This post includes one of Jamila's best romance novel excerpts. Love Over Envy (based on the best selling short story Ain't About The Money) is one of our best contemporary romance novels for people who love romantic stories and can't get enough of them!
This book is a best-selling romance novel which ranked #19 in African American romance.
Genevieve Mauricette — the main character — is an ambitious French Creole black woman from the South who has just moved to a Northern city to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous editor. Genevieve's friend from work Greta drags her along to a salsa club where she meets a sweet talking white man named Sam Andover.
Genevieve is initially unimpressed by Sam's smooth talking ways, but when he fends off an assailant, she starts to wonder if he's more than what he seems…
Sam isn't the man Genevieve thought he was. Although he is an incredibly wealthy CFO for Apex Development, his humble roots make him more down to earth than anyone Genevieve has met since she moved North.
Sam and Genevieve seem like the perfect couple, until Genevieve's life starts mysteriously falling apart. Who could possibly be so envious that they would try to destroy everything Genevieve has worked for, including her new relationship?
While Sam and Genevieve try to figure out who is playing puppet master with their lives, an unexpected contraceptive failure makes a resolution more urgent than ever.
There are more than two lives at stake and the envious villain will stop at nothing to get their way…
When was the last time you heard of a black woman named Genevieve? That was the obnoxious question that had plagued Genevieve Mauricette her entire life. People seemed unable to wrap their minds around the facts but not all black people originated from the United States. But for most of her life, Genevieve’s peers didn’t care about anything except the fact that Genevieve was different and they could make fun of her for it. They mocked her for her “white” sounding name, even if where her parents came from, there was nothing “white” about the name Genevieve.
Her peers were unable to broaden their minds and accept that some people just had a different culture than she did. Genevieve’s father, Jean Luc, was a black Frenchman. Her mother, was Haitian Creole from the Bayou. Their names all sounded excessively French as if they had hailed from Paris itself. Genevieve’s parents were self-made business people. While their small businesses were not always the most successful, they managed to give the Genevieve the very best with regards her education. They had managed to pay for Genevieve to go to a great university and then for her to spend two years at an elite writing program tucked away in the middle of the Vermont wilderness.
Now, Genevieve was pushing 28 and she had just landed an excellent job out of graduate school for her MFA. Well, the job was only excellent in theory. In reality, Genevieve felt unfulfilled. Even if there was potential for her to make a lot of money it was embarrassing to explain to people what she did. See, Genevieve worked for one of these click bait news sites. She came up with articles like:
“10 Ways To Dress Like A Kardashian.”
“23 struggles that women with long hair know all too well.”
“14 prayers to improve your relationship with your boyfriend.”
The list went on. Genevieve found the work really uninspiring, but she was working towards something greater. She wanted more than anything to become a senior editor at the online magazine she worked for. That kind of position would give her a huge pay raise, a lot of prestige and it would make her parents proud. Sometimes you had to work as a grunt for quite a long time before you could get to the big leagues. That was something Genevieve had a hard time with as time went on. Patience wasn’t exactly one of her virtues and she felt like she had worked too hard for too long. Where were the results? This current position felt like it was headed nowhere But now she was trapped in a city where the rent was too high and she was too stressed out even think about moving on. She had committed to this life and she would have to deal with it.
At first, Genevieve had been excited to move to the big city. She had never lived in a tall building that contain hundreds of other people before. She had never lived anywhere that seem to keep going and going and going even after dark. But the reality of the city ended up being much different than what Genevieve had expected. The city kept going and going, but not in the good way. Genevieve was often rushed or overwhelmed. There was no time to stop and contemplate. Personal development took a backseat to the daily grind. She had no time for any meaningful social life. She has become one of these women she swore she would never become: a woman who only has time for her job. She had kept chasing and chasing her dreams to the point where she forgot there was more to life than a new job or a promotion.
All of Genevieve’s friends had settled down already. She knew it was ridiculous, but she was starting to feel like an old maid at 28. She could see the highlight reel of everyone’s lives and not the reality. Those standards were crippling. Screw these standards! Who says a woman has to settle down and start popping out babies second she hits 23? Genevieve tried to keep herself afloat by pointing out to herself that most of her friends didn’t have to go through what she went through to make it big. All they had to do was find a nice man to marry. Genevieve had always wanted more than just a man at her side. A part of Genevieve resented society's pressure for her to have a child early, but another part of her felt as if she was somehow incomplete for not having at least a long term boyfriend. She wasn’t on a path to meet anyone you either. Genevieve felt like she should just settle down and get herself a cat… If only her apartment allowed it.
A part of Genevieve thought that she was broken because she was single. She wondered if perhaps she was too hideous for words or had a terrible personality. But none of that was the case. Genevieve was quite beautiful, just not in the way the magazines wanted you to think of beauty. She wasn’t very tall but despite that she had a very feminine gait with perfect posture. All these years of dancing ballet as a child clearly paid off. Although Genevieve didn’t remember what a plie was, she still remembered to stand up straight and tall. Genevieve had dark walnut colored skin with earthy golden undertones.
Genevieve had a sweet round face, with high cheekbones and a dimpled smile. She had a large forehead, which was highlighted even more by her thin eyebrows. She never wore much makeup because her mother had forbid it when she was a child. Although she hadn't been to church in a minute, Genevieve was raised a staunch Catholic. Makeup and revealing clothing had never even been an option as she was growing up. As an adult, it was just habitual for her to dress modestly and wear nothing more than light mascara and a tiny bit of lipstick.
Her face emitted a warm and friendly glow, just like you would expect of a woman from Louisiana. One of Genevieve’s best features where her obsidian colored eyes. It was funny, many people in Genevieve's family actually had those catlike green eyes you occasionally saw on black people, but Genevieve was an odd duck. She used to be awfully jealous of these bold green eyes, but she eventually came around to loving her eyes and face the way they were. Who said there was anything wrong with dark colored eyes anyways?
Genevieve's body wasn’t bad to look at either. She was short and extremely curvy. Her H-cup breasts made bra shopping difficult. Her thick booty meant leggings were a blessing. Genevieve wasn’t a woman who you could describe as “slim thick” either. She had a little pooch that never seemed to disrupt her daily activities. Genevieve was a curvy, thick woman and over time she had become proud of her curves. People were always trying to say one thing or the other about women’s bodies. First everyone was into staying paperthin. Then you had to have big breasts. Now you had to have a big ass to be considered “hot” according to the media. Genevieve learned that all these little trends that try to fit women into boxes were meaningless. All that mattered was loving the body she was born in.
As she took a break from writing at her computer, Genevieve looked into her little pocket mirror. Her plump carnation pink lips were getting a little parched from the air conditioning in the office. Genevieve was wearing long thin braids and she used the mirror to help her clip them back out of her face. As Genevieve was about to return to work, her work friend Greta popped up out of nowhere.
She had severe vocal fry that linguists write articles about every month or so.
“Hey Genevieve,” Greta rasped. She leaned over Genevieve’s desk almost knocking over her coffee mug. Genevieve was nearly scared out of her skin. Something about Greta was a tiny bit unnerving to Genevieve. She just couldn’t put her finger on what it was exactly.
“Hey Greta,” Genevieve answered. She tried to be polite to Greta because they were coworkers after all. Sometimes Genevieve considered Greta a friend. Plus, Greta seemed to have a vested interest in spending time with Genevieve. Genevieve hated to admit it, but Greta was the closest thing she had to a best friend since she had moved to the city.
Greta Hansson was the type of woman who never spent a weekend alone. Her “body count” was somewhere well over fifty. As Greta leaned over Genevieve’s desk and she began recounting a grotesque sexual exploit, Genevieve took the time to truly examine the woman’s features under the guise of providing a listening ear. Greta had slightly wavy bright red hair; she pretended it was natural but her blonde roots let Genevieve know that Greta was a liar.
Greta had skin that was the color of evaporated milk. Her eyes were giant and icy blue. Just making eye contact with Greta was hypnotizing but not necessarily in a good way. Another creepy thing about Greta was her staring habit. Sometimes, Genevieve would look up from her desk and see Greta just watching her from across the office. These startup internet companies never seemed to learn that open floor plan offices were not the way to go. Greta could be so distracting too. Like right then…
Genevieve was lost in her own thoughts when Greta snapped her fingers in front of Genevieve’s face.
“Helloooo? Earth to Genevieve! I asked you a dang question!” Greta hissed. She laughed awkwardly afterwards and then stared into Genevieve’s eyes waiting for a response.
“Um… Yeah… It sounds… Great!” Genevieve said, pretending she knew what on earth Greta had been talking about.
Greta gushed, “Oh my gosh! Yay! So you’ll come!”
Shit. Genevieve had just agreed to something. What on earth was it? Greta always seemed to drag her along when some crazy idea popped into her head. Last time, they had driven to the Jersey Shore and it was absolutely terrible…
Greta had abandoned Genevieve to hook up with an actual cast member of Jersey Shore. Meanwhile, Genevieve had languished in their motel room alone with a her favorite Raven Ferrari romance novel. The novel was captivating but it didn't make up for that loneliness Genevieve had experienced.
Greta continued babbling on; Genevieve was trying to piece together what exactly she had just agreed to do. After a few sentences, she finally figured out that she had agreed to go out for drinks after work with Greta. It wasn’t the best news, but Genevieve was just glad she hadn't gotten dragged into another road trip. Genevieve had an after work ritual that she hated to deviate from. In fact, Genevieve hated to deviate from any of her rituals. She was the type of woman who had her way of doing things and she did accept anyone else’s.
After work drinks were a waste of time in Genevieve's view. All you got was drunk… And distracted… Genevieve had goals and going out after work to get wasted every night wasn’t going to get her any closer to accomplishing them.
When Genevieve arrived home, she would first take a long hot shower and wash away the day's worries as well as all the dirt from using public transportation. After a shower, Genevieve would tie her hair in a silk scarf. Then she would climb into bed with a hot cup of chamomile tea and her laptop so she could watch Netflix. She would watch a movie, maybe two and then she would drift off to sleep. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this ritual. Sure, sometimes she wished there was sexy dark skinned dude in her bed like Morris Chestnut… But for the most part she was content to do things alone. Most people her age came with too much drama. Genevieve absolutely hated that petty nonsense. Now all her plans were completely squashed because she hadn’t been paying attention and she had agreed to go out with Greta for drinks.
Genevieve tuned back into what Greta was saying.
“You know what Genevieve? We’re also going to meet tons of hot guys. You obviously haven’t been laid in a minute and I think you’ll find a guy to give you some much needed release. You’re too wound up! It’s actually crazy. Oh my god, speaking of crazy…”
As Greta went off on another tangent, Genevieve zoned out again. She didn’t know What to make of Greta’s comment. Sure, it had been a while but that wasn’t any of her business. Genevieve knew she didn’t like the type of guys that Greta liked anyways. Genevieve took dating seriously. Greta saw guys as nothing more than one night stands. Genevieve couldn’t help but take Greta’s comment to heart either way.
Was it really that noticeable that she didn’t have a man in her life? Genevieve was insecure about her complete lack of romantic prospects. Since moving to the city things had gone from bad to worse.
She couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. Genevieve thought she knew exactly what she wanted. She knew boisterous outgoing men were not her type. These men had no values. They were the type of men to run around behind your back going through women like crazy. These were the men who would get up and leave you for another woman the moment their fickle minds decided it was time. Despite her beliefs, Genevieve had a few doubts about how well her dating convictions were working out for her.
Despite Genevieve’s constant pursuit of beta male nice guys, she found they treated her no better than the alpha males she avoided. Another woman would have decided that it was time for a change, to start giving guys a chance based on who they actually were as opposed to who she perceived them to be. Genevieve just figured she should swear off men for a while. Her guard was up and she was tired of getting her heart broken.
Finally, Greta decided to leave Genevieve so she could get back to work. She was more than excited about the chance to go out with her new bestie. Greta might’ve been a little off, but she was genuine about how much she liked Genevieve. At least that's what Genevieve thought. There was something about Greta that could cause you to open up and tell her all your secrets. Sure, Greta might’ve been a little odd but everyone needs that one odd friend right? Genevieve was starting to work herself up to being excited to get to know Greta better over a few drinks and a hot sweaty night of salsa dancing.
The rest of the day at work seemed to drag on. Genevieve was forced to think about her past, both her romantic past and otherwise. There was a point in time when Genevieve was the life of the party. She was the girl you could always rely on to show up with 10 of her hottest best friends. She was the girl you could rely on to say from opening of the club to the close. Of course, that was college. After college and after struggling through grad school while try to work two jobs, Genevieve had calmed down quite a bit. She was no longer the last at the party. She was the person that couldn't wait to go home at 5 o’clock to eliminate the stress of the work day. Her social life was nonexistent.
Genevieve used have great dreams. Just want to be a famous editor. She wanted so much out of life and now it seemed like there was no moving up as quickly as she wanted to. All of Genevieve’s old friends had started families. They didn’t care about career advancement; they didn’t have any of the lofty goals that Genevieve did. Genevieve felt like she was being punished for her position. She could either have one thing or another, but she couldn’t have it all.
Evening. After work. Genevieve had pulled herself together in less than an hour and despite that, she felt what she has looked good. She had bought the dress off an Instagram boutique. Even if she hadn’t tried it on before that night, it fit her perfectly. The dress was a deep cocoa brown, nearly the color of Genevieve skin. It hugged her curves in all the right places. She was one intense makeup look away from being a model. But as usual, she only added a little mascara. Still, Genevieve felt out of place in the salsa club once she got there. This just wasn’t her scene at all and she couldn’t believe she had agreed to go out with Greta like this. What the hell was she doing in a club trying to meet guys? Genevieve knew she would never find any man worth her time in a place like this.
A popular, overplayed salsa song La Vida Es Un Carnaval blared through the speakers. Celia Cruz’s baritone sounded phenomenal, but Genevieve was too uncomfortable to pay her voice much attention. The lights in the club were dim except for a couple flashing green and red lights. It looked like a scene right out of Havana or Santo Domingo. Except no one in the club cared if you were Latino or not. In the dim light, anyone who could speak Spanish was Spanish. Anyone who could dance salsa belonged. The club was filled with Cubans, Dominicans, Panamanians, Puerto Ricans and more. Anyone who bumped into Genevieve’s thought she was their Dominican cousin or something. Negrita! Negrita! She she couldn’t count how many times she had the word hurled at her as some suave Latino man tried to have his way. If only it weren’t for the language barrier, Genevieve would’ve found plenty of them physically attractive. But Genevieve knew a serious man like the one she wanted wouldn't get caught dead here.
It was still early in the night, but the smell of sweat was already starting to permeate the room. Dancing salsa was a workout no doubt. Genevieve couldn’t help but wonder why on earth Greta brought her here. Genevieve didn’t know much salsa. She had taken one class and she was absolutely terrible. Despite all her years of childhood ballet, when she got on the dance floor with an instructor who expected her body to know movement intuitively, she had two left feet. Genevieve wanted nothing more than to plaster herself against the walls and not move until Greta decided was time for them to go home.
Genevieve looked over the dance floor at the scene before her…
The men populating the club seemed confident to the point of arrogance and had no qualms about feeling up every woman they danced with. Their hands wandered over hips and cupped butt cheeks confidently. Each man knew that once a woman agreed to dance with him, it would be far too difficult for her to get away. They touched and felt their curves as if the women were their property. At least that’s how Genevieve saw it.
Genevieve wasn’t a prude (in her mind), but she considered herself to be too classy to be felt up by a guy who’d spent the entire night feeling up ten other girls just like her. She didn’t want to be a notch in some guy’s belt. Greta ordered them both cosmopolitans and they sat at the bar. Genevieve didn’t like cosmpolitans as much as she liked a simple rum and coke but she didn’t want to piss Greta off. After all, she was already being a party pooper and she could tell Greta was getting tired of babysitting her.
Greta decided to stimulate Genevieve into action. She wanted that girl to get some dick! “Look at that guy damn he’s so fucking hot!” Greta yelled loud enough for the guy to hear her if he’d been listening. It was amazing how her raspy voice seemed to carry even over blaring speakers. Genevieve looked over at the man Greta was trying to point out to her. Meh. Sure on the outside he was pretty attractive. He was taller than average and oozed sensuality which Genevieve interpreted as being sleazy. She hated guys that walked around thinking they were God’s gift to earth. Whatever happened to a little humility?
“Looks like kind of a sleaze ball,” Genevieve mumbled dismissively. But Greta wasn’t listening to her. She was just staring at the man making his way around the dancefloor like a pro. The suave gentleman's name was Sam Andover. He was tall, tanned lightly with green eyes that seemed to gleam even in the dimness of the bar. He was clearly muscular and athletic, an all around gorgeous guy. Sam Andover had been coming to this club for over 10 years. It was his usual after work way to let loose. He was extroverted and charismatic; he fit in well amongst the more commonly found Latino people despite the difference in culture. He could move on the dance floor better than anyone, and for that reason alone he was accepted with warmth. Genevieve didn’t know this as she watched him, but he was a man could trust; the frequent visitors of the salsa club could sense how trustworthy he was. Every single woman would let him dip her low so much so that her head would almost touch the ground. He was the kind of guy you could trust not to let go.
But Genevieve had already determined he was a sleaze and as they continued to stare at him, both her and Greta noticed that he had flirted intensely with maybe five or six of the girls he danced with. Probably trying to sleep with all of them. Genevieve had thought to herself. Even if Genevieve was judging him, she couldn’t seem to take her eyes off him. He hooked her in. He had a magnetic personality and every single woman in the room was becoming more and more aware of him. He dominated the room like it was second nature.
Women were trying their best to strut their stuff, but they didn’t decide whether or not Sam Andover approached them. It was all up to him. He was choosing from the pack of ravenous broads. That's why Genevieve was surprised when Sam approached her and asked her to dance. Although "ask" is a strong word for what happened. Sam reached for her hand and before she knew it she was in his arms. Genevieve didn’t even know his name…
Sam had sought her out in a crowd full of women were more dressed up and more conventionally beautiful. He had looked past the blondes, the brunettes, the beautiful Latina beauty queens. He had looked past the girls who belonged on the covers of magazines and locked eyes with Genevieve. In that moment, he decided that he needed to dance with her. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything. But she have a look in her eyes that said she was different. She looked a little bit out of place. She was clearly unfamiliar and that added an aura of mystery to her. What’s more, Genevieve wasn’t like these other girls. It wasn’t like the way these other girls were was wrong… Her differences just made her stand out. What kind of woman goes to the club with no makeup on? What kind of woman goes to the club without skanky heels on? Why haven’t I seen this woman before? Those were the strange kind of traits that drew Sam to Genevieve when he first stood 2 feet in front of her face and asked her, “Quieres bailar?” His accent was atrocious and he broke out into the biggest smile as if he knew just how bad it was.
Maybe he thought she was Spanish, maybe he didn’t know and didn’t care. But before Genevieve knew it, she was holding on for dear life in trying her best to keep time with the music.
His hands were little bit sweaty, but within a few seconds Genevieve found that she didn’t care. She just wanted him to Put. Her. Down. There was no time to protest though. The music was speeding up faster and faster. Damn you Marc Anthony! Genevieve was hustling back and forth and spinning around and around. She almost felt sick to her stomach. The smell of the room and the smell of Sam specifically filtered through her nostrils. She couldn’t tell which was which. Was he sweet or bitter? Why the hell did he have to spin her around so goddamn fast?
A brief moment to catch her breath emerged as the song slowed down. Sam looked at her with a devilish grin on his face as if he enjoyed making her work hard to keep up with him. He tried to maintain eye contact with Genevieve but she looked away in silent protest. His hands clasped hers tightly. She couldn’t help but notice how strong he was. Even if she wanted to just be let go, she couldn’t ignore how safe she felt in his arms… But who did he think he was?
As he swung her around like a rag doll, Sam was actually trying to start a conversation with Genevieve. It was hard to imagine. She could barely catch her breath and here he was trying to talk with her as if this were a stroll through the park. It wasn’t that Sam meant to be rude. He was infused with energy from the beat of the music. This was his favorite after work hangout and he wanted to share the excitement with everyone. Manners escaped him sometimes… He had grown up rough around the edges. Deep down, he was a good guy, but he lacked some finesse. Genevieve couldn’t see any of that. She just saw him as an attractive man, and most certainly a womanizer. She vowed to remain closed off to him even as he swung her around for a second song…
Sam tried to ask her, “so what do you do for a living?
Genevieve narrowly avoided stomping on his feet she huffed, “I’m a writer…”
Maybe she would have elaborated if she had enough oxygen in her lungs.
Sam was still trying to make eye contact with her. He asked Genevieve more, “Yeah? That sounds like kind of a lonely career for a woman as beautiful as you are…”
How corny! Did that guy really think that cheap line would work on her? Genevieve was miffed that he had even tried it. He probably approached her because he saw her as some ugly desperate low-self-esteem having woman he was trying to get in bed with because he perceived her as easy. Genevieve’s face turned sour.
She had read it all wrong again.
“It’s not lonely…” Genevieve lied.
In time with the music, Sam pulled her in close and whispered into her ear, “A woman like you could never be lonely…”
Another corny line. Really? Genevieve was starting to wonder what she did to deserve such a cheese ball. Sam dipped her low to the ground. Genevieve’s heart didn’t miss a beat. Even in her anger she implicitly trusted him not to drop her.
After they had danced for a couple more songs, Genevieve felt like she’d overstayed her time in his arms. Plus, she wasn’t very good at dancing salsa and she felt a little seasick from all the spinning. She gently pulled away from Sam, thinking and hoping that he wouldn’t try to approach her again. Genevieve was starting to feel the liquor anyways. She always knew she was getting drunk when the urge to drink Henny crept up. She fumbled until she got to the bar but Greta was not where she expected.
The entire time that Genevieve had been dancing with Sam, Greta was stewing. She couldn’t believe Genevieve had the hottest guy in the bar come up to her. Greta was the one who had been eyeing him and she felt entitled to at least a moment of his time. Of course, when he sauntered over to Genevieve, Greta thought he had been coming over to her.
Maybe it was a pity dance or something. Greta thought to herself. But it didn’t look like a pity dance. Greta was envious. Greta downed three more cosmopolitans while Sam and Genevieve danced. The way that guy was looking at Genevieve made it seem like he was actually into her. Greta was baffled! She didn’t think Genevieve was that ugly, but she was acting like a shrinking violet the entire night. She didn’t seem like the type of woman who would attract someone like that emerald eyed adonis who was touching her waist ever so gently…
Greta was pissed off. Whenever she didn’t make “her kill” she worked it off by finding one or two more guys to take home that night. By the time Genevieve returned from her sweaty dance with Sam, Greta was gone…
She was meeting up with her “man for the night”. He was the guy that every woman has… That guy you can call whenever you’re feeling lonely and he’ll come right over and warm up your bed no matter what. Greta had no real interest in Erwin. He was pasty, underweight and blond with no backbone whatsoever. He had been pining after Greta for ten years. Of course she slept with him, but she never agreed to go the distance with Erwin no matter how desperate he was to marry her.
Erwin was one of those guys who thought he deserved everything because he was “nice”. But that’s all Erwin was. He was just a “nice” guy with no interests. All he wanted was some woman to become completely consumed with. Greta had no intention of ever becoming “consumed” by the little shrimp. But during times like this when she felt rejected by better prospects, Greta returned to her old watering hole.
While Genevieve kept herself steady against the bar she saw Greta flirting with Erwin in a corner. She had no idea who Erwin was. She just assumed that Greta was off flirting with some man who was twice her age. She was just glad she hadn't lost sight of Greta in the crowded club. Genevieve felt like the liquor was taking hold of her. She ordered a glass of Hennessy. She was already out, getting a little tipsy would at least make the club more bearable. Between the time she had ordered and received her drink, Genevieve had already turned down three other guys.
She felt clumsier on her feet than she had with Sam. She chugged back the Hennessy and suddenly felt like she was going to throw up. I should not have done that… Genevieve mused. But perhaps she would be alright despite having had too much to drink. All she needed to do was keep her eye on Greta. That was her ride home and as long as Greta was in her line of sight, everything would be okay no matter how much she had to drink.
Genevieve whipped her head to the spot where Greta had just been standing. She felt her tummy turn even more. Greta was nowhere to be seen. Genevieve scanned the salsa club over and over again. There was no sign of Greta or Erwin.
Where on earth were they…?
If you enjoyed this romance novel excerpt and you would like to read another one, check out Prepped For Love by Jamila Jasper. Click here to read more!
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