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This week’s “He Said, She Said,” book review takes a look at E. Lynn Harris’ latest novel, In My Father’s House (St. Martin’s Press – June 2010; $24.99). E. Lynn transformed the literary world with his compelling story lines, plots, and characters which often featured down low, and gay men from upper-middle class. They were sports players, businessmen, and celebrities. He knew how to tell a story that kept you wanting more. E. Lynn’s books helped to create a much needed dialogue in the black community about black down low and gay men. He spoke of intimate relationships, love, and friendships in his books. Things he truly found dear and near to him. E. Lynn was a trailblazer in publishing and he paved the way for so many other authors to come through. One of them was me, and I am so grateful and forever thankful for his perserverance, dedication, and commitment to being true and an honorable man.
Before he died last year, E. Lynn wrote, In My Father’s House, this bang-up first installment to a projected series about a bisexual owner of a Miami modeling agency. Bentley L. Dean III, runs the Picture Perfect modeling agency in South Beach. His father, a homophobic Detroit millionaire, disowned him after he broke off an engagement and had an affair with a male TV sports reporter, and though the agency’s been a success, the recession has taken a big bite out of Bentley’s business. Strapped for cash, he reluctantly agrees to supply gay, bi or very open-minded eye candy for a VIP party hosted by Prosperity Gentleman’s Club, which is run by Emperor Seth Sinclair, a closeted gay celebrity. When Jah, an 18-year-old student Bentley’s been mentoring, covers for a no-show model and begins an affair with Seth, big trouble looms. Harris’s wry tale about second chances highlights what readers have long loved about his work: his ability to depict the pursuit of love and self-respect, regardless of societal and family pressures.
She Said – Nakea:
In E. Lynn’s posthumous release In My Fathers House we learn about Bentley Dean, III who comes from a lavish and wealthy family, and like many of E Lynn’s characters, Dean struggles with his sexuality and tries to live a lifestyle that caters to both. Deciding to be true to himself Bentley makes his choices known to his family and things go south. His fathers reaction is true to life for most traditional families, but I feel it can easily push a child away. I found it difficult to read some of the more graphic scenes, but felt the storyline was true to Mr. Harris’ previous work that we’ve loved over the years.
He Said – Terrance:
Kudos and bravo for, In My Father’s House. E. Lynn truly delivers in this novel about a wealthy heir, Bentley Dean, III, who not only leaves his financial heir, but chooses to come out to his father and risk everything in an effort to follow his own dreams. Dean starts his own modeling agency, Picture Perfect, and from there readers are taking on a world-wind ride of sexy, hot, good-looking male models who find themselves experiencing an exclusive party for one of Hollywood’s “it” down-low stars. Dean makes it known his models are not for hire as boy toys, but mere eye candy, and this is where the story takes a very good and juicy twist. Readers will thoroughly enjoy E. Lynn’s known dramatic and plot-driven tale of love, risks, and following your own heart.
July Top Ten Book List
Nakea’s Top Five Hot Book List:
1.) Zane – The Hot Box (Atria Books – Aug 2010; $25.99)
2.) Anna J, Anya Nicole & Angel Mechelle – Divas Diamonds & Dollars (Black Reign Publications – July 2010: $15)
3.) Pat G’orge Walker – Don’t Blame The Devil (Kensington – Aug 2010; $15)
4.) Styles P – Invincible (One World Ballantine – June 2010; $14)
5.) Reshonda Tate Billingsley – Holy Rollers (Gallery – July 2010; $15)
Terrance’s Top Five Hot Book List:
1.) Cairo – Daddy Long Stroke (Strebor – Aug 2010; $15)
2.) Carl Bean with David Ritz – I Was Born This Way: A Gay Preacher’s Journey through Gospel Music, Disco Stardom, and a Ministry in Christ (Simon & Schuster – June 2010; $24)
3.) Robert Goolrick – A Reliable Wife (Algonquin – Jan 2010; $14.95)
4.) Bernice L. McFadden – Glorious (Akashic Books – May 2010; $15.95)
5.) Carl Webber – Torn Between Two Lovers (Dafina – Aug 2010; $20)