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Vixen Book Review: Does "A Belle In Brooklyn" Live Up To The Hype?

Words by Bené Viera

Belle, as her beloved readers know her, cringed when she was coined the Black Carrie Bradshaw. I understand why. Demetria L. Lucas is not a character, and her life is not a script. Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby. In her debut book, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to- Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life, she bears her soul in her compelling anecdotes of the joys and pains of love, or lack thereof.

Prince George County native refuses to settle for anything less than butterflies. Not the clichéd kind either. Lucas never pretends as if her life is not fabulous filled with shi shi foo foo dinner dates and VIP industry parties. Yet her lifestyle has not spared her from the sting of a broken heart. She openly admits her naiveté with a few men. It’s clear that like most women dating has been trial and error for Lucas. She endures some wins and losses. But there is no tragedy or bitterness, only the desire to live a full life with or without a man like her beloved Nola Darling.

A Belle in Brooklyn is comical. Whether it’s the carefree stories of Brooklyn house parties or her meeting a cutie while sweating out her hair at a Manhattan club, you want to know what’s next in her world. But Lucas doesn’t lack depth. She recounts her sexual assault and being in a relationship with no reciprocity.

What she doesn’t do is dole out relationship advice, which if anybody has the credentials to do so it’s her. Devoid of the preachy message telling women how to find a man, A Belle in Brooklyn is a dating memoir of a woman in her 20’s; and it reads like a compilation of posts from her blog of the same name. It’s her life, her story. A story women can see different pieces of themselves throughout.

With a 10-year career that has revolved around relationships in some capacity, relationships are Lucas’ niche. She began her career editing romance novels for Harlequin and BET Books. Her freelance hustle led to her gig with Honeymag.com detailing her dating chronicles. That led to her current position as the Relationships Editor for Essence. Her book is a mixture of the thousands of interviews she’s done with men, the conversations she’s had with her “Male Squad,” and her own experiences.

From chapter one you’re engrossed with Lucas’ adventures through Paris when she bumps into a crush from her hometown. Within minutes she’s abruptly stopping what was seconds away from being passionate sex if he hadn’t committed the deal breaker of all deal breakers- trying to hit it from the back their first time.

Nothing is off limits.

The male characters are just as much as part of her journey as she. Long time readers of the blog will immediately recognize the men. We finally understand why her relationship with Greg a.k.a. Mr. Ex didn’t work. Evan, the older, safe man, was ready for the future while Lucas was ready to dance on tables. Stars had girls in different area codes. And who can forget TLA, through who we learn the importance of the title and timing. Other men are merely passersby in her world. She dated them, had fun while it lasted and was on to the next. One gets the sense that she never went into a date secretly planning the wedding. Dating is just that, and sometimes nothing more. She is completely ok with that.

“Condom Conundrum” reveals what men really think about women who carry their own condoms. “Great Expectations” is the hilarious conversation between Lucas and her Male Squad about women swallowing spunk. You will love Lucas for pointing out the men’s double standard even if it was a battle lost. “Would You Date You?,” “Giving to Get,” “A Good Jump Off is Hard to Find” and “Dating Honor Code” are discussion pieces with hints of wisdom.

It is “She don’t believe in shooting Stars,” “An A/B Conversation,” and “Teenage Love Affair” that touch you in an unexpected way with such poignant emotion.

Could it be our fascination by the life of the woman known as Belle that keeps us wanting to know more? Perhaps. Or maybe it is our curiosity of how she handles her own relationships as a relationship expert. You understand her through her vulnerability. It’s as if you know who she is as a woman. Her transparency reaffirms that you are not alone in your quest for love. Lucas’ relationships aren’t on a pedestal absent of error. But her outlook on life is what’s inspiring.

A Belle in Brooklyn is fun, sexy, witty and captivating. Picture it as your no-holds bar girlfriend telling you a series of real life stories over cocktails. In the midst of her telling the dating stories that seem to only happen on TV, she drops golden gems of wisdom you apply to your life only if applicable. From page one you’re invested. Not because every detail about her life is relatable. Not even because you desperately desire advice on how to find love, which this book is not. You’re invested because the writing is just that damn good. Lucas shows us what Black women look like who live perfectly happy single lives. And she proves love is always attainable. 

A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life is available wherever books are sold.

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According to a ruling from Judge John A. Kronstadt, Thicke, Williams and William's company More Water From Nazareth Publishing Inc. will each have to pay $2,848,846.50 in damages. Thicke will have to pay an additional $1,768,191.88 and Williams and his publishing company will pay another $357,630.96 to the Gaye family in separate payments regarding their lawsuit. In total, the damages amount to $4,983,766.85.

The Gaye estate is also entitled to receive interest on the damages against each party and will receive a  running royalty of half the "Blurred Lines" revenue.

As previously reported, Marvin Gaye's estate filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Williams and Thicke back in 2013. They claimed their single sampled Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" without permission. Both Williams and Thicke's legal team attempted to get the case thrown out but were denied an appeal in Mar. 2018.

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Oprah Responds To Viral Video Of Her Eating Unseasoned Chicken

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To give you some context, the video is a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, in which O invited her guest Anna Ginsberg to make her award-winning chicken dish. After one bite, it became clear that Oprah wasn't too pleased with the chicken's bland taste. She even asked at the time if she could add a little seasoning.

I often think about the time Oprah did a cooking segment with a woman whose chicken recipe won $1 million, and Oprah's jaw dropped when she tasted it and realized the lady didn't even add seasoning pic.twitter.com/rfs7PS1Jc3

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 9, 2018

Now, more than 10 years later, Oprah is setting the record straight. In her new video posted on Instagram on Thursday (Dec. 13), she noted that she likes to provide a pleasurable experience for her guests but also live in her truth. On that particular day, she was presented with a dilemma. "I was having a moment of trying to decide: Do I want her to have a great time? What is my real moment of truth?" she said. "Because the truth for me was that I'm used to having salt and pepper on my chicken. That's just the truth...That's what I was thinking, 'This chicken needs some salt and pepper.'"

So that's that; Oprah has spoken. She may have played it off at the time, but like many others, she would prefer her chicken with seasoning.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Over the weekend, a 2006 video of @oprah tasting an *interesting* chicken dish made its rounds online. We asked the O of O, what REALLY went through her mind as the cameras were on her—and she answered. Swipe left if you haven’t seen the hysterical video! #tbt

A post shared by O, The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine) on Dec 13, 2018 at 7:13am PST

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Kanye West Calls Out Drake For Sneak Dissing: "Stop This Already Bro"

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He also brought up past allegations in which Kanye was accused of telling Pusha-T about his secret son. "I told you I ain’t tell Pusha about your son," he added. "It’s all love bro bro but don’t play with me. You stay too close to be playing all these industry games bro... I would never intentionally try to hurt you bro I never even heard none of the diss records That ain’t my MO never did a diss record."

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After 34 minutes of ranting however, Kanye revealed that Drake had finally picked up the phone to call him, most likely in response to the madness online. A happy Kanye responded: "Mission accomplished." Drake seemingly responded to the rant on Instagram shortly after the call as well, with a string of laughing emojis.

So clearly all you have to do to get Drake on the phone is tweet about him until he gives up. Check out Kanye's tweets below.

This proves shit faker than wrestling pic.twitter.com/E9wzNycJna

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

Still need that apology for mentioning the 350s and trying to take food out your idols kids mouths

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

Been trying to meet with you for 6 months bro You sneak dissing on trav records and texting Kris talking bout how’s the family

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

I told you I ain’t tell Pusha about your son

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

It’s all love bro bro but don’t play with me. You stay too close to be playing all these industry games bro

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

Sending purple emojis When I’m dealing with mental shit I need my apologies now Not through scooter either Not through Travis

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

I would never intentionally try to hurt you bro I never even heard none of the diss records That ain’t my MO never did a diss record

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

This ain’t about who could pay to have something done to somebody This man to man bro This been bothering me too long

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Buying first two rows at Pusha show got me hot bro

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Stop this already bro You getting people hurt out here And over what

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Drake finally called

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

Mission accomplished

— ye (@kanyewest) December 13, 2018

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