Trice Davis and her husband, Troy, love a challenge—and they love the idea of winning $10,000 even more. So when Troy signs them up for the reality show Trading Wives—a knock-off of Wife Swap—Trice is nervous but willing. She's not thrilled about living in someone else's home, especially in the 'hood. But at least it's her husband's best friend, Leon, and his wife, Charlene, they're swapping with. Plus, it's only for seven days.
How much damage can happen in one week? Both couples are about to find out. Because while their husbands are already counting their money, for one wife, this is more than just a show. And by the time it's all over, someone won't want to go home . . .
"Whether she's writing about life in the 'hood or living the fabulous life, one thing is for sure—Kiki always delivers a sizzling read." —Crystal Lacey Winslow, Essence® bestselling author
"Kiki captures the heat of the streets." —Wahida Clark
About the Author
Kiki Swinson is the nationally bestselling author of over forty novels and short stories. Swinson’s works feature resilient women making tough—and sometimes not quite legal—decisions to survive. Her novels, inspired by her experiences and a five-year stint in federal prison, have sold over 2.4 million copies. She completed her first novel while incarcerated and her second novel, Wifey, went on to become a #1 Essence bestseller and the first installment in one of today’s most popular urban series. A native of Portsmouth, Virginia—and a former hustler’s wife—Swinson resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Visit her online at KikiMedia.net.
Read an Excerpt
By Kiki Swinson
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2014 Kiki Swinson
All rights reserved.
I was a nervous wreck about the arrangement my husband, Troy, made with his homeboy, Leon Bunch, when he agreed to swap me for his wife and be filmed for a reality TV show. I would soon learn to take the bitter with the sweet. I mean, it wasn't like it was the end of the world. The terms were simple. I was only going to swap lives with Leon's wife for a period of seven days for a show called Trading Wives, which was similar to the reality shows Wife Swap and Trading Spouses, which were already hit shows playing on television. The only difference with what we were doing versus the other two shows was that we wouldn't have a camera crew following us around. The shows executives had the production crew install cameras throughout our houses several days ago so that all the footage they needed would be recorded with those cameras.
It wouldn't be long before all of our dirty laundry would be aired out on television at a much later date.
To compensate us for selling our souls, they would pay both couples ten thousand dollars each at the end of the seventh day. Getting paid ten grand was music to our ears. I couldn't speak for the other couple, but I knew Troy and I had a few bills we needed to take care of. Besides that, Troy was the only breadwinner in our house, and I knew that extra money would take some strain off him.
Troy was my rock. So much so, Id do anything for him. And if it meant that I had to live in someone else's house, then I was there. While I was there, I vowed that Id concentrate on the big payday, so I should be all right in the end.
Troy warned his friend Leon that I was accustomed to a certain kind of living. I was a little brat. But all I knew about Leon was that he was a mechanic in the service department at a Nissan dealership in Chesapeake, while his wife, Charlene, was a stay-at-home mom with their five-year-old son. My life was somewhat similar to Charlene's life. She and I both were stay-at-home wives. The only difference with our employment status was that I volunteered my services to a nonprofit organization twice a week and Charlene was a reformed stripper who retired and now she sat around at home and waited on handouts from her husband, Leon.
Troy and I had a nice three-bedroom home in the Pine Crest neighborhood of Virginia Beach, while Leon and Charlene town house sat in the Norview area of Norfolk. When people thought about the Norview area of Norfolk, they thought of the ghetto, the hood. So I knew I was going to spend a lot of my time inside the house.
"Trice, do you have all your things packed?" Troy asked me.
I had just zipped up the last compartment of my luggage when Troy appeared before me. I stood by the bed and looked directly at him. "Yeah, I think so," I finally said after I looked at him from head to toe.
I had to admit that my husband was one handsome guy. He was five eleven, with a nice build and light skin complexion. He was definitely a pretty boy. I sure loved my man. He sort of reminded me of the actor Michael Ealy who played Chris Browns older brother in the movie Takers, opposite of rapper T.I. and Idris Elba. Wed been together for more than seven years, so we were thick as thieves, which was why I went along with this whole setup. In my own twisted mind, I felt like this would be a good experience and I could probably take something from it. So after I assured Troy that all my things were packed, he helped me carry everything to his truck.
"Are you nervous?" he asked me after he placed my luggage inside the truck.
"Not really. But I do feel a little weird staying at your homeboys house," I replied, and then I sat down in the passenger seat and closed the door behind myself.
Troy climbed into the drivers seat and closed his door. "Leon ain't just my homeboy—he's like a brother to me. Trust me, he's going to make sure you're all right."
Troy turned on the ignition, put his black F-150 into drive, and then sped off. As he drove away from our house, I took one last look at it because I knew it would be seven days before I saw it again.
The ride to Norfolk didn't take long at all. Troy and I talked about the dos and don'ts the entire drive. And before I got out of the truck, I laid down a few rules myself. Just like the TV show, I instructed him to make her sleep in the guest room. I also instructed him to make sure she walked around in presentable attire. And before he went to bed at night, he needed to call me. He promised me that he would take care of everything and that I had absolutely nothing to worry about.
"Were here," he pointed out as soon as we pulled up in front of a tan, vinyl-sided duplex on Chesapeake Boulevard.
I looked at the building and then I looked back at my husband. I sure hope the inside is much cleaner than the outside.
Troy cracked a smile. "They keep a decent, clean house, so you'll be fine."
I gave him a nonchalant expression. "Yeah, they better," I commented, and then I leaned forward to kiss him on the lips.
After our lips parted, I turned back around to open the passenger door. Before I could make my exit, I noticed a video-vixen-looking chick walking in our direction. I figured it had to be Leon's wife, Charlene. "Is that your friends wife?" I asked Troy.
"Yeah, that's her," he replied after he looked past me.
I took a good look at Charlene as she walked toward Troy and me. I had to admit, she was an attractive woman. She looked to be a size twelve, which was one size bigger than I was, but she was shapely. Her hair was short, but it was cut nicely into a Chinese bob. I could instantly tell that her hair was a weave because it was too shiny and straight to be her own. Black people don't have that texture of hair. The Korean who sold her that hair played her like a fiddle. Charlene was too dark for it and they knew it.
I had the perfect light skin complexion. Not to mention I had beautiful hazel-colored eyes. So if she and I stood side by side, all eyes would be on me. She had absolutely nothing on me and I'm convinced that my husband would see that too. If anything, she needed to be worried about her husband trying to mess around with me. I was a force to be reckoned with, so shed better be careful.
She walked up to the truck showing all her damn teeth. "How y'all doing?" she asked. I didn't say a word, but I smiled. Troy returned the greeting and then he introduced us. She extended her right hand and I shook it.
Her husband, Leon, came behind her. I looked over her shoulder to get a good look at him. He wasn't my type in the least bit, so Troy had absolutely nothing to worry about. However, Leon did seem really cool. He smiled from ear to ear when he saw Troy. "What's good, nigga?"
Troy reached over me to shake Leon's hands. After they shook, I eased out of the truck so Charlene could put her things in the backseat.
"You ladies ready to see that the grass ain't greener on the other side?" Leon spoke up.
"I never said it was!" Charlene answered first.
"Well, I'm just going along for the ride. Who knows, I might just learn something from it," I replied.
Leon took my two pieces of luggage from my hands. I expressed my gratitude while Troy watched Charlene shove her bags into the backseat. I looked at him and shook my head. He sure knew how to be lazy.
"You better take care of my wife!" Troy told Leon.
"Oh, she's in good hands. So, you better do the same thing," Leon replied.
Troy gave Leon a smirk. "Oh, don't worry. When this is all over, she's going to come back home and tell you about all the shit I schooled her on."
Leon threw his hands up. "Yeah, whatever, nigga! We shall see," he commented, and he and I watched as Troy pulled off in his black Ford F-150.
After Troy disappeared, Leon turned to me and asked, "Are you ready?"
I smiled at him and said, "I guess I am."
Once we were inside his duplex, I immediately noticed a strong smell of bleach and ammonia. He walked ahead of me. We made our way down a short hallway that led to the kitchen and an open family room with a fifty-two-inch flat-screen TV. After I entered the den area, I took a seat on the sofa and laid my things down on the floor next to me. I glanced around the room. Every picture they had nailed on the wall looked very cheap. The furniture I was sitting on was in even more bad taste. Swap meet was written on every piece of décor they had in this house.
"Where is your son?" I wondered aloud. I didn't want to make it obvious about how badly their house was decorated, so I tried to start up a general conversation.
"My wife's parents just picked him up last night so he could spend the summer with them in Florida."
"Wow! Florida sounds nice. I know he's gonna have fun while he's there."
Leon closed the mini-blinds on the front windows in the den area. After he finished, he looked at me and asked, Are you ready for me to show you where you'll be sleeping?
"Sure. Why not?" I said, and stood to my feet.
He grabbed my bags from the floor and led the way. I followed him up a flight of stairs to the second floor. He stopped at the first room on the left. Before we entered, he looked back and informed me that we were about to enter his sons bedroom.
This is where I'll be sleeping? "Oh, okay. That's fine," I assured him, even though I didn't have a good feeling about the way he was going about this.
Leon smiled and pushed the door open. I walked into the bedroom behind him. I immediately surveyed my surroundings and noticed how decorative this little boys room was. The theme of the bedroom was World Wrestling Champions. He had professional wrestling figures on his dresser with matching curtains, comforters, sheets, pillowcases, and a throw rug. It was really cute, so it made me smile.
Leon set my bags on top of his sons bed. "If you need anything, make sure you let me know."
I assured him I would. And when he left the bedroom, he closed the door behind him.
I took a seat on the twin-size bed and reflected on my decision to go along with this plan of theirs. I also wondered what my husband was doing and if he'd gotten home yet. My mind would not allow me to play the guessing game, so I grabbed my cell phone from my purse and dialed his number. He answered my call on the second ring. The music coming from the speakers of his truck was extremely loud, so I found myself yelling through the receiver.
"Why do you have the music playing so loud?" I screamed.
"'Cause my song is on, he screamed back." "Baby, you know I like this new joint by Jay-Z."
I sighed. "You know I'm beginning to miss you already."
"Damn, Trice, we've only been apart for ten minutes."
"I know, but the thought of us being away from each other for one whole week got me a little sad."
"Come on now, you a big girl. Everything is going to be all right. I mean, it ain't like we wont be able to speak to one another. So just call me every time you get lonely."
I sucked my teeth and sighed once more. "It's not the same, though."
"I know. But seven days isn't long, so as soon as you blink your eyes, those days are gonna fly right by."
"Easy for you to say."
"Come on, Trice, you a soldier. And besides, look at this vacation away from each other as a ten-thousand-dollar investment. Now, suck it up and call me back before you go to bed. Okay, baby?"
"Yeah. All right," I replied nonchalantly, and then I pressed the END button.
After I hung up, I got myself together and headed back downstairs. Leon was in the den area, watching the news on the TV when I walked in. He was not just watching the news, he was engrossed in it. I had the chance to look at him from another angle. He wasn't as handsome as Troy, but he had unique features. He was dark skinned with dark brown eyes. His hair was locked with shoulder-length dreads, which was unattractive to me. Long hair on men was not my cup of tea. But for some reason, it looked okay on him. It had to be because he had naturally curly hair at the root. His choice in attire was cool. I honestly liked how he coordinated his yellow Lacoste polo shirt with his acid-washed True Religion jeans. Troy told me he was a mechanic, but from the looks of his hands, it seemed impossible because this guys hands were well manicured.
"Hungry?" he asked me.
"Not really," I replied, and then I took a seat down on the sofa next to him.
Leon rubbed his stomach in a circular motion and said, "Well, I am. So I'm gonna order me a pizza with some hot wings."
Before I could utter a word, he stood up and grabbed his iPhone from the end table next to the lamp. I took it that he had Papa John's Pizza on speed dial because he only pressed one button from the touch pad of his phone and then I heard it ring. After he placed his order, he hung up and walked out of the room.
"Want something to drink?" he yelled.
"No. I'm fine."
"You sure? Because I got juice, bottled water, and cold beer."
"Yes, I'm sure," I assured him.
Ten seconds later, he reappeared with a cold and refreshing-looking bottle of Corona in his hand. After he sat back down, he grabbed the remote and surfed through the channels until he came across the sitcom Two and a Half Men.
I love this show. Charlie Sheen and that little boy are funny as hell.
"Yeah, they are," I commented.
We both sat there and watched the show. It quickly became apparent that he was somewhat cool with a sense of humor. So I relaxed a little more and hoped that these days would go by very quickly.
I had never been away from Troy for more than a couple of days. And even then, it was hard. Troy was my protector and more. He made sure I had everything I needed and he never questioned my motives. The secret to our happiness was that we kept it real with one another. Lying to each other wasn't an option. From day one, we vowed that if temptation ever crept in our minds that wed be honest about it and bring it to the others attention so we could handle it immediately.
I cant speak on how Leon and Charlene handled their differences, but I will say that after this Trading Wives arrangement was over, Id have the answers.CHAPTER 2
Trice didn't know it, but it was all my idea to swap Leon's wife for her. Leon owed me from a bet on last weeks NBA finals game, so he either had to kick off one grand or relieve me of my wife for seven days. Don't get me wrong, I loved my wife. But Trice could be a difficult woman to live with at times. She nagged me about everything I did. I never did anything right if you asked her. She wanted everything around the house to be perfect. So if I left my clothes on the floor in the bathroom or left my dishes in the kitchen sink overnight, she blew up about it and I would hear about it for at least another twenty-four hours. Not to mention I had to damn near get on my knees to beg her to fuck me. I didn't get my dick sucked at all, so I made it my business not to ask. She had this phobia of putting my meat in her mouth. When I asked her about it, she would never give me an explanation.
Over the past seven years, I could honestly say the first three years were good. But the last four had been a complete nightmare. My marriage was falling apart by the seams, and she refused to acknowledge it. I wasn't happy anymore, which was why I opted for Leon to let his wife stay here. I needed to see if the grass was greener on the other side. Leon's wife didn't know he was about to file for a divorce. He was tired of her more than I was of Trice. So you see, this arrangement would benefit both of us. But I guess we would see in the end.
"You and your wife have a nice home," Charlene expressed after I took her on a tour of the house.
I smiled as I escorted her back into the kitchen. "I picked out the house. But Trice decorated every room herself."
Charlene took a seat on the barstool in front of the island situated in the middle of the kitchen. After she sat down, she made a comment about it. "Oh my God! I've always wanted a kitchen like this. I love the fact that you got the stove built in the island. I'm so used to seeing kitchens with the stove placed by the wall."
"Yeah, me too. But it was all Trices idea. She's very particular about what she likes and how she wants things to look."
I could tell when I first laid eyes on her."
"Want something to drink?"
"You got beer?"
I opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of wine. "Nope. But I got a bottle of Moscato."
Charlene smiled. "That's even better."
I popped the bottle open and poured us a glass of wine. But before we took the first sip, Charlene raised her glass in the air and suggested we make a toast. "To the future," she said.
"To the future," I repeated, and then we clinked wineglasses.
We both put the glasses up to our lips simultaneously and allowed the flow of the wine to pour into our mouths. It was cold and sweet, harmony to my taste buds.
I could tell Charlene liked it too. Amazingly, it took her a matter of sixty seconds to swallow the entire glass. Immediately after she set the glass down before her, she let out a loud and disgusting burp and then she smiled. Now that was really good.
Sounds like you've got indigestion.
She smiled bashfully and covered her mouth. "I guess you're right."
I picked up the bottle of Moscato and poured her another glass. "Take your time, sweetheart. There's a lot more where this came from," I told her.
She took a sip and then she said, "I know. But its so good."
Excerpted from Wife Extraordinaire by Kiki Swinson. Copyright © 2014 Kiki Swinson. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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
I am a fan of her work but this book made me realize why I no longer read her books or other street life books. I am tired of the "pretty girl" being light skinned and class and the other chick being darker and ghetto. I downloaded the sample and those few pages were too much for me. Get it from the library and save your money if you feel as though you have to read it.
I really thought it was not a good book didnt bother to read the second story it made no damn sense
It is a book with two short lame stories. A waste of my time.
I have only read the first story i liked it a lot the only thing i didnt like was that it was a short story which i hate and didnt know until it ended i always feel like as soon as u get into the book it is over im not sure if i will be able to read the second story im a little little upset i felt as if the first story would have mad a great full book this was my first Kiki book. Ok i read the second part a week after i posted the first review it was a real good story to me i read it in a day until i got to the end i norm never tell the high points of a book but this book really upset me beyond reason the lady suffocated her babies they were one and two and it goes into detail how there bodies reacted anyone with kids would find this appalling i will never read another one of this authors Ameleka Mccall books or short stories
what is this i had to force myself to finish the first story i am soooooo disappointed with this one and the second story i could not get past the second page it sucked.
Its a ok read. Nothing to write home about. not bad not good just ok.
This book was a waste of money! I'm a KiKi fan, but this book was very disappointing. 2-poorly written short stories, I didn't even read the second story.
all of yall are wrong abouth this book i really enjoyed the book from beginning to end. keep doing waht you do kiki.
Did I miss something here? I actually purchased the book thinking it was from Kiki's other series WIFEY, but was soooo wrong. But I gave the book a try since I love reading. But this book was a waste of paper and time- and the book is thick and its 2 stories. Not 1 !!!! The first one is azz and I am on the sec one and not sure if its worth reading. Disappointed Kiki... and darn it- I had to give it a star- didnt want to do it!
a ok read
I liked the book it was different from her other books but I still think it was a good read. Some info was left out kind of like it was rushed but it was still a good book.
I like this book
What you guys are missing is the fact that KiKi did not write the book. She is presenting an author by the name of Unique. Although Unique is not yet on KiKi's level; it was still decent.
Wife extraordinaire part 1 and 2 were both good reads. I really like all KiKi Swinson books. Keep them coming.
This book is AWESOME! Must read, I couldn't put it down
I really enjoyed this story...It was something different...I look forward to reading the next book!