Broken hearts, a ménage à trois, and wry humor find their way into this sexy new story from the popular Dickey (Liar’s Game, 2000, etc.).
The unnamed narrator of this hip cautionary tale is still in love with Nicole, regardless that she literally left him at the altar, moved to Oakland from their home in L.A., and is now involved with a woman named Ayanna. But he won't give up on their seven-year relationship, believing this lesbian stuff is just a phase. A popular novelist on the road for lectures and book signings, he flies up every few weeks to visit. During one stopover, Nicole announces that she's worked out a plan to accommodate both her lovers and herself—though mostly herself. She asks the narrator to move to Oakland and get to know Ayanna, insisting that she loves both and can't choose between them. The story’s action takes place during the few days of this visit, exploring the emotional anguish felt by the narrator and Ayanna, who both attempt to acquiesce to Nicole’s wishes but understandably want her all to themselves. When the three spend an intimate night together, with the narrator and Nicole giving it their sexual all to impress, Nicole—not surprisingly—is the only one satisfied with the arrangement. Meanwhile, the parents of these successful, 30-ish African-Americans throw in their two cents. The narrator's father, a prominent civil rights figure, is disappointed that his son is frittering away his talent on popular fiction. Nicole's mother comes to visit, damning her daughter to hell until she changes her deviant ways. It becomes apparent that only sacrifice from the truest heart can free the protagonists from the emotional hell they've created. Steamy sex scenes and pop culture references aside, Dickey has created a thoughtful, albeit unusual, treatise on the lengths some will go to for love.
Dickey ably straddles a fine line, offering light entertainment coupled with strong people making hard choices.