. There were at least twenty 80-inch plasma television monitors affixed to the walls throughout the sanctuary to assure everyone the experience of virtual front-row seating. The pulpit was a huge stage fit for a Grammy Award-winning artist. To the lower right of the pulpit is where the church musicians assembled. Yarni was proud of what her husband had built, and she was equally ashamed of the blood money that funded it.

For most of his life, her husband, Des, had been a stone-cold hustler, so it didn't amaze Yarni when, three and a half years ago, he came up with the idea to create the Good Life Ministry as a means to make and launder money. He had realized that the dope game was becoming a game for suckers. Des was sure he had it all figured out: churches didn't have to pay taxes and there was no way to monitor how much money they took in. People were lost and confused and needed answers about why things in the world and their communities were as messed up as they were. Once Des witnessed an ordained, Bible-toting pastor pimp the pulpit at his nephew's funeral, he was convinced that the church game wasn't difficult. All one needed was a fresh pair of gators, a few scriptures under their belt and a hell of a talk game. Well, Des had two of the three on lockdown, and learning the Bible inside and out didn't take him long at all.

In the beginning, Yarni didn't approve and was furious about Des making a mockery of people's faith, but she eventually realized her opinion wasn't going to change his mind. So she repented every day for her husband's sins and made Des promise to do good by the church if he insisted on going through with his unholy plan. As always, he exceeded her expectations. He took the devil's money and shared it with God's people, becoming a blessing to all those in need. He paid bills for those who had gotten behind, bought air conditioners for the elderly in the summer, school supplies for the kids, made Thanksgiving and Christmas jump off for the less fortunate, sponsored summer trips for the kids, donated trucks of food and offered 24-hour child care for working mothers. On top of all that, he even built housing for the homeless. His example of giving was outstanding and his rapidly growing congregation respected and loved him for his contributions to the underdog. He made the Good Life Ministry a necessity, a movement, where they took care of their own and the neighborhood.

The ex-junkies and drug dealers could relate to him. They understood, adored and cheered him on. They weren't fooled into believing he was a reborn saint nor did he ever try to swindle them into thinking that. He had simply shared his past, his testimony, with the people. Just in case anybody tried to dig up unturned dirt on him, he'd practically handed them the shovel. The fewer secrets a man has . . . the less likely a chance of those secrets being revealed.

Des was the first to admit he wasn't an angel who had fallen down from Heaven. But what made him stand out from other preachers was that he was giving at a time when everyone else seemed to be taking. That made him a savior in his sheep's eyes.

A third of the congregation was made up of older members. The elderly people had joined Des's church because it reminded them of the old days when a neighborhood church actually stood for something. Most new churches seemed to start out in the hood, but as soon as the going got good, they started a building fund to move the church as far away as they could. Des had no intentions of uprooting his ministry. The hood was where it was at.

The laid-back, come-as-you-are atmosphere of the largest ministry south of the James River welcomed all races, religions and lifestyles. The message was inclusiveness, and the practice was giving. The leaders and congregation prayed for God to bless them so abundantly that they'd be a blessing to someone else. From housewife to prostitute to professional-all were welcome with open arms, and many accepted the invitation to praise life . . . the Good Life.

"That dress you're wearing is off the chain." Yarni turned to find out where the compliment was coming from and spied a smiling twenty- something year old girl. She was one of the newer members. "I hope I'm not being too intrusive by asking where you got that bad mam-ma-jama."

Yarni thought the girl was attractive in a stripper sort of way with her high heels and tight-fitting skirt. She recalled having spoken to her once or twice before, but for the life of her, she couldn't remember the girl's name. Rebecca? Rosetta? Rhonda? Rosalyn? Robin? She tried to recollect but kept coming up empty.

The girl stood out because every single time Yarni saw her at the church, she was attached to the arm of a different older man. However, on this particular day, the guy she was playing arm candy to was a little younger than the others had been. There was one thing Yarni could give props to when it came to the young woman's suitors: each and every one of them was always as clean as a first-rate operating room. The smug-looking fella she was with this Sunday wore a dark, nicely cut suit, cashmere overcoat and a black fedora angled low over his eyes.

"Thank you very much," Yarni said graciously. "It wouldn't be a bother at all. Actually, a good friend of mine from New York made it. She also designed the one Desi is wearing."

The girl's eyes shot to Yarni's daughter, little Desi, who as if on cue with the cutest snaggle-toothed smile gave a half twirl, side to side, and a curtsey to better model the outfit.

"Oh she's so adorable and such a little lady," the young lady cooed.

"Thank you," Desi said. The child beamed, beating her mother to the punch before Yarni could accept the compliment on her behalf.

Yarni smiled at Desi and then at the nameless promiscuously dressed hootchie and said, "The next time we run into each other, I'll try to have the designer's number for you. And hopefully that'll be next Sunday. You will be back to fellowship with us, won't you?"

"By all means," the young lady assured her.

"For now, though, I'm sure Des has a right-on-time word to give this Sunday. So welcome and thank you and your guest for coming. We're so happy to have you here."

The nameless hootchie thanked Yarni and then worked her four-inch heels across the glass-polished floor of the open foyer to take her seat with the new fella. Yarni continued to share small talk and pleasantries with a few other church members until she saw the musicians taking their places. That was her cue to take her designated seat on the fifth row behind the deacons and deaconess.

As soon as she was seated, the choir began to take their places around the church in preparation for a grand entrance. The mass choir had been putting it down since Des formed the Good Life Ministry. Everyone expected them to set the atmosphere with their anointed gift to sing praises unto the Lord. In fact, a lot of the devoted congregation mostly came to hear them perform.

When the musicians cued up, all movement and talking ceased, and the choir started to enter. They wore beautiful green and gold robes with the letters GLM embossed along the left side.

Yarni thought about the conversation she and Des had had that morning.

"Just remember, Des, you are playing a dangerous game, not just with the people of the church, but with God. And know, God can be your best friend or your worst enemy!"

Yarni could see in Des's face that her words tore at him like daggers. For a single instant she thought they just might be the words to give him the change of heart she so much desired for him to have. But her hope was short-lived when Des replied, "All your prayers are accepted and appreciated. So pray for me."

"I always do."

"A'ight, look," he took a deep breath as if he was trying to cleanse all of the uncertainty he may have felt, "I'm going to fall back off the church until I can figure out what's really going on and how I'm going to deal with it."

"And you have to promise me that you are going to do some soul searching about this church. I know it might sound crazy, Des, but maybe God used the streets to get you into the church. I mean, honey, there's no denying that you're good at leading," she encouraged him. "When you are in that pulpit giving the word, it's like you're in your element-your true element."

Des cracked a smile as Yarni continued. "And I believe that God has really been working on you, but I honestly don't want you to get back in that pulpit until you figure out if you are going to be real with God or not."

Des wished she'd just let sleeping dogs lie, because know he wasn't feeling where Yarni was going with this whole thing. Him, a man of the cloth? For real? Wasn't gon happen. That very thought showed on his face and it wasn't hard for Yarni to detect.

"Look, all I'm saying is God has been with you all this time, watching over you and keeping you clean of all the dirt. His patience is going to run out. He's blessing you now but if you don't get it right, He can curse you too."

"The book says God watches out for fools and babies . . . and I'm neither," Des continued.

The lead vocalist brought Yarni back to the present. She had the kind of voice that reached out, grabbed everyone by the collar and demanded their attention. Yarni started rocking her head as the choir backed the vocalist by singing, "God will work it out," in perfect harmony. The moment was bittersweet for Yarni. Her eyes glistened behind salty tears.



The church musicians switched gears to an instrumental. The man performing on the keyboard and the drummer were both banging their hearts out while the lead guitar and bass players battled for supremacy in their own private competition. But when the sax player added his harmonic flavor, he nearly stole the show.

Now it was time.

Des entered the sanctuary as if he had his very own theme music.

The musicians and choir may have been the reason many of the seats were filled, but make no mistake about it: Des was the superstar and the stage belonged to him.

He came gliding down the middle aisle bopping his freshly cut head full of wavyhair to the uplifting beat. So smooth, he could've been walking on water. He wore a dark green four-button custom-made suit, a tailored French-cuff gold shirt and string-up gators so fresh that if he slipped them off they might've tried to take refuge in the nearest marsh. In the pulpit, he took his seat in a huge high-back gold and money green velvet chair, fit for a king.

As the soloist broke down the tempo, the music heightened. Once the song ran its course, having brought the congregation to a state of complete worship, the lead soloist handed the mic over to Des. With the mic in the shepherd's hands, the volume of the music was lowered. Des descended from his throne and stepped up to the podium. Everyone looked at him like he was E. F. Hutton: when he spoke, people listened.

Looking out into the sea of faces, he spoke into an invisible mic, "It looks like everybody made it safely from the clubs last night, huh?" Half the crowd laughed because there was quite a bit truth buried in the humor. That was the half who liked the afternoon service most; they could party all night, sleep the buzz off and still get their praise on without the liquor odor seeping out of their pores. Morning services didn't accommodate such a lifestyle.

"Yeah, some of y'all looking like, 'Not me!' Yes, you. It's all good, though. No offense intended." He looked upon the congregation with a serious face. "But that's between you and God. I'm not here to judge you, embarrass you, or call you out. I'm just here to tell you what saith the Lord." Des could see he was getting a reaction; as usual it fueled him to press on. "Y'all know how I do it. I'ma speak it like I see it, and if it don't apply to you, then let it fly. Ya feel me? In other words, let the church say, 'Amen.' "

Amens rang throughout the sanctuary.

Yarni marveled at how Des lit up the already bright room with his trademark smile. After all, this was the same youthful smile and quick wit that Yarni had fallen in love with so many years ago. She blew him a kiss. No one noticed. Every single eye was glued to the preacher man. Des tossed a look back to his wife that said, "I love you."

When she caught it, they both smiled. Des continued to mesmerize the congregation, while Yarni sat in awe of her man's finesse. But not long into the service, something didn't feel right to her. She scanned the church, but nothing or no one looked out of place. Unable to put her finger on why she suddenly felt that way, she tried to put her focus back on Des's words, but as hard as she tried, she could not ignore the bad feeling churning in the pit of her stomach.

She tried to maintain eye contact with Des while he gave a phenomenally inspirational message on why financial literacy and spiritual literacy were equally necessary in the community. The room was pin-drop silent as the people took in every word he said. If Des knew anything, it was that folks always paid attention when it came to talking about money. Finance was one of Des's favorite subjects, and with the economy struggling the way it was, his followers loved hearing about how to get their hands on the almighty dollar now more than ever. Des had everyone's attention, with some even taking notes. Most of the deacons were even intrigued, but not Slim; he was too busy on his job as the main lookout, making sure nothing around him looked or got out of order.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 61 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    highly recommend this book.

    This one awesome trilogy. Des and Yarni take you on a ride of the street life the pro and cons of living a life as a hustler and his girl. the love and the hate of being a king pin and maintain loyalty while building a family and protecting from both sides of the spectrum a woman to protect her man from evil, a man to keep his family safe from harm. cover to cover read. enjoy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good book....

    The way this book end, there's got to be a follow up.....cant wait

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Great read!!

    Page turner read it in a day!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Page Turner! Must read the first 2 to get the full understanding!

    Good read! I did not like the ending! It kind of left me hanging!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Love it!!!!!! Great book

    I read this book in 3 days. I could not put it down. Looking forward to the next series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Love it!

    This is a good book. I read it in 3 days while I worked back to back shifts at work. I virtually got NO sleep... smh! Definitely worth checking out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great book

    I liked the book. It could have been a little longer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Another good read...

    This book was interesting and Nikki did a great job at recreating some of the old instances from her previous books to help us remember but this story line is really dragging along slowly. Too much time is elapsing between books causing somewhat of a disinterest. With the way this book ended it can be the ending of the series but knowing Nikki it most likely isn't. Understand that I think Nikki is a fantastic writer but I wish she would just give us more of the story at once instead of bits and pieces.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Loved This!

    I love this series...the book just ended too fast. Please write more! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Great Read

    Can't wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Great book! She does it again

    This was another awesome book by nikki turner. I encourage everyone to read the previous books im order to know the background of some of the characters like desembee, cook em up, lava, and fame. A good read overall. Some of the chapters did get sketchy and you did not know who was talking. But overall good just like the rest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2011

    This was a very good book!!!

    I have to say I really enjoyed this book. The day it came out I couldn't wait to go get it because I have read all the other books. I couldn't put he book down....but the ending was very disappointing!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    So so sad

    When I found out about this book, I was so excited. I could not wait, because Nikki Turner was Nikki The Great when it came to her books. I'm starting not to look forward to her books anymore. I thought this book be just as good as the previous ones of this series, but I was let down. This book does nothing for the series. Nikki is becoming an average writer who's not worth my time or money. Wherever she left her drive and motivation, I wish she would go back and get it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    I just love Nikki books

    You r most defiantly a great book writer!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Another Hit By Nikki Turner

    Just finish reading this book and it was another hit. Yarni and Des still the best couple that face many obstacles. Desember doesn't disappoint either glad i read her introduction book are I would have been a little confused about her background. Loved that I got to read about Lava again. can't wait for the next book to come out. I would recommend this book for all the urban lit fans. Nikki never disappoints!

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining character driven hip hop thriller.

    In Richmond, shook by the attempt on her husband Des' life, attorney Yarni Taylor prays for her spouse to give up his street hustlin' ways and be a by example pastor to the congregation of the Lady of the Good Life Ministry. Des insists he will once he deals with the punk who shot at him and the insolent fool who robbed the church during services.

    Already concerned with her husband's safety, Yarni turns frantic when non-clients appear at the law firm reminding her of five years old daughter's kidnapping. Eighteen year old Desember Day (see Natural Born Hustler) claims to be Des' daughter; an offspring he never knew he sired until she came to their door. In spite of never having met before, Desember proves to be a chip off her father's block with a knack to landing in trouble. Yarni comes from a line of hustlers so knows what she must do to break the gangsta cycle. For her to keep the street out of her home, church and law office means confronting those who threaten her dream even family members.

    The latest "Hustler" street lit (see A Hustler's Wife and Forever a Hustler's Wife) is a terrific family drama as once again Nikki Turner makes straddling the fence between the gangsta hustle and that of the middle class hustle seem real due to a strong cast. Yarni is fabulous as she struggles between her dreams and her compromised reality. Des feels as pulled in multiple directions as his wife does. Though the novel has a sort of been there- done that sense of a transition book, the extended family and the congregation enhance an entertaining character driven hip hop thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted February 28, 2011


    I am so excited for this book. I love yarni and des im afraid for them because i dont want anything to get in the way of their happiness.I hope that desember and yarni get along this is going to be sooooo good i just know it. To Nikki never stop writing i have read and own majority of your books and the few that i haven im reading now. You truely have an excellent craft and i never tire of your stories YOU ARE THE BEST at this. An i really wish that any of your stories become a Motion Picture Film because i would definetly be there on premiere night.I want to thank you for your stories because i can relate to so many of them its almost as if im readin about myself at times. SO IF NOONE HAS EVER SAID IT TO YOU I AM YOU ARE INSPIRAATION AND STRENGTH FOR SO MANY GOD BLESS YOU AND NEVER DROP THE PEN

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  • Posted January 21, 2011


    Hi Nikki, Im soooo happy ur putting Hustler's Wives back on da shelve. Im so excited cant stand da anticipation of da book. I know its going to be a banger bc you are a Beast with da pen. I know you did ur thing girl yeesss ur back. I read ur other books they're fire as well. I love love you keep doing what ur doing. YOU NEED TO KNOW UR SIMPLY DA BEST !!

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

    Posted January 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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