The Biggest Ego represents something 100% different in the BWWM genre. We've heard about love over forty, but what about love over sixty? Beulah and her younger bodyguard Dane have a crazy love story that seemed to spring out of nowhere. Beulah has worked her entire life to lift herself out of poverty and she's sailed to success to the tune of billions…
All that hard work and dedication have left her love life a little lackluster and she doesn't seem to have a spare moment for men. Her assistant tries to help her out by scheduling a date…
I won't spoil it for you as that's where we'll start the sample off today. If you love romantic stories, enjoy delicious egotistical alpha males who can still make our thighs throb, and beautiful, brown-skinned, smart, and thick heroines, keep reading. You'll enjoy this romance novel excerpt and immediately set your calendar for the October 28th, 2019 launch date.
"Mind if I smoke in here?"
"I would prefer if–"
"Thanks," Jeff interrupted.
He pulled out a Cuban cigar and flicked his lighter a few times before the end of the thick brown rod glowed hot and released a plume of thick noxious smoke into the air.
I coughed which stimulated a chuckle that stretched the skin on his face wide, revealing deep wrinkles. The cameras might lie and with enough makeup, a movie star like Jefferson may even look as if he had maintained some facets of his youth.
Sitting right across from him, I could see the cracks in his utterly constructed image.
"We've been doing a movie," he grunted between deep inhales.
One of Jefferson's costars, a blonde skinny little thing named Emma Braxton, had been a guest on my talk show, "The Beulah Show".
"It's a fuckin’ mess," Jefferson coughed, "these bullshit directors are only giving me 30 million."
"Are you the lead part?" I pursed my lips, attempting to remain polite and conversational.
"No. I'm not. But you have to pay for Jefferson David’s time. Wouldn't you agree? I mean, anyone who wants your time has to pay for it."
I cracked a polite smile.
“See? you get it. That kind of wisdom isn't easy to come by these days.”
“It depends on who you talk to.”
“In this industry, everyone’s either a hustler or a cheat,” Jeff snorted.
I disagreed with his cynicism. He puffed on his cigar and ashed it on the ground. A cold breeze blew across the rooftop balcony I'd cleared out for our date. I'd come to this spot many times when I'd first moved to Los Angeles. The restaurant changed hands three times since then, but the view was the same: spectacular.
“Hollywood is full of phonies, Beulah. The way I look at it, you’re either real or one of the phonies.”
Wind gushed across the rooftop, blowing my hair over my shoulders. With arthritis that had cropped up since my fiftieth birthday, a chilly wind was no longer something that could be ignored. I wrapped my scarf around my shoulders and reached for the bottle of 1982 Merlot.
I poured the glass and Jeff laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“I thought you TV women had to watch your figures. Doesn't red wine have like 300 calories in it? ”
I smiled politely again, a prickle of irritation rushing across my neck.
“I think I’m doing fine.”
“Hey,” he replied, “Don’t be so sensitive. It was just a joke.”
“Where is that chef of yours?”
My newest chef was something I could get excited about.
“He’ll be out soon. Trust me, the wait will be worth it. Opal had him flown in from San Diego and he’s one of the best Italian chefs in the state.”
Jefferson scoffed, “An Italian chef in San Diego? Sounds like a Mexican with a nifty disguise.”
He snorted at his own joke. Again the prickle of irritation clambered across my neck. I said nothing.
“Want to try this?”
Jeff leaned over the table balancing the cigar between his fingers. The long ash tip dangled dangerously over my glass of wine.
I replied with a hasty, “No thank you.”
“Opal… that your assistant?”
“She’s phenomenal. I wouldn’t have my life together without her.”
“Or this date, right?”
“Our assistants seemed to think we should meet," I responded.
I questioned either of their judgment.
Jeff hacked another cough and sent a plume of smoke straight into my face which stimulated another coughing fit in me.
Jeff shrugged, “I’m a single fifty-year-old guy, you’re a woman of considerable age. It makes perfect sense.”
“I suppose so. Do you golf, Jeff?”
Before this date, Opal assured me that Jeff was a golfer. I was sure of it. His resounding response shocked me.
“Golf is bullshit. For boring old farts.”
He inhaled again. The prickle of rage turned into a surge.
“I love golf,” I replied, “My doctors say it’s good for me. I had the estate outfitted with my own eighteen hole course.”
He chuckled, ashed his cigarette and resumed his disinterested gaze. I needed the chef to hurry it up with dinner. I couldn't stand this much longer.
Jeff was one of those men I had convinced myself was my type. Opal promised me that I would like him and she cited years and years of positive tabloid stories and interviews where he had been the most well-behaved gentleman that you could imagine.
Jefferson was poised, from mixed Mississippian and British roots. His hair which had once been a startling golden color was now streaked with white. The intense cerulean eyes that made him a media darling pierced my gaze from across the table. I sat across from everyone's favorite "it boy", yet I couldn't muster those feelings of adoration that everyone seemed to have.
He reached for the bottle of wine and without the pretense of tipping it into his glass, he poured every last drop down his throat and finished with a self-satisfied belch. I wrinkled my nose and tightened my scarf around my shoulders. I could polish the wine off if I needed to. That would be enough to get me through the night.
In my younger days, I might have left and risked causing a scene. I'd risk getting myself labeled a "diva" by the tabloids and set my publicist back for weeks. Over thirty years on cable television taught me well and molded my responses. I couldn't allow myself brash outbursts. All conflict had to be handled in silence and behind the scenes. That was how you survived Hollywood.
The potential tabloids raced through my mind along with angry phone calls to lawyers and publicists. To avoid all that drama, I had to play this ingrate’s game. He had been clever at disguising his vile behavior and no doubt the press would be thrilled to burden me with an attempted takedown.
“Beulah Wyndham’s RAGE EXPOSED!”
Against Jefferson David, it would be easy to look like the aggressor.
The chef emerged with dinner a few moments after Jeff's momentous and frustrating belch. He covered each dinner plate with a sterling silver cover, my initials BW etched into the metal. I could smell the rich tomato sauce and the warm cheese. Jefferson licked his lips.
“What have we got today?”
“En Italiano?” Chef asked me.
It was cruel of me to say so, but I nodded. I knew Jefferson couldn’t speak the language. The chef began to describe the dishes and I listened attentively, struggling to wipe the smug look off my face as Jefferson pretended to understand the conversation.
The chef finished.
“Grazie,” I replied.
“Oh yeah. Gracias señor,” Jefferson replied in an embarrassing American accent.
Chef flashed him a curt thin-lipped half smile in return. He lifted the covers off the dinner plates and exposed our robust pasta dishes. Fresh basil wafted up from my gnocchi, clearing my sinuses and waking me up to the refreshing night air.
I eyed the door to the rooftop where my two bodyguards stood lips pursed staring unflinchingly straight ahead. All it would take is one word, one glance and they would drag Jefferson off the rooftop kicking and screaming down twenty flights of stairs.
“This food looks good. Reminds me of my early acting days, working at Olive Garden.”
I glanced up from my plate, hoping that we had just struck on some common ground between us at last. Like me, Jefferson had worked hard. Like me, he had overcome a childhood of poverty to get to his status as an eighties bombshell actor and present silver fox.
“You worked at Olive Garden? The one in West LA?”
“Yeah, it was bullshit.”
“My dad made me work that stupid job in exchange for taking me to auditions.”
“Yup, he used to get on my ass and I would tell him that I was gonna be a big actor someday and I didn’t need to do slave work, you know?”
My hopes faded again.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I always knew I was going to be a star. What about you? Did the great Beulah Wyndham know she was going to be the most popular woman in America.”
“I had a sneaking suspicion.”
“Humble, huh? Y'know my guru says humility? It’s just a waste of time.”
Ah. So Jefferson was one of those Los Angeles guys with a guru, and a life coach and probably a personal trainer. Dealing with the life we had was stressful. But there's a difference between a guy who has a guru and a guy who quotes his guru to shut everybody down who opposes him.
I sank my teeth into the gnocchi. Jefferson twirled some pasta around on a fork.
“This stuff is fatty, isn’t it?”
“I like to live a little,” I countered.
Jefferson was starting to grate on my nerves. Our date, so far, had been filled with awkward conversation, his bristling ego brushing up against my pride. Was the press right? Was my own pride the reason I’d been single for all those years? I’d busted my ass to make it in Hollywood and I sat atop the mount of a billion-dollar media empire. Yet, sitting on a rooftop balcony across from a fifty-something-year-old slab of meat with six-pack abs and nothing between his ears but jello, I was reduced to an old maid. A spinster.
The press made no bones about reminding me, reminding all women, that if we made it to sixty without a man by our sides, we were broken.
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