A slick talking, cunning sex siren, Remmi comes from humble beginnings and a tragic past, but is determined to make it in the male-dominated, dog-eat-dog world of Hollywoodusing any and every one to make her dreams a reality. Only associating with those who can assist her climb up the success ladder, Remmi encounters a slew of suitors, each who in some way, have a hand in helping her.
Remmi takes L.A. by storm, quickly joining the ranks of Hollywood's elite and becoming one of its most sought after new talents. But as she navigates through the Hollywood scene, she leaves a trail of deception in her path. The film world embraces her but all is not necessarily forgotten. History eventually catches up to Remmi, threatening to snatch everything she's worked so hard to get away from her. In an effort to save her career, her image and ultimately her own skin, Remmi is willing to get down, dirty and scandalous. After all, a girl's gotta eat…
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
MICHELLE VALENTINE, a cum laude graduate of Marymount College, has been in the entertainment industry for many years. A New York City native, she co-authored INSATIABLE with Heather Hunter and currently lives in the Bronx with her family.
Read an Excerpt
A Girl's Gotta Eat
By Michelle Valentine
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2007 Michelle Valentine
All rights reserved.
"She's a brick ... howwwse ...," blared the nasal voice of Lionel Richie from the speakers of her Bose sound system. It really didn't matter that the words were over two decades old. "Brick House" was her theme song and the only tune that could accurately describe her.
As Rementa Renee Broughton performed her weekly ritual of getting ready to hang out at some trendy New York City night spot, she danced around her sparsely furnished one-bedroom apartment, located in Spanish Harlem — or El Barrio — wearing only a crimson-colored thong. With her feet tucked neatly inside a pair of strappy black stilettos from the East Village boutique, Petite Baton, she waited for Shannelle to call her to say she was on her way before throwing on the rest of her outfit. She didn't want to risk getting a drop of unnecessary perspiration on her getup, especially since tonight it would be the off-black Gucci mini wrap dress that she'd boosted from Jeezy's video shoot.
She felt a little bad for lifting it, being that they had been so nice to her on the set and all. They'd even sent her home in a Lincoln Town Car after they'd wrapped at nearly 4 A.M., which is something they rarely do for extras. Usually Shannelle came to get her. But this time she was treated like a star. Maybe it had something to do with that red metallic bikini thong set she'd worn for fourteen hours straight that had almost split her ass in half. She had nursed three hemorrhoids for two weeks afterward, but it was well worth it. Jeezy's manager had taken her number and assured Rementa that she'd be in his next video.
"Next time we might even pay you." He smiled.
And she'd gotten her hands on this three-thousand-dollar dress — the one she'd be wearing that night. Life couldn't be better.
"Be downstairs in ten," Shannelle ordered through the phone. Remmi, as she was called by everyone who knew her, quickly hung up the phone, pressed replay on the CD player, doused herself in all the right places with some more J'adore, and threw on the dress, which barely covered her 34Ds.
It would definitely be on tonight.
* * *
"Oh my gooooodness ... ain't that that nigga, Nitro? He's the muthafucka that had my ass all up in the clinic last May. I ain't seen his triflin' ass since I told him I was pregnant. I knew that nigga ain't have no money — frontin' like him and Kanye West was all tight. He's a muthafuckin' lie! I need to go over there and make him give me my damn money!" Shannelle spat then downed her fourth Cosmo.
It was quite obvious that her friend had had far too much to drink, and Remmi was in no mood for beef that night. She didn't have a bra on, and knew that her ample breasts would be flapping in the wind if she and Shannelle started a fight. Besides, she'd told Shannelle a million times to use condoms. It didn't matter if a nigga looked like he had money.
She better be glad all she got was knocked up, Remmi thought.
"Girl, I ain't in the mood for no beef tonight. Y'all are both drunk, and my titties'll be every-fuckin'-where if we have to scrap with that nigga. Plus, Diddy is in here with no bodyguards, and I been tryin' to get at that nigga forever. Let it go," Remmi instructed her friend.
* * *
Rementa Broughton and Shannelle Anderson had been inseparable since the first day of the second grade. When they both walked into Ms. Washington's class with the exact same Theo Huxtable lunch box, they knew they had a bond that would be the glue of their friendship over the next fifteen years. "Theo's mama and daddy got money!" they exclaimed. Even at seven years old, they knew they wanted to be around money. Blame it on their broke absent daddies, blame it on being the only children of two gold-digging mamas, blame it on whatever. The fact of the matter was that from an early age, these girls knew what they wanted from the opposite sex, and they pretty much knew how to get it.
So, while Theo Huxtable was what brought them together, over the next decade the Dynamic Duo, as they dubbed themselves, did things together that only strengthened their bond. From experimenting with cigarettes and weed to losing their virginity to the Dobson twins from apartment 4D — you name it, they did it together. And aside from their career aspirations, they both wanted the same things out of life: a nigga with money and — a nigga with money. And neither of them would stop at anything to be in the company of those who fit that bill. Although exceptionally beautiful on the outside, their high school diplomas from Julia Richmond offered them very limited career options. With no desire to go off to college, Remmi decided the day after graduation that she wanted to be an actress, while Shannelle began working four nights a week at a strip club in the Bronx. With her diploma in her right hand and a dean's list certificate in her left, Remmi registered at a temp agency whose forte was Fortune 500 companies.
"Who wouldn't want to see your pretty face when they walk up to the front desk at a multimillion-dollar firm?" Teddy, the middle-aged, horny white employment agency rep lustfully smiled. And so her journey began.
Each week when she'd come to the agency to pick up her check, Remmi could feel Teddy's eyes unbuttoning her blouse and sucking her nipples raw. Getting a kick out of his behavior, Remmi pushed the meter to see what additional benefits she could get from the situation. She began wearing tightly fitted blouses just to entice him. It wasn't long before no matter how many days she worked — one or five — the paycheck she received remained the same. If she went to auditions three days out of the week, Teddy made sure her check still represented forty hours. It was their little unspoken deal — she'd inconspicuously allow one of her top buttons to pop open, revealing just enough of her satin-covered bosom to give him a serious hard-on beneath his desk while he eyeballed her nipples, which always stood erect from the office air-conditioning. And once he'd received his gift, he'd make her check look like she worked a full week. Hell. After a while, she'd work only one day a week whether she had an audition or not. And since she was his favorite, she got the best assignments — fashion houses like Ralph Lauren and DKNY, companies with summer Fridays, and record labels. And it was at one of these labels that Remmi got thrust into the world of hip-hop videos and became a "video ho," a title that she took to a whole 'nuther level ...
* * *
It was a late summer morning and Remmi's first day as the twenty-sixth-floor receptionist at Def Jam Recordings. She sat quietly at the switchboard, looking stunning. As usual, her shoulder-length jet-black mane was impeccably done, without a hair out of place. Her flawless complexion sparkled as it glistened with a richer caramel tone than usual (those Saturday mornings at Jones Beach with Shannelle having done her justice). In a tight-fitting white spaghetti-strapped tank, she looked like she could have graced any magazine cover. But she was feeling down. She had gone on four open calls and hadn't gotten a single callback. She just knew she had been perfect for that McDonald's commercial — but nothing. Not even a smile from the director or producer. As she sat reading yet another story about the trials and tribulations Mary J. Blige had made it through, all she could do was shake her head and say to herself, Well, at least ain't nobody kickin' my ass.
Her concentration on the article made her oblivious of the handsome young black man in his late twenties who stood above her.
"Excuse me, ma. Sam Court to see Marcus Vissat," he said. Remmi looked up and became immediately intrigued by the sight of this tall brown-skinned brotha with a rock-hard body and pearly white teeth that glistened so brightly, she thought the ceiling had opened up and let the sun shine in. She could tell that he'd taken his Crest Whitestrips with him everywhere he went, and after she buzzed Mr. Vissat's extension, the two locked eyes for nearly three whole minutes.
"His assistant'll be with you in a moment." She smiled as she filled out his visitor's pass.
"You a model?" he questioned.
"An actress." Remmi smiled again coyly, sensing his interest.
"Is that so? Well, I'm a video director."
"Oh, are you?" she flirted. "What videos have you directed?"
"Too many to name, baby girl. Too many to name," he arrogantly replied.
"Well, why don't you put me in one of your videos?"
He smirked. "One of my home videos?"
"That, too. Maybe we can star in it together." Remmi laughed. Just as she scribbled her name and phone number on a Post-it note, the executive's assistant entered the reception area. Remmi quickly passed her admirer the yellow sticky and said, "I expect to hear from you tonight."
Three days later she was flown to Trinidad and featured in a Jay-Z music video. Five days after that, she and Sam starred in their own production. The rest was history.
Shannelle, on the other hand, liked the quick and easy money of stripping, and with the measurements of 36-26-36, she was one of the top earners at Shirley's Temple.
"Videos are okay," she'd say to her best friend. "But I need to get paid every time I put in some work. Rubbin' elbows with rappers don't pay no bills. I can make over five hundred dollars in four hours at the Temple. You be on those video sets all night long!"
But in her own defense, Remmi would always retort, "Yeah, I may not get paid every time I do a video, but I have so much fun. Plus I get free trips and get to be around those fine-ass rappers and I'ma get one of 'em to fall in love with me yet. Then I won't havta work nowhere. Who you gon' find at the Temple, girl?"
"Whateva, bitch. I need dough now. I can't wait for some rapper to fall in love with me. Besides rappers don't fall in love, and I got rent and a car note. Look, you ain't even got no car. You can't make no livin' doing rap videos. That's why you still tempin'. And I don't know what you talkin' about. There ain't nothin' but ballas at the Temple. And not those penny-ante rappin' muthafuckas either. I mean doctors, lawyers, and politicians. Shit, that blind congressman was in there last week — ain't that some shit? You know we some baaaad bitches when blind muthafuckas are comin' in! We the baddest bitches in the whole tri-state area!" Shannelle would cackle.
"Whateva, bitch! What the fuck eva!" Remmi chuckled.
"Don't worry, girl. When you get tired of shakin' those titties for free, there'll always be a spot for you at the Temple, if you want it. Just let me know, and I'll talk to Shirley for you!"
It was a never-ending debate between the friends. Two very attractive young black women, they were loving life and living it to the fullest. They made it out of the club without incident that night. But much to Remmi's dismay, she didn't get to hook up with Diddy.
"He ain't neva leaving that bitch Kim Porter anyway, girl." Shannelle shrugged.CHAPTER 2
"Hello?" Remmi moaned into the receiver of her cordless phone. She squinted at the digital clock sitting on her nightstand. Her blurred vision revealed that it was three thirty in the morning — just a few hours before she had to get up for work.
"Whatchu doin'?" a low, masculine voice mumbled.
"Huh?" Remmi moaned again, the sleep in her voice evident.
"Whatchu doin'?" the voice repeated.
"I'm sleeping. Who the fuck is this?"
"D? Well, why you calling me at three thirty in the morning? I haven't heard from you in weeks."
"Been outta town. But you know I been thinkin' about you."
Remmi adjusted the down pillow behind her head as she cradled the receiver between her neck and shoulder. "If you been thinkin' about me, why ain't I heard from your ass?" she sleepily questioned.
"You know how it is on the road. Shit is hectic. But never mind about that. I'm about to leave this club. Why don't I slide through and check you for a few?"
"Naah. I gotta get up in a coupla hours."
"Oh. I wanted to see you 'cause I'ma be outta the country for like two months and I have something real serious I wanted to talk to you about."
Oh, shit. Is he gonna propose? Remmi asked herself. Maybe he had been feeling her, even though he always hit it and never called for weeks, sometimes months, later. Maybe Remmi was finally gonna get that six-carat diamond she'd been wishing for. God knew, as the president and CEO of one of the most successful hip-hop labels of all times, D could afford it — and since his fiancée had been killed in a recent skiing accident, maybe now was her chance.
"All right," she replied.
It was on the set of R. Kelly's "I'm a Flirt" video that Remmi had met D'Aundre Collens. His eyes remained fixated on her for the entire shoot, and from the blinding light on his left wrist, she knew that he was someone she should get to know better. After being wined and dined for two months straight, Remmi definitely thought she had caught her man. Little did she know, he was very much engaged. When confronted with the issue, he told Remmi he was planning on calling the wedding off — that he just needed the right moment — that although he wasn't ready for marriage, his fiancée was "good people," and he didn't want to hurt her. But he never called it off, and then the fiancée died — skied smack into a naked oak tree on the intermediate slope of an exclusive resort in Vail, Colorado. You would have thought D'Aundre would go into hiding as he mourned the death of the woman he was supposed to spend the rest of his life with — not. Two weeks later, he was doing the freaky mambo with Remmi on her kitchen sink. So much for true love.
Knowing how he drove his CLK, Remmi had less than fifteen minutes before he'd get to her place from downtown Manhattan. So she set her cordless phone onto its base and immediately jumped up from her queen-sized bed. Then she sprayed the bed and herself down with Issey Miyake, changed out of her sweats and into a red silk Vicki Secret's teddy, brushed her teeth, washed her face, and waited for the doorbell to ring. And it did. Almost to the minute. She knew her niggas.
"So, what up?" D asked as he stepped across her threshold.
"Ain't nuthin'. What's up with you? Where you been?" Remmi asked.
"Told you. I been on the road. And I'm about to go back out in the morning." D'Aundre looked Remmi up and down, licked his lips, and chuckled out loud. "Rementa, Rementa, Rementa — always a sexy muthafucka. What's up, ma?" He grinned as he took off his mink jacket, tossed it onto Remmi's black leather sofa, and sat down beside it.
"You tell me. You the one who said you had something to talk to me about. Well, what the hell is so important that I needed to get outta my bed at damn near four in the morning?" she sassed, standing before him half-naked with her hand on her hip. Like the cat that swallowed the canary, D'Aundre kept smiling but said nothing.
"You drunk?" Remmi questioned.
"I'm nice ...," he replied.
"So, what the fuck is up? If you ain't got nuthin' to say, you might as well go 'cause I told your ass I gotta get up in a coupla hours. I'm starting a new assignment at Epic Records in the morning."
"You still doin' that temping shit? I thought you was a star. I just seen your ass all up in Ne-Yo's last video."
"Yeah, I know. I only temp at labels or fashion houses now — to get connects, yaknowhatImean? A girl gotta eat, ya know."
"I hear dat. An independent woman. I like dat." He grinned some more, licking his lips again as if he would devour her at any moment. "So come on over here and give me a little suga." Remmi sat down beside D'Aundre, who immediately began rubbing her butt and kissing her neck. No stranger to his skills, Remmi couldn't help but give in when he ran his hand up the inside of her teddy, touching and gently prodding all the right places. The chill from the ice on his fingers and wrist added to her excitement as she quickly began to feel hot moisture between her legs. She climbed aboard his muscular body, aggressively gyrating herself upon his jeans until she could plainly see his bulge ready to burst through his zipper. He softly bit her nipples, and she did her best to push his dark blue 575s and boxers to his knees before she slid down between his legs and slipped his pulsating ten-inches into her mouth — balls and all. As he moaned in ecstasy, a voice inside her head screamed, That's right, I got this nigga now. Gimme my muthafuckin' six carats!
Excerpted from A Girl's Gotta Eat by Michelle Valentine. Copyright © 2007 Michelle Valentine. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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
This book was a page turner for me. I wanted to hurry and finish reading it, just to find out what was going to happen to the main characters. The funniest part to me was when Remmi and Shannelle robbed the Shirley Temple. The rest of the book to me just showed you what some people are willing to do to make a name for themselves out in hollywood. Even with alot of talent young ladies still feel that the quickest way to the top, is by laying on their backs. So sad, so sad. I will be recommending this book to a friend.
This is like one of the best books I've read in a while.It was fast paced and fun with a lot happening. The characters were hysterical & the scenerios were crazy. But it even had me teary eyed at one point. I really enjoyed it & definitely recommend it. I might even give it as a Christmas gift.