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[This is the MP3CD audiobook format.]
In her most stunning, riveting, unstoppable novel yet, bestselling and critically acclaimed author Tracy Brown delivers the unforgettable sequel to White Lines.
On the surface, it appears that Sunny has got it all: looks, money, a beautiful home, a healthy daughter, and friends who love her. But Sunny has a secret--something she hasn't even told her best friend. The truth is Sunny is unhappy. She still misses her beloved Dorian and worries that no other man will ever captivate her the way he did. She's dated some very powerful and successful men since Dorian's death, but will she ever find love again?
It's not long before Sunny is chasing those white lines, but when the truth finally explodes, will she be able to put her life back together again?
[*Produced by Buck 50 Productions]
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TRACY BROWN is the Essence bestselling author of Twisted, White Lines, Criminal Minded, Black, and Dime Piece.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Six months earlier ...
She stood beside Dorian Douglas and took in his majestic presence. He stood tall, strong, almost head and shoulders above every other man in the room. His deep, chocolate brown skin shone as he held his drink in one hand, the other wrapped securely around Sunny’s slim waist. He practically towered over everyone, his regal aura seemingly radiant around him. Looking at her man, Sunny’s lips spread into a smile without her even realizing it. She loved him so much.
He stared down at her and she watched his lips as he spoke. “You okay, baby?” he asked.
She could see the other women in the room—women dressed provocatively in designer clothes, jewelry and expensive shoes just as she was. Each of them watched Dorian hungrily, wondering what it would take for them to snatch Sunny’s spot by his side. But even with all the sexy women practically stripping for him on the dance floor as the reggae music pumped through the speakers, Dorian’s gaze was fixed on her. He searched Sunny’s eyes as if he could see past them.
She smiled at him and he returned the gesture, kissed her softly on her lips, and held her closer.
“Yeah,” Sunny said. “I’m good.”
* * *
She didn’t realize that she was dreaming until the alarm clock blared in her ear, startling her. Sunny awoke, glanced around her large bedroom and came back to reality. Dorian was dead—had been for more than ten years now. And her daughter, Mercedes—tall like her daddy and as stunningly beautiful as her mom even at the tender age of twelve years old—was sprawled out across the other half of Sunny’s California king–size bed. Sunny turned off her alarm clock and smiled at the sight of her beautiful baby sleeping soundly beside her.
Mercedes had her own room—spacious, professionally decorated and full of every amenity any kid would ever wish for. But she still preferred to slip under her mother’s covers every chance she got and fall asleep beside her, inhaling that maternal scent that gave her comfort like no other smell on earth.
Since the day she was born, Mercedes had seldom been far from Sunny’s side. Sunny adored her, doted on her and would have only the best for her baby girl—her one and only child with the one man she had ever truly loved. Mercedes was the perfect combination of Sunny’s sass and Dorian’s cleverness. She was pretty, smart, and quick-witted like her mother, yet perceptive, aristocratic and calculating like her father.
Sunny appreciated that her daughter still longed to be in her bed at night. She knew that Mercedes was approaching a difficult age when teenage angst and rebellion could come between them.
Sunny had worked hard to get noticed by the elite of the entertainment industry and her persistence had certainly paid off. Over the years she landed major ad campaigns and had established an impressive portfolio for herself. She had been seen on the arm of more than one major player in sports or entertainment and was a favorite of the gossip pages. The name Sunny Cruz rang bells from New York to L.A. and she was doing her damndest to keep it that way. Some questioned Sunny’s motives for remaining constantly in the public eye, when so much of her life as a hustler’s wife had been lived in caution and discretion. Few knew that what truly drove her was an ugly unhealed wound that was so much deeper than what people saw on the beautiful surface.
Sunny leaned over and kissed Mercedes on the cheek, smoothed a lock of her thick and flowing hair away from her face, and softly shook her awake.
“Rise and shine, pretty girl,” Sunny sang. “It’s time for school.”
Mercedes peeked through sleepy eyes and smiled at her mother. “Good morning, Mommy,” she said. “It’s always time for school.”
Sunny laughed and nudged her playfully. “Come on and let’s have Jenny G make us banana pancakes.”
Mercedes bounded out of bed then and scampered off toward her own bedroom, excited that their live-in servant Jenny Gonzalez would be making her favorite breakfast.
Sunny smiled as she watched her go, then went into her bathroom and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She stared into her eyes and tried to see what Dorian had found when he looked into them the way he had in her dream. But all she recognized was the same pain that had taken up residence there the moment Dorian had drawn his last breath in her arms all those years ago.
Thinking of him caused her instant heartache. She had loved Dorian Douglas with such intensity that his absence made her feel hollow. She reached up to the top of the medicine cabinet and searched around with her hand until she touched the soft silk satchel that held her pain reliever.
She reached into the small black pouch, retrieving a tiny white pill. Sunny popped the Percocet in her mouth and sipped some water, eager for the drug to take effect and numb the pain to the point where she could slip out of her mind, just a little bit, for just a little while. Sunny wasn’t in any physical pain. She popped Percs like Tic Tacs throughout the day as a way of coping with the feelings she had struggled with for years—loneliness, pain of love lost, fear of boredom, and of a life filled with monotony and routine.
She got her Percs from Gillian Nobles, an old family friend who was a queenpen in her own right. Thanks to the Nobles family’s access to a cache of prescription medications, Sunny enjoyed the numbing relaxation of a tiny white pill. Pushing thoughts of Dorian to the back of her mind, she went about her morning ritual and emerged from the bathroom feeling ready to face the world.
Ninety minutes later, after a five-star breakfast, showers and hairstyling, Sunny and Mercedes sat side by side in the backseat of her Aston Martin, both of them relaxing with their legs crossed so perfectly they looked like an ad for an etiquette class. Mercedes was clad in her prep-school uniform, while Sunny was decked out in a DKNY blazer, white V-neck, and black leggings. Her red-bottomed riding boots and bright yellow BCBG clutch gave her outfit her signature flair for the dramatic.
Sunny’s driver, Raul, climbed into the driver’s seat and smiled at his two lovely passengers.
“Good morning, ladies,” he practically shouted, his hearing having deteriorated over the years. “Y’all ready to get going today?”
“Yes, we are,” Sunny confirmed. She leaned forward in her seat to speak directly into his ear so that her instructions could be heard clearly the first time. Sunny hated repeating herself to Raul—to anyone for that matter. “We’re dropping Mercedes off at school. Then I’m going to Midtown to meet with Olivia at Shootin’ Crooks.”
The driver nodded and buckled his seat belt. He was familiar with Shootin’ Crooks and with Sunny’s friend Olivia, who worked out of the company’s office on West Fifty-third Street, where she toiled nonstop in conjunction with her brother’s rap empire. Raul had been driving for Sunny for several years and Olivia had played an integral role in getting work for Sunny. Her referrals had garnered some great publicity and priceless contacts. It was one of the many reasons why Sunny counted Olivia as one of her few friends—a term she didn’t use loosely.
Sunny slid back into her seat beside her daughter and crossed her legs once more. She stared at Mercedes and could see Dorian in her. She was a lovely young lady and she was smart. Sunny couldn’t be prouder.
She watched as Mercedes toyed with her BlackBerry. “When you get out of school today, call me. I should be wrapping things up in Midtown by then and we can hang out,” Sunny said.
Mercedes finished reading her horoscope and nodded at her mother, smiling. “Okay. But can I hang out with Genevieve instead of meeting up with you?”
Sunny thought about it. Genevieve was Mercedes’s classmate—a caramel-complexioned Michelle Obama in the making. She agreed. After all, the two girls never got in any trouble—together or separate. “Where are you two trying to go?”
“Bloomy’s,” Mercedes answered, her face as sweet as could be. Shopping at Bloomingdales was one of her favorite pastimes.
Sunny had given her daughter her own credit card long ago, although Mercedes knew that her every transaction was being monitored. She was careful with her spending, but knew that her limit was bottomless.
“Genevieve’s sister works there so we’re gonna stop in and say hi to her and then do a little shopping.”
Sunny pretended to think about it, but she trusted Mercedes and really had no problem letting her go.
“Okay,” she said at last. “Call Raul when you get out of school. He’ll take you and Genevieve wherever you want to go and he’ll drop you both off at home afterwards.” Sunny leaned forward in her seat. “DID YOU HEAR THAT?” she bellowed into her elderly driver’s ear.
“Yes!” he assured her hurriedly so that she would stop yelling. “I will wait for Mercedes to call.”
Satisfied, Sunny patted him on the back appreciatively and sat back.
“Thanks, Madre.” Mercedes looked at her mom and smiled. “You look nice today,” she observed.
Sunny playfully pinched her daughter’s cheek. “I look nice every day, Mercedes.” Sunny winked at her. “And so do you. It’s in our genes.”
Mercedes thought about that, and decided that she agreed. “Yes. Bella is beautiful, too.”
Sunny smiled. “Bella” was the name Mercedes had given to Sunny’s mother, Marisol, as a child. As a toddler, she had...
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Book Description Blackstone Audio Inc, 2012. CMD. Condition: Brand New. mp3 una edition. 8.00x5.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk1455127167
Book Description Urban Audiobooks and Blackstone Audio, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1455127167