Sisters can share too much. . .
Acquitted of murder, Tamia Luke is on a mission to reclaim all she's lost, including her ex, Brandon, who saved her life. Brandon's about to get married, but Tamia's determined, even if it means resorting to deceptiona family habit. Her sister, Fiona, betrayed Tamia to save her own skin. Now the two share a scandalous secret that may destroy both their plans to start over. . .
Fiona's hoping her glitzy new job will help her score a rich husband. It's looking good, until the night she's seduced by the one man who is truly unattainableunless she can keep her past hidden. And both sisters will have to steer clear of someone who knows too much, and wants them to paywith their lives. . .
Praise for Naomi Chase's Exposed
"An ultra-sexy page-turner." De'nesha Diamond, author of Hustlin' Divas
"Sexy, scandalous, and suspenseful. I enjoyed the drama-filled ride and didn't want it to end." Meesha Mink, author of Real Wifeys: On The Grind
"A writer with a gift for erotica, mystery, and intrigue." Romance in Color
About the Author
Naomi Chase went from chasing stories as a newspaper reporter in Texas to weaving juicy thrillers spun from her own naughty imagination. Like the real-life dramas she once chronicled, her novels are sure to deliver enough sex, scandal, and suspense to leave readers breathless. Visit her online at www.naomichase.com.
Read an Excerpt
By NAOMI CHASE
DAFINA BOOKSCopyright © 2012 Naomi Chase
All right reserved.
Houston, Texas November 4, 2011
Tamia Luke's heart pounded violently as she watched the twelve jurors file into the jury box and reclaim their seats. She was so nervous, she wanted to throw up. These men and women held her fate in their hands. Their verdict would determine whether she spent the rest of her life in prison or walked out of this courtroom a free woman.
She searched their faces, hoping for something—anything—that would give her insight into the decision they had reached. But their expressions were unreadable, and none of them would make eye contact with her. Not even Juror Number Eight, an attractive, middleaged black man who'd hardly been able to keep his eyes off her throughout the trial.
But today he seemed to go out of his way not to look at her.
Like the other jurors.
With mounting anxiety, Tamia leaned over and whispered to her attorney, "They won't look at me. Why won't they look at me?"
"Relax," Brandon murmured soothingly. "It doesn't mean anything."
Tamia hoped to God he was right. She'd spent the past five months behind bars, serving time for a crime she hadn't committed. She didn't know what she would do if the jury found her guilty of Isabel Archer's murder. It was unthinkable.
When the judge emerged from his chambers, Tamia and Brandon rose from the defense table. Her insides were shivering, and her legs were so wobbly, she thought she'd collapse to the floor. Without thinking she grabbed Brandon's hand and held tight, comforted when he squeezed her back.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," said the judge, "have you reached a verdict?"
The jury forewoman stood. "We have, Your Honor."
As the judge read the folded note that contained the jury's verdict, the silence that had permeated the packed courtroom was now deafening. You could literally hear a pin drop.
The judge looked at the forewoman. "What is your verdict?"
Tamia closed her eyes, her heart slamming against her rib cage as she braced herself for the woman's next words.
"We, the jury, find the defendant—"
Tamia held her breath.
Pandemonium erupted in the courtroom, loud cheers from Tamia's supporters dueling with shouts of protest from Isabel Archer's outraged relatives. The judge banged his gavel, calling for order. But it was the sight of Brandon's beaming face that gave Tamia permission to believe the verdict she'd just heard.
"WE WON!" she screamed, throwing her arms around Brandon's neck as he laughingly lifted her off the floor. As he spun her around, she caught a glimpse of Dominic Archer, seated behind the plaintiff 's table across the aisle. He looked so stunned that Tamia might have felt sorry for him—if she didn't despise his motherfucking ass.
"Thank you, Brandon," she said earnestly as he set her back down on her feet. "Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for saving my life!"
"You're welcome," he told her. "I never doubted your innocence."
"I know. And that meant everything to me."
His expression softened. "You know I—"
"Congratulations," a new voice interrupted.
Tamia and Brandon turned to encounter a pretty, brown-skinned woman dressed in a navy Dolce & Gabbana skirt suit that hugged her slender figure. Her dark, lustrous hair flowed past her shoulders in a way that made Tamia more desperate than ever to get into her stylist's chair. Sporting months of nappy new growth and wearing a pantsuit that did nothing for her shape, she felt raggedy next to Cynthia Yarbrough—the scheming hussy who'd stolen Brandon from her.
She forced a smile. "Hey, Cynthia. You're looking well."
"Thank you, Tamia." Cynthia didn't insult her intelligence by returning the compliment. "Congratulations on your acquittal."
"Thanks." Tamia smiled gratefully at Brandon. "I couldn't have done it without this man's amazing legal prowess. I don't know if I can ever repay him, but I'm determined to try."
Brandon chuckled. "You might feel differently after you receive my final bill."
Tamia laughed, then leaned up and kissed his smooth, cleans-haven cheek. She didn't miss the way Cynthia's eyes narrowed with displeasure.
Don't get it twisted, heffa, Tamia mused. He was my man first!
Soon she was surrounded by a group of supporters who'd been there for her throughout the trial. Lou Saldaña scooped her up and swung her around, while her best friend, Shanell Jasper, took one look at her attire and promised to take her shopping ASAP. Distant cousins Tamia hadn't seen in ages had shown up, along with a few of her neighbors.
Everyone who mattered was there.
And she doesn't matter anymore, Tamia thought darkly.
The enraged outburst came from the other side of the courtroom, where a sobbing woman was being restrained by several members of Isabel Archer's family. As Tamia watched, the woman pointed at her and screamed, "You're gonna burn in hell for what you did to Isabel!"
Before Tamia could open her mouth to defend herself, Brandon silenced her with a warning look. "Don't say anything. The jury has spoken for you, and that's all that matters."
Nodding grimly, she watched as the hysterical woman was led out of the courtroom. Although Tamia knew she was innocent, it bothered her that there were people who would always believe the worst of her, that she'd killed her lover's wife in a jealous rage. The worst part was that she knew who the real killer was—and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. She'd sworn not to tell anyone, and no matter how horribly she'd been used and betrayed, a promise was a promise.
After accepting more congratulatory hugs and kisses, Tamia followed her small entourage out of the courthouse and into the bright November afternoon. She and Brandon were met by a buzzing swarm of reporters who shouted questions at them.
"Miss Luke, do you feel vindicated by today's verdict?"
"Mr. Chambers, do you stand by your strategy to portray Dominic Archer as the real killer?"
"Do either of you believe he really murdered his wife?"
"Miss Luke, do you regret having an affair with a married man?"
Taken aback by the barrage of questions, Tamia looked askance at Brandon. He gave her a reassuring smile, then stepped to the cluster of microphones. Calmly he surveyed the crowd, waiting for the noise to die down before he spoke.
"Miss Luke and I are pleased that justice was served today. I commend the men and women of the jury for weighing all the evidence and coming back with the only verdict they could have: not guilty."
The reporters fired more questions at him.
"With all due respect, Brandon," one voice rang out above the rest, "how difficult was it for you to defend the woman who cheated on you? Throughout the trial, you were forced to hear the lurid details of Miss Luke's affair with Dominic Archer. How in the world did you remain objective?"
Tamia's face heated with shame, while Brandon didn't so much as flinch. "My prior relationship with Miss Luke wasn't on trial," he answered evenly. "If I didn't think I could handle hearing the 'lurid details' of her affair, as you put it, I wouldn't have taken her case. But I did, because I believed in her innocence. Clearly the jury did, too."
Tamia beamed at him.
"Is there any chance that you and Miss Luke might reconcile?"
Brandon paused, giving Tamia a sidelong glance.
She met his gaze, holding her breath as she waited for his response.
After several moments he turned back to the reporters, chuckling and shaking his head. "You guys are always looking for a romantic Hollywood ending. All I want to do is celebrate this victory, which reaffirms my belief that the justice system can and does work."
"Given your winning track record," someone retorted, "I'd say the system works just fine for you."
Brandon grinned as laughter swept over the crowd.
Tamia was also grinning, but not for the same reason as everyone else. For the first time in several months, she had reason to hope that all was not lost between her and Brandon. Because whether he realized it or not, by dodging the reporter's question, he'd left the door open for the possibility of him and Tamia getting back together.
Today's verdict had given her back her life. Now that she was a free woman again, nothing would stop her from trying to reclaim the only man she'd ever loved.
And no one.
Turning her head, she saw Cynthia standing off to the side by herself.
Their gazes met.
Cynthia's eyes narrowed with suspicion.
That's right, bitch, Tamia thought. I'm taking back what you stole from me. And this time, I'm never letting him go!
The downtown nightclub was thumping by the time Tamia made her grand entrance that evening. The dance floor was packed with bodies grinding to the hypnotic rhythm of Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life," and the flashing strobe lights suspended from the ceiling made the dancers appear electrified.
Tamia bobbed her head to the music as her senses came vibrantly alive. After spending the past five months trapped inside a prison, stepping into the noisy, crowded club made her feel as rejuvenated as if she'd just stumbled upon paradise. It didn't hurt that she looked positively fierce in a red Gucci halter dress that molded to her luscious curves and showed off her long, toned legs. On her feet were five-inch stilettos with ice-pick heels. Her hairstylist had tamed her nappy roots with a fresh relaxer that had her sleek, shoulder-length bob lying like silk against her scalp.
She didn't miss the appreciative stares she was receiving from several men, their lustful gazes undressing her from head to toe. Though she played it cool, she couldn't help but soak up all the attention. After the ordeal she'd been through, she needed to feel beautiful again. Desired.
"You looking good, mamacita. Real good."
Tamia turned her head and smiled at Lou, who'd generously footed the bill for her makeover as well as tonight's homecoming party. "Thank you, papi. For everything."
He smiled. "You know I got your back."
"I know. You're so good to me."
"That's what friends are for." He winked at her. "You ready to get this party started?"
Tamia grinned, tucking her arm through his. "Lead the way."
They navigated through the gyrating throng of bodies, making their way up to the second-floor VIP lounge Lou had reserved for the night. When they reached the entrance to the large suite, a chorus of voices yelled out, "Welcome home, Tamia!"
She beamed with pleasure as she surveyed the sea of smiling faces. She recognized only a handful of the guests, including Shanell and her husband, Mark. The rest were strangers, ranging from scantily clad females to tattooed ballers dipped in designer gear and platinum jewelry.
As Tamia moved through the crowd accepting congratulations on her acquittal, she couldn't help searching for Brandon. She'd invited him and Cynthia to the party, secretly hoping that he would show up alone. But so far there was no sign of either of them.
Swallowing her disappointment, Tamia followed Lou through the lavish lounge, which featured low lighting, plush sofas, a private bar, and a small dance floor near the back. There was a table laden with gourmet cheeses, caviar, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, buffalo wings, and exotic-looking meatballs. A plasma television mounted against one wall was showing BET music videos, but most of the guests had wandered over to the balcony, preferring to watch the dancers below.
As Tamia and Shanell sat down on a low sofa tucked into a private corner, Lou asked, "What's your poison, ladies?"
Tamia grinned. "I'll have a Blue Motherfucker."
"Oooh, that sounds good." Shanell winked at Lou. "Make that two."
"I got you."
"And I'll fix you both a plate," Mark offered.
"Thank you, fellas," cooed Tamia and Shanell.
After Lou and Mark departed, Shanell grinned broadly. "Men who believe in catering to their women. Now that's what I'm talking about."
Tamia grinned, crossing her legs. "It is nice, isn't it?"
"Hell, yeah." Shanell gave her an approving once-over. "Girl, you are wearing the hell outta that dress."
"Thanks, girl. You're working your outfit, too," Tamia said, admiring the silk shorts jumper that showcased Shanell's ample cleavage and thick thighs. "Thanks again for taking me to the Galleria this afternoon."
Shanell waved off her gratitude. "You know how much I love shopping, especially with someone who has a platinum card. Speaking of which, I thought you told me that Lou's film studio went bankrupt."
"Sure as hell coulda fooled me." Shanell gestured around the luxurious suite. "Only a serious baller could afford all this."
Tamia shrugged, tapping her foot to the music of Keri Hilson. "He told me he's doing well with a new business venture."
"What kind of business venture?" Shanell asked suspiciously.
"I don't know. He didn't elaborate."
Shanell frowned. "I hope it's nothing illegal. The last thing we need is for your homecoming party to be interrupted by a police raid."
"Believe me," Tamia said grimly, "I have no desire to go back to prison."
Although Lou had been evasive about his new line of work, he'd assured Tamia that everything was legit. Earlier that year, he'd learned that the FBI was secretly investigating him in order to get to some of his Mexican mafia associates. His house and phone had been bugged, and two agents had been assigned to follow him everywhere he went. They'd even brought him in for questioning, hoping to intimidate him into cooperating with their investigation. But Lou was smarter than that. He knew the feds had nothing concrete on him, so he'd retained Brandon to get the motherfuckers off his back—which Brandon had done, earning Lou's gratitude and the nickname "the rainmaker."
"I can't believe she's not here."
Pulled out of her reverie, Tamia gave Shanell a blank look. "Who?"
"Your sister. I can't believe she's not here to celebrate with you. As if it weren't bad enough that she missed your big day in court this morning."
Tamia's mood darkened at once. "Fiona's not here," she said tightly, "because she wasn't invited. And I told her not to show up at the courthouse today."
Shanell frowned. "Why would you do something like that?"
Tamia said nothing.
"I know you told me that you and Fiona had a big falling out," Shanell continued,"but I didn't think either of you would carry it this far. I mean—damn, Tamia. You're sisters. What if the jury had found you guilty? Don't you think Fiona should have been there for that?"
Tamia was spared from answering when Mark returned with two plates filled with food. After Tamia and Shanell thanked him, he told his wife, "I'm going downstairs to say hello to a friend. I haven't seen him since we graduated from basic, so I'll be back in a little while."
"Okay, baby," Shanell said distractedly, using her fork to cut into a crab cake. "Have fun catching up."
As Mark walked away, Tamia eyed her friend incredulously. "Wow."
Shanell glanced up from her plate. "What?"
"You and Mark have such a trusting relationship. You didn't even ask him the name of the friend he was going to see."
Tamia hesitated. "Mark's an attractive guy. Some women might think twice about letting their husbands out of their sight in a club filled with half-naked hoochies."
Shanell chuckled dryly. "Girl, please. Mark just returned from Iraq. If he wanted to cheat on me, he had a whole year to do so. And I don't think he did."
After another hesitation, Tamia couldn't resist asking, "How do you know for sure?"
"Because I trust my man." A wicked gleam entered Shanell's cognac-colored eyes. "And because ever since he got back, he's been fucking me like he ain't sniffed pussy since the dawn of the millennium."
Tamia shrieked with laughter. "T-M-I!"
Shanell grinned unabashedly, forking up another bite of crab cake and chewing for a few moments. "Look, I'm not naive. I know that military men have a reputation for being dogs. But I can honestly tell you that my boo's not like that. We've been married for five years, and he's never given me any reason to even suspect that he's cheating. And while he was deployed, we made damn good use of our computer webcams and cell phones. You'd better believe I gave that brotha plenty to look forward to when he came home."
Excerpted from Deception by NAOMI CHASE Copyright © 2012 by Naomi Chase. 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was awesome. My friends and I enjoyed reading this book to find out who could find out what happened at the end first. I am ready to read the next one because I want Cynthia's motive to be revealed and I want her parents to be exposed because they are protrayed as being the ideal/perfect family. This is a must read. Also, I need to find out if Brandon gets married to Cynthia or to Tamia. Please hurry Naomi with the next book. :)
This is a must read book. Awh man it was like watching an drama packed movie with Denzell in it as Brandon and Halle as Tamia. I couldn't sleep at night from thinking about this book. Kudos to the author for another job well done. It was worth the money spent. This book was so good im embarassed to admit that i drooled on to my shirt from being so involved into the book Its heart wrenching,intense, and full of drama. GET IT NOW!!
I cannot not wait for the next part!!! Naomi did her thing on this one. I thought it would end in more disaster like exposed because tamia can never tell brandon the secrets plaguing her life. But i have hope, tamia and brandon are meant to be and cynthia triflin behind needs to move on else where. This book is def worth the buy and will have you hoot and hollering on the edge of your seat. I just hope the next part comes soon, A MUST READ!!!!
This book is something else.. I need a third book.. this story must continue......
Omg what can i say i knew this book was gonna be good but dayuuum ths book is off the hain i cannot wait for part three i hope the next book is even better this book right here will have u speechless and talking to the book like it can understand you, you will love this book but be sure to read the first book exposed they are both Great!!
This book was so good. I kept telling myself "just one more chapter then i'll put it down". I am soin love withBrandon's character. He has tthis sexy take charge attitude that is perfect. And that crazy heifa cynthia makes me sick. Ohhhh i hope she faking her pregnancy and that Tamia is pregnant. Naomi Chase aka Maureen Smith....girl u are truely the bomb dot com. Please dont make us wait long for the third book.
Naomi Chase has done it again. As soon as I started reading the boik I could not put it down. I loved how she portrayed Brandon and Tamia as star crossed lovers who woukd do anything to be together. I was happy when Brandon finally realized that he wanted to be with Tamia and not Cynthia. But when Cynthia said she was pregnant, I was pissed as hell and sad. Because I hated how Brandon knew he had to be with her cuz its the "right" thing to do but he knew his heart will always belong to Tamia. I cant wait for the third book. I want to know why Dominic showed up at the restaurant and if Bramdon will marry Cynthia cuz I hope he doesnt. She and her parents just seems like they are a big fraud. And Cynthia just seems to desperate and clingy. Brandon belongs with Tamia. I have read the book 3 times amd still cant get enough.
Pretty good but not better than the first (exposed). Still worth the money though. I am anticipating the 3rd installment :)
This book as well as Exposed were two of the best books ive read... i could not put this book down... U have been the reason ive taken the train to work instead of driving..lol.. just so i could find out whats going on.. the twist and turns were unexpected.. U r truly blessed.. keep up the good work.. I look forward to reading the next part as well.. And the picture of the beautiful Tamia on the cover of exposed Mmm.. U have great taste... i would love the opportunity to meet her..
I found myself rooting for love .
I picked up the first book of this series because it was on sale, one of the best decisions made. I loved exposed sooo much that i went to get this book and the following one. You will not be disappointed! Noami Chase will keep u reading from beginning to end because her storytelling is amazing. A well worth it buy! Get all of her books and prepare to burn the night oil...lol.
This was a page turner. I didnt want it to end. I cant wait any longer for the next one to come out. You wont be disappointed with this read!
I loved both Exposed and Deception. This author is amazingingly talented. Can't wait for the third book in the series. I told my friend about these books and she read each of them in one day!!
I just can't get enough!!!!!!
I read Naomi Chase first book called Exposed! I did not know what to expect but the book took off with a punch. I liked the characters and the story line. It was a great book! So I could not wait to read Deception! They both have a unexpected twist. They are both awesome books! If you have not read them please do!
SO... I have been reading a whole lot of different books this year, and exposed and deception were my first reads by Naomi Chase and I have to say that I was beyond impressed. She kept my interest through the entire book. She took me on a rollercoaster of love and what you will doto keep it in your life even if in the end you are only jeapordizing, and you lose everything! Tamia is someone that you want to shake so hard so she will make the right decisions. You know that everything she does she only doing it to protect herself or someone she loves but she continues to hurt Brandon. Brandon loves Tamia but I feel he should have gave him and Cyn some time before he just jumped into marrying her because she was pregnant. You can co-parent without begin in a relationship. I see dysfuntion in their future for sure. Dominic I know he has something up his sleeve but I can't put my finger on it. He wants Tamia bad, and I dont know what he will stop at to get her back in his bed. Cyn....I really don't know what to say about this chick I really want her to go away, LOL but I know she loves Brandon as well but I feel like she is going to go to new lows to keep this man in her life. I think in this next book her good girl act is going to shatter!!! I all I have to say is Im counting down the days until July 30,2013 comes around. I am going to spend my deployment in Afgahanstan going crazy waiting for this book!! Naomi Chase girl you have just grab another loyal fan!! I am official on you team and will follow you from now on! Don't let me down in this next book please! some people do not know how to end a series I hope you do great things with this next book!!! MahoganyMami87!!
i need to find part 2 to this book i know it a part 2 somewhere
This book was a real page turner with twist and turns on every page. Hoefully there will be at third book to follow up on the dramaticc lives of the characters.
I thought this book was wonderful a must read what is the name o f the third one