Bestselling author Travis Hunter returns with a stunning new novel about family, success, and just how far a man will go to protect those he loves.
Dallas Dupree is a one woman man. A handsome and successful teacher, he is both worshipped and envied in his Atlanta neighborhood and chooses to live and raise his daughter, Aja, in the ghetto where he grew up rather than desert his roots. The only problem is that the one woman for him—his beloved Yasmin—passed away giving birth to his daughter. Now Dallas struggles through a string of empty relationships, unable to commit his heart because no woman can measure up to Yasmin. However, when Dallas plays with the wrong woman, he finds the consequences may cost him much more than he can afford.
Dallas’s sister Carmen has issues of her own. All of her life she has struggled with a weight problem that had caused a lack of self esteem. Now she is an affluent doctor who lives in the suburbs with her handsome new husband, Sterling. When a family crisis forces her to take in her wayward niece, she realizes that the picture perfect world she worked so hard to create is an illusion.
Their older brother, Priest, is pretty secretive about how he makes his money—and he does make a lot of it. He has been a father figure to both Dallas and Carmen, but now that they are all grown up, they want nothing to do with their shady older brother. But when Dallas and Carmen are in trouble, they turn to the one person who has always been there for them—and learn there is more to Priest than meets the eye.
About the Author
Travis Hunter is the national bestselling author of The Hearts of Men, Married but Still Looking, and Trouble Man. He is a motivational speaker and founder of the Hearts of Men Foundation through which he mentors underprivileged children. He lives with his son in Atlanta.
Visit his Web site at www.travishunter.com.
Read an Excerpt
ARE YOU MY DADDY?
"Are you my daddy?" a soft voice asked. Dallas Dupree felt someone standing over him. He popped up in the bed and looked around the strange room for the speaker. His naked body was covered with sweat.
Where in the hell am I?
Dallas felt someone stir beneath the covers. His heart raced. Joy and fear took over. "Yasmin," he said softly. Then he looked down at the naked woman beside him and jumped. He rubbed his eyes and his head throbbed.
Things started slowly coming back into focus and he promised himself that he'd never take another shot of tequila for as long as he lived.
Last night, he and his coworker Kenya went to Cafe Intermezzo in downtown Buckhead to have a few drinks. Dallas ordered a round and tried to keep the conversation from venturing too far into his personal life because he wasn't ready to go there. But he knew the inevitable question would come.
Why is a man like you single?
And when it came, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Don't know."
But he did know and that knowledge hurt like hell. He started throwing back shots of tequila right and left, and before long Kenya didn't exist. Every so often he'd nod his head or grunt, but his mind was on Yasmin. The more he thought about her, the more shots he threw back.
The next thing he remembered was waking up buck naked to a child's voice.
Dallas glanced back at Kenya, who was still sleeping peacefully.
They'd met two weeks ago when she walked into the teacher's lounge at Alonzo Crim High School. He was sitting alone at the lunch table reading a book called The Pact, about three young men who made it out of the inner-city projects to become doctors, when Kenya walked in wearing a dress so tight he could see her heart beat. Dallas was convinced that she was a former stripper. He introduced himself and knew within the first thirty minutes of their conversation that she wasn't his cup of tea, but her bodynow, that was another story.
Dallas hated the dating scene. All of this bed-hopping and trying to get to know someone was supposed to be over when he found Mrs. Right, but now Mrs. Right was gone and he found himself right back where he'd started. He took a deep breath, stood up and walked into the bathroom. He quickly washed up and then looked around for a towel; when he couldn't find one, he dried himself with some hard toilet tissue, which he was sure she had stolen from the school. He put a pinch of toothpaste on his finger, ran it across his teeth, and rinsed. He looked around the bathroom and grimaced.
She's a filthy li'l something, he thought, looking at urine stains on the floor around the toilet and the dirty bathtub.
Dallas walked back into the bedroom and quickly jumped into his clothes. When he reached down to put on his sandals, he noticed a used condom on the floor beside the bed.
"Aw, damn! Why the hell did I have sex with her?" he mumbled as he picked it up and checked for leaks.
Strange things happen to unattended sperm, he thought, taking the piece of latex back in the bathroom to flush it down the toilet. After he made sure it disappeared down into the swirl of water, he prepared to leave.
He was passing through the living room, which was also messy, when he noticed a little boy with big brown eyes sitting quietly on the sofa with his arms wrapped around his knees. He looked up when he saw Dallas and his eyes showed confusion.
"Hey, li'l fella," Dallas said, surprising himself. He walked over to the little guy.
"Hi," the little boy said cautiously.
"Why are you sitting here in the dark all by yourself?"
"I'm scared," the little boy said in a shaky voice.
"Scared? What are you afraid of?"
"I heard my mommy screaming. Did you hurt her?"
"No, I didn't hurt anyone," Dallas said, wondering if the little guy was talking about Kenyabut she hadn't mentioned that she had a son. "What's your mommy's name?"
"Kenya Latrice Greer."
I've been talking to this chick for two weeks and not once did she mention having a kid. Trifling!
"Your mommy's asleep. Would you like for me to go and wake her up?"
"No. She gets mad when I wake her up."
Dallas knelt down in front of the little boy. "What's your name?"
"Darius Nicholas Greer."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Mr. Darius Nicholas Greer. How old are you?"
"Four," Darius said, holding up four fingers.
"A'ight, you're a big boy," Dallas said, reaching over to feel Darius's muscles. That got him to smile.
"Are you going to be my new daddy?"
Stunned, Dallas replied, "I'm sure you already have a nice daddy."
"But my mommy told me last night that she was going out with my new daddy," he said, crossing his arms and pouting.
"You know what? It's a little too early for little guys to be up. So why don't you go and crawl in bed with your mom," Dallas said, making a mental note to cuss Kenya out for doing this to her child.
"Okay," Darius said, reaching out for Dallas's hand.
Dallas walked Darius to the bedroom door of the room where just hours before he'd been reintroduced to the freakiness of his past and waited while the youngster snuggled up beside his mom. He waved at the little guy before leaving the house. He knew then that he would never come back.
On the ride back over to his side of town in the West End section of Atlanta, he started thinking about his life and what it had become. With the exception of his daughter Aja, his life was empty. Yes, he could have the company of a different beautiful woman every night of the week, but after they left he would end up feeling just like he felt nowunfulfilled.
Dallas exited off of I-20 at Joseph Lowery and headed toward his house by Clark Atlanta University. He stopped at a red light and took in the grim environment in which he chose to live.
Even at five-thirty in the morning, crackheads, drunks, and all the rest of society's problem children were out in full force getting their hustle on. He furrowed his brows and tried to act like he didn't see the familiar face running up to his truck with a spray bottle of dirty-looking water and some crumpled-up newspaper.
"Can you spare some change? I'm hungry..." The guy in the shabby clothes started his speech but stopped when he recognized Dallas. He abruptly dropped the bottle in the street and pulled his left arm up to his face as if he were checking the time. "Where the hell you coming from?"
"What's up, Baldhead?"
Baldhead still looked at his arm as if he were a scolding parent.
"Answer me, boy," Baldhead said, still inspecting his watch-less left arm. "Yo ass out here creeping, ain't cha?"
Dallas didn't answer; he just smiled and shook his head.
"Gotcha self a new truck, huh? What's that, a Cadillac Suburban?" Baldhead said, eyeing the shiny new vehicle.
"Baldhead, you get a job yet?"
"What kind of job I'mma get? Shit, all I know how to do is iron. You know anybody who needs they clothes pressed?"
Dallas laughed. "Can't say I do, Baldhead."
"Dallas, let me hold a li'l sumptin'? A dollar or sumptin'."
"I'm flat broke," Dallas said, showing the palms of his hands.
"Damn, Dallas, you got to be the stingiest rich nigga I know. You buying up all the houses 'round here, gotcha self a brand-new truck, so I know you got some money," Baldhead said as he stepped back and did a little dance. "You ain't think I was up on your business, did you? Boy, I know everything 'round here."
"Then why don't you know how to get a job?"
"Tell your evil-ass brother to give me a job," Baldhead barked.
At the mention of his brother, Dallas bristled. "You tell him," Dallas shot back.
"Hell no. That nigga be done kilt my ass for smoking up all his shit," Baldhead said, smiling and showing off a surprisingly bright smile. "You know Priest ain't used to be that mean when he was a cop. Now he's worse than the devil."
The light turned green.
"Baldhead, I'll see you around," Dallas said, driving off.
Priest, his older brother, had once been a pillar in the community, but he had traded in his police badge for a journey to the other side of the law. The fact that he could do this after the toll drugs had taken on their family ate at Dallas. Their mother died of a drug overdose, their father died of cirrhosis of the liver because he couldn't give up his addiction to the drug called alcohol, and their brother, Antoine, lost his life in an altercation with a small-time drug dealer. Dallas couldn't understand it.
But Dallas owed his life to Priest. At least the Priest he used to know. The Priest walking around now, killing his own people with his poison for profit, was a lost soul. He'd lost his soul when he was fired from the police department for taking money from a drug dealer. After that he stopped caring about his people. When Dallas found out his brother had joined the ranks of the wicked, their bond was forever broken.
But as much as he hated to admit it, he knew it was because of Priest's street reputation that he was allowed to come and go, in the heart of the ghetto, unmolested. Even standing a full six feet three inches and weighing two hundred and forty pounds, he knew someone would eventually try to test him, but it hadn't happened yet, and that could only be the work of Priest Dupree. His big brother was still looking out for him.
Dallas pulled into the driveway of what used to be a crack house. But it looked nothing like it did in the past. Gone were the broken windows, rotting woodwork, and dirt driveway. He had completely gutted the entire place, purchased the lot next door, added on a few more rooms, and manicured the landscape. Now his place looked like it belonged in an exclusive gated community. He pushed the garage-door button and slid his SUV in beside his convertible Lexus.
Dallas walked into his beautifully decorated home and tossed his keys onto his baby grand piano. He took the stairs two at a time and headed straight for his shower. As he removed his clothes the telephone rang.
He checked the caller ID and frowned. It was Kenya. He immediately became aggravated but quickly calmed himself.
Dallas could kick himself about his new predicament with Kenya. He knew she wasn't any different from any other woman; she wanted a man. And since he was nice to her, took her out for dinner and drinks then obviously sexed her up, she felt like she was on the right track to getting one. Wrong! He decided to let the call go to his voice mail.
Even before he went out with her, he knew things would change if they ever had sex. Things always changed.
Dallas wasn't the find 'em, fuck 'em, and flee type. He was more of the find 'em, see if I halfway like 'em, then spend some time with 'em type. He prided himself on not taking people for granted, and when most of his peers were taking full advantage of the disproportionate ratio of women to men in Atlanta, he was proud to call himself a one-woman man. He was always up front and honest, and he tried his best to treat everyone with the same level of respect. It didn't matter if the person was a doctor, a lawyer, or a straight-up hood rat; they all walked in the door with the same value. He especially knew how to treat women, but he rarely ran across a woman who knew how to treat herself.
The minute the phone stopped ringing, his cell phone rang. Dallas shook his head and groaned. "Aww, damn! I gotta stop dealing with these damn stalkers," he said, not even bothering to check who it was.
Another Monday morning was upon him, and he really wasn't looking forward to dealing with a bunch of hardheaded students, petty teachers, and an incompetent principal.
He went into his bathroom and turned on all the jets in his shower. When he had it as hot as he could stand it, he hopped in and let the steam and heat relax him. Ten minutes later he jumped out, dried himself, and took care of the rest of his morning grooming duties.
Dallas walked into his closet and scanned his extensive wardrobe. The way he felt always affected the way he dressed, and today he felt like wearing shorts and a tank top, but if he did, Mrs. Locus, his principal, would have a fit.
For the last few weeks, every morning when it was time to go to work, he started feeling fatigued. I'm beginning to hate my job, he thought.
Dallas stood there for a moment and let his newfound reality sink in. He walked over to the window and looked down at the addicts on the corner. Most of them were out prostituting themselves to pay for their habits. He wanted so much more for them, but he shook his head and pulled back the shades.
A simple white shirt and a pair of black pinstriped slacks would do for today. As he dressed, the telephone rang again and he cursed. He walked over and checked the caller ID, and his mood lifted.
"Hello there, little lady," he said, taking a seat on the side of his bed.
"Rise and shine, good-looking. It's time to get up and make the world a better place," Carmen LaCour said to her younger brother.
"I'm tired," Dallas said.
"Well, good morning to you too! Why are you so tired?"
"I don't know." Dallas sighed as he ran his fingers over his closely cropped hair. "Maybe it's my job, maybe not."
"Your job? I can't have the right telephone number. Is this the house of Dallas Dupree?" Carmen said sarcastically.
"Cut it out. I just wanna go someplace where the schools don't have metal detectors. Someplace where the parents take an interest in how their children make out in life. I get so tired of having to do it all myself. I send some parents a note home about their child's behavior and it's never returned. I spend most of my time disciplining rather than teaching. So yes, I'm getting a little tired of it."
Carmen made some sound that meant "I told you so."
Reading Group Guide
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Travis Hunter's A One Woman Man. We hope they will provide new insights and ways of looking at this funny and moving novel.
1. As a teacher, Dallas has devoted his life to helping kids make the right choices. Even though she is trying to manipulate him, why can't he take his own advice when it comes to dealing with Kenya?
2. Priest sacrifices his reputation and the respect of his family and friends for his job. Why? Was the sacrifice worth it in the end?
3. After he is accused of rape, Dallas becomes painfully aware that things are not always as they seem. Is this realization responsible for his willingness to overlook his brother's criminal behavior?
4. Aja is everything to Dallas. How does his role as a father influence the decisions he makes? How does it change his relationship with other women?
5. Although they may not always approve of each others choices, Priest, Dallas and Carmen are always there for each other. Do any of them ever cross the line from sibling support to meddling brother or sister?
6. Why did it take so long to bring Kameka into the family circle?
7. Although Priest refused to tell his family the truth about his life as a notorious drug dealer, were there any hints to give him away? Do actions speak louder than words?
8. Kameka must make some tough choices about her life. What makes her turn away from the life that Kitty offers? How does she end up making the right choice without the support of her family?
9. Dallas feels the love he had for Yasmin is unique. Can a person have more than one love of his life?
10. Carmen wants to loveSterling so badly that she refuses to see the flaws so obvious to her friends and family. Why can't she see through her husband? Was she wrong to trust him?
11. The deaths of their mother and brother influence all of the Dupree siblings. How does this influence their family? What effect do they have on the decisions that each of them makes?
12. In their own way, both Dallas and Priest are both trying to save their neighborhood from drugs and crime. Is one brother any more effective than the other?
Book club favorite, Travis Hunter, author of the upcoming novel, A One Woman Man on book clubs and his new book.
Why are book clubs important?
Meeting with book clubs is one of the few chances I get to meet the readers who support my work and hear what they think — the good and the bad -- which makes for a better book the next time.
I've met with book clubs in person and over the phone. They've reached out to me via email, my website, or word of mouth and if my family schedule (I'm a single dad), writing and promotional schedule permits, I'll do the book club chat.
Does anything in particular stick out to you about the book club meetings you've done over the years?
A 65 year-old man in a men's book club told me that my novel, The Hearts of Men, made him want to be a better man. At another a woman told me that Trouble Man was the first book her son read on his own. It really touched my heart to hear these things and let me know that I was enlightening people as well as entertaining them with my works.
Tell us about your new novel.
I've never had as much fun writing a book as I did this one. A One Woman Man is primarily about a man who loses the love of his life and thinks he'll never find another woman like her. He's raising their child alone, but he lets down his guard and messes with the wrong woman. That decision could cost him everything — his family, his reputation, and his freedom. But that's just part of the story, and you'll have to pick it up to find out the rest!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Personally, I think the title should have been different. Other than that it was a great book. Fast paced, interesting characters, and keeps you hooked until the end. I hated to say goodbye to the Dupree family. Definitely will look for and purchase more of this authors books.
First book I've read by this author, and I highly recommend this book. I was hooked from page one because it was so believable how the characters interacted with each other. You could relate to knowing of someone like the characters. I had a problem with the ending not being realistic. A kingpin in a drug cartel is taken down and you let the world know it's you who did it, and you live to see another day. I still enjoyed this book. Mjw
Kept me turning the pages.
I loved this book. I read it in 4 hours, it had love,suspense, action. i was in awe. I hate reading books that are too overly dramatic and although this had lots of drama it was very well written. I could see it as a movie. I think i'm going to check out a few more of his books being that this was so well written.
I read this book in about 4 days. It stared out fast but slowed up. I think there should of been more info on Dallas and his past. His past life was thrown in the middle of the story, with 2 little info. The ending was corning also.
This book was truly a page turner. Once I started reading it I could not put it down. It only took me 2 days to read this book. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for delivering such a great story
I thought 'Trouble Man' was better than 'Married But Still Looking' and 'Hearts of Men'.....but just to mention ALL 3 of those books was EXCELLENT!!!! But 'A One Woman Man' HAS to be his BEST. Excellent is just an UNDERSTATEMENT of how good that book was. I only wish that he hadn't wrote two books right behind the other, because now I have to wait until next year or maybe the following year to read his next book. Thanks for sharing your talent with us, Travis. I have to be your Number ONE fan.
I was ecstatic when I found out Travis Hunter had a new book. Besides the title (which made me the target of many corny lines), I loved everything about this book. I don't know what it is but many male authors (not all!) have that skill to tell a love story without being cliche' or corny. (Omar Tyree and Ernest Hill are also good at that). This story told readers about the life of a drug lord, police officer, heavyset but mildly secure woman, a gambler, a teenage girl forced to grow up too fast, a crackhead, and a bunch of other characters that were so entertaining to the point of not being hard to keep up with. There was the right amount of humor, intelligence, REALISTIC dialogue (that's so underrated), and plot movement to make this a quick enjoyable read. When does the fifth novel come out?
Travis Hunter is as consistent as they come with his novels. A One Woman Man is exactly what the doctor ordered. You'll be left breathless at this writer's ability to deliver tales of the Dupree clan. This book had more twist and turns than a SF freeway but no over the top drama. Read the book. Support this author, he's the best out there these days. Including all of the big names who hit the NY times. Travis Hunter is on his way. Once you get started you'll run out to the store and pick up his other titles.