NAUGHTY OR NICE
Dickey's holiday gift to readers follows his usual sure-fire formula of African-American sex, love, infidelity and redemption (Sister, Sister ; Cheaters ; The Other Woman ). This time the backdrop is Christmas/Kwanzaa in Los Angeles, with lights twinkling in the windows and fake snow glistening beneath the palm trees. The McBroom sisters—Frankie, Livvy and Tommie—all have serious man problems. Frankie, the oldest, owns a lot of real estate, drives a Benz and has to advertise on the Internet to snag a date. The unfortunate result is a mailbox full of e-responses from losers: "I should've been more specific and said no Jheri curls, brothers who wear pink curlers, played-out pimps, wanna-be gangstas, streetpharmacists, or gold-tooth-wearing hustlers." Middle sister Livvy's husband has betrayed her with a white woman, the result of which is a baby and a torrent of legal bills. Livvy's answer is to hit the Internet as well, answering an ad from a man searching for women who have been betrayed. Readers be warned: Livvy's hookup and resulting affair are hot enough to scorch fingers. Tommie is the youngest, and she's in secret love with the gentle, single dad across the street who thinks she's just a good friend. The whole Christmas/Kwanzaa business is almost a throwaway; the real focus of the book is sex. Dickey is a master at writing about women and what they want and how they want it. There are three kinds of physical love in these pages: hot, red hot and nuclear, and all three McBroom women get it on and have it every which way. To say the problems of the trio work out for the best in the end is to state the obvious. What reader would expect any less? Agent, Sara Camilli. (Oct. 27)
Forecast : This latest Dickey sports an attractive, new-look cover that downplays the holiday angle, which should make for added curb appeal and a shelf life that extends beyond December.
Release date: 10/01/2003