Before We Were Wicked by Eric Jerome Dickey

Before We Were Wicked

Eric Jerome Dickey

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.

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New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey reveals how one chance meeting can change everything in this engrossing, sexy tale of star-crossed lust.

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.

Advance Galley Reviews

Unfortunately time ran out and I didn't get a chance to read this book.

Expired before I could finish it. It's a well done story from what I got the chance to read of it.

I have to give it to Dickey for once again writing a compelling novel. It mirrors a lot of relationships I grew up watching; the over emphasis on a sexual relationship, letting oneself get catch up in another person because of sex, emotional scares, or just convenience. Jimi is an unlikable character, yes but in a volatile relationship, often there is one person whose actions are so wrong that it leaves you wondering what the other saw on them in the beginning. Having read the previous book, this explains so much of the behaivior found there. I could have done without such explicitly described sexual scenes but it held true for the storyline and characters. I can see readers loving this novel, or just not getting it at all. I give it 3.9 stars.

Jimi treats Ken as if he’s beneath her and a lot of that has to do with her upbringing. Since she was younger, her parents taught her Ethiopians were far superior to African Americans. Jimi knew her parents would never accept her being with Ken because of his “race.” Jimi looked at Ken as a fun fling biding her time before she left for Ethiopia and later on, to Harvard. They are from two very different worlds. Worlds that are not in favor of comingling. This almost ends their “relationship” but they end up being together longer than they thought they would. It was striking reading about race and class tiers within one culture. Their relationship started out so hot and steamy and then you can see issues surface as they got to know each other better. I ended up not liking Jimi at all. I had secondary embarrassment at the way she treated Ken and regardless of the pain she has experienced in her life, her behavior does not excuse her actions. She was so fixated with her status and power, she had total disregard for Ken’s feelings. I felt so sorry for him. Thank you to First to Read for his copy!

Try as I might, I just could not get into this book. The characters were annoying most of the time, and the dialogue had me rolling my eyes more often than not, especially during the intimate scenes. I think my biggest issue was the amateurish writing style. The story was certainly geared toward adults, but the writing doesn't come across that way. In the end, it took me much longer than it should have to finish this one. It was just way too easy to set aside for something else, and way to hard to pick back up.

This is the first novel I have read by Eric Jerome Dickey. After reading this, I really want to read the first book since this one is a prequel. I thought both characters were likable until everything started happening with Jimi Lee. After that, Jimi Lee was a character I loved to dislike. And I really am not sure if I like Ken's daughter either, which really made me feel sympathy for Ken. Overall, it was a good book and is tempting me to pick up the other novel.

I was not able to finish this book. I was hoping for a sexy story between two compelling and likable characters. But this book is not the story that I wanted. Perhaps male readers will enjoy this more, but I just felt the book was trashy.

I thought the bedroom scenes were far too graphic and occurred far too often without adding anything to the plot. I don’t think this is intended as a Roman e novel, so I was not pleased with that. If you cut out the love scenes, it would be a much better, more concise story in my opinion.

This is the first book I've had the pleasure of reading by this author, and wow. The writing was beautiful, and the details of the characters were so vivid. I loved how the story line was set up, but I so badly wanted Jimi Lee to come to her senses! The cliff-hanger ending was so freaking unexpected I HAVE to pick up the book that starts off after Before We Were Wicked. I loved the culture clash and learned quite a few things about Ethiopian and Black American culture from this book as well!

Eric Jerome Dickey does it again. He is a classic author who is know for his mystery and suspense with a hint of urban flavor. This has all of the magnetic energy that attracted me to his writing from the beginning and I know you will also enjoy it. Get ready for a ride.

I loved the cover of this book, it is what drew me to select it. Once I dived in, however, I had a hard time getting into the story.

As usual Eric does not disappoint. It has been a while since I picked up one of his books and just like that, I read it quickly and was entertained. While the conversations between Ken and Jimi Lee was a bit repetitive, I still enjoyed their story line. I wish one of them would have finished their dream(s)! Such is life.

I must first admit that this is not my typical book. When I started reading it I had the mindset that it probably would not be a book I finished. However just a few pages in and I couldn't put the story down. I was tangled in the complex characters and the mingling of their lives. The author accomplished what so rarely happens in that the characters are humanlike. Often times you have archetype characters where you have a good character and a bad character, but the author has developed such multidimensional characters. You like them and route for them, but also are frustrated with them at the same time. This book made me seek out other books by Eric Jerome Dickey to add to my reading list. I received an ARC from First to Read.

I was drawn to this book from the cover. The story however, it was interesting with a bit of a twist. Not my usual type of read, so that was that. I appreciated the character development and the complexities in both lives. I appreciated that it seemed to fade when they had one another. Thanks for the opportunity.

I really liked learning about the culture differences between the characters. And the setting and that glimpse of early California times was very cool. This seemed like an interesting book, but in the end I could not finish it. I received an ARC from First to Read.

I managed to read the first hundred pages of this book which contains primarily a couple of beat-downs and a whole lot of sex and not much actual story. I never read this author before and probably it was just my mistake. This just is not the book for me. Have to DNF it at this point.

It's been quite some time since I read a book by Eric Jeremone Dickey but thanks to FirstReads I was able to read his upcoming release, Before We Were Wicked, early. Although this book serves to provide the backstory of characters in his book Bad Men and Wicked Women (which I have not read), I didn't have any trouble getting into the storyline. And the book stands well on it's on. Dickey gives readers a good mix of drama and relationship woes along with a look at cultural differences between blacks born in America and those from African. He presents multidimensional characters who leave you torn between rallying for them and being angry at them.

I don't know, this book just didn't do it for me and I gave up before the halfway mark. The dialog just wasn't for me.

I'm always interested in reading romances from a male author's point of view since contemporary male authors writing romance seems to be fairly rare!

I really disliked the dialogue. It didn't feel genuine to me. The sex scenes were unnecessarily vulgar and didn't seem to match with the rest of the style of writing of the book. While sex doesn't need to be left out of novels, obviously, it should add to the story line as opposed to raunchy sex just for the purpose for the purpose of raunchy sex. Unfortunately, the sex scenes did not add to the story. Unfortunate, because the premise of the book was good. But the dialogue portions of the book were far too many and weak.

There's a solid story about a person's character and how life can take a sudden turn and learning to live with it somewhere inside this book but it lost me with two things: 1. The writing during the sex scenes - particularly the talking between characters - sometimes came out sounding like something ridiculous a sitcom or SNL would come up with to make fun of someone who has no idea what to say during sex. For each their own, but it just made me roll my eyes and lose all hope for the book. 2. Characters that made me want to knock their heads together and just separate them for the good of them and my reading pleasure. On the one hand, I really liked how the main character is represented. Ken Swift reads like a real person and, even with the not exactly legal or innocent job, seems like an incredible standup guy. He's good and takes responsibility and always does his best to provide for his family and respects his wife even when she certainly doesn't deserve it. On the other hand, I could not stand Jimi Lee at all. From the very beginning, she's the spoiled "good girl" who wants to do "bad" things and finds a person to obsess over as her fix and then blames everything on after things obviously go bad. This is an excellent example of a toxic relationship that only gets exacerbated by a clash of cultures and a lack of communication. I kept wanting Ken to just walk away, but the man is too unfortunately honorable. But seriously though, Jimi Lee starts out with few (if any) redeeming qualities and only goes downhill from there. There are some good moments and talking points interspersed in between all the bad and it made me really think about a couple of things, so I didn't find it a total loss. It's just not something I would go out of my way to recommend.

Quite an interesting read. I got through it in under two days; give that it takes me on average; one week to complete a book.The book caught my attention and kept it till the end...and I wanted more. The storyline was easy to follow without any ambiguities. I could easily relate to the social issues raised in the book. A good read overall.

I am a writer myself, which makes critiques for us more complicated. The title really grabs you in, as well as the book cover. The story itself is great. The characters are formed well. There is a good back story and sexual chemistry which spices things up. I would read this again in paperback.


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