JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by E. Lynn Harris

JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In his mawkish but heart-tugging latest, Harris (I Say a Little Prayer, 2006, etc.) exposes the extremes to which sports agents will go to sign NFL flavors-of-the-month.

Carmyn Bledsoe has struggled to nurture her son Brady’s football talent while gradually rising from poverty to prosperity as the owner of two Atlanta beauty emporiums. But Carmyn is no “Greta Ghetto.” Born to the African-American aristocracy in Texas, she was exiled by her family after her University of Texas football-star boyfriend, Woodson, found her passed out and naked in a hotel bed and assumed the worst. Pregnant due to a rape she can’t remember, Carmyn refused to give up baby Brady. Now her hopes have almost flowered—Brady is a senior running back and Heisman candidate at (fictitious) Central Georgia University. Carmyn has always controlled Brady’s career, including insisting he remain celibate until marriage to avoid entanglements with golddiggers. Agents, including sleazebag Nico, are clamoring to rep Brady in the NFL. Nico uses Raquel, an alluring waif whom he “rescued” from her no-account New Orleans single mother, as a decoy to entice young athletes. Coming off a job where she helped Nico swindle a newly drafted NBA player out of his signing bonus, Raquel, aka Barrett, a well-preserved 29, is posing as a CGU cheerleader who’s after Brady’s virginity. After this mission, Barrett plans to retire to Nico’s opulent Buckhead mansion—as soon as he moves his wife out. Covering all angles, Nico employs Kilgore, a comely male student-impersonator, to seduce Brady’s godfather Lowell, a professor at CGU. Kilgore bugs Lowell’s house and records Carmyn’s tearful confession of Brady’s origins—she’d told Brady that his father was dead. When Barrett informs Brady that his mother lied, the filial bond is compromised.

Racy entertainment too often weighed down by clunky dialogue and overearnest moralizing.

Pub Date: July 8th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-49272-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2008




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