printed copy

Can't Stand The Heat: A Gibbons Gold Digger Novel

Shelly Ellis

ISBN 9780758290915
Publish Date 4/1/2014
Format Paperback
Categories Dafina, Fiction
List Price: $6.99

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The Gibbons women of Chesterton, Virginia, have built their reputation as a family of shameless--but refined--gold diggers. They even have a strict set of rules by which they operate. But the rebellious, youngest Gibbons is about to break them all. . .

Lauren Gibbons is committing the ultimate family betrayal: abandoning the tradition of seducing men for money. Nothing is worth the abuse she's endured from her sugar daddy. Now a sous chef, Lauren is hoping to break from the past for good. And when she meets hot former NFL player Crisanto Weaver, she even lets herself imagine a future. But the small-town rumor mill--and her own sisters--aren't ready for a new Lauren. Between her conniving relatives, her vengeful ex, a mountain of debt, and a whole lot of haters, can she escape her old life, and create something new?

"A deliciously sexy, sultry novel." --Daaimah S. Poole

"Ellis starts her new Gibbons Gold Digger series. . .in fine form... Be ready to laugh and cry with these new reality stars of Chesterton, VA." --RT Book Reviews


1. What do you think was the real reason Lauren finally left her boyfriend, James? Was it his verbal abusiveness, the empowerment she found in cooking, or both?

2. Should Lauren take responsibility for her past actions and her gold digging ways, or is she merely a victim of her upbringing?

3. Is the idea of having a Gibbons family rulebook for gold digging absurd, or does having rules to abide by make sense?

4. Why is Lauren torn about pursuing the ex-football player and millionaire, Crisanto Weaver? What is her real fear?

5. Stephanie Gibbons is the opposite of her sister Lauren: she’s unapologetic about gold digging and isn’t meek around James or any man, for that matter. Does she serve as a better model of female empowerment than her sister?

6. Is Cris right in questioning Lauren and challenging her honesty, or is he being hypocritical?

7. Is Cynthia’s reasoning for wanting to show her daughter, Clarissa, how to become a gold digger a bad thing, or is Cynthia justified because she believes it’s in her daughter’s best interest?

8. Cris chooses to confront James in a public place, embarrassing his friend Jamal. Was Cris wrong for what he did?

9. Lauren gets into a fight at the dress store because of the affair Stephanie had with Deacon Montgomery. Lauren said she’s tired of defending her family, but Stephanie says it’s their duty as sisters. Which one is right? Should Lauren always have her sisters’ back if they’ve had hers in the past?

10. When Lauren finally reunites with Cris, she accepts that she may have to give up her independence and go back to being a “kept woman.” After going through all those trials and tribulations, would you make a similar concession for true love?

About Shelly Ellis:

Shelly Ellis is an award-winning journalist who earned her journalism degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her novel, Another Woman’s Man, was nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. The romance and women’s fiction author is also a film buff and amateur painter. She lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, not far from Washington, D.C., with her husband. Visit her online at

Photo Credit: Joe Yablonsky

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