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Unlike their younger brother Andre, whose star as a comedian is rising, neither Dwayne nor Brick Duquesne is having luck with his career - and they're unluckier still in love. Dwayne has just been fired from his latest acting role and barely has enough money to get by after paying child support to his former lover, while Brick struggles to return to his uninspiring, white-collar job after suffering a health emergency and a nasty breakup with the woman he still loves. Neither brother is looking to get entangled with a woman anytime soon, but love - and lust - has a way of twisting the best-laid plans.

Author Notes

Eric Jerome Dickey lives in California.

Eric Jerome Dickey was born in Memphis, Tennessee on July 7, 1961. He received a degree in computer system technology from the University of Memphis. In 1983, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked in the aerospace industry as a software developer. Soon after starting his job, he decided to become an actor and a stand-up comedian, which eventually lead him to a writing career. He attended UCLA's Creative Writing classes and in 1994, his short story Thirteen appeared in the IBWA's River Crossing: Voices of the Diaspora - An Anthology of the International Black Experience. His books include Milk in My Coffee; Liar's Game; Chasing Destiny; Between Lovers; Thieves' Paradise; The Other Woman; Sleeping with Strangers; Waking with Enemies; and An Accidental Affair. He received the awards for Best Contemporary Fiction and Author of the Year (Male) at the 2006 African American Literary Award Show.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Dickey (Before We Were Wicked) continues his study of the lives of African-American Angelenos, this time in a cluttered but heartfelt erotic drama. At the center is Brick, who works as a driver for a friend who recently started doing sex work. Through her, he meets two other sex workers, and the four form a quick, close bond. Meanwhile, Brick's older brother, Dwayne, a former child actor struggling to find adult success, is trying desperately to reconnect with his teenage son. As they strive for what they need, the brothers explore, sometimes ponderously, the definitions and boundaries of family, love, and sex. So much time is spent establishing characters' viewpoints--fascinating though they are--that plot takes a back seat, leaving the ending feeling rushed and unearned. However, the setting is artfully crafted, the characters' struggles are real and moving, and the sex those characters have is flaming hot. Readers looking for pathos with eroticism, depth, and a mostly black cast will appreciate this one. Agent: Sara Camilli, Sara Camilli Agency. (Apr.)

Kirkus Review

An out-of-work project manager and his two brothers are broke and brokenhearted in Los Angeles--until a trio of sex workers offers him a way to help his whole family. A "pace of asses" is what Brick jokingly calls them. But the three women he works with--Penny, Christiana, and Mocha Latte--are sophisticated, well educated, and down on their luck thanks to bad jobs and worse relationships. He's initially hired to serve as their chauffeur, but soon their high-end female clients invite him inside for more. These high-powered women have deep pockets and deep emotional issues to match, but Brick seems to enjoy giving them the boyfriend experience. He's out of work after a bout with cancer, and he'd also like to help out his brother Dwayne, whose kid and ex-girlfriend are struggling too. Dwayne is a fairly successful stage actor, but after hitting a rough patch he's behind on his child support payments, and his ex-girlfriend won't let him forget it. Their other brother, André, meanwhile, has managed to turn his unfortunate run-ins with the cops (and other hazards of being black in America) into a popular comedy routine. The brothers see LA from all angles, from its high-end hotels to its neglected homeless population. An education alone can't guarantee survival in California's unforgiving real estate market, especially not for people of color. But love can help (or hurt) their chances, and when it goes wrong, as Dwayne's ex observes, "Love spares no one. We all pay." Brick's neighborhood is also home to fictional bill collector Ken Swift, and here Dickey (Before We Were Wicked, 2019, etc.) has left an Easter egg for readers to find. In this sensual road trip across LA there are deep conversations, adult situations, and a sweet love story at every turn. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Best-selling author of street-wise romance Dickey's latest is a contemporary erotic tale of ambitions delayed. Brothers Brick and Dwayne Duquesne are struggling to overcome financial and emotional setbacks as they work side hustles to make ends meet while searching for their true calling in Southern California. Brick is becoming increasingly entangled in the lives of three alluring female escorts who dream of happier days while spending their nights making fast cash, and even though Brick's insights as their bodyguard and chauffeur make him sympathetic, he's reluctant to enter their trade. Dwayne's success as a child star was both a blessing and a curse that attracted both admirers and manipulators, but now his receding fame and crippling child-support payments have him fighting to stay relevant in a town that's always ready to move onto the next big thing. Sexual conquest comes easy for these attractive young men and women, but they all crave more than temporary fulfillment, and their search for meaning ultimately leads not to material wealth but to the friends and family they choose to love.--Kristina Giovanni Copyright 2020 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Though brother André is flourishing as a comedian, Dwayne and Brick Duquesne have hit rock bottom. Former child-star Dwayne's career has stalled, even as he tries to bridge the gap with his teenage son. Meanwhile, Brick has suffered a health scare and a bad breakup, and is supplementing his white-collar job by earning extra bucks as a chauffeur/bodyguard to three women temporarily serving as escorts as they sort out their lives. But maybe here's a possibility for love? From the perennial New York Times best seller.