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Not a Day Goes By
Cover of Not a Day Goes By
Not a Day Goes By
A Novel
John "Basil" Henderson has always played the field, both as a professional football player and as an equal opportunity lover. After retiring his jersey for a career as a sports agent, the dashing playboy is surprising everyone—including himself—by deciding to settle down and commit to his new love, Yancey Harrington Braxton. A fiercely driven Broadway star on the rise, blessed with beauty, charm, and a fondness for the finer things in life, she appears to be his ideal mate. A lavish wedding is planned, but just before the nuptials, fate and a little comeuppance threaten the happy couple's future.
Charged with narrative exuberance and sumptuous detail, Not a Day Goes By proves that nobody spins a sexy urban love story like E. Lynn Harris.
John "Basil" Henderson has always played the field, both as a professional football player and as an equal opportunity lover. After retiring his jersey for a career as a sports agent, the dashing playboy is surprising everyone—including himself—by deciding to settle down and commit to his new love, Yancey Harrington Braxton. A fiercely driven Broadway star on the rise, blessed with beauty, charm, and a fondness for the finer things in life, she appears to be his ideal mate. A lavish wedding is planned, but just before the nuptials, fate and a little comeuppance threaten the happy couple's future.
Charged with narrative exuberance and sumptuous detail, Not a Day Goes By proves that nobody spins a sexy urban love story like E. Lynn Harris.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    My lady, Yancey, changed my life. Sometimes I think she saved my life. My name is John Basil Henderson and I guess I'm what you call a former bad boy. I was the kind of dude who was getting so much play, I needed to buy condoms by the barrel. About two years ago, all that changed when I met Yancey Harrington Braxton the day before Christmas at Rockefeller Center while skating with my five-year-old nephew, Cade. Yancey walked right up and started a conversation while flirting with both Cade and myself. I loved her confidence. We were both smitten at her first hello. Yancey is, as the young dudes would say, a "dime piece" ... a perfect ten.

    When I met Yancey I was in the midst of a pre-midlife crisis. I had just turned thirty-three and my childhood dream of playing pro football was already over. Wasn't shit going right for me. I was actually seeing a shrink, trying to figure out why I had such disdain for both men and women while, at times, being sexually attracted to both. I was spending too much time trying to get even with this mofo, Raymond Tyler who didn't even know how strongly I felt about him. For me, Raymond stood on that thin line between love and hate. There were so many things I liked--no, loved--about him, but I also hated feeling that way toward any man. It just wasn't right.

    I had gone to the doctor to face my past--a past that included my sexual molestation by a much beloved uncle. I wrote that no good mofo a letter telling him how he had screwed up my life with his sick ass, but the mofo died before I could mail it. I was surprised at how writing shit down and talking out loud about how I was feeling helped me. But the good doctor wasn't excited about my relationship with Yancey, and when I disagreed, we parted ways. It wasn't as if he said, "If you continue in the relationship I can no longer see you, Mr. Henderson." I just stopped going and he never called to see if I was okay. I guess he didn't need the money.

    There have been times in my life that were so painful that I didn't think I could share them with another living soul, but then that person walks into your life, and you don't know whether to be afraid or feel relief. You don't know whether to be afraid or feel relief. You don't know whether to run or stand still, That was the way I felt about meeting Yancey. When I told her how my father had raised me to believe that my mother was dead, which I later found out was a total lie, Yancey held me tight and I felt her tears on my naked shoulder. At times I feel as though I could tell her anything, and then I remember she is a woman and wouldn't understand some of the things I have been through and done. So, despite my bone-deep love for Yancey, I've kept some secrets about myself she just wouldn't understand.

    My love for Yancey hit me hard. I guess that's the way real love works. I love the way she makes me feel like I'm the only man in a roomful of thousands. I love the way other men and women look at us when we walk hand in hand into some of New York's finest restaurants and nightclubs, or during our simple walks through Central Park. I love watching her perform on the Broadway stage and in cabarets, where Yancey charms both owners and patrons. I love the sound of her singing, not only on the stage but in the bathroom, while she sits at her vanity and brushes her hair.

    But one of the things I love the most about Yancey is that she reminds me of myself. I guess both of us have taken so much shit from our families that we don't too kindly to outsiders. We are each other's best friend. To the outside world we're the diva and the dawg, but not with each other. Once I took her to Athens, Georgia, for a college football...

About the Author-
  • E. Lynn Harris is a former computer sales executive with IBM and a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He self-published Invisible Life, with great success. It went on to become a Blackboard bestseller and a 1996 ABA Blackboard List Outstanding African American Novel Nominee. In 1996, Just As I Am was awarded the Novel of the Year Prize by Blackboard African-American Bestsellers, Inc. If This World Were Mine was a finalist for the 1997 NAACP Image Award and winner of the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 17, 2000
    Following a string of bestselling novels featuring plots that mix romance, deception, betrayal and bisexuality, Harris (If This World Were Mine; Abide with Me) scores again with the much-anticipated return of two of his most popular characters. When John "Basil" Henderson, ex-football player and sports agent on the rise, falls in love with haughty, ambitious Broadway star Yancey Harrington Braxton, it seems like a perfect match. But on the couple's wedding day, which opens the book, the extravagant nuptials are suddenly canceled. The narrative retraces the couple's rocky courtship: Yancey arrives in Basil's life at a critical moment, when his football career is over and he's in therapy examining his bisexual past. He's entranced by gorgeous, stylish Yancey, especially because she looks so good on his arm, but though he feels true admiration and love, Basil also still pines for men. Determined to marry, have children, and keep his homosexual proclivities a secret, Basil doesn't realize that Yancey has a few secrets of her own. Her one true love from her college days reappears, with some scandalous news. When Yancey discovers Basil's "other side," she is horrifiedDbut she quickly concocts a scheme to lay claim to Basil's riches. As usual with Harris, the romance is set within the lavish trappings of the Good Life: upscale vacations, lushly decorated homes, pricey designer duds. Harris has a ball with femme fatale Yancey, who chases film and TV roles with a relentless campaign of lies, party crashing and tantrums. With lean prose and witty dialogue, he brings some new notes, trills and riffs to his familiar song, and his patented knack for a wry, uproarious resolution is in full flower in this sexual War of the Roses.

  • USA Today

    "A book that plumbs the depths of love, loyalty and misplaced motives.... Harris is in true form."

  • Salon "Offers sweet, guilty thrills that leave you longing for more."
  • The Washington Post Book World "E. Lynn Harris...tucks in enough plot twists to keep his readers turning pages late at night."
  • Publishers Weekly "Harris scores again.... His patented knack for a wry, uproarious resolution is in full flower in this sexual War of the Roses."
  • Detroit Free Press "A love story full of suspense and anticipation."
  • People "Enough punch to score a KO."
  • Entertainment Weekly "E. Lynn Harris--the chart-topping author of romance novels about black men--has got it going on.... The secret? Harris' addictive, Soul Food meets Melrose Place plots, revolving around affluent buppies wrestling with sexual identity, monogamy, and top-flight careers."
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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E. Lynn Harris
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