Dickey (Waking with Enemies, 2007, etc.) shifts focus to pure erotica, peeping in at a beautiful, frustrated woman anxious to explore her deepest desires.
Fresh from breaking up with a lover who refuses to believe it’s over, writer Nia Simone Bijou is ready for some no-holds-barred, commitment-free sex. She thinks she’s found it with a pair of identical, constantly competing twins, a married real-estate developer and a single erotic photographer. Nia tries to keep it simple—well, as simple as it can be with two men in the same bed—but complications (particularly the photographer’s bisexual female client, who’s crushing on Nia, and the developer’s unsettlingly angry wife, a locally famous newscaster) insist on intruding. Readers in search of steamy, kinky sex scenes in various locations and combinations will probably be happy with what they find here. The problem is that Dickey is clearly aiming for something more profound, an emotional and spiritual release as rich as the many physical releases Nia experiences. That doesn’t happen. Nia is a bundle of incompletely realized attitudes, not a person. Supposedly she’s an intellectual with a fierce regard for grammar, but her first-person narration (overstuffed with references intended to indicate how well-read she is) is riddled with sentence fragments and grammatical errors. The reader is meant to admire her for assuming a role that she believes only men claim: someone who seeks pleasure without guilt and without implying commitment, but instead, she comes across as petty and selfish—a narcissistic little girl who has had the good fortune to get lost in a candy store. And unfortunately, her faults aren’t interesting, or real, enough to make her a true villain.
Will leave you hot and bothered, but mentally unsatisfied.