Synopses & Reviews
E. Lynn Harris has wowed and seduced more than three million readers with the wicked drama and undeniable heart in his novels. Now hes back with another winner sure to top the bestseller lists—a rip-roaring tale of sex, secrets, betrayal . . . and blackmail.
Aldridge James “AJ” Richardson is living the good life. He has a gorgeous town house in always-flavorful New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles from jet-setting around the country on a whim, and an MBA—but hes never had to work a regular job. He owes it all to his longtime lover, Dray Jones. Dray Jones the rich and famous NBA star. They fell in love in college when AJ was hired to tutor Dray, a freshman on the basketball team. But Dray knew if he wanted to make it to the big time, he must juggle his public image and his private desires. Built on a deep, abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both, but when Drays teammates begin to ask insinuating questions about AJ, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Drays “other life.” Or does she?
In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is forced to conform to the rules society demands its public heroes follow. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.
"AJ Richardson, the hero of Harris's raucous latest, has been the secret boyfriend of NBA star Drayton Jones for seven years. AJ is only too happy to keep their relationship under wraps after all, with European trips and spending sprees financed by Dray, what's there to complain about? But when gold-digger Judi Ledbetter nets Dray and his fat wallet, things get tricky. Soon, they're married, Judi gets pregnant, and she's gunning to drive AJ out of Dray's life permanently. Blackmail, intrigue and double-crosses round out this fun little romp." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
E. Lynn Harris returns to explore the down low culture that made his first novel "Invisible Life" a groundbreaking phenomenon in his latest rip-roaring tale of sex, secrets, and betrayal.
About the Author
E. LYNN HARRIS is the author of ten previous novels and the memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. His recent novels Just Too Good to be True, I Say a Little Prayer, A Love of My Own, and Any Way the Wind Blows hit the bestseller lists in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications. Harris divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Reading Group Guide
1. In the Prologue, AJ claims that even though he has to keep his relationship secret, he is happy with his choice to do so and he “wouldnt have it any other way.” Did you believe AJs claim at first? Do you think he believed what he told himself? Did his attitude change through the book?
2. In Chapter Six, AJ laments, “Sometimes I dont know if I chose the life I lead of if it chose me.” How would you answer that question for AJ?
3. Do you know anyone on the “down low?” Why have they not yet come out? How would you react if someone close to you surprised you by admitting he or she was gay?
4. Why do you think the world of athletics is unaccepting of homosexuality? Do think Dray was more concerned about being “outed” to his wife, to his father and family, or to his fans and teammates?
5. Do any of the main characters—AJ, Dray, Jade, Maurice—remind you of people you know in your own life?
6. For whom did you feel more empathy, AJ or Dray? Do you think one of the men had an easier time in his life than the other?
7. Consider the idea of “friendship” in terms of AJs friend Maurice. Why was AJ friends with Maurice? Why do some people choose to remain close to someone who isnt a good friend, or worse, causes them upsetment or harm?
8. “I longed for the days when I had the upper hand and Dray needed me more than I needed him.” Discuss this statement of AJs in Chapter Six. Do you think its good for a relationship if one member has the “upper hand?”
9. When AJ gets the first of several menacing phone calls that threaten to reveal his secret relationship, he refuses to tell Dray whats happening. Why do you think he didnt want Dray to know?
10. Which character did you suspect might be responsible for blackmailing Dray and AJ? When the perpetrators identity was revealed, were you surprised?
11. Discuss the books ending. Were you wishing that AJ and Dray got back together?
12. “Dont cry because its over. Smile because it happened.” Think about AJs grandmothers wise words from the end of Chapter Twenty-Three. Does AJ take them to heart?
1. This is your 11th novel—how do you come up with new ideas? Do you write books in the same way you’ve done so since you wrote Invisible Life, or has your process changed?
I get my ideals from just living life and listening carefully to everyone I meet.
2. How much of yourself did you put into the character of AJ? Do you inject some of your own personality into characters?
This is probably the first novel where I didn't infuse my own personality. But I have realized that 15 years after Invisible Life was published there is a new generation of Raymond's and Basil and Kyle's!
3. What inspired you to make Dray’s character an NBA star?
I love basketball and realize I'd never made one a major character. I also was approach to counsel an NBA player thinking about coming out but later decided against it.
4. Talk about New Orleans—what made you decide to center so much of the book’s plot there?
I love New Orleans and when I visited there I was struck by how much they'd lost and what great people that still live there and are rebuilding it. I want to pay tribute to those people. I look forward to returning with my son to stay for a while and do what we can do to help the rebuilding.