Just Too Good to Be True

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-06-30
  • Publisher: Anchor
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Harris serves up a treat that will capture and enchant audiences everywhere---a big, bold, and irresistible novel about football, family, and secrets. Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church's "Celibacy Circle." Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future, but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She's also determined to protect the secret she has kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady's idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other---are you just too good to be true? A sweeping novel about mothers and sons, football and beauty shops, secrets and lies, JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE has all the ingredients that have made E. Lynn Harris a bestselling author: family, friendship, faith, and love.

Author Biography

E. LYNN HARRIS is a nine-time New York Times bestselling author. His work includes the memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, and the novels I Say a Little Prayer, A Love of My Own, Just as I Am, Any Way the Wind Blows, If This World Were Mine, and the classic Invisible Life. Harris divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, home of his beloved college football team The Razorbacks.



Brady Drops the Ball

Yeah, I guess I am almost too good to be true, I thought as I read the SPORTS: The Magazine cover story for the third time. That is, if you believe the hype. But the truth is I almost ruined my life one night, but I somehow managed to right a wrong and come out basically unscathed.

It was a cool October night and my football team, the Central Georgia University Jaguars, had just recorded our biggest victory in CGU school history over the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers. It was a beautiful night for football, with a crowd of over 80,000 fans. I remember the smell of the grass and how great my teammates and I looked in our green and gold uniforms under the lights in a nighttime atmosphere that only college football can provide. It was an incredible feeling when the team raced from the tunnel to the field surrounded by a thunderous roar from the CGU fans.

I was a redshirt freshman, and in this my first start I gained over 150 yards against a tough LSU defense.
After the game, I decided to join my childhood best friend, Delmar, and some of my teammates for some postgame festivities. In the past, for me that would have meant reviewing film of that night’s game. But I was getting tired of all my teammates ribbing me and saying, “Brady can’t hang” and “Brady ain’t down with that,” so I surprised them and myself by going to drink my first beer with them at senior Teddy Miles’s apartment.

After a couple of beers, I decided to call it a night and trek back to campus on foot. When I got to the parking lot of Teddy’s apartment building, I saw a girl getting out of a car in a white dress and white stockings. When the headlights hit her face, I realized I knew her. Naomi Brasswell. A girl from the church I attend in Scarlet Springs.

Naomi was one of several people who said they were interested in being a part of Saving Ourselves when I tried to start the group at the church, but she was the only one who showed up for the first meeting. So I gave up the idea of starting the celibacy club, but still talked with Naomi several times about how tough it was playing football and trying to stay celibate.

Naomi was a local girl, was majoring in nursing at CGU, and lived with her mother and little sister near campus. Sometimes we attended Bible study on Wednesday nights and went to the movies on Sunday after church. A couple of times she invited me to her house for Sunday dinner. I always accepted that invitation, because her mother could throw down with the pots and pans.

I liked Naomi a lot, but I was trying to follow my mother’s advice and stay focused on football and my studies. Still, I thought my mother might like Naomi because she was a virgin and went to church three times a week.

I approached Naomi, and she appeared nervous until she realized it was me. She flashed a beautiful smile and said, “Oh, it’s you, Brady. What are you doing over here?”

“Hanging with some teammates, celebrating the big win,” I said. “What are you doing?”

“Apartment-sitting for one of my friends who went home this weekend,” she said.

“What apartment does she live in?” I asked.

“Up there,” Naomi said as she pointed toward an apartment on the third floor, almost directly over my teammate’s place.

“Why don’t I walk you up? Make sure nobody messes with you,” I said, realizing that several of my teammates were now most likely drunk and ready to hit the prowl.

“That would be nice,” Naomi said as she locked her car door. As we walked toward the apartment, I took notice of her beautiful bright eyes and black hair tumbling over her shoulders. The evening light accentuated her white uniform and outlined her body, making her look like a sexy, naughty

Excerpted from Just Too Good to Be True by E. Lynn Harris
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