In this gripping and honest memoir, Jamaican immigrant Donna Marie Hayes recounts how at the peak of her American success in New York City, she is scammed and robbed of her life's savings by the "love of her life" met on an online dating site and how she vindicates herself to overcome a lifetime of bad choices.
Donna Hayes had fortitude and smarts. She'd already survived so much. At the top of her game, thriving in New York City no less, her career was soaring on Wall Street and she was starring in her own one woman show off Broadway. To be scammed by a man she had met on a dating app, someone she thought she would marry, shocked and shamed her. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.
In Jamaica as a child, death had come for Hayes three times. Each time she survived it and her beloved grandma reminded her that God had her back, that she was destined for greatness. Yet, in the poverty and loneliness of her childhood, it was hard to believe. Every day she dreamed of going to America and joining her birth family, never understanding why she had been left behind. When she was 14, her mother finally sent for her. Donna's elation was soon offset by the challenges of her new life. From her mother's strict church to an early marriage, single motherhood, and a second disastrous and abusive marriage, when Donna finally escaped, she vowed to never again subject herself to relationships and people who harmed her. And for the next eight years, she kept that vow.
Then Hayes met the man of her dreams, Javier De Leon, on a dating website and they became inseparable. Before long, their love undeniable, he proposed and tattooed her initials in large bold letters across his chest. But 18 months and $177,000 later, it all fell apart. Hayes learned that she had been a target from the beginning, the victim of a romance/real estate scam perpetrated by a career criminal and ex-con from The Bronx. Suddenly, her financial independence was at risk and so was her ability to trust herself.
This is the story of how that woman rose yet again to find her power, making the scam and her choice of De Leon the last run along the broken roads of her past.