For fans of Harris, this memoir may feel vaguely familiar: As a gay black man struggling with his sexual identity, Harris dealt with romance woes that often mirror his characters'. But his childhood of poverty and abuse (he was once beaten for fetching water that wasn't cold enough) was much darker than the soapy travails of his buppie best-sellers. Harris provides too much detail on certain parts of his life (do we really need a play-by-play of his high school elections?) and not enough on others (his partner of 10 years merits barely a line). But the story of how the author overcame the demons of his past is inspirational.