The Hood Life: A Bentley Manor Tale [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the third and final installment of the Desperate Hoodwives trilogy, hailed by the New York Post and Essence as a “can’t-miss new series,” a pimp, a killer, a playa, and a drug dealer struggle to get their game right in a sizzling novel where leaving the life and trying to go straight is a deadly option.

Tavon, better known as “Sweet,” would pimp his own mother—and he does. Convinced that the prostitution game chose him, Sweet loves his ...
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The Hood Life: A Bentley Manor Tale

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Overview

In the third and final installment of the Desperate Hoodwives trilogy, hailed by the New York Post and Essence as a “can’t-miss new series,” a pimp, a killer, a playa, and a drug dealer struggle to get their game right in a sizzling novel where leaving the life and trying to go straight is a deadly option.

Tavon, better known as “Sweet,” would pimp his own mother—and he does. Convinced that the prostitution game chose him, Sweet loves his high-rolling life. But when he unexpectedly becomes a father, will Sweet be able to choose between the family trade and his grown, not-so-innocent daughter?

After ten years in prison, the drive-by Demarcus committed still haunts him. Determined to stay above the law, he’s found Allah, promised to change his ways forever, and finally do right by his girl, Zoey. But when an opportunity arises that will set him and Zoey right for life, Demarcus may have more faith in his killah reputation than the Koran...

Kaseem runs every single drug going in and out of Bentley Manor. His empire provides clothes, cash, and his satisfaction of his wifey, Quilla—along with the company of other ladies, of course. But when Kaseem’s crew becomes more violent, will he be able to escape the life—and the gangsters—he created?

The best playa on the block, Rhakmon can get a woman to do anything he wants. His latest girlfriend, Shaterica, lets him steal, lie, and cheat—smitten to be under his spell. But when Rhakmon’s devious deeds are finally brought to light, the revenge Shaterica plans may ultimately be more horrible than anything he could have imagined...

From the ladies who brought you Desperate Hoodwives and Shameless Hoodwives, the streets of Atlanta are hotter than ever with drama, sex, and danger—profilin’ four men desperate for anything but their hood life.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This third novel in Mink and Diamond's "Bentley Manor" series (after Desperate Hoodwives and Shameless Hoodwives) opens with the story of Tavon, a pimp who prostitutes his own mother. Other characters featured are a killer named Demarcus, the drug-dealing Kaseem, and Rhakmon, a "playa," all struggling with their respective professions.


—Ann Burns
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416588269
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 185,304
  • File size: 444 KB

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 MeeshaMink.com.

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


Prologue

Miz Cleo

Summertime is hell in Bentley Manor. The Georgia heat is enough to drive you mad and folks around here start actin' like they's ain't got no sense. I've seen a lot in my seventy-three years and I've experienced pain I wouldn't wish on my worse enemy. But heartache is nothing new in Bentley Manor. In fact, it comes with the territory.

As I sit out here on this stoop with my best friend Osceola Washington by my side, I look around this U-shaped complex marveling how it's getting harder and harder to tell the days apart. I've been living here since June of '69. Lost my husband in '71. After raising four children, one grandchild, I'm now strugglin' to raise my great-grandbaby.

It's hard.

And I'm tired.

Over the years, or rather, over the decades, Atlanta has gone through some changes. Bentley Manor started off as regular apartment complex, but in the late '70s it was the ghetto, in the late '80s the projects. Now, it's the hood.

This place is crawling with the worst of the worst and I've seen my fair share of pimps, dealers, playas, and killers. Too many, in fact.

Some wonder how people survive places like Bentley Manor. To that, I can only shrug my shoulders and ask "what choice do we have?"

The hood life is all we know....

Copyright © 2009 by Niobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd

1

The Pimp

Pussy is big business.

And I'm a businessman -- a damn good one. Yeah, I dibble and dabble in a few other things. Who doesn't? If a nigga wants to carve himself a piece of the American pie, he's got to get his hustle on. You feel me? I'm sure you do. Tavon Johnson is the name and pussy is my game.

'Course, on the streets they call me Sweet Diamondtrim Johnson. Diamonds are my trademarks. So much so that each of my girls keeps their pussy shaved and sport diamond tattoos inches above their clits. I want my customers to know they're getting diamond quality.

If you're wondering how I got into this business, I guess you could say I sort of fell into it. I popped my first cherry at twelve. Her name was Renee Collins. I swear to this day that she has the sweetest pussy a nigga ever tasted. And 'course I bragged this shit to my best friend Destin. Bragged so much that he promised to give me his allowance for a full month if I let him have a go at Renee himself.

Being an entrepreneurial nigga even at that age, I took the deal -- only if I was allowed to watch. Hell, Destin's parents gave him five dollars a week, and in '82 you have no idea how many hours of pinball that gave a nigga.

Renee was pissed, but it had been easy to convince her fuckin' Destin was her chance to prove how much she loved me. I gotta tell ya: watching her in action with my best friend was an incredible high. Watching her do a few more boys behind the schoolyard and under the gym bleachers convinced me that I really did love her.

All in all, it was just another reason in a long list of why I married her. For the record, she still has the sweetest pussy I've ever tasted.

So what's your fantasy? I have every kind of ho you can imagine: Black, white, Puerto Rican or Asian. You name it, I got it. You want a streetwalker, a glamorous escort, a porno star, or maybe you're one of those down-low brothers. Don't matter. I got a few dicks on the payroll, too. It's all pussy to me.

Being in the biz for a quarter, I've seen it all. You can whip them, tie them up, and you can even piss on them, if that's your thing. It's all negotiable. But don't get it twisted; pimpin' ain't easy.

From time to time I catch whiff of a few girls talking 'bout how they're going to leave. I laugh at that shit. Where the fuck are they going to go? What are they going to do, shovel fries at McDonald's, convince one of their johns to marry them? C'mon. Once a ho always a ho.

Besides, they're not going to find another nigga that's going to treat them better than I do. Like the Disciple Curtis Mayfield said: "I'm their momma, I'm their daddy, I'm that nigga in the alley."

I'd be lyin' if I said from time to time one doesn't leave the nest...but they come back. They always come back. Bottom line: they love me, they hate me, they love me. I can live with that.

As long as the bitch has my money.

That's the key to my success. While all these ashy Negroes scramble around tryna turn everybody and their momma into crackheads, I'm building an empire off the best commodity there is -- and I do mean the best.

From rap stars to government officials, I keep the juices and the money flowing.

I grew up poor and I ain't never going back. Fuck that shit.

Of course, I don't whine and moan like most. A sad story in Bentley Manor is a dime a dozen. We don't need anyone to tell us that we got the short end of the stick. The question is: How are you going to play the hand you were dealt? Me? I didn't choose pimpin'. Pimpin' chose me. The first girl I had to protect was my own damn momma.

Now, some men have a problem havin' a ho for a momma. Not me. I recognize my momma did what she had to do to put food on the table for five children (all of us with different daddies), and I ain't got nothin' but mad respect for her game. Of course, for a long time, she lied to us and to herself by telling us that the men who marched in and out of our apartment were good friends of the family -- friends who left money on the bedside table after they "wrestled naked in her bed."

Once, my older brother, Kadrian, and I hid under her bed and found out what really went on in that room when she closed the door. And let me tell ya: Momma had skills. Niggas would call out her name like she was Christ Almighty. A lot of them brought her gifts and some even thought to bring us something, too.

For a few years, we were the envy of most our friends: sportin' the new canvas sneaks, rockin' the latest dookey rope chains and carrying the biggest boom boxes imaginable. Then crack hit the streets and Momma got hooked.

First, she tried to maintain, but that didn't last long.

Soon, thugs and drug dealers replaced the niggas with money. Our fly-ass gear disappeared about as fast as the food in the refrigerator. Within three months, Momma was out on the streets, offering to suck dicks just for a hit. Some started beating on her. The strange thing was she acted like she didn't care. All she wanted was to get high.

Well, I cared. And nobody was gonna whup my momma's ass right in front of me or my hood. So me and my brother started looking out for her -- collecting her money, making sure that she got paid.

Hell, we had to eat.

This arrangement pretty much went on through our teen years. But all our protecting couldn't prevent her from coming up HIV positive a couple years ago. That fuckin' sex fiend Junior spread that shit to a lot of girls when he was stayin' up at Bentley Manor. If his wife hadn't capped his ass, I sure the fuck would have.

But live and learn. All my girls get tested on the regular and I screen their johns like the motherfuckin' FBI. What can I say? I have to protect my investment.

My three sisters, Candy, Brandi, and Cherry, followed our mother's footsteps. They call themselves Video Vixens now, but you know, a ho by any other name...

Me, I keep doing what I'm good at: protecting and selling pussy.

My big brother, Kadrian, didn't make it out of his teens. He got caught up in gangbanging and took a couple of bullets to the chest. Not a day goes by when I don't think about him, wishing he was here counting this money with me.

Pimpin' ain't like what you see in the movies. Sure there are some guys who walk around draped in gaudy jewelry, iron-pressed curls, and dress like it's 1972, but those are little boys fulfilling their Superfly fantasies. Pimpin' is a business and I dress like any other CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ten-thousand-dollar suits from William Fioravanti, Caraceni, and Oxxford, with a little tasteful bling from De Beers and my ass look ready for the cover of GQ every day.

"I'm sorry, sir," Anderson, my driver, says over his shoulder. "Doesn't look like this traffic is gonna let up anytime soon."

I pull my gaze from a So-So Def billboard to meet his eyes in the Bentley's rearview mirror. "Take your time. I'm not in a hurry."

He nods and I return my attention to that ridiculous billboard and continue reflecting over my life -- all thirty-seven years of it.

It wasn't easy, but I finally got my girls off the street corner. Found safer ways for us all to do our jobs. Yeah, I own a couple of private strip clubs, book a couple of booty-shaking dancers for rap stars and keep a hefty amount of city government officials sexed up so good that they stay off my back.

All of this is good money, but it all pales in comparison to what I make off the Red Light District Web site: videos, CD-ROMS, DVD, Video on Demand, and sex toys. Again, name your pleasure and I can hook you up.

After all, I'm a freak, too.

At long last, my nut sack starts tingling. I close my eyes and loll my head back to give the mouth around my cock a little more room.

"That's it. Don't stop," I moan and pump my hips. Out of all my girls, including Renee, no one sucks my dick the way Destiny does. No one. I place my hand on the back of her long flowing weave and bob her head down to a faster rhythm.

Shit. I'm ready to come and I know this trick is gonna swallow my full load and then keep sucking until my toes curl.

"Aw, shit. You nasty motherfucker," I growl as I hold her head down and finally explode into that wonderful mouth.

Like a true sex soldier, Destiny keeps going and I start to inch up the leather upholstery because my shit is suddenly sensitive. Finally, I have to shove her off and try to catch my breath.

Destiny chuckles and reaches for her purse to retrieve her compact and lipstick. "I don't know how Renee is still number one when she can't deep throat like I do."

I tuck my dick back into my pants and stare at her as she fixes her makeup. Well, technically, she is a he and quite possibly the best damn transvestite I've ever seen.

I don't question my sexuality -- and nobody else does either. I do whateva gets me off. The world would be a better place if everyone did the same.

Destiny snaps her compact closed and smiles. "Feel better, baby?"

"As always," I say and catch Anderson's nosy gaze in the rearview mirror. For a fleeting moment, I'm sure I see disgust reflect in his eyes.

"Destiny," I say, maintaining eye contact with my driver. "Climb up front and hook Anderson up for me."

"That's not necessary, Mr. Johnson," Anderson sputters immediately.

"I know it's not necessary, but what can I say, I'm a generous guy. And I don't like it when people turn down my generosity -- especially people who work for me."

Without a doubt this nigga understands that his options are to get his dick wet or get the fuck out in the middle of rush-hour traffic.

Destiny watches the exchange in amused silence and when I give her a small wink, she climbs over into the front seat and unzips Anderson's pants.

"Well, you ain't got much to work with. Do you, honey?" Destiny asks.

Anderson's face darkens.

I can't help but laugh. "And make sure you don't wreck my shit."

This time, horror covers Anderson's face and I keep on laughing.

A couple of slurps and this motherfucker lays on the brakes and starts cumin'.

"Damn, man. I barely got started." Destiny drops her fake feminine voice for a sec and her masculine bass fills the car.

Anderson looks as if he'd just been raped or some shit. Maybe he's stunned that he enjoyed the experience. Like I said: Destiny's the best.

Nearly an hour later, we roll through Bentley Manor's wrought-iron gate. My attention is instantly drawn to the trembling crackheads and hustling dope dealers. And sure enough, sitting out on their concrete stoop, in the center of the U-shaped complex, are Miz Cleo and Miz Osceola. Hell, I can feel their glares before I even get out of the car.

Fuck 'em. They don't like me and I sure as hell don't give a shit about them.

Ain't a damn thing changed about this motherfucker since I grew up here. It's just as dirty and grimy as ever.

Anderson hops his fat ass out the driver's seat and quickly opens my back door. I climb out, pose a bit so everyone can take their time eyeing my summer-white suit and customized bling.

What's the point of having money if you can't show it off?

A few dealers bob their heads in greeting and way too many underage girls try to catch my attention. But I ain't lookin' at shit that ain't eighteen.

Period.

Destiny starts to climb out of the car, but I quickly tell her, "Stay put. I'll be back in a sec." I clutch the head of my silver-handled cane (one stereotype I won't give up) and stroll like the pimp I am toward my old childhood building.

When Momma answers her door, I have to hand it to her: she's looking pretty good. It's clear that she's been keeping up with her HIV cocktails.

"Hey, baby." She tightens the belt on her robe and leans up on her tiptoes to deliver a kiss against my cheek. "I didn't know you were coming by today."

"I always come by on the fifteenth," I say, strolling through the door. I'm not the least surprised to see a john sitting on the couch. After all, Momma is always gonna be Momma.

"Well, I guess I better get going," the dude says, jumping to his feet and scrambling toward the door.

I stop him cold. "Aren't you forgetting something?" I ask.

He glances at Momma and then back at me while getting all flustered.

"Uh, yeah." He reaches for his wallet in his back pocket and peels off a couple of Benjamins. "My bad."

I just nod, but I make sure he reads in my expression that shit wasn't cool.

"I catch you later, Angel," the man says and quickly races out the door.

I turn my gaze toward Momma. "Angel?"

"What? Don't I look like an Angel to you?"

I just laugh at that shit. Momma ain't ever gonna change. And neither will I. "All right, Angel. You got my money?"

Copyright © 2009 by Niobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Hood Life....So True!

    This was a great book! It is a great sequel to Desparate Hoodwives and Shameless Hoodwives. The pimp...he was someone serious! He had the life that just about any man would want the money, cars , houses, and all the sex that his heart desires. In the end though it falls true that everything that glitters isn't gold and you could lose it all in the blink of an eye. He lost everyone that he loved in the end and came face to face with his brother's killer in the end. The playa...always the pretty boy who thinks that he can pull any woman that he wants and control her every thought and feelings with his sex tool. After he killed a guy that was beefing with him over his girlfriend, "Big Butt Belinda", he convinces his girlfriend to take the rap for him in exchange for him marry her when she got out, but when he falls short on the deal after she gets locked up, she ends up telling the truth about the whole matter and he gets what he deserves in the end after he gets locked up for the crime...literally! The dealer...he was like any ordinary dealer wanted the fast money and the good life, but when he runs across his first true love his whole world turns around when he finds out that he has a son by her. He ends up taking a DNA test to make sure that the kid is his and when he finds out all he wants to do is get out of the game. His friend, Usher, has other plans for him though and tries to kill him and take over his spot as the king of the streets. He ends up getting killed before he can do that by Suga and Spyce, who in turns ends up getting killed themselves. In the end he ends up with his one true love and the family that he truly longs for. The killer...after he is released he tries to do right by his life and leave the lifestyle that he once knew behind him, but sometimes it is really hard. When one of his old friends show up one day and offer him a job so that he can take care of his soon to be family things turn ugly when he finds out that his so-called friend "took care" of his girl while he was locked up. When he kills him for the betrayal that he felt it is his first taste of the lifestyle he was so wanting to let go, but when he gets an offer that he can't refuse, one that will set him straight to be the man that he wants to be for his girl Zoey, he doesn't know it will be last time that he sees her and the light of day! This is a must read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Wow!!!! A must read....

    I really enjoyed this book ... I just hope that there will be a sequel!! My felliw readers, please read....u won't put it down......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Great book

    Glad they told a story from the mans view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The return to THE HOOD brings out the worst and best of Atlanta with an overarching message of hope

    The Hood Life<BR/>Meesha Mink and De¿nesha Diamond<BR/>Tochstone, Jan 2009<BR/>ISBN: 1416577092<BR/><BR/>Cleo and Ophelia have lived in the hood, the Bentley Manor Housing Project in Georgia for over four decades. They know there are many good residents trying to make an honest dollar and there are criminals who seek easy cash. The pair watches the neighborhood activities and at times intervenes.<BR/><BR/>Tavon "Sweet" Johnson is an amoral upscale pimp who has escaped the hood by selling sex at his clubs and at hi crib. However his idyll affluent life is shook to the core when a former girlfriend dumps at his mother¿s house a fifteen year old girl that she insists is his daughter. Sweet takes his offspring to his mansion where his wife Renee makes it clear the teen is unwanted. <BR/><BR/>Demarcus has just gotten out of prison and is haunted by his crime and needing to adhere to the Koran wants to go straight, but no one wants anything to do with an ex-con. With his girlfriend Zoey pregnant, he is offered a job that will take them out of the hood if he is not caught.<BR/><BR/>Kaseem runs drugs in the hood, but when his crackhead former girlfriend gives him his infant son to raise, he wants out of trafficking and Bentley Manor. A betrayal by his best friend forces him to react in a way that if caught he will spend his life behind bars.<BR/><BR/>Rhakmon is the smoothest playa in the hood. He can sell anything especially himself to any woman. When he kills someone he promises his girlfriend, Shaterica they will marry if she confesses to having committed the homicide. She does time while he does other women. Cleo and Ophelia deploy to clean up this scenario.<BR/><BR/>Living in the hood is not easy, but people have choices although sometimes the options are painful. The men select crime to include murder, pimping, drug peddling and more until revelations (mostly the next generation) makes each of them reconsider what they have done as others pay the price for their folly. As with DESPERATE HOODWIVES and SHAMELESS HOODWIVES, the return to THE HOOD brings out the worst and best of Atlanta with an overarching message of hope.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    Devotion

    Hey now! This last book in the series was very wonderful. But the only problem that I had with it is that no one/not a singel soul loved themself. They all was trying to love other persons. And I somewhat can undestand. But overall the book is great and you will enjoy all three of them so with that being said....Happy Reading Nook Lovers

    Devotion143

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Nesha

    Like

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Drama drama drama

    ! I liked this book . It was from a mans point of view . . Had a shocking ending. Did not know it was going end that way...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Love this book

    This was a real page turner.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    Loved it

    I've been an avid reader of the Bentley Manor tales, and i love the drama that goes on with all of it, because it is a page turner, who wants a boring novel. But anyways, the characters were something else, I believe they all got what was deserved, but i am glad the Hustler survived along with his girl; and also glad the player got what he deserved. I felt bad for the pimp, becasue he obviosly had problems and the killer, I was actually rooting for him to stay on the str8 and narrow, but he got what he deserved as well. all in all it was a great book, and will be passing it along to friends and family

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  • Posted October 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of our Favorites

    WE really enjoyed this book... It so happened I bought one and sent one to my husband over seas and we read it at the same time... It has a good story line and keeps you reading until the end.... Now even though the characters do have a lot going on, it makes the book really interesting... good work ladies!

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It Was Ok

    This was a pretty ok book, but I'm getting tired of all the different characters. Just too many to keep up with. Maybe I'm slow. I don't know. It took me longer than I wanted to read it too which meant it wasn't that much of a page turner, but it still was a decent read. I must admit, all of the main characters endings were not to my liking, but that still makes for a good book. I don't think this is the last of Bentley Manor.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book

    Out of the all three books, this is the best. I enjoyed how the others sucked you into learning about Bentley manor, and somehow this book was written in the same fashion, but it had love in it, not just a bunch of ghetto-thug scandolous characters. I read it in a few days, and I was expecting the same ol, same ol "Bentley Manor tale", so I took my time. But as the book ended it was something I was once again sucked into and loved. I would recommend this book.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    IF THE WALLS COULD TALK BENTLEY MANOR

    The games that are played with peoples lives and emotions is unreal as well as the out come.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Good Plot

    I liked how the author wrote a story on the men of the first two books that was very creative, although I just could not get into this book like the last two that I could not put down.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Hood Life is All We Know

    There is nothing as interesting as other people¿s lives, especially when it¿s filled with drama. And drama best describes Bentley Manor. In this Bentley Manor edition, the lives of four males are chronicled. <BR/><BR/>Pimping came naturally to Tavon ¿Sweet Diamondtrim¿ Johnson. Can the same be said for his parenting skills when he learns he has a teenage daughter? <BR/><BR/>Kaseem became the man after his best friend, Maleek (DESPERATE HOODWIVES), caught a federal bid. Is Kaseem built for the treachery and violence that comes with drug dealing? <BR/><BR/>With his gray eyes, good hair, rip body and big¿shut yo¿ mouth¿Rhakmon can talk any female out of her panties and her wallet. But when what goes around comes around, can Rhakmon handle it? <BR/><BR/>Demarcus ¿Killer¿ Jones did the crime and did the time. Home after ten years, he¿s a changed man. Or is he? <BR/><BR/>An ambitious project (a three-book series), this third book was the weakest. The drama was definitely there, but at times THE HOOD LIFE seems to be overreaching ¿ as if to live up to its title. That¿s not to say THE HOOD LIFE is not worth reading. There is a solid story, good pacing, melodrama, and a few twists. THE HOOD LIFE won¿t take your breath away, but it will take you on an interesting ride. <BR/><BR/>Reviewed by: Toni

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