Reviewed by Sheena:
I’ve been waiting for what feels like foreveer to wax utterly poetic about this novel. Then the day came and none of my words seemed adequate! Awesome!?– overused. Fantastic!??- typical Hey, read a cool book, want to hear about it!?– too casual. OMGILOVEDTHISSOMUCHREADIT!– unadulterated truth- but fangirl-cliche’. So, I revisited my initial thoughts and feelings after reading this gem and thought about what I most wanted to share and finally came up with some words that managed to scratch the surface of my admiration of this remarkable piece of work.
Before We Were Wicked is a masters class in relationship drama. Fair warning, this isn’t hearts and flowers HEA. This is a realistic, dare you to blink, story of lovers who LOVED and freaking LOST and Loved again and again- And it was riveting.
Though it stands alone splendidly, it is technically a prequel to a previous release, Bad Men, Wicked Women and utterly obliterates its predecessor. The culture, the education, the relationships, the friendships, THE SEX, the humanity, the inhumanity, the realism, the idealism. It is a literary feast! I love that the characters challenged one another’s world view. I loved that the main characters were so young, yet so aware, so present. I’m 100% shook at how freaking relatable every action and reaction was. Oh how I loathed Jimi Lee, how I sympathized with her, then loathed her again. Oh how Ken Swift was fantastically tread upon but was still a stand up man.
The cultural influence and discussion in this novel happens in a uniquely interesting, conversational and organic manner and it never overtakes the story, never becomes bigger than the characters- but is a vibrant thread that keeps your focus. Bravo man! You not only feel very emotion available from start to finish, you learn from this novel- frankly, it is a revelation.
It is criminal to spoil any piece of Before We Were Wicked, so open yourself to this reading experience, knowing these three things.
1. Ken Swift is characterized impeccably. One of my fave EJD heroes, and baby I’ve read them ALL. Did I mention I love this author. I STAN.
2. You will learn so much about culture from various POV’s and might surprise yourself regarding which side you ultimately take if any. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with myself several times over and it was delicious.
3. EJD is the author’s author, nothing is as liner or black and white in his worlds and the journey to the end isn’t what one would expect but each obstacle is so essential to character growth. Non traditional, don’t expect the HEA you may be accustomed to.
And For my fellow veteran EJD readers out there: If you are anything like me and spiral into a petulant depression whenever the next book is announced and it *isn’t* Gideon- because COME ON!?!? You will not be disappointed, I can’t help but predict that you will be elated to have experienced these characters and this journey.
They say the love of money is the root of all evil, but for Ken Swift, it’s the love of a woman.
Ken is twenty-one, hurting people for cash to try to pay his way through college, when he lays eyes on Jimi Lee, the woman who will change the course of his entire life. What’s meant to be a one-night stand with the Harvard-bound beauty turns into an explosion of sexual chemistry that neither can quit. And when Jimi Lee becomes pregnant, their two very different worlds collide in ways they never could have anticipated.
Passion, infidelity, and raw emotion combine in Eric Jerome Dickey’s poignant, erotic portrait of a relationship: the rise, the fall, and the scars–and desire–that never fade.
You don’t want to miss this one. Especially if you’ve been looking to diversify your reading lists, this is one author of color that transcends it all.
It is also sexy. Very, very…sexy.
Grunts. Moans. Mewls. Hard breathing. Skin slapped skin in slow motion, then with a fury, then again in slow motion. The sofa inched from the wall. It felt too good, and I lost control, showed her no mercy…
Jimi Lee put her face in the cushions, moaned, cursed, moved away from me, disconnected, fell off the sofa, and crawled away from me, moaning, shaking… but then she pushed back into me like she couldn’t get enough, bounced against me like the fire inside her body burned higher, like she couldn’t get the heat to go away. She moved across the floor and I moved with her. We were almost in the kitchen….I stroked her hard, was hard, but couldn’t get over the hill, and she didn’t complain. We moved across linoleum floors, bumped into the kitchen table. She looked back at me, her expression that of erotic amazement, then moved her leg, twisted until I was on her missionary style, her legs around my back. I was on top, going deep, then shallow, pulling all the way out then easing in… It was damn near three in the morning. I know my downstairs neighbors heard us. And if they didn’t hear, they felt us…
Before We Were Wicked is available now on Kindle and across all platforms!