The Vow: A Novel

The Vow: A Novel

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by Denene Millner, Angela Burt-Murray, Mitzi Miller

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When three best friends come together for their sorority sister's tony wedding on New Year's Eve, they make a vow at the stroke of midnight to get married within one year. As the three women embark on their search to find their soul mates, they navigate the full-contact sport known as being a SSBFDLA (successful, single, black, female dating in L.A.) and negotiate

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When three best friends come together for their sorority sister's tony wedding on New Year's Eve, they make a vow at the stroke of midnight to get married within one year. As the three women embark on their search to find their soul mates, they navigate the full-contact sport known as being a SSBFDLA (successful, single, black, female dating in L.A.) and negotiate the shark-infested waters of making a name for themselves in Hollywood.

Can Trista, the hyper-driven celebrity agent, find the time to schedule a meaningful romance? Will Amaya, the sexy starlet, convince the married hip hop–label exec she has been seeing to leave his wife and slip a ring on her finger or will the NBA star steal her heart in the final seconds? After undergoing a complete makeover, will Vivian, the jaded gossip columnist, win back the father of her child?

Set against the seductive backdrop of money, power, and sex, The Vow follows these women as they discover that their desire to find a husband isn't as important as finding themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran author Millner (What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know) has teamed with Burt-Murray and Miller (editors at Jane and Teen People, respectively) to produce an emotionally charged portrait of contemporary Hollywood with a cast of unforgettable characters. Reunited at a wedding on New Year's Eve, three 30-something sorority sisters pledge to become engaged within a year. Trista Gordon, a power hungry talent agent, will do whatever it takes to beat her politically connected colleague, Steven Banks, to a partnership. Beautiful actress Amaya Anderson, in line for her first leading role, juggles two boyfriends while focusing on toning down her flashy image. Slightly plump Vivian Evans, an entertainment journalist, remains hopelessly in love with her son's father, her ex-husband. Fortified with new skills meant to drive a man wild, the trio find their wants don't often meet those of their romantic prospects, who include a basketball star, a closeted gay attorney and a hip-hop artist. Readers will eagerly turn the pages of this edgy, sexy novel to learn what's happening next. Agent, Victoria Sanders. Author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Enter the world of California glitz and glamour as three friends navigate their way through Hollywood's chaotic dating scene. Trista is vying for partner at one of the hottest talent agencies in Los Angeles and finds herself caught between a former love and her current, slightly boring boyfriend. Amaya, an actress contending with the casting couch to improve her roles, obsesses about her affair with a married man while dating a basketball star. And newspaper reporter Vivian is still in love with her college boyfriend, the father of her son. Prompted by a New Year's resolution to be wed by the year's end, the women discover the strengths and weaknesses of their friendships, their families, and themselves. Millner (The Sistahs' Rules) and magazine editors Angela Burt-Murray and Mitzi Miller have collaborated before, in The Angry Black Woman's Guide to Life. Their latest endeavor brings fast-paced romances to life and features a trio of engaging characters. Perfect for light reading, this book is recommended for popular fiction collections, especially where Millner is popular.-Joy St. John, Henderson Dist. P.L., NV Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The path to true love is never smooth for three sexy black Los Angeles women who set a deadline for landing Mr. Right. A New Year's Eve wedding celebration spurs best friends Trista, Amaya and Viv to make a pledge to find themselves husbands within a 12-month period. Should be simple, right? After all, they have talent, beauty and drive to spare. But finding men does not seem to be the problem, just getting the right one to commit. Earthy single mom Viv longs for a full-time family with her son's father, a successful plastic surgeon, but gets sidetracked by a smitten gangsta rapper; talent agent Trista seems to have met her match in smooth lawyer Garrett, but cannot get her college sweetheart Damon out of her mind; and starlet (and part-time hustler) Amaya hedges her bets with a strapping young basketball star in the hopes that her married music-mogul lover will become jealous enough to leave his movie star wife. This familiar story of friendship and self-realization from Millner (A Love Story, 2004, etc.), Teen People magazine executive editor Burt-Murray and Jane magazine associate editor Miller is peppered with Hollywood gossip about the African-American entertainment elite, along with several frank and funny sex scenes. These wannabe brides are far from chaste, and their unapologetic romps drive the love-yourself-first message better than some of the more conventional plot revelations. Through a series of crises that include a boyfriend on the down-low and a sick child, the friends are forced to face the flaws in their plan and deal with their own fears until they realize that they need each other far more than a ring. A warm-hearted Jackie Collins-meets-Terry McMillan ode tosisterhood, with few surprises.

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The Vow

A Novel
By Denene Millner

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Denene Millner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060762276

Chapter One


I have a wicked hangover. And as the Saturday-morning sunshine streams between the curtains into the hotel room and warms my face, I'm certain that a jackhammer has taken up residence behind my right pupil. Damn, I forgot to take my contacts out last night; they're stuck to my eyeballs. For a moment, I think about staying in bed all day and sleeping off my pounding headache, but as my splintered gaze slowly begins to focus, it falls on the strapless violet gown hanging on the back of the closet door. I groan and remember that duty calls. Today, my best friend, my homegirl, my soror, my ace boon coon Elise is getting married, and I'm the maid of honor. And no matter that we've been friends since we learned how to double Dutch, I don't think sistergirl would forgive me for even thinking about missing her big day.

Gently clasping my throbbing head in my hands, I sit up in the bed and wrap the sheet tightly around my naked body. Is the room actually spinning? I'm such a lightweight. I should have stuck to my self-imposed two-drink max rule last night. As I feel my hair, I realize most of it has fought its way free of the sleek French knot Elise requested the bridesmaids get at the hair salon yesterday. It's a matted mess. We were supposed to wrap it tightly and have it lightly touched up today, if necessary. Elise is going to kill me.

What time is it? Pushing aside two champagne flutes, a half-empty bottle of Veuve Clicquot, my cell phone, and BlackBerry resting on the mahogany nightstand, I squint at the digital clock. Luckily it's only 10:17. I've got a while before I have to pull myself together and meet my girls Amaya, Viv, and the rest of the bridal party downstairs in the lobby to go take pictures before this evening's wedding ceremony.

My office is under strict orders not to bother me this weekend, but judging from the red voicemail light flashing rapidly on my cell, the vibrating pager, and the bright-orange message light on the hotel phone, some are still desperate to reach me. Ordinarily I would return all voicemails and emails first thing in the morning, but I drank so much champagne last night my head feels like it's being squeezed between the bellies of two sumo wrestlers.

Well, this is the first real vacation I've taken in the seven years since I joined The Agency (derisively referred to in the entertainment industry as T&A -- Tits and Abs -- for the high number of busty starlets and leading men with six-packs in our stable), so the demanding partners and my narcissistic clients seeking reassurance that they are beautiful, talented, and destined for Oscar glory (always in that order) will have to function without me for a few more days. Hopefully none of them have been arrested for intent to distribute, left their wife for the fifteen-year-old Scandinavian au pair, or gone AWOL from a movie shoot to check into rehab.

Gingerly turning my head toward the window, I think I hear rain. Damn, Elise has to be freaking out right now. Her ripped-from-the-pages-of-Martha Stewart Living dream wedding day is ruined. The bridal party was scheduled to take pictures outside at the botanical gardens prior to this evening's candlelight service. Didn't someone once tell me that rain on a wedding day was good luck? Whoever said it doesn't matter, because I'm not about to say that to Elise Erin Jacobs. And I know my girl Amaya, the diva of drama, and even Viv, who's the most rational of all of us, ain't trying to say that mess either. Let the man who will vow today to cherish her till death do us part get cursed out in front of four hundred of their closest friends and family members.

Elise is an only child, so this wedding is a big deal for her family. Her daddy hit the California Quick Pick Lotto Jackpot for $87 million back when Elise was in junior high school. Two weeks later, Big Poppa Cal bought three one-way airline tickets to Atlanta, where his brother lived, and told his family to pack only the family photos; that was all they would be taking from Mercy's Way Housing Projects in Compton.

Elise and I had lived next door to each other since we could remember; we were best friends. Whenever my mom was out on one of her drunken binges down at the dog track, my father was out looking for her, and my older sister was running the streets, I would spend the night with the Jacobs, no questions asked. Her mom -- I call her Ms. Evelyn -- would tuck me into Elise's narrow cot. If I was lucky, I would fall asleep before I heard my father dragging my mother, yelling and cursing, down the hallway, back into the apartment.

After Elise moved to Atlanta we vowed to keep in touch. We wrote each other long letters with glittery red pens on "Hello, Kitty" stationery. And every Sunday, I would wait by the pay phone in the hallway of our building for Elise's four-o'clock call. For an hour, I would catch her up on who was gang bangin' now, my sister's latest antics, and my nonexistent high school social life, and she would tell me about living in Atlanta. I loved hearing about their big new house, their heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, her new poodle Mercy. When she told me about some of the girls in her new school who called her "project girl," I teasingly told her, "Look, Wheezie Jefferson, you better let those bama-ass girls know you don't take no mess or punch them dead in the eye!" She'd laugh and say she'd try to do better. I thought she had the best life. When she came back to Southern California to go to UC with me, it was just like old times. We even pledged together.


Excerpted from The Vow by Denene Millner Copyright © 2005 by Denene Millner.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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