Nubian Circle Book Club

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Naughty or Nice Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

Best selling author Eric Jerome Dickey's latest release, Naughty or Nice, is a witty, engaging story about the interrelationships between the three McBroom sisters and their significant others. True to Dickey fashion, there is plenty of drama, plot twists, and humor in their sordid escapades toward their search for love and acceptance. Each one, strapped with varying degrees of emotional baggage, starts at different places along the love spectrum and recklessly jettisons headstrong down paths of least resistance only to discover that true love cannot be rushed, forced, or squandered.

Frankie, the oldest sister, is financially secure and after many years of relationship blunders explores Internet dating with varied (and often hilarious) results.   Frequently bitter and resentful of her rotten luck with men, Frankie projects a tougher than nails public persona but often sulks at home in self pity. It is only when she wises up and unburdens herself from unresolved issues with a lost love and becomes comfortable with herself that she is positioned to let love find her. Tommie, the youngest sister, physically scarred and mentally recovering from an abusive relationship is learning to trust and love again by following her heart into a nontraditional relationship with much older man with a small child. Lastly, middle sister, Livvy, is trying to rebound from a very public and embarrassing revelation of her physician husband's affair and impending paternity suit. In a fateful act of revenge, she embarks on a hot, steamy love affair with a beautiful stranger with tumultuous results.

Although the backdrop of the story is the festive Christmas season, this component of the plot seems like an afterthought, as it adds no real value or relevance to the storyline. Dickey is obviously riding on the coattails of his summer smash hit, The Other Woman; however, this latest work may leave fans (old and new) a bit disappointed as it fails in originality. The sisterly relationship is reminiscent of the sisters in the movie, Soul Food, and other themes in the book appear to be mere regurgitations of premises already covered in The Other Woman, Between Lovers, and his other works with heavy use of sex scenes to carry the story forward. If the lack of inventiveness can be overlooked, then those fans of the contemporary relationship novel will be pleased, as all aspects of naughty jokes, nice dialogue, and tantalizing love scenes are covered amply.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Naughty or Nice is 3 out of 5 stars.