In My Father's House

( 146 )

Overview

For his final new series, New York Times mega-bestselling author E. Lynn Harris introduces Bentley Dean, owner of the hottest modeling agency in Miami?s sexy South Beach.

Only the world?s most beautiful models make the roster of Picture Perfect Modeling agency and they only do shoots for the most elite photographers and magazines. They are fashionista royalty?and the owners, Bentley L. Dean and his beautiful partner Alexandra, know it. But even Picture Perfect isn?t immune from ...

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In My Father's House: A Novel

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Overview

For his final new series, New York Times mega-bestselling author E. Lynn Harris introduces Bentley Dean, owner of the hottest modeling agency in Miami’s sexy South Beach.

Only the world’s most beautiful models make the roster of Picture Perfect Modeling agency and they only do shoots for the most elite photographers and magazines. They are fashionista royalty—and the owners, Bentley L. Dean and his beautiful partner Alexandra, know it. But even Picture Perfect isn’t immune from hard times, so when Sterling Sneed, a rich, celebrity party planner promises to pay a ludicrously high fee for some models, Bentley finds he can’t refuse. Even though the job is not exactly a photo shoot, Bentley agrees to supply fifteen gorgeous models as eye candy for an “A” list party—to look good, be charming and, well, entertain the guests. They don’t have to do anything they don’t want to, but...

His models are pros and he figures they can handle the pressure, until one drops out and Bentley asks his protégé Jah, a beautiful kid who Bentley treats as if he were his own son, to substitute. Suddenly, the stakes are much higher, particularly when Jah falls in love with the hottest African American movie star in America. Seth Sinclair is very handsome, very famous, and very married—and his closeted gay life makes him very dangerous as well. Can Bentley’s fatherly guidance save Jah from making a fatal mistake?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“E. Lynn’s fans will be thrilled by this, his last book.  I love his candor and honesty. He seemed to have turned a corner here. This novel speaks for all of those who can’t, refuse and shouldn’t have to live a lie, but still feel a need for acceptance, which is basically respect, but most of all love. I hope this story resonates with all of us.”—Terry McMillan, bestselling author of The Interruption of Everything and How Stella Got Her Groove Back

“Before he died last year, Harris wrote this bangup first installment to a projected series about a bisexual owner of a Miami modeling agency. . . . Harris’s wry tale about second chances highlights what readers have long loved about his work: his ability to depict the pursuit of love and self-respect, regardless of societal and family pressures.”—Publishers Weekly

“In his new book In My Father’s House, E. Lynn Harris returns to the kind of unforgettable storytelling that made him a national best selling phenomenon. His characters are alive, sassy, vibrant and lovable, even when you don’t want to love them. I can’t wait for you to meet Bentley . . . there is no question that the master storyteller we’ve come to love is BACK!”—Marva Allen, CEO Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe

In My Father’s House is Harris’s eleventh novel. With his fiction and memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, Harris had taken black gay fiction out of the closet and to bestseller lists as prestigious as those of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Harris’s works explore the lives and sexual situations of aspirational characters of color in deliciously decadent situations. In My Father’s House, which focuses on the worlds of fashion and beauty, is no exception. . . . In My Father’s House will certainly be a welcome addition to the libraries of fans that were shocked and saddened by Harris’ sudden death. The novel is the fitting final chapter to an exemplary career.”—Examiner.com

“E. Lynn Harris delivers a salacious page-turner about love, lust, betrayal and murder.”—Jet

“…longtime fans of Harris can look forward to jaw-dropping shockers, plot twists and love triangles that became the beloved author’s hallmark.”—Juicy magazine

Publishers Weekly
Before he died last year, Harris wrote this bangup first installment to a projected series about a bisexual owner of a Miami modeling agency. Bentley L. Dean III runs the Picture Perfect modeling agency in South Beach. His father, a homophobic Detroit millionaire, disowned him after he broke off an engagement and had an affair with a male TV sports reporter, and though the agency's been a success, the recession has taken a big bite out of Bentley's business. Strapped for cash, he reluctantly agrees to supply “gay, bi or very open-minded” eye candy for a VIP party hosted by Prosperity Gentleman's Club, which is run by “Emperor” Seth Sinclair, a closeted gay celebrity. When Jah, an 18-year-old student Bentley's been mentoring, covers for a no-show model and begins an affair with Seth, big trouble looms. Harris's wry tale about second chances highlights what readers have long loved about his work: his ability to depict the pursuit of love and self-respect, regardless of societal and family pressures. (June)
Library Journal
Before he died last year, Harris (Mommy Dearest) wrote this series debut introducing Bentley L. Dean. Disowned by his father and estranged from his Detroit family after coming out, Bentley launched an African American modeling agency in Miami that was becoming quite successful until the recession hit. Now strapped for cash, he agrees to provide hot male models to an A-list party and reluctantly sends his 18-year-old protégé, Jah, when one of the other models drops out. There Jah meets and falls in love with African American movie star (but married and closeted) Seth Sinclair. Bentley knows that keeping Seth happy will mean steady work, a cash flow, and networking opportunities for his business, but is he willing to sacrifice his integrity and Jah? VERDICT Full of romance, intrigue, and betrayal, Harris's novel will attract readers of gay fiction, African American fiction, and, of course, his many fans. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]—Carol Johnson, Cleveland P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
A posthumous novel from Harris (Mama Dearest, 2009, etc.), about gay black men seeking acceptance. At the beginning, Bentley Dean III, scion to a wealthy black Detroit family, breaks off his engagement with the very suitable Kim in order to live an authentic life. And for Bentley that means out of the closet and in a public relationship with his lover Warren. Five years later Bentley is in Miami, disinherited by his homophobic father, dumped by Warren, who refuses to identify as gay, but nonetheless happy to be himself. He and his business partner Alex own an Afro-centric modeling agency (she handles the women, Bentley happily handles the men's side, which offers the occasional midday treat). But the agency has seen better times; the economy is in free-fall just as the Obama election is coming up. Financial worries force Bentley to book a suspicious modeling assignment-a request for gay-friendly eye candy for a private party. Bentley is assured he won't be inadvertently pimping out his models, but when he arrives at the all-male event, he suspects that he'll regret the night. He brings along Jah, an 18 year old that Bentley found in foster care and has mentored over the years. Jah, now in college with noble plans, catches the eye of the host, Seth Sinclair. Married with kids, Seth is a Hollywood megastar with a secret penchant for boys and control. Jah soon gets caught in Seth's dangerous web, and Bentley is wracked with guilt. Meanwhile, Warren and Bentley reconnect, though Bentley, still in love with Warren, suspects the man hasn't changed and will always live the double life. All these men can't compete with the one man Bentley wants back in his life-his father. The best of friends until he came out, Bentley misses his old man and is afraid one day it may be too late for a reconciliation. A sudsy melodrama, to be sure, but one that offers a rare glimpse into the world of gay black men and the challenges they face. First printing of 150,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312576233
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 615,503
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Lynn Harris

E. Lynn Harris (1955-2009) was the author of eleven novels and the memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. Ten of his novels—including Mama Dearest, Basketball Jones, and Just Too Good to be True—hit the New York Times bestseller list. Harris was known for writing about men who were black, gay and closeted, introducing many readers to little-talked-about subjects. Unable to sell his first novel, Invisible Life, he self-published and sold copies out of the trunk of his car. He was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he was the first male cheerleader, and remained a dedicated Arkansas Razorbacks fan throughout his life. He divided his time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, before his death in 2009.

Biography

Jackie Collins has kept the literary romance world well stocked with claws-out, upper-crust melodramas. But until E. Lynn Harris came along, the genre lacked a little ... diversity. Harris brought diversity and then some, with his now-trademark "buppie" characters, questions about sexuality, and hopelessly (but deliciously) complicated relationships.

Written from both male and female points of view and featuring recurring characters, Harris's books can be read as a veritable soap opera. The cycle begins with Invisible Life, the story of Raymond Winston Tyler Jr. -- a character Harris has acknowledged bears many similarities to himself. Raymond grapples with his sexuality, developing a relationship with a man he meets in law school and jeopardizing one with his girlfriend. His coming-of-age continues over the next two novels in the trilogy, Just As I Am and Abide with Me, as he struggles with losses of friends to AIDS, the ending of a relationship with an actress, and the beginning of a new one with a man.

Another recurring Harris character, Basil Henderson, is the man readers love to hate. An arrogant, badass football player-turned-sports agent, Basil beds both women and men until he meets up with his female (and later, male) counterparts. His story is mainly told in Not a Day Goes By and Any Way the Wind Blows.

It's true that in the Basil Henderson books, Harris is taking a saucy cue or two from his female romance novel predecessors; but the author claims to be more heavily influenced by writers such as Maya Angelou and Terry McMillan, and it would be misleading to pigeonhole his books as purely guilty pleasures. Particularly in his earlier books, Harris brought to a mainstream readership the issues that many gay and bisexual men face, and added a new voice to the portrayal of black, upwardly mobile characters. And in books such as If This World Were Mine and the young adult novel Diaries of a Light-Skinned Colored Boy, he has addressed issues of race and self-realization.

Given his themes, it may seem surprising that the majority of Harris's readers are straight women; but it's also a testament to his ability to write about love and self-discovery with humor, not to mention a little steaminess.

Good To Know

Harris worked as a salesman for IBM, and earned a following by self-publishing Invisible Life before getting a book deal.

He was tapped to write the screenplay for an update of the 1976 movie Sparkle, to be produced by Whitney Houston's production company. But with the death of Aaliyah, who was attached to star, the project's future is uncertain.

He lived most of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois.

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    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 20, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Flint, Michigan
    1. Date of Death:
      July 23, 2009
    2. Place of Death:
      Los Angeles, California

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 146 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(74)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    Trust in your father

    In My Father's House by E. Lynn Harris
    In My Father's House is an interesting book which brings previous invisible relationships between father and son and forces the reader to rethink his/her conceptions about father and son relationships. Drawing upon his relationship with his dad and his relationship with his mentee; Bentley L. Dean III finds his place in the world and tries to make one for his mentee Jah.
    After making the decision to come out and no longer live the life his father wanted for him; Bentley decides to call off his wedding to Kim Boston, start his modeling agency and drive off into the sunset with Warren Stubbs. Unfortunate for Bentley; Warren has other schemes hatching under his hat. Putting his love life on hold for a second Bentley's modeling agency is financially cripple. It would take something short of a miracle to make this week's payroll. Picture Perfect modeling agency meets Sterling Sneed, an angel in disguise or Bentley's miracle? Mr. Sneed's boss is looking for a particular type of man who knows how to act like an adult and keep his mouth shut. Specifically fifteen of Bentley's best looking models, gay, bi or very open-minded to attend a party hosted by Prosperity Gentlemen's Club. A club with a membership fee of one million dollars and its membership list consist of celebrities, athletes, and politicians.
    Bentley's mentee Jah is a young college student and hungry for love. When one of the models can't make the gig with Prosperity Gentlemen's Club Bentley ask Jah to fill in even though he prefers to show Jah the life in small doses. Before Bentley can digest it all Jah is in love, ready to leave school and move out of the state. But what happens in the name of love to Jah is enough to make him run back to school.
    I enjoyed reading In My Father's House and getting to know this new host of characters. It was a fun story about fathers, men and sons. This book shared the same lesson I interpret from John 14:2 that if you trust and believe; your father will prepare a place for you.
    Missy
    3 book marks

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    Farewell...

    Being that this was to be the last novel written by E. Lynn Harris, I like I see many others were expecting way more than we possibly should have. I say this in meaning I don't think he was able to really and fully polish this to standards a majority of his work is accustomed to. For example, there are subtle and major parts of the story that seem to not really explain much and leave you wondering. Jah's escape from the clutches of Seth seemed to just happen without much "force" from Bentley. We are treated to the phone conversation between Bentley and Sterling and then Jah is released with a standard, "If you say anything..." warning. Overall I loved the book once it got going and like one of my fellow reviewers it became a real page turner when the tempo picked up. Personally for me I can relate to the theme of fathers and sons after losing my own at a young age. And so this story was a great read of acceptance and love. I truly wish we had not lost such a poignant voice from the community of humanity. But we are still left with a lifetime of works that has spoken, stirred and healed a great many of our own pains. Thank you again Mr. Harris.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Rachel

    Name: Sarah Rachel Chester (goes by Rachel)<p>
    Age: 13 <p>
    B-Day: March 31<p>
    Height: 4'5"<p>
    Hair color: strawberry blonde<p>
    Hair length: goes down to my waist<p>
    Face: roundish<p>
    Eye color: bright blue<p>
    Clothes: things pink, purple, or blue<p>
    Skin: tanish<p>
    Weight: about 60-70 pounds<p>
    Favorite color: purple<p>
    Favorite animal: wolf<p>
    Personality: bubbly, girly<p>
    Crush/GF: Layla<p>
    Anything else: just ask.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Layla's bio

    AGE~ 14. LOOKS ~ tan skin brown curly hair that reaches her shoulders. Dark brown eyes. 4ft 11 inches. People say I'm pretty. Eh. LIKES ~ Friends, music, 1D, writing, reading, helping people, making people laugh, dancing and singing (but I'm not good at it) and Rachel. DISLIKES ~ Bullies, sluts, vegtables, miley cyrus, chores, coffee and common unlikable things. PERSONALITY ~ Sweet, loving and sociable. Mean to people she doesn't like. Fun and funny. Kinda flirty. Ummm that's it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Girl

    Kis.sed guy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Rosa

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Alexander

    You go there first*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    E Lynn did it again

    He was such a great writer. As usual I was pulled into the characters like I knew them personally.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Todd

    Yep

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Violet

    Are you on todd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    John

    Sits down. In the house is several soft cat beds and bowls with milk and water. The windows are made of fiberglass, and cannot be broken. The door is very thick and made of hard oak. There is a one-way cat door that goes inside, but not out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Pumpkyn

    Loved it !!!!! Mr. Harris has done it again. His open-mindedness is what made him a great writer. There is a message in this novel for all. Respect & forgiveness sometimes has to be earned. Sometimes parents have to make right what they have wronged.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Great author

    Very entertaining book couldnt put it down...read it in 1 day!

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    highly recommended

    another good book of the E Lynn Harris family

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Highly Recommended!!

    A must read. You will struggle to put this book down. It's amazing! Another winner by the late E Lynn Harris.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    One of my favorite authors!

    This was a good read. Im sad that E. Lynn is no longer with us!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    I miss him

    So happy to have this last book from this gifted author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Could not put it down

    Great read.....as usual!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book!! Highly Recommended!!

    I love E Lynn Harris books. Hi books are never boring. We were lucky to have E Lynn Harris in our lives. May he R-I-P!

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Nice

    Pretty good read

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews

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