God Don't Play

God Don't Play

by Mary Monroe

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God Don't Play by Mary Monroe

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes the story of two lifelong friends, their secrets and lies, and the new challenge that may divide them once and for all. . .

With a lovely home and family, Annette Goode finally has it all. Heaven knows she paid her dues—from an abusive childhood to a rocky start as an adult. Annette's friend Rhoda knows too, for Rhoda has been both her savior and her greatest fear. Their relationship has survived some serious shake-ups. But now that things are good, someone apparently thinks they're a little too good. . .

When Annette receives an anonymous—and menacing—birthday gift, it's just the beginning of a slew of hostile letters, vicious phone calls, and vile packages from a female who is obviously disguising her voice. Comforted by Rhoda and Rhoda's teenage daughter, Jade, Annette hopes the problem will somehow disappear. But when the threats extend to her child, Annette realizes the situation is dire. For soon her tormentor reveals exactly what she wants—and how it could destroy everything Annette has built. . .

Praise for Mary Monroe

"Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston." —Publishers Weekly

"Watch out Toni Morrison, there is a new sister in town." —Rapport

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758231499
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Series: GOD Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 250,729
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mary Monroe, the daughter of sharecroppers, is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling God series that includes God Don't Like Ugly and God Don't Make No Mistakes, among other novels. Winner of the AAMBC Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, Mary Monroe currently lives in Oakland, California, and loves to hear from her readers via e-mail at AuthorAuthor5409@aol.com. Visit Mary's website at MaryMonroe.org.

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2006 Mary Monroe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-3149-9

Chapter One

My worst nightmare began with a blacksnake and a cute envelope. I had no way of knowing that my life was about to fall apart on the most beautiful day that we'd had all year.

The bold morning sun was shining down on my freshly painted house like a lighthouse. I had just had some of the best sex that I had had in years, and there had been no one else in the same room with me.

"You give good phone sex. You should call me up more often," I teased my husband, Pee Wee, as I'd struggled to catch my breath before hanging up the telephone on the wall next to the refrigerator in the kitchen. I couldn't remember the last time I'd enjoyed sex standing up, and nibbling on a Pop-Tart at the same time.

"Well, it is the next best thing to me bein' there," Pee Wee told me, whispering so that his cousins in the next room at his cousin's house couldn't hear him. "Did you get naked like I told you?"

"Uh-huh. Naked as a jaybird," I lied, smoothing down the sides of my muumuu. There was no way I was going to shed my clothes in the middle of my kitchen floor. It was hard enough for me to get naked in my own bedroom. But I did remove my shoes.

"Did you stick your fingers where I told you to stick 'em?" Pee Wee asked with a moan.

"Uh-huh," I mumbled, lying again. Theonly thing that I'd stuck my fingers in was in that Pop-Tarts box. However, I had massaged a few other spots on my body like Pee Wee had instructed, and that had been enough for me.

I had enjoyed my passionate telephone tryst with my husband, but I was glad when it was over. Not only did I feel downright ridiculous doing some of the things to myself that he'd ordered me to do, but I had started getting cramps in my legs. And I wanted to clean myself up and put on some fresh underwear.

With a satisfied smile on my face, I stepped out on my front porch to retrieve the mail. A large butterfly that had wings every color in the rainbow landed on my hand.

The sun felt good on my face as I clutched my mail and shook the butterfly off my hand. I waved to the friendly, good-looking White couple from down the street as they walked by, pushing their homely toddler in a creaky stroller. Everybody on our block, except for the husband, knew that the homely toddler's daddy was the homely insurance man who made house calls.

A large, light-skinned man that I didn't recognize, with his black hair in large pink foam rollers, waved to me from a shiny black Lincoln that was cruising down the street. I yelled at a stray dog who had decided to lift his crooked leg and water the prizewinning rosebush in my front yard.

My biggest concern that day was trying to decide what to do first: get my nails done, go shopping, do the laundry, or treat myself to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I was in a frivolous mood so I didn't want to do anything that was too serious, like go pay bills or visit my fussy parents. But the bizarre uproar that I was about to face would cancel everything else that I had planned to do on that beautiful Saturday. From that point on, my life would never be the same again. What happened to me on this day would haunt me for the rest of my life, because it was the beginning of the end for me in some ways. And it all had to do with a blacksnake and a cute envelope.

There was nothing that unusual about the cute envelope that had arrived in the mail that morning in late August. I had almost missed it among the usual stack of bills and other unwanted junk-like the Frederick's of Hollywood catalogue with the picture of a beautiful young blonde woman in a white negligee on the cover.

I laughed when I saw the catalogue, wondering what the world was coming to for my name to end up on the Frederick's of Hollywood mailing list. I had to give them credit for advertising muumuus, waist clinchers, capes, bras with cups large enough to hold forty ounces of beer, long flowing nightgowns that looked more like parachutes, and other inducements every now and then to appease us full-figured gals. But almost everything else that the mysterious Mr. Frederick-who probably looked like Buddha or worse himself-sold was for women half my size and even smaller. On the first page inside the catalogue were some "one size fits all" panty hose. Yeah, right. The see-through gowns and low-cut blouses were outrageous enough, and I had absolutely no use for crotchless panties. I'd probably be wearing diapers again before I broke down and put on a pair of crotchless panties.

I was not surprised when I flipped the catalogue over and saw that it was addressed to Jade O'Toole, my best friend's sneaky teenage daughter. Some of the clothes that the girl wore every day showed just as much skin as the frocks she ordered from Frederick's that she hid from her parents, so I didn't know what the big deal was. But I didn't have a teenager yet, so I couldn't really judge the behavior of the "in your face" music-video generation. They had their own culture and Jade kept it in my face. I had allowed her to take too many liberties with me so it was too late for me to revise my position in her life. I was no more of an authority figure to her than a cat was. She had started using my address without my knowledge or permission. I shuddered when I thought about what that girl might do next.

Chapter Two

The catalogue that had just come in my mail for Jade was not nearly as shocking as the foot-long vibrator that she had had delivered to my address a few weeks ago. It had also arrived on a Saturday morning but in a plain brown envelope and by registered mail, delivered by one of the nosiest brothers in town. My mailman and I socialized with some of the same people, so he took the liberty of greeting me with a sly grin on his face when I opened my front door.

"Good morning, Moshay," I said, my face burning with shame as I read the return address on the package that he held in front of his wide chest like a bib. One of his sausage-like fingers tapped the return address. There was only one adult toy store in town and most people knew the address by heart. Even me. But only because it was next door to the dry cleaners I used.

"Same to you, Annette. Um ..." Moshay paused and nodded at the package, the same grin still on his face, which was covered in beads of sweat. Almost everything on his face was too big: his eyes, his nose, his chin. His short, stout body resembled a barrel. But he had a lot of confidence for such an ugly man. He flirted with me every time I saw him. "You lookin' mighty nice today. I ain't seen you in church lately. I guess you been keepin' yourself busy takin' care of that husband of yours, huh?"

"I guess I have, Moshay," I said, reaching for the package. I tapped my bare foot and glanced at my watch so that he would know I was getting impatient.

It didn't take much to encourage Moshay Dixon. He tried to get too friendly with too many females. Back in high school, he used to crawl around on the floor in the lunchroom to peek up under girls' skirts. He had a wife and a mistress now, and all the local hookers loved him to death.

Moshay glanced around and even over my shoulder before he spoke again. "You need to sign for this first," he whispered.

I didn't know why those companies still bothered trying to hide adult products in plain brown wrappers. When it came to sex, there were very few secrets left anymore. But even though I was a married woman, and what my man and I did in our bedroom stayed in our bedroom, I didn't want anybody making assumptions about my private life. Especially my mailman!

I snatched the package out of Moshay's hand and gave him a stern look. It was hard enough to keep secrets in a small town like Richland, Ohio. Before Moshay finished delivering mail for the day, I knew that everybody on the block would probably be wondering what I'd ordered from the sex shop.

Ten minutes after I'd signed for the package, Jade called me up.

"Auntie," she said, panting like she had just finished running a footrace, or, knowing Jade, fucking her young brains out. She let out a deep breath before continuing. "I'm expecting an important package today," she informed me, speaking in a low voice. "From that, uh, specialty shop on Sawburg Avenue," she added, now whispering so low I could barely hear her.

"You mean that dark little place that sells all that nasty shit?" I snapped. If I had told Jade once I'd told her a thousand times, I didn't feel comfortable discussing sex with her. But Jade paid me no more mind than she did anybody else.

"They're having a big sale, in case you're interested," Jade told me.

"I'm not!" I yelled, forcing myself to sound disgusted. The truth of the matter was, I wanted to laugh. If nothing else, Jade was very entertaining. There were times when she was the only one who could amuse me. "Your order arrived a little while ago." I glanced at the package on the end of the coffee table in my living room where I'd dropped it. "And what would you be ordering from a store that sells only adult products?" I teased, wrapping the telephone cord around my fingers. I frowned when I realized my nails were screaming for a manicure. I released the telephone cord and balled my hand into a fist so I would not have to look at my tacky nails.


"Never mind, you nasty little thing, you," I laughed.

"Oh, Auntie, get yourself on the ball. This is the nineties. Kids grow up a lot faster than they did when you were young."

Jade's comments made my thoughts wander but not in a pleasant direction. It seemed like I'd never been "young." I had spent my childhood dealing with things that a lot of adults wouldn't have been able to handle. I pursed my lips and shook my head as Jade continued.

"Sex is not what it used to be, Auntie." She had a way of representing herself that made me feel like I was the child and she was the adult. "You ought to know that by now." "Sex is no different now than it was a hundred years ago. As far as I know, people are still doing it the same way," I said, swallowing hard. I wondered what Jade would say if I told her I'd had my first sexual encounter at the age of seven. Even though it had been rape, sex was still sex. "There is just a lot more of it going on," I scoffed.

"Well, everybody is doing it," Jade insisted, with a moan that made me blush.

"Not everybody, Jade," I said sadly. "There are people my age who still have a hard time dealing with sex." And I was one of them. I tolerated sex, even when it was good. If I had not married such a patient and passionate man, I'd have kept my legs closed for the rest of my life. "And for the record, a lot of men don't care if we enjoy it or not. As long as they get what they want out of it ..."

"Boo hoo," Jade sneered. She paused and let out a giggle. "That's why they make vibrators," she practically sang.

I let out a disgusted sigh, making sure it was loud enough for her to hear. "Where are you?" I asked, hoping she could tell how impatient and exasperated I was. I didn't even like to discuss sex with my doctor, my husband, or my adult female friends-let alone a youngster like Jade.

There was a lot of noise in the background on Jade's end. Car horns blasting, people yelling, dogs barking. The train tracks that divided Richland into almost two equal parts were just a mile from my house. I could hear the train whistle blowing from my end and from Jade's. It gave me an eerie feeling because I didn't like trains. Every time I saw or heard one, it reminded me of the segregated train that my mother and I had been forced to ride on when we moved from the South to Ohio. If I couldn't travel by plane when I had to go out of town, I either drove my car or I took the bus.

"I'm at a pay phone right outside the train station. Listen, I'll be there in a few minutes to pick up my package. If my mom happens to drop by, don't let her see it! And please don't open it!"

Chapter Three

I was standing in my doorway when Jade stumbled up on my front porch ten minutes later. She paused and roughly wiped the soles of her brown suede boots on my well-worn welcome mat.

"Auntie, what are we going to do about that stray dog who likes to leave his calling cards all over your yard? Eeeow! My boots are practically ruined! And how am I going to get rid of this unholy stench?" she asked, screwing her face up like she was in pain.

Jade gently brushed past me and entered my living room, her huge green eyes darting from side to side. She crept across the floor like a burglar, her long black hair swaying down her back like a horse's tail.

Jade worshipped her body and so did a lot of the horny little boys she ran around with. She liked to show it, and she liked to share it. She had on a snug-fitting, pale pink halter top that didn't even come close to hiding the nipples on her firm, perky breasts. Her jeans were ripped on both knees and on the sides of her crotch. And if the rips were not provocative enough, the jeans were so tight I could see the split in her busy little pussy.

"I'll get some warm water and some rags for your boots before you leave," I offered, following Jade to my sofa, wondering how she could breathe in such tight clothing. I didn't have a problem with females wearing sexy clothes. I wasn't even jealous. But I had a problem with the ones who chose to "advertise" and then complained when men came on to them.

"I would have been here before now, but this dirty old man who was waiting to use the pay phone tried to pick me up," Jade complained. She rolled her eyes, but I rolled mine even more.

"Oh, really? I wonder why," I said with a smirk. I lifted the package addressed to Jade off my coffee table and handed it to her. With wide, anxious eyes, she snatched it out of my hand so hard the wrapping ripped in several places. Just like her jeans.

I don't know why Jade had ordered me to not open her package. She finished opening it right in front of me. I almost fainted when she shook out the long, plastic battery-operated vibrator. It was curved on one end like a sword. And from the size of it, I decided that it probably felt like one, too. I didn't want to think that a petite young female like Jade required such an ominous-looking device.

"Girl, you ought to be ashamed of yourself!" I exclaimed. I looked around my living room to make sure my nine-year-old daughter, Charlotte, had not snuck into the room. She was also a sneaky little devil, a habit she had picked up from Jade. "Do you really need that damn big-ass thing?" I hissed, hands on my hips.

Jade blinked and looked at me like I was speaking Greek.

"It's for a friend, Auntie. I babysit for her. You know that White girl Jimmy Lipton met and married when the navy sent him overseas? The girl with the buck teeth? Poor Jimmy. What a shame! Married to a girl who looks like a talking mule!" Jade paused and shook her head. "I know the boy could have done better. He's no Eddie Murphy, but he didn't have to settle for such a dull frump. Especially with all those pretty girls up for grabs down there in Australia where he's stationed now." Jade paused just long enough to sniff and catch her breath. "I feel so sorry for that poor girl, too. A plain Jane like her never learned how to look out for herself in an emergency. Anyway, me and a couple of my friends put our money together to buy this for her," Jade said, holding the vibrator up in front of my face, shaking it back and forth like a pendulum.

"Did this girl ask you and your friends to buy this thing for her?" I asked. I gave Jade a puzzled look before I frowned.

"No," Jade said with an indifferent shrug.

"Well, don't you think that giving somebody something like this, when they didn't ask for it, might offend them?"


"Maybe she's not into things like this, Jade," I said, nodding toward the vibrator, glaring at it now like it was a bomb. "I would scream if somebody gave me one of these damn things," I added with a shudder.

"You'd scream? That's right." Jade nodded vigorously, clapping her hands like a seal. "That's the right idea, Auntie. That's what it's supposed to make a woman do," Jade said in a voice too serious for a child of her age. I gave her a horrified look and my mouth dropped open, but before I could speak again, Jade continued. "Oh, I don't have to worry about offending Plum. See, she's from France so she's very broadminded."

Jade unzipped her yellow canvas backpack, designed by a European designer with a name I couldn't pronounce. In addition to a platinum American Express card in her own name, the yellow backpack was one of the things that she never left home without. With a loud sniff, and the tip of her tongue parked in the corner of her mouth, she stuffed the vibrator into the backpack. Her eager eyes shone like diamonds.


Excerpted from GOD DON'T PLAY by MARY MONROE Copyright © 2006 by Mary Monroe. 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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God Don't Play 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been a consistent reader!!! However, ever since I have started reading this series I cannot put them down. This has to be the most mysterious book yet. I absolutely loved it!!!! I can't wait to read the next one. If you're looking for excitement, for a book to keep you interested, this is the book for you!!!!!!! A person who is normally not a reader like I was, would completely change their mind after just the first chapter.
reader-4_life More than 1 year ago
I read God Don't Like Ugly and God Still Don't Like Ugly over a year ago and loved the two. I felt like I was coming home when I picked this book up a year later and was back in the lives of Annette and Rhoda. There interactions with eachother and the introduction of new characters (specifically Jade) keep the reader interested.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading God don't like ugly and God still don't like ugly, I was excited to read God don't play, I was anxious to know 'What happens next' with Annette and Rhoda. It took me 2 weeks to really read this book because I would read a chapter and put it down! There was alot of unneccesary stuff in this book and it was very predictable. It was so obvious that it was going to be Jade. I feel like this book took me through a run around to end up disappointed. Me and my friends usually have group discussions after reading the books but this was one book we didn't want to discuss....
readingtreenee88 More than 1 year ago
Ok so I just finished reading God Dont Play by Mrs Monroe. The first nivel I ever read by Mrs Monroe was God Dont like Ugly so i was ready to dive into one of the sequels. Anette is basically a modern day mammy that's extremely passive aggressive and falls prey to a very disturbed little girl (Jade) the book was well written although it was somewhat predictable and repetitive. From the first letter I had a feeling the evil woman sending her hate mail was Jade so when it was finally revealed that it was her i was pretty bored. The story was entertaining enough that I had to finish it to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED the first two books but was very disappointed by this book. A lot of the book was repetitive and the rest made you just skip to the end. I was very disappointed in how Annette was portrayed and wondered how she went from working on becoming empowered to...that.
Maya Harris More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the last two, but still good!
LadyPeach More than 1 year ago
This book should have been named something other than "God Dont Play" because it honestly didnt have anything to do with god and also Annette should have known better sharing her personal business with a 16yr old. I also think this lady needed a back bone because the things she let this young girl getaway with was just crazy. I dont want to give the story away but there were so many things that took place and made me shake my head...BUT it was still good book.
izziebelle More than 1 year ago
This is a good read, but, predictable. Annettes role in this book was a bit disappointing when it related to Jada. It comes a time when a persons have to set boundaries and this was not done when it related to Jada. The things she did would have been enough for her to get banded from the average persons home. For Annette to continue to cover for her as an adult made her as irresponsible as Jada was, but the only differences, Jada is a minor and Annette is an Adult.
Book2Nook More than 1 year ago
Having not read the other two books, there was enough information in this book to understand the characters. But, it shouldn't have taken as many pages to get to the plot or end of the book. I kept saying Annette, open your eyes...moreso, open that Yellow Backpack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mary Monroe's third book in the God Don't Like Ugly series is a winner! Annette is back along with Rhoda, Pee Wee, Scary Mary and Mama Gussie. Annette finds herself the victim of hate mail, dirty underwear, and horse fertilizer yet she still survives. Rhoda is back this time accompanied by her teen age daughter Jade. Rhoda's marriage to Otis is in name only while Annette's marriage to Pee Wee is as strong as ever. Who is the villain? Is it a jealous co worker, a former girlfriend, or is Rhoda up to her old tricks? In this tome Annette must protect herself and her young daughter Charlotte and not lose her mind in the process. Monroe weaves a tail that will keep the reader asking 'What next?' God Don't Play is a page turner.
4LadyPink More than 1 year ago
This book was not what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to find captivating drama from Chapter 1 and a shocking conclusion that leaves you looking for the Sequel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read! Mary Monroe is a wonderful author and I love reading this particular series because it allows you to go to those dark places without feeling like you're just reading a sob story. You get a balance between the joy and the drama and that makes it feel real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it from beginning to the end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very surprised the first time reading. So many of us ia familar with should I say behavior. Can't wait to read the next one.
GNO_ATL More than 1 year ago
Too Funny. A read for those having difficult believing someone can only Love u! Always bet on LOVE...
Terrie Logan More than 1 year ago
There is a down side. In the first book there may have been a few curse words. From the second up until this one, the cursing and obsenity has gotten worse and worse. As much as I have enjoyed this series and this author I may not read any more of her books because its hard to stomach the language. Its unneccessary.
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