Eric Jerome Dickey | April 2015
For one night, a couple checks in to an upscale hotel. The pair seem unlikely companions, from opposing strata of society, but their attraction is palpable to all who observe them—or overhear their cries of passion. In the course of twelve hours, con games, erotic interludes, jealousy, violence, and murder swirl around them. Will they part ways in bliss, in sorrow, or in death?
Filled with all the hallmarks of an Eric Jerome Dickey bestseller—erotic situations, edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and fun, believable relationships—One Night will delight Dickey’s existing fans and lure countless new ones.
I wanted this to be a salacious reprieve from my most recent heavy reads. I’d been digesting deep, drama heavy books, in quick succession. The negative charged energy from Heavy, Straight Lick and The Institute was still with me, compounded with stress from responding to CoVID19 concerns at work. I wanted a mind numbing mental escape. And, if during quarantine I wasn’t being romanced, I wanted to read about someone who was being romanced. 🤦🏾♀️ To some extent, One Night was that mind numbing experience…just not as enjoyable as I would have liked.
In my opinion, the tricky requirement of any story, is that you have to like at least one character. Maybe any character will do but, I’ve found, the more I like/relate/care about what happens to the main character, the greater the chance I’ll finish the book. Here in lies the problem with One Night, and for me, most EJD books: great concept, wholly unlikable characters.
One Night is centered on a chance encounter between ‘angry black woman’ Jackie, once rising comedian and actress, now, a hurt filled mother of a dead child tragically lost in a fire, bound in an unfulfilling, disrespectful, arguably abuse relationship, and struggling financially and ‘The Man from Orange County’ (OC). Im pretty sure we, the reader, never learn OC’s name. 🤦🏾♀️ He is described, by Jackie, as a well dressed, luxury car driving, attractive black man, that prefers light-skinned, mansion living, college educated black – but not American, women. #Oyvey
Angry Black Woman Jackie, pressed for money to pay her rent or risk eviction, decides to steal a box truck, pose as a Best Buy employee and attempt to scam/sell ‘rocks in a box’ as a MacBook Pro to some poor soul at a gas station. The poor soul she happens upon is OC and he’s no easy push over.
Once the two get over the initial meeting, they decide to meet up at a local Denny’s for dinner and here the dance begins. At its core, the plot is a detailed narration of Jackie and OC’s one night stand. Almost a Queen and Slim vibe, except the traumas Jackie and OC endure occur before they meet, instead of once they are together. And…you probably liked Queen. 😏 Anyway, no matter when the trauma occurred, they’ll face the repercussions together in the end.
Pros: EJD writes a mean sex scene. You shall be satiated in that regard…eventually. And the concept of getting an arguably behind the scenes perspective of the logistics involved in an erotic one night stand is intriguing. The dialogue written between these two was not boring. They talk about race relations, black love (or the lack thereof), colorism, class and its impact on healthcare, education, housing…i mean, you name it and it comes up in conversation. Scenes post climax are spectacular and though, I thought abrupt, I liked the ending here better than Queen & Slim.
Cons: Where do I begin? I find EJD’s characters, and their opinions to be dysfunctional, contradictory, and cliche. They typically feed into stereotypes of black class, colorism, and gender roles.
Jackie is written as almost a superhero for the angry black woman. At once, she’s woke enough to wear her hair locked, knows her history and is articulate, proud of her darker complexion, self confident enough to do stand up center stage, lost her daughter to the mistake of a functioning alcoholic..hello anger.. but still dumb enough to call a consistent booty call, that cannot make her reach an orgasism, her boyfriend. She also knows how and is willing to steal a car to pull a scam in broad daylight. Chile. Bye. She carries on about how ‘clean’ she is with this elaborate bath routine before sex…but after she jumped out her car full of half filled take out boxes, old dolls and clothes.
Her descriptions of OC and how she treats him are typical come close and stay while I berate you. While I openly seduce you, then get angry at you for being seduced. Honey, I can’t. I was so fed up with Jackie, I almost didn’t even WANT her to experience mind-blowing EJD sex. Her annoying ass didn’t deserve it!
Anyway, the ending is great. You get distracted with the sex scenes, remembering too late there is a plot playing out. Jackie softens considerably, allowing for real conversation and not a constant argument. OC opens and tells his truth leading to resolution for both of them
Overall, 2 out of 5 stars. Again, great concept but, I didn’t like Jackie. If overly opinionated characters don’t bother you, especially when their opinion leans towards the extreme, go fo it. One Night wont disappoint. If you find that kinda thing unpalatable, pick up the book, skip to the last 3 chapters and experience an alternative ending for Queen and Slim. 😜 Not my favorite #GoodBook Book 9 of 42