What They Want Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of What They Want

A sought after male model romances different women without feeling truly connected. Thirty-three year old Terrance made it out of Indiana and lives the high life as a sought after professional model. He loves the thrill of collecting different women to meet his sexual needs. Mr. GQ, has no desire to commit to the professional models he sleeps with. He maintains an affluent lifestyle where he travels well, dresses better, and has his choice of women in every city. When Andrea tires of Terrance's lack of commitment she marries her second in line. A right brain CPA, who doesn't sex her the way Terrance does, but who showers her with gifts since he no longer wants his wife modeling once he rings her. Terrance admits to himself that his misses Andrea and replaces her by sleeping with women who aren't pressuring him for anything more than sex. Judi, is one of Terrance's many lovers. They've enjoyed a friendship and an intimate relationship for six years. When Judi shares with Terrance that she is practicing celibacy he can't imagine why. Judi cares about Terrance and suggests to him that he isn't fulfilled as a man because he won't take the time to develop meaningful relationships with women. Judi insists that sex is for the sake of a release is not reason enough to play oneself cheap.
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As Terrance continues to fly from city to city across the country making more money and purchasing more toys, he realizes that he is indeed lonely. He's having terrible dreams where Andrea shows up bloodied. In his nightmares Andrea blames him for sending her away to marry a man she didn't love. The end result was her being repeatedly stabbed.

Terrance is smart enough to know that his dreams are a part of his subconscious and that Andrea is just one of scores of women he has hurt. He considers studying Buddhism to disconnect from his overly material lifestyle. It appears that he may turn over a new leaf. As Terrance takes a small break from women, one he won't give a name to, (since he still sees no need for men to ever be celibate) he begins to examine his family history.

His father wasn't around and to teach him how to be a man, and his mother was forever bitter. Terrance plays around with his “awakening” and is soon back to usual tricks. A chance run in with an old basketball teammate gets Terrance to thinking again. His old friend had a vasectomy and even though Terrance does not want children, he wants the option, leaving birth control up to the women he beds.

The industry isn't as big as Terrance thinks and he's soon caught up with Danni, Nicole, and a few other hopefuls who want a chance to get next to the handsome man who can't see past the bedroom.

Living life without boundaries gets dangerous as Terrance is drawn into extra money on a very different kind of shoot, one that involves the opportunity to bed very rich women. Since he hasn't had a problem with almost working nude in some of his magazine ads he considers the offer.

A mansion where guests are discreetly selected doesn't seem like a bad idea. While he ponders whether to attend, a young model not yet old enough to legally drink seems to have her eye on Terrance. Will he play big-brother knowing how the model game works, or will he take advantage?

Terrance stays true to himself committed to doing more harm than good. He not only has sex with the young model TaShay, but her friend as well. Alarms and bells wouldn't have been enough to get Terrance to stop and think about what he was doing not only to himself, but others as well.

Payback is a dog, and Terrance's running around catches up with him. A rumor circulates that he is gay, into male models that he works with. Since he hasn't done any self work to heal from his insatiable sexual appetite he beats a man down who approaches him.

When Juanita, Terrance's baby sister gets pregnant by an abusive boyfriend some of the rose colored glare falls from his cool as ever sunglasses. It seems he may find redemption in helping someone else.
Juanita asks Terrance if he would be so quick to help out if it was one of his many girlfriends, instead of his baby sister with the mountain of problems. He doesn't have an answer, but at least someone is getting him to think about his actions and how he treats others. He has no close male friends, because his ego is too large to accept that everything is not a challenge or competition. His female friends aside from Judi are all sex toys, and he is unhappy despite the money, fortune, and fame.

Terrance learns that one of his female friends has a baby and it might be his. He has the chance to redeem himself and be the father that he has missed all of his life. Michelle is content to raise her daughter alone, but gives him the chance to step up and take responsibility. He flounders, ponders, and tries to talk himself out of growing up.

His sister's pregnancy and hurt over not ever receiving “one hug” from their father seals the deal. Terrance flies out to meet Michelle and their four-year-old daughter Brianna. He is instantly filled with paternal love and decides to give it a try with Michelle. A person can grow if they are willing and Terrance is no exception.
Best part of story, including ending: I hated that Terrance was so self-absorbed and that he disrespected women as often as he could.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when Terrance decided to visit Michelle and meet their daughter. It showed that even though he was arrogant, rude, and a womanizer that he was willing to work on changing for the better.

Opinion about the main character: I disliked that it took Terrance so long to get over himself and consider the feelings of others.

The review of this Book prepared by C. Imani Williams a Level 13 Blue-Winged Teal scholar

Chapter Analysis of What They Want

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Inner struggle subplot    -   Yes Struggle with...    -   fear of emotional commitment If one lover chases another...    -   they alternate Black people in love    -   Yes

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   artist Sex makes him    -   arrogant If he's not white he must be...    -   black

Main Female Character

Age/status:    -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   artist Effect of sexing    -   wild If she's not white she must be...    -   black


City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, dangerous (like New York)

Writing Style

What % of story is romance related?    -   80% How explicit is the sex?    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   Boob talk Focus of story    -   many multiple characters How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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