Monday, April 14, 2014

Excerpt: 'Hold Me in Contempt' by Wendy Williams

by Joyce Lamb)

(Photo: William Morrow Paperbacks)

HEA gets to share an excerpt from Wendy Williams' Hold Me in Contempt, which comes out Tuesday. "Wendy Williams?" you say. "The Wendy Williams?" Yep. The Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams Show. She's also an author.

First, here's the blurb about Hold Me in Contempt:

Move over 50 Shades, there's a new romance in town. Superstar Wendy Williams brings on the heat in her first ever, no-holds-barred, down and dirty, romance novel.

Kimberly Kind is trying to get beyond her roots. A successful, beautiful, smart lawyer, she's finally finding direction in her life and getting out of the streets. But a terrible accident threatens to throw her carefully laid plans off course. Now Kim's hiding a huge secret… one that could threaten everything.

Enter King. A perfect mix of Justin Timberlake and David Beckham, the man oozes sex and has more swagger than anyone Kim's ever met. Their chemistry is off the charts. But after passion-filled nights, the intensity of their emotions takes both of them by surprise.Love was not supposed to be an option. Now it's the only thing holding them together. When their pasts come back with a vengeance, can love possibly be enough?

And here's the excerpt …

(From Hold Me in Contempt by Wendy Williams. Copyright (c) 2014 by Wendy Williams. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.)

"Here you go," the bartender said, setting my drink down.

"Thank you." I returned her movement by placing my credit card on the bar.

"Tab?" She picked up the card.

"No—" I answered and then changed my mind: "I mean, yes. Yes. Bad day. Horrible day for me."

"Right place then, Queen." She nodded and turned to the register right behind her.

"Hey, Iesha, right? Why do you keep calling me 'Queen'?" I asked her back as two long haired Puerto Rican women in tight black pants and pastel thick-bottom stripper-style stilettos walked past me from the back of the club and waved at her.

"I'm sorry. I thought that was your name," she said, turning back to me. "Wasn't that what King called you the other night?"

"'King?' I repeated, trying to sound like I hardly knew who she was talking about, but when it was apparent she was on to my attempt at minimalism, I switched to a slight familiarity. "Oh, yeah. That white guy I met here the other night."

"Yeah, him," she giggled with a little "You know damn well you remember him" in her voice.

With more nonchalance I added, "Oh, I think he just meant it like the way all the brothers call women 'Queen.' You know?"

"No. I've never heard him say that to anyone before," she revealed confidently.

"Really?" Again, I tried not to sound interested in the information but the Jameson in my hand had me feeling unfastened or excited and I'd hardly had a sip.

Another beautiful woman walked from the back of the club and that time I looked to spy her leaving the kitchen.

"So, have you seen him? King. He been around?" I kicked up the nonchalance to ten for both me and Iesha. I could rationalize that I was trying to kick off my blues by focusing on something other than my bad day. "Not that I care, but I'm just asking."

"Sure. I've seen him," she said curtly and turned to walk from behind the bar without another word. She went to the back where the woman had walked out of the kitchen.

"OK. Guess I shouldn't have asked," I said to myself to note her quick disappearance before looking for solace in my glass of liquor and melting ice cubes. I didn't start drinking or even smoking until I went to college and for years the closest I got to hard liquor was Alize and Hypnotiq. I liked the sweet stuff that went down easy. It made drinking seem fun. Like feminine and silly. Not dark and piss infested like the drunks I'd known growing up. I'd sip a little something and laugh with my girls or Ronald. Get a little nasty. Maybe even pass out, but still it felt innocent. When I got to law school, though, that soft, feminine liquor didn't do anything for me. There were too many headaches in the morning. Too many vomit-fests over the toilet. I had to stop it, but I still wanted to drink something. Have a little sip to take off the edge after a late night studying for exams or class. Or after dealing with my mother being found somewhere down and out and there was nothing I could do about it. That's when the liquor with men's names came into my life and the purity of straight alcohol with no sweet lies became a favorite. Jameson was always my best friend. It had bite and nerve. Let you lose control, but made you feel like you were in control.

"Hey young blood," I heard one of the men near the pool tables say and I looked over at the men crowding around.

In the middle of their circle of wrinkly brown skin, thick glasses and old school Kangol's was one white face with a thin beard. It was King.

As the men chatted, laughing and slapping five, Iesha walked out of the kitchen and returned to the bar where she went on working like we hadn't spoken.

I watched the scene at the pool table for a second and then I started coaching myself about not appearing thirsty or too excited to see King, so I turned around. I wasn't interested in him and I didn't want it to appear as if I'd come to the bar to see him. It was purely an act of circumstance. Desperation. I was in Brooklyn to pick up Miles and after that went awry I needed a drink and I didn't want to wait until I got back to my place, so I stopped at the bar. Right? Then I wondered why I was explaining myself to myself. I took the last swig of my Jameson and sat the glass down hard on the bar to signal for another.

"Somebody said you were looking for a King": this was heard surround sound over my shoulders. The name from the smooth baritone voice fell on the rear of my left ear with a tickle that swam down my back and made me squirm and jump a little.

"Oh, I'm sorry," he said, sliding onto the stool beside me. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"I'm not scared," I said with more determination than needed.

He noted it, too. "Well, I ain't never scared either," he responded with equal register.

After a few chuckles we let an expectant silence sit between us. "I—" I started, but he opened with the same word and we laughed again at the invisible butting of heads. More laughing. That time it was more familiar. Not like we'd known each other for years, but that we'd seen each other or had been watching and maybe trading words through others. I knew I was blushing through my eyes, so I looked away. But I could still feel him standing there and that made me more excited. His presence felt overwhelming. Like a man in charge.

Find out more at

Wendy Williams, author of "Hold Me in Contempt."(Photo: The Wendy Williams Show)