In her debut novel Bling, Erica Kennedy exposes the dark underside of the hip-hop recording industry in the same way The Nanny Diaries outed the Park Avenue elite. Kennedy charts the course of Mimi, a small-town girl from Ohio who is discovered by Lamont Jackson, a hip-hop mogul who discards of gym clothing after one use and sends potential bedmates to his personal physician for a full work-up before hitting the sheets. Secondary characters like Lena Whitaker, the spoiled daughter of an LA lawyer who unknowingly foots the bill for trinkets like a $15,000 diamond necklace for Crazy G, Lena's booty call of the month, and Lamont's cocaine-snorting, Gucci-wearing, sister-in-law Vanessa de la Cruz, quickly become Mimi's image and social consultants. Rounding out the crew are a host of rappers who work for Lamont, including Ernesto, aka Phat E, a bear of a man who "raps about his slick girl-getting abilities" yet goes home every night to his high-school sweetheart Renee, who "was proud to walk the halls with Ernesto even though he had ballooned to 280 pounds by senior prom."
Bling takes readers on an insider's tour of the world of parties in the Hamptons, VIP lounges, fashion shows, and Tribeca penthouses. In fact, the tour is so intimate that many readers will recognize thinly veiled faces along the way, like Ally C., the blond-haired, blue-eyed publicist from Long Island, and Irv Greene, the aging music executive from Brooklyn. Kennedy leaves no stone unturned; there's even a prepubescent rapper aptly named Billy Tha Kid. All these details make for a very long book, and by the end, readers may find themselves skimming the pages to find out what eventually happens. Still, for anyone who has ever wondered what goes through the minds of P. Diddy and his entourage as they emerge from the Escalade, Bling promises to enthrall and entertain. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.