Never A $7 Wh*re

A Bootstrap Success Story About Determination in the Face of Overwhelming Odds (The $7 Series Book 1)

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
80 Pages
Reviewed on 10/30/2018
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Author Biography

Toni Crowe is an award winning and accomplished executive with 30 years of experience as a CEO/President, Vice-President, Director, Engineer, and Manager across multiple sectors including high tech, consumer and nuclear sensors, Aerospace, film production and glass. She has extensive experience in P&L, Manufacturing , Operations Management, and Lean. She has participated in a number of mergers and acquisitions. Toni is currently the President and CEO of Just One: her company which is dedicated to changing lives, one life at a time.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Never A $7 Wh*re: My Journey from a Lady of The Night to the Lady of the Boardroom is a nonfiction memoir written by Toni Crowe. When she was eighteen years old, Toni left her home and family in Chicago to move to Cleveland with the man she had fallen in love with. Prince had courted her assiduously, and he promised that the move would allow him to help her break into the world of professional modelling. Toni’s family and friends begged her to reconsider, but she was following her heart this time. She did at least make the decision to leave her three-year-old boy with his grandmother, at the urging of a friend. Toni actually had some misgivings about her relationship and the move. Prince’s insistence upon her reciting a Prince Pledge and his brutal treatment of Baby, their friend, until she did so was disturbing and almost made her change her mind, but she was there when the three of them boarded the Greyhound Bus bound for Cleveland. She was tough and could handle almost anything, but what Toni would encounter on the other end of that bus ride would shake her to her core.

Never A $7 Wh*re is a stark and unforgettable true-life tale about a sociopathic pimp and the web of control and deceit he spins around a young woman. Crowe’s introduction indicates that she’s since held a number of top-level executive and engineering positions, and I’m not surprised. She also mentions her love of reading, a lifelong habit which stayed with her throughout her Cleveland experiences. What she doesn’t mention, but illustrates throughout this amazing story, is her gift for writing and telling her story. I had to remind myself on several occasions that I was reading a memoir, not a fictional account, simply because this book reads so beautifully. Crowe is a gifted communicator indeed, and her story should serve as ample caution against the other Princes out there who consider young lives as commodities to be used and discarded at will. Never A $7 Wh*re: My Journey from a Lady of The Night to the Lady of the Boardroom, The $7 Series, Book 1 is most highly recommended.

Grant Leishman

Never A $7 Wh*re by Toni Crowe is a short but frank and honest expose of how the author got trapped in a prostitution ring as a teenage mum with a toddler. Toni, who in later life did go on to much greater and better things than being a call-girl, explains how, as a young woman, she wanted desperately to model, to live the “glamorous” lifestyle she believed models indulged in. When a chance encounter with high-rolling pimp, Prince, on a railway platform as she returned home from her day job, seems to offer Toni the excitement and entry into the world of modelling, she ignores all the “red flags” and jumps in feet-first. By the time Toni realizes the truth about her lover and the future that confronts her as a member of Prince’s stable, she goes into survival mode, first figuring out how to keep her morality intact, while living in a house of whores, and second how to escape and break the bonds, Prince and his number one bitch, Baby, have over her.

As I said earlier, Never a $7 Wh*re is short – too short in my opinion, but that being said, it in no way lessens the power of Crowe’s narrative and the salutary lessons that can be gained from her story of survival. Two things came shining through from this story. First, Crowe’s absolute belief in herself and her own abilities to manage the difficult situation she found herself in. She never blames anyone else for her problems and understands that with the right mind-set and attitude, the seemingly impossible is always possible to achieve. As a reader, one can only marvel at her courage in the face of violence, drugs and the sleazy world of prostitution. Second, her book is a salutary warning to all young people to carefully examine the “opportunities” you are being offered. As the author so eloquently puts it, (paraphrased) “in the adult world, there is never offered, something for nothing. There is always a price to pay and someone to pay it to.” If this book was intended as a primer to make me want to find out more about this amazing woman’s life, it did serve the purpose. I’m keen now to learn how she turned her life around after this experience to become a senior executive in a number of Fortune 500 companies and others. This is a well-written and fascinating tale.

Viga Boland

Who can resist a book title as clever and instantly thought-provoking as NEVER A $7 WH*RE! Immediately eye-catching, as is the excellent cover, this compact memoir, written by Toni Crowe to enlighten young women on the realities of becoming ladies of the night, it’s both an informative and easy read…but easy only in terms of the direct, no wasted words style. It is also the first book of a series planned by Crowe and is bound to garner the author an avid following.

How Crowe got close to, but never fully became a lady of the night, is unique to her, but without a doubt, our city streets are filled with women who like her were lured by promises of fame and dollars but who, unlike her, didn’t wake up and get out of this horrid occupation until it was too late. Too many like her come from humble, even poor homes and want desperately to believe the smooth talk of a handsome man, but once they believe and fall into his trap, it’s game over.

Fortunately, something kept Crowe back from believing fully. Perhaps it was intelligence or the ability to see past the glamour, along with her refusal to be bullied. Whatever the case, she still had enough self-esteem and that other critical necessity for escape from a rotten situation: courage. It is that courage along with the wisdom Crowe gained both through her experience, and later on her way to becoming a Fortune 500 Vice President, that the author wants her readers to absorb and find for themselves. She knows we all have the potential to be so much better than we are. Accept Crowe’s challenge to become the best you can be by reading NEVER A $7 WH*RE.

Ray Simmons

I really liked Never A $7 Whore by Toni Crowe. I’m still not sure exactly why but part of it may be that it is very different from the kind of books I usually read. Another reason I liked it is that it is very well written. I know what the English is like from the time and place where this story comes from, and trying to wend your way through the vernacular and jargon of the Projects of the Chicago when this story takes place would have been more work than entertainment, even for someone vaguely familiar with it. Instead, Toni has converted the slang and jargon into easy-to-understand standard English that any reader can comprehend without sacrificing the setting or the inner-city tone of the story. But finally, I think what appealed most to me about Never A $7 Whore is that it is inspirational.

I liked this book. To be honest, the theme is one we have all heard before. It is an old story but, sadly, one that is probably being played out somewhere right now. Even the oldest tale can have a breath of newness with the right character. The fresh breath in this tale is Toni Crowe herself. I loved her the moment she said that she knew other lives were possible because she read about them in books. That’s exactly how I knew there was another world beyond my small Southern town as a young boy. I have never been to Chicago or Cleveland, but the setting rings true to me. This story is told very well by someone who has been there. I just hope that young girls in difficult or confusing situations, like those faced by the author of Never A $7 Whore, will read this book and find hope and inspiration.

Lorraine Cobcroft

Toni Crowe's early life was challenging, but she made a spectacular escape from degradation and danger into a world of impressive career success. In Never a $7 Wh*re, Toni Crowe not only relates her intriguing story, she offers hope, reassurance, strength and inspiration to others who seek to escape an unsatisfactory life and change their world. From the sleazy Chicago "projects'', to single mother at just fifteen, then almost a sex slave before reaching adulthood, Toni used a combination of natural intelligence, innate inner strength and wise life habits learned from her mother to turn her life around and make it to Vice President of a Fortune 500 Company. She insists anyone can achieve similar success. You just have to have the motivation. And in this relatively short but entertaining read, Toni offers you both the motivation and the clues.

The intriguing title, Never a $7 Wh*re, should hook any reader, and the excellent cover design shouts ''buy me''. Combined with a superbly-written blurb that promises to ''light a fire in your soul'', it should leap off the Amazon page or bookstore shelves. And it certainly won't disappoint. It's a heartfelt and heart-warming memoir. Parts of it will shock. Parts of it will make you angry. Parts of it will make you deeply sad for those who lack the strength to escape the world Toni was led into. But you can't help cheering Toni Crowe's amazing courage and determination and applauding her escape.

In one chapter, Toni Crowe relates how an act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, resulted in amazing good fortune that may have ultimately contributed to her lucky escape. She reminds us that being a good and giving person goes a long way to positioning us for success. Clearly, she learned from her parents how to be a person with ethics and integrity, and how important it is to ''pay it forward''. Her book ''pays it forward''. It gives back to a world that has given her the opportunity to achieve success and happiness. Hopefully, many will read it and be inspired by it. Hopefully, many of her readers will find in it the strength and confidence to change their world for the better. We may not all climb to great heights on the corporate ladder, but we can shape our world to give us the satisfaction, the fulfilment and the happiness that we all desire and deserve. Reading the story Toni Crowe tells in Never a $7 Wh*re will help you see how. Both entertaining and inspiring!