Not a Day Goes By: A Novel

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9780385498241: Not a Day Goes By: A Novel

Welcome to the irresistible world of E. Lynn Harris...

He is a devilish and handsome ex-football player, now a rising sports agent at one of the hottest firms in the country. Irrepressible and dangerously alluring, John "Basil" Henderson has a history with women (and a few men). Basil is the consummate guy's guy: a commitment-phobe gadfly known for a double-edged magnetism that has the ability to thrill--and wound.

She is the uncompromising Yancey Harrington Braxton, an up-and-coming Broadway star who oozes charm and bleeds ambition. Young, beautiful, and dangerously crafty, Yancey is prepared to do whatever she must to get what she wants. A femme fatale who has left more than a few brokenhearted men in her wake, Yancey is intrigued and besotted by Basil.

Both believe that in each other they've finally met their match.

A lavish wedding is planned, and the ultimate power couple plans to spend their lives in holy matrimony. But just before the nuptials, fate and a little comeuppance from the past threaten the happy couple's future.

Masterful storyteller E. Lynn Harris takes the reader on a delicious ride into the mischievous lives of two very unforgettable characters.

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Review:

Set in New York in the closing months of 1999, E. Lynn Harris's tightly plotted Not a Day Goes By bears all the outward markers of a romance by Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins--wealth, glamour, sex, and intrigue--except that the two main characters are more like the wily villains of a Dynasty remake. John "Basil" Henderson, a former football player who has started a successful sports agency with a friend, is a gorgeous, arrogant, bitter, woman-hating, homophobic, African American bisexual who is used to people staring at him. "Especially when I was naked," Basil confides, "My ass was perfect and my jimmie was both long and thick." Basil has fallen in love with an equally alluring figure, Yancey Braxton, a bronze-skinned Broadway singer whose beauty and dedication are matched by ferocious self-absorption and cunning. (Instead of attending her 10-year high school reunion, Yancey sent signed photos of herself and press packets.) Basil feels that his love has rescued him from the shallow life of a player, and he allows himself to believe that she is a good person, and that when they marry, she'll settle down a little and provide him with children. Yancey cares for Basil, too, but her career comes first. After that, sex and money. Babies aren't even on the list.

Harris's most sympathetic characters are Yancey's roommate, Windsor, a plump schoolteacher who spends her spare evenings holding abandoned babies at Hale House, and Zurich Robinson, a gay Christian ex-athlete who briefly considers joining Basil's agency, eliciting a string of ugly clichés from Basil's partner. Meanwhile, Basil, that pillar of integrity, listens in silence. The deal is scotched when Zurich announces that he has been interviewed for an article on gay men in professional athletics. When Basil asks him why he is coming out, Zurich tells him about another young quarterback who tried to run from his sexuality by getting married. The day of the wedding, he shot himself. "As Zurich told the story," Basil recounts,

I could picture the young man and for a brief moment felt the pain he was struggling with. I had been there. But it had never gotten to the point where I wanted to kill myself. If I could have talked to Milo I would have told him, "Roll with it young brother.... There is a way to have your cake and ice cream, too."
Suffice it to say that after a series of delicious plot twists and acts of increasing wickedness, it becomes clear that Basil and Yancey are too damaged to save each other. Although the characters in his sixth novel are somewhat two dimensional and his prose a little flat, E. Lynn Harris can manipulate a story line with the skill of an Eagle Scout earning his badge in knotmaking. Don't start this page-turner if you don't have six or seven free hours in which to read it straight through. --Regina Marler

From the Back Cover:

Praise for E. Lynn Harris's books:

"There is a universality about his characters--their stories are told with warmth and humor from a perspective that is as refreshing as it is straightforward."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Breezy, big-hearted entertainment."
--Entertainment Weekly

"What's got audiences hooked? Harris's unique spin on the ever--fascinating topics of identity, class, intimacy, sexuality, and friendship."
--Vibe

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