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Please Please Please

Please Please Please

4.0 29
by Renee Swindle

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Babysister gets what Babysister wants. Always has. Always will. After all, she's been spoiled rotten ever since she witnessed her mother's death as a child, and she's made the most of it-especially with her dad. So when her oldest friend, Deborah, begins to date a fine-looking, fine-acting man named Darren-Babysister doesn't think twice: she wants Darren for herself.


Babysister gets what Babysister wants. Always has. Always will. After all, she's been spoiled rotten ever since she witnessed her mother's death as a child, and she's made the most of it-especially with her dad. So when her oldest friend, Deborah, begins to date a fine-looking, fine-acting man named Darren-Babysister doesn't think twice: she wants Darren for herself. And what Babysister wants...

There are just a few little problems with their secret love affair. Babysister's devoted boyfriend is one. And Darren's lingering doubts about dumping Deborah--light-skinned, church-going, beautiful--is another. But Babysister won't let go, even after Darren crawls back to Deborah--and marries her. Following her love-crazed heart, Babysister jeopardizes friendship, family, and her own self-esteem, until a little dose of reality shows her how much she's been missing all along.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"I always get what I want," says brazen Babysister, an L.A. bank teller and heroine of Swindle's debut novel, a confection that follows a sassy, single black woman's cutthroat, even ruthless adventures in dating. The minute she lays eyes on handsome architect Darren Forrest Wilson, she's got to have him. There's one tiny hitch: she already has a boyfriend. Rob is an easily dismissed inconvenience, considering that the real obstacle is that Darren ("Prince Charming, Superman and Superfly") is the beau of her loyal best friend and bank teller colleague Deborah. This gives Babysister pause, for about one minute, before she's aiming for Darren's bed while trying to talk him out of dating Deborah. Soon she does seduce him, and hides their affair from everyone while rationalizing her betrayal. To her surprise, Darren dumps her and proposes to churchgoer Deborah; undaunted, Babysister comes on to Darren at the wedding, a ploy that may seem outrageous even for a player like Babysister. She stops scheming for a few moments while she provides readers with a little background: her mother died when she was four and she became her father's adored little princess, while her older brother, Malcolm, kept his distance. Babysister gleans some insight into her family, and her community, when she trades her position at the bank for a waitressing job, and gets to know Malcolm's ex-model girlfriend, Sharice, and her young son, Prophet. The entire cast inhabits an Afrocentric world, with references to Nation of Islam, traditional hair-styling rituals and contemporary, laid-back vernacular. The narrative coheres more energetically as Swindle veers away from the somewhat implausible love triangle and focuses more on Babysister's extended circle of family and friends. This is a slight story with mostly comic nuances and simple characters; readers won't be surprised to learn that Deborah spinelessly, though spiritually, forgives her best friend's betrayal, that Darren's a dog and that Babysister's impudence remains unchecked. First serial to Essence; Literary Guild selection; author tour; foreign rights sold to Germany and Japan. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The sophomoric intrigues of a young African-American bank teller-waitress-bookkeeper.

From the Publisher
"Move over, Bridget Jones. Watch your back, Terry McMillan. Babysister has got your number, and she won't be satisfied till she's broken every heart in town."
—Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama

"Whew!!! 'Please Please Please' give me more! A huge applause and thank you to Renée Swindle for a fun juicy ride with Babysister."
—Rita Ewing, co-author of Homecourt Advantage

"This novel reads like a good piece of gossip, intense and dramatic....Highly entertaining."
Black Issues Book Review

"A lusty tale...Swindle is funny, perceptive...she makes Terry McMillan look tame."
Baltimore Sun

"A revealing story about friendship, family and love."
Cover Story

"Renée Swindle's first novel succeeds wonderfully."
—Jervey Tervalon, author of Understand This

"Don't miss this funny debut novel by a daring new writer."
Beyond the Cover

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
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Random House
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2 MB

Read an Excerpt


Don't let anyone tell you any different, sometimes love isn't about nothing but a crooked tooth, the curl of an eyebrow, the hairs on a wrist, a gold chain, or one small mole. For me, it's boots. Have you ever seen a black man in boots? Well, there you go. So when Darren sort of leaned into me and said my name, and I turned around to see his six-foot-three-inch body pressed firmly into two perfectly polished black boots, I'm sorry, but I was gone. Later. Goodbye. Adiós.

It wasn't like I'd never been with a man who wore boots before. But the thing with most of them was, once they took off their boots, they became that much shorter, that much fatter. At least that's the way it went with Greg and John and Roger too. No boots, no magic. Just like that, and they were reduced to this person walking around looking entirely lost. I tried. Believe me, I tried: Listen, baby, why don't you put your boots on. You look so fine in your boots. But sooner or later we had to go to bed, and poof, the magic was gone.

But not with Darren. Boots or no boots, he couldn't get on my nerves if he tried. Darren was it. The first time the combination was right: fine and intelligent. I've been out with fine men before but usually after two weeks it's like, Oh, you don't have a brain. Now why didn't I notice that before? Or the guy will be intelligent but get him in bed and he only knows one position: You on the bottom, him on top. A drop of sweat dripping in your ear every ten seconds. And don't even get me started on the pseudointelligent pro-black types. "My sister, my sister. Mother Africa, I see you have bought into the white man's lie.You must understand that it would be a mistake for me to go down on you. I refuse to partake in the white man's nasty habits. I can't believe that you would disrespect your man by asking him to do something like that."

Men are a mess. A complete mess. There's a communication problem going on that they don't want to discuss. So while he's going at it, you're left thinking, Hello??!! It sure would be nice if you kissed me on the lips now and then. Or, Hello??!! There is a thinking, feeling human being underneath you.

See, you touch a man anywhere and you've got a direct line to his dick. With a woman, a kiss on the ear might send a charge to her breast, kiss her breast and she feels something in her heart, suck her nipple and a dampness swells between her legs.

Let me put it this way: Have you ever seen a piano getting tuned? I was in the high school auditorium once and there was a man there tuning the piano. He'd barely tap a note, then he'd listen. Tap a note. Listen. Tap a note. Carefully. Gently. You could hear that piano loosen up just as nice. And that's the way it was with Darren.

He'd lick my earlobe. "Do you like that?"


He'd hold the back of my neck in his hand and barely touch my breast. "Do you like that?"

Oh yes.

He wouldn't touch any harder until he felt my hip rise or until I pulled his head closer. "Do you like that?"

I'd moan and scream and sigh and after two, sometimes three orgasms I would just stare at the man in some kind of soap opera awe. "I've been reading the Tao of Love and Sex," he'd say. And I'd say, "I have no idea what that is, but you just keep on reading it."

Prince Charming, Superman, Superfly, all in one. I'm a believer because I have been there. Darren would reach down with his finger and move my panties aside, and I would be wet every time. Every time.

So what if the first time we met I was working at the bank, and when he said my name he was only asking me if I could make sure my best friend got the flowers he was leaving for her.

"Babysister? You're Babysister, right?" He had on boots, jeans, and a soft white shirt that I would have loved to unbutton. He had thick black hair cut short and neat, deep brown eyes, and a warm generous smile that made you feel that you were the only woman on the entire planet.


"Well listen, would you do me a big favor and make sure Deborah gets these flowers? I sort of want them to be the first thing she sees when she gets here."

You are the finest, most drop-dead-gorgeous motherfucker I have seen in a long, very long time, and would you please prop me up on this counter, brush the pens aside, and do whatever it is you want to do?

But "Uh-huh" was all I said. "No problem."

Then he said, "Deborah said you were nice."

And I watched him jerk his keys, put on his sunglasses, push open the door with one elegant hand, and walk out.

When all that was left of him was the faint smell of Afro Sheen, I took a peek at the card.


Thank you for a marvelous dinner.


I thought again about how he said my name. Babysister, he said, and just like that, my name sounded as familiar as two dimes hitting the floor. Ting. Ting.


I always get what I want. My father spoiled me as a child because I lost my mother. She died when I was four. We had just been to the store and she was carrying a large bag of groceries. We were headed to our car, which was parked across the street in front of a Baskin-Robbins. My mother took my hand before she stepped off the curb. I remember she cried out "Oh" just as an orange car pushed into her side and made her body fold like the flap on an envelope. "Oh" was all she said. I remember the hood of the car was shaped like the mouth of a shark, a large silver tooth near each front tire. I remember she said at the stoplight, "Maybe we should treat ourselves to a couple of ice-cream cones."

I hit the ground too, but as soon as I started to stand up, some woman screamed, "Somebody take the baby! Take the baby! She shouldn't ought to see this!" A man picked me up and took me to the corner. "Are you all right?" He squeezed my arms to make sure my bones were straight.

You'd think it would be a complete tragedy to see your mother die, but sometimes it doesn't seem like I was there at all. The accident happened so long ago it's become more like a dream. I consider myself lucky that I was so young when it happened. I mean, even though my mother pushed me out of the crosswalk and died under a car, all I have left from the accident really is a dark-brown scar on my right knee shaped like a bow on a gift.

I am my father's baby girl. I have an older brother named Malcolm, but I'll be honest with you, he doesn't get nearly as much attention as I do. I get so much attention not only because Malcolm gets on everyone's nerves, but because I was there when my mother died. It seems to me like the day after the funeral I started getting whatever I wanted. I mean, I had so much shit. My yellow skateboard with red wheels, my Flip Wilson doll with Flip Wilson on one side and Geraldine on the other--pull the string and he'd say, The devil made me do it! My Betty Crocker You-Can-Bake! Oven that made chocolate cake--only with the help of Mom, but who cared because it tasted nasty anyway; my pink bicycle, my red wagon, my skates that looked like tennis shoes with wheels. Later I had Barbie dolls. Barbie dolls everywhere. Barbie town house, Barbie mobile home, Barbie Corvette, swimming pool, beauty salon, and horse. Black Barbies, white Barbies. I got a VW Bug for my sixteenth birthday and after I wrecked it, a used Toyota. After the Toyota broke down I got a Honda Civic. I went with the finest man in high school to the senior prom and was named homecoming queen. Remember tag and having to decide who was it? Stuff like one potato, two potato, and Johnny ate a booger and it tasted like sugar, you're it? Well, this might sound a bit strange, but I never had to be it. I made sure that I wouldn't have to be it even if it meant holding my breath until I might pass out.

All I'm trying to say is this: I don't remember a time when I didn't get what I wanted. And I wanted Darren like nobody's business.

What People are Saying About This

Franklin White
It's very rare we cheer for those who admittedly do wrong. But Babysister's dazzling insight gives us a peek at how a man's words, actions and deeds are taken to heart, and shows how easy it really is to throw everything by the wayside — including friendship — when blinded by love (Franklin White is author, Fed Up with the Fanny).
Mark Childress
Move over, Bridget Jones. Watch your back, Terry McMillan. Babysister has got your number, and she won't be satisfied till she's broken every heart in town (Mark Childress is author of Crazy in Alabama).
Rita Ewing
Whew!!! Please Please Please give me more! A huge applause and thank you to Renee Swindle for a fun juicy ride with Babysister. I'm already looking forward to her next book (Rita Ewing is co-author of Homecourt Advantage).
Jervey Tervalon
What starts as a fetish for boots leads Babysister into a world of delirious complications. Renee Swindle's first novel succeeds wonderfully (Jervey Tervalon is author, Understand This).

Meet the Author

Renée Swindle received her MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University, where she taught both composition and creative writing. She lives in Oakland, California.

From the Paperback edition.

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Please Please Please 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
VinsonJenkins More than 1 year ago
This was a great read! What I loved the most was how real Babysister was, and by real I mean a truly flawed, normal, dumb woman. There was no sugarcoating in this story line. The women weren't all beautiful with hair down their backs and money in the bank. It sounds like something I would have heard from my friends at work. The only down fall is the flashbacks to the past. While some were helpful in understanding Babysister, others were not needed and slowed down the story, but not enoug to make you want to stop reading. I can't wait to suggest this book to my book club, the discussion about trifling Babysister will be crazy!!!! Can wait to read the next book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had a very very very slow start. I am use to reading books that from the first word grabbing my atttention, i didn't even get past the 3rd chapter. If you have patience and a beg. reader then you might like this book if you can push through the first couple of boring chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 12 and im not allowed to date.// anyway, i agree with the first response you got, also wait a while. Maybe untill 6th or 7th grade. You'll understand dating. Its sad how many heartbreaks you'll have to go through just to have only one person be yours forever.... it really is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recess? What grade are you in? Fifth? Wait a frw years sweetheart. It's not worth it at that age. Take it from someone with experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so this boy that i like named Jacob likes a girl named Cate. He doesn't know that i like him. Yesterday, he hugged Cate right in front of me, and i felt like dieing. She doesn't like him, and i sit next to him during lunch and play with him during recess. Should i tell him that i like him and see what happens, or should i just not interfere?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so based on real, everyday situations, which is why it was so hard to put down! I think Renee Swindle did a excellent job on this book, which is why I also recommend friends/others to read this book if your interested in reading about surreal life issues such as: gossip, he-say,she-say, love, hatred, antimosity, relationships, attitude, and rumors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good book but it did drag a little in the middle and towards the end. I found myself rolling my eyes at Babysister I don't know if she really got it? That what she did was truly wrong. Worth the read but I wanted more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This first novel for Renee Swindle is a page turner. I purchased the paperback copy (Summer 2000). The cover got my attention. Reading the excerpt kept my attention, I could not stop turning the pages until I was finished. Wanting to support a new novelist was a great idea. She has great potential. I want more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading Renee Swindle's work. Someone recommended it to me after reading Carl Weber's Looking for Luv (another great book about Black men and their adventures looking for love)... Babysister (the name already tells you that she is not just spoiled, but also a spoiled BRAT) is a character that you love to hate. She knows what she's doing is wrong, but ever since she was four years old, everyone gave her whatever she wanted... and if it wasn't given freely, it was given out of guilt. This is how Babysister grew up in a bubble... she was always protected by somebody... her father, her best friend, her brother (although jealous, he still protects her)... There had to come a day that the bubble was going to burst... and I'm glad it did!!! This book is more than just a story about cheating on your best friend... it's about growing up.... and you truly watch Babysister grow up..... Wish I could have read a little more about Darren's fate... but then again... that could be Renee's next book!!!! *wink*
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very good read.Definitly a page turner.Renee had her characters so life like.Babysister had you wanting to tell her to wake up there is more to life than just a man.Why risk everything for nothing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Renee Swindle's Please Please Please was a delightful read and redeeming. I would pass this book onto others for the lessons it reveals to you. Like, honesty, love, trust, compassion and redemption. I laughed, cried and fussed as Babysister went along with her life as though no one else's feelings matter. She didn't even care who she hurt as long as she got what she wanted. I cheered when this lesson was revealed to her. She had the love and support of family and friends but, that wasn't enough and besides when you don't have self-love there's an emptiness that no one can fill. She had to learn that and I was grateful she had Lisette to tell her that constantly. Babysister thought Darren could fill that void in her life and almost loss her bestfriend Deborah because of it. As you read you see Babysister's growth and ahh ha moments. Renee needs to write a part II to this book because, it left questions for so many readers, including me. I look forward to a possible sequel and wish Renee the best with her second novel and writing career.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I consider this book to be outstanding. Thank you, Renee, for your insight of how it is to be the other women. I couldn't put the book down. Please, Please, Please give me some more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great when you first read it its life their talking about you , you really get into it, it makes you wanna keep reading and never stop its very life like.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was ok i can't give it 5 stars because I've read better but it's a good book to keeps you reading. I recommend it to all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you Renee Swindle for a well-written book. I read the book in 2 days. The characters in the book were very realistic. I think it's safe to say that we all know a 'Babysister'. I fussed about her all through the book. An excellent read. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading and fussing at the same time. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
You did it Rene Swindle. Thank you for writing a novel about Babysister. She truely is a character I can identify with on a personal level. The book was juicy and heart-warming, I just could not put it down for one second. I felt great when I finished the novel. I recommend all to read at least twice. Thank you , Thank you, Thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've read in my life. It's like watching a movie. I couldn't put this book down for one moment. I recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have finally finished reading this book. In 30 days. It was so hard for me. I can read 300 pages in 4 hours. The more I read this book. I learn to enjoyed it. I had the hardest time with chapter 6. Again, the book is well written. I hope to read your next book soon. I feel like this book was written from reality. We all know someone who is like the babysister. So sister keep your business to your self. Dont tell the babysitter? lol Blue
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book blindly; however I was not disapointed... Babysister makes you happy and sad as you accompany her on her journey to follow her heart!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I couldn't put it down. The characters were so real and not boring by far. The feeling was there as well. I was feeling love and hate for the right people at the right time. The conclusion up was great also. Swindle didn't leave you hanging about any of the characters in the end. Ms. Swindle did an exellent job with this book. She put her heart into it and I can't wait until the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago