Suspicionsby Sasha Campbell
"Lies, greed, lust, betrayal, loyalty, laughter, tears and more. . ." OOSA Bookclub
These women are about to learn more than they ever wanted to know about secretsand the men who keep them. . .
As the owner of Situations, the hottest beauty salon on the south side of Chicago, Noelle Gordon has a direct line to the private lives of her clients. But
"Lies, greed, lust, betrayal, loyalty, laughter, tears and more. . ." OOSA Bookclub
These women are about to learn more than they ever wanted to know about secretsand the men who keep them. . .
As the owner of Situations, the hottest beauty salon on the south side of Chicago, Noelle Gordon has a direct line to the private lives of her clients. But when an abandoned baby girl appears on her doorstep, Noelle finds herself at the center of a personal drama. Meanwhile, Noelle's employees are discovering that their own romantic relationships harbor a secret or two. The truth isn't always pretty. But can they find the strength to live with itand with the men they love?
"A drama-filled story." Urban Reviews
"Juggles each 'suspicious' intimacy issue in serious soul sistah style." Publishers Weekly
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By Sasha Campbell
DAFINA BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Sasha Campbell
All right reserved.
"Guuuurrrrrrrl, I met this dude from Jamaica last weekend. Trust and believe me when I tell you, he was a straight-up Mandingo!"
"Peaches, sit still before I burn your ear!" Damn! How was I supposed to style her hair if she kept moving? Besides, I don't know what made her think I wanted to listen to her talking about getting some from a dude she barely knew.
"Oops, my bad!" Peaches chuckled. "It's just not often that I find a man with some good dick."
"Ooh! I know that's right," cackled some toothpick with a jacked-up weave, sitting in the chair beside her. "I haven't had a man with anything worth talking about in a long time. They either can't get it up or when they do, it ain't worth my time."
While everyone on the salon floor started talking about men's private parts, I simply pursed my lips and kept on flat-ironing Peaches's hair. I don't know why my clients always think I want to hear about their sex lives.
"Shhhh-shhhh! I don't know if y'all heard this or not, but ... Tiffany don't know nothing about getting laid."
I grabbed a comb and pointed it at Debra, ready to cuss her behind every which way, but decided not to waste my breath. She's the newest stylist at Situations, and unfortunately my booth happened to be right next to hers, which meant she had eavesdropped on one too many of my conversations. In fact, it was a bad habit I was determined to break. "Debra, nobody asked you to be spreading my personal business," I mumbled. What she needed to be worried about was that no-good baby daddy of hers.
Debra gave an innocent look, then had the nerve to wave her hand like she was dismissing me. "I don't know why you getting mad. You should be proud to let everyone know you're not getting none."
"Not getting none?" Peaches's head snapped in my direction, her bubble eyes were big as saucers. "What's up with that?"
Now all eyes were on me. Damn, why she all up in my business? "I'm just not out there trying to give it up to everybody." I wasn't yelling, but I had definitely raised my voice.
Debra started laughing. "Everybody? Hell, you haven't given it to anybody."
I gave her a nasty look. With God as my witness, before long, she and I were going to have it out. "Some of us were raised to hold on to our virginity for the right man while others weren't." I don't know why I was even trying to explain to a bunch of chicks who wouldn't understand that some of us didn't believe in giving it up to every Tom, Dick, and Jerry they come across.
"Okay ... lemme get this straight. You saying you're a virgin?" Peaches asked for clarification and swung her seat all the way around so she could look at me dead in my mouth. Thanks to Debra, they were all trying to get in my business.
"Did I stutter? I'm saving myself for the right man," I replied with a mean glare. "Now turn around." I was done discussing my personal life. Unfortunately, Peaches wasn't finished yet.
"Hold up, Tif. What about that cutie pie who picked you up the last time I was here?"
I glanced around to see if anyone else was listening. The last thing I wanted was one of these trifling females in the salon to try and push up on my man. "What about him?" I said with attitude.
"I know you gotta be getting some of that." She said like she'd caught me in a lie. "Sheee-it, I would."
"Puhleeze," Debra cackled. "Tiffany ain't gave him shit!"
"You lying?" Peaches's mouth was hanging open, then all of a suddenly she and Debra looked at each other and burst out laughing. "Dayuumn, Tiffany. I ain't mad atcha!" I was seconds away from telling Peaches to get the hell out my chair because I didn't give a damn if she believed me or not, but she was one of my best clients and times were hard.
The skinny chick sitting in Debra's chair threw her hands up in surrender. "Hell naw! I heard it all."
The conversation wasn't anything new to me. My girls had always thought it strange that I was 27 and still a virgin. All of them couldn't wait to fall in love and have sex, while I had the willpower they didn't have to say no. I won't say it had always been easy, but it was either wait or deal with Ruby Dee. My mother was one woman you didn't want to mess with. If she said keep your legs closed, then you better do it. Her fist was the only chastity belt I had ever needed.
I glanced around the floor, then took a deep breath before I said, "Why is it if a woman says she's a virgin, she has to be lying?"
"Damn, Tiffany, it's not like it's a bad thing. It's just, well ... almost unheard of," Debra said on the defense.
When Peaches finally stopped laughing, she said, "Also, there is this thing called being horny. Hell, I lost my virginity when I was fourteen."
And that's why she has four kids. I reached for a brush. "So what? Everybody ain't like you. My mother taught me that what I have is precious and I needed to make a man earn the privilege after he makes me his wife." I probably sounded like I thought I was all that, but so what. Women needed to have more respect for themselves.
Debra sucked her buck teeth like a horse. "I know that's right, girl! Make those niggas beg for it." That wasn't at all what I meant, but I doubt Debra would know the difference.
That anorexic-looking chick with the jacked-up weave had the nerve to give her two cents. "You a better woman than me, because there ain't no way in hell I would marry a man before I knew what he was working with. I think about all those women back in the day who couldn't have sex until after they got married only to find out that not only couldn't her husband fuck, but his dick wasn't even circumcised."
"Ugh!" Peaches was laughing so hard, she practically fell from my chair. "I couldn't even imagine. Call me a ho if you wanna, but to me it's just like sampling a piece of meat in the deli. I need to know what I'm getting before I spend my money!" She flinched. "Ouch!"
"That's what you get for moving. I told you to sit still," I replied and tried to keep a straight face. That's what she gets for being all up in my business.
Now everybody wanted to get in the conversation. They were now shouting back and forth across the room with the chicks sitting in the waiting area. I half listened as I worked on my client's head. I've heard this topic time and time before, and I'll admit there have been times when I wondered what it would be like being married to Kimbel, and what if he doesn't satisfy me. But on the other hand, as my best friend told me, you can't miss what you've never had.
Ms. Conrad lifted the hooded dryer from her head. I should have known her nosy behind was listening. "I'ma tell y'all, I was married to my husband for twenty years before he decided he wanted his freedom. Charles was the only man I had ever been with, so I had no idea what I was missing. But leaving me was the best thing he could have ever done for me. I now got a man in my life who makes my toes curl."
"Shit, I know that's right. This dude I was with last night had my toes curled and me calling out his name!" screamed some tall chick sitting in the lobby.
Ms. Conrad glared at her. "That's the problem with all you young folks. You're too busy trying to get yours. Relationships are supposed to be about a lot more than just sex."
Debra waved a hot comb in the air as she spoke. "True, but sex is important. If the sex is bad, then so is the relationship." She shook her head. "Tiffany, I don't see how you can do."
Toothpick chick gave me a curious grin. "So is your fiancé a virgin, too?"
Damn, they're nosy. "Nope, but he knows I am and he respects that." I wasn't about to tell them Kimbel spent half his time trying to convince me to give it up. Part of me felt the only reason he proposed so soon was because he knew that marrying me was the only way he was going to get some. But Kimbel was rich and he could have any woman he wanted, yet he picked me, a little girl from the projects who grew up in a single-parent home. I truly believed he wouldn't have asked me to be his wife if he didn't love me.
"How long y'all been together?" Toothpick asked.
"Six months. He proposed on Valentine's Day." I held out my hand so she could see the three-carat solitaire surrounded by emeralds that I wore proudly on my finger.
She barely looked before she frowned. "And you think your man's been faithful all this time?" As soon as I nodded, she started laughing. "Honey, puhleeze! Just 'cause you're not fucking doesn't mean he ain't. He's a man, and a man's got needs that someone else is more than willing to fulfill."
I hated bitches like her. I shook my head. "I trust my man."
"I trust mine, too ... as far as I can see him. Because the second you turn your back, there's some hoochie trying to ride his dick. My baby is fine; therefore, I keep his ass on a short leash."
Debra started yanking the weave out her head. "That's because Ricky ain't no good. Ursula, shut up."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever, you know what I'm saying is true."
Ms. Conrad came to my defense. "All of you need to quit. There is nothing wrong with this young lady saving herself for the right man."
Peaches turned on the chair again. "Yeah, but how do you know he's the right man until you find out what he's working with, and, better yet, if he can work it?"
"I know that right!" Toothpick high-fived Peaches and ignored the pissed off look on my face.
"Just because we don't have sex doesn't mean we don't do other things." I don't know why I felt like I needed to prove something to these ghetto chicks up in here.
Peaches glanced over her shoulder and gave me a strange look. "Things like what? And I hope you're not talking about oral sex. Because last I checked that was considered sex as well."
"No, it isn't," Debra said, and tossed a sponge roller at her.
"Yes, it is. There was a news report on Dateline a while back about all these high-school kids giving each other head because it's supposed to be cool. Kids think it's okay to have oral sex."
While they debated the issue, I tuned them out and thought about what they said. I would never admit it to any of them, but there were many times when I was tempted to give in to the moment and let Kimbel have exactly what he wanted, but every time I was that close to spreading my legs, I heard my mother's nagging voice in my ear, saying, "Why buy the cow if the milk is free?" But I'm not going to lie. These heifers in the salon had me thinking. It had been six months since we started dating, which meant Kimbel hadn't had any in half a year. I was confident he wasn't getting any. Some might call me arrogant. Others might call me stupid, but I trusted my man. However, the last thing I wanted was for him to get tired of waiting, then go out and get him some from one of those trifling chicks in the streets. Now, don't get it twisted. I wasn't about to give up my virginity before saying, "I do." Nevertheless, my mama ain't raised no fool. I was just going to have to prove to my man that what I have would definitely be worth the wait.
"Oooooh! That's it! Right there."
Grinning, I gazed into Patricia's eyes. "Boo, I aim to please," I purred, making sure my voice sounded as smooth as melted butter. Reaching for the warm oil, I drizzled it along the length of her legs, then massaged every drop drown to her cute little pinkie toe.
"Mmmm." Her eyelids rolled shut and my lips curled upward. This was just too easy. All it took was me licking my lips like LL Cool J and rubbing on a woman's feet and I had her juices flowing immediately. A brotha had mad skills, and right now I had Patricia exactly where I wanted her—on the verge of an orgasm.
I focused my attention on the peanut butter brown beauty. Massaging one foot and the other, then worked my hands up her calves. She groaned and I increased the pressure. I wanted my hands to feel better than any foreplay she'd ever experienced.
"Ooh, yeah, Chauncey, damn that feel ssssoooo good!" she moaned.
Grinning, my hands were just creeping up to her inner thighs when I heard this loud voice behind me.
"Damn, Chauncey! How much longer 'fore it's my turn?"
Before I could answer, Patricia's eye snapped open and her head rolled to the woman standing impatiently to her right with a hand planted at her thick waist. "Don't be trying to rush him. My money is just as green as yours and the rest of these chicks up in here." She pointed at the women sitting on the fake leather couch in the waiting room in front of a large flat-screen television. "You're just gonna have to wait like the rest of them," Patricia replied, then closed her eyes and leaned back in the chair.
I gave the angry female my signature smile. "Beverly, I'll be with you in just a few. You know I like to make sure all my clients get their money's worth."
My comment pleased her because she smacked her full lips. "I just bet you do,'" she mumbled under her breath yet loud enough for me to hear. Momentarily pleased, she turned and moved back to take a seat in the waiting room. I'm a man who loves a female with a big ass, so there was no way I could miss the sway of her succulent hips in low-ride jeans. I don't know how long I was staring before I heard Patricia clear her throat. My head whipped around to meet her frown.
"Now ... where were we?" I said with a wink.
She turned up her lips. "Before we were rudely interrupted you were giving me my massage."
"Oh yeah." I rubbed her legs and it wasn't long before she was moaning on her chair again. A few minutes later, I rose. "I'll be right back."
"Mmmm," Patricia purred. "Don't keep me waiting too long."
I moved over to a heating unit in the corner, removed a hot towel, then carried it over and placed it across her feet. "How's that feel?"
"Ooh-weee! Chauncey, you've got skills!"
I gave her another shit-eating grin, then signaled for Beverly to come on the floor. I poured hot water in the bowl beside Patricia's, then added some foot soak salts.
"Chauncey, I've been waiting all week for this."
Beverly had a lazy eye, so I never knew which direction she was looking. It took everything I had to focus on the left eye when what I wanted to do was follow the direction of the other up toward the ceiling. "I'm glad to hear that. How you been? How's your daughter liking the new daycare?"
Her face lit up. Apparently it blew her mind that I had remembered. "Fine. That's all she talks about."
"That's whassup." I learned that if you want to keep your clients loyal, you have to build a personal relationship with them. All you have to do is show them you care. I instructed for her to place her right foot in my hand. Beverly started laughing like she was trying on a glass slipper. I stared down at her feet and it took all I had not to do a double take. It didn't matter how often she came in, I still couldn't get used to her having some big-ass Fred Flintstone toes. The bottoms of her feet were so hard and crusty, one would have thought she had used them to peddle her car over to the salon. "Damn, boo, you got some pretty feet."
She smiled just the way I wanted her to, then dropped her eyes and tried to act shy while I removed the polish from her toes. "You think so?"
"Most definitely, I bet your man likes to suck your toes," I flirted. She grinned and licked her lips—the way females do when you tell them exactly what they wanted to hear.
Patricia's nosy behind glanced over at Beverly's feet and then at me with her brow raised and snorted. "Be for real."
It took everything I had not to laugh. What can I say? I aim to please. And so far my fat pockets proved that I knew what I was doing. How's the saying go? The proof is in the pudding. Before I had even graduated from beauty school I knew that I would make more money doing female pedicures than I ever would cutting a nigga's head. "What would you like me to do today?"
The look Beverly gave told me that whatever was on her mind had nothing to do with her feet. Maybe it's the freak in me, but I like a woman who made her intentions known. I allowed my eyes to run freely over her body. Beverly had a slamming shape. A wide ass and big breasts perfect enough to hold in the palm of my hands, but there was no way I could go out with her. Not with her wandering eye. I wouldn't know if she was looking at me or the dude sitting at the next table.
Beverly slipped her feet in the water, then shrugged. "I don't know ... What do you think?"
I splashed water across her legs with my hand as I spoke. "How about bronze polish? I think it would bring out the gold tone of your skin."
She batted her eyelashes. "You really think so?"
"Oh yeah. And how about a white flower on the big toe with a stud in the middle?"
"Whatever you think." She giggled.
Excerpted from Suspicions by Sasha Campbell Copyright © 2011 by Sasha Campbell. Excerpted by permission of DAFINA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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"SUSPICIONS" BY SASHA CAMPBELL This writer is talented! This book left me unable to breathe at times. The character Noelle Gordon is fascinating and determined as she takes on the task of finding out who an abandoned baby belongs to. The bad thing is, does she really want to know or should she have left well enough alone? This is a fantastic drama that you will absolutely love! -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
It is the hottest salon on the South side of town, ready to serve all your beauty needs. If you need your hair straightened, weaved or stacked. We can provide these services for you. If you need your eyebrows waxed, your legs massaged, your feet scrubbed, and toe nails painted, come on in and just sign the clipboard. Then sit back and relax and enjoy everyone's company. Again, welcome to Situations! Noelle is the owner of Situations, a well-established beauty salon the South side of Chicago. She is married to her longtime sweetheart and together they have a son. For the first time they have their lives to themselves. Their son has gone off to college and they are finally free to do and go where ever their hearts desire. But Noelle has other plans that will leave Noelle and her husband's marriage hanging by a thread. Noelle is tired of all the lies and her husband is tired of being put on the back burner. Tiffany is a hair stylist at Situations. She is desperately trying to hold on to her virginity. She has strong beliefs and lately they are tested. Tiffany struggles with the love she has for her fiancé and her morals and values. She relies a lot on her best friend, Candace, for advice and guidance but Candace has different beliefs than that of herself. Candace is a single mother of a little girl. She has been Tiffany's best friend for as long as she can remember. Candace is ready to make changes in her life. She is sick of the no good men she has had relationships with in the past, which includes her daughter's father. Candace sets out to improve her life. Will her dreams come true? Chauncey also works at Situations. He is known for his outstanding pedicures, his fine looks, and his silky tongue. Although he has looks, women, and money in his pocket, it's not enough for him. He's looking to settle down and have a family of his own. He didn't have a family growing up. Will he have one now? This is the first book that I have had the opportunity to read by Sasha Campbell. "Suspicions" was a great read and definitely deserved five stars. Sasha Campbell did a fantastic job keeping readers drawn toward each of her characters. She brought you right into their emotions and made you feel each situation. One minute Sasha will have you laughing and the next minute she will have you near tears. "Suspicions" has twists and turns that will keep readers wanting to read. With the turn of each page, drama unfolds. There are lies, greed, lust, betrayal, loyalty, laughter, tears and more is all in this read. I definitely will be purchasing another book by this author. Reviewed by: Sabrina
Sasha Campbell's literature mysteriously intrigues those who love romance. This novel tells the story of three professional women, Noelle, Candace, and Tiffany. Noelle is a businesswoman, wife of an unfaithful man, grandmother of an abandoned granddaughter, and grandmother of a grandson born to her Cougar best friend! Noelle's life has enough drama for her own novel; yet Campbell wets the reader's appetite a bit more. Candace has a thug baby daddy and a pedophile for a boyfriend while Tiffany is engaged to a thief with an STD! Through tears and betrayal, the women do end up happier than they started. The plots in the novel are not new to the avid modern reader and they do relate to real life. As Campbell grows, she can rise above other authors with her talent. Natasha Hines AAMBC Reviewer
I love to read and have read many books. But, this book by far is one of the best that I have read in a long time . If you want a great book that you will not be able to put down , please get this one.
this book was very enjoyable i found myself yelling to no one in particular lol the plot was great good job sasha
Loved the twist and drama the characters went through. A few typos but still great
Ive read many books and I must say this is one of my favorites. I wasnt expecting the twist and secrets this book had. This is a true page turner, worth the read !
This book is great love it from beging to the end the drama the men everything.
Love the end of this book.