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Friends and Lovers

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Love, betrayal, and friendship set in modern-day Los Angeles

The lives of four young African Americans--two men and two women--are chronicled through the love and the laughter, heartache and pain, of not-so-everyday life. In contemporary mores and humanity, they investigate and celebrate the gender gap.

416 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1997

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About the author

Eric Jerome Dickey

70 books3,135 followers
Eric Jerome Dickey was born in Memphis, Tennessee and attended the University of Memphis (the former Memphis State), where he earned his degree in Computer System Technology. In 1983, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in engineering.

After landing a job in the aerospace industry as a software developer, Eric Jerome Dickey's artistic talents surfaced, inspiring him to become an actor and a stand-up comedian. Yet Eric quickly found out that writing was something he could do and do well. From creative writing classes to avidly consuming the works of his favorite authors, Eric Jerome Dickey began to shape a writing career of his own. Having written several scripts for his personal comedy act, he started writing poetry and short stories. "The film work gave me insight into character development, the acting classes helped me understand motivation...All of it goes hand in hand," Eric explains. He joined the IBWA (International Black Writers and Artists), participated in their development workshops, and became a recipient of the IBWA SEED Scholarship to attend UCLA's Creative Writing classes. In 1994 his first published short story, "Thirteen," appeared in the IBWA's River Crossing: Voices of the Diaspora-An Anthology of the International Black Experience. A second short story, "Days Gone By," was published in the magazine A Place to Enter.

With those successes behind him, Eric Jerome Dickey decided to fine-tune some of his earlier work and developed a screenplay called "Cappuccino." "Cappuccino" was directed and produced by Craig Ross, Jr. and appeared in coffee houses around the Los Angeles area. In February 1998, "Cappuccino" made its local debut during the Pan African Film Festival at the Magic Johnson Theater in Los Angeles.

Short stories, though, didn't seem to fulfill Eric Jerome Dickey's creative yearnings. Eric says, "I'd set out to do a ten-page story and it would go on for three hundred pages." So Eric kept writing and reading and sending out query letters for his novels for almost three years until he finally got an agent. "Then a door opened," Eric says. "And I put my foot in before they could close it." And that door has remained opened, as Eric Jerome Dickey's novels have placed him on the map as one of the best writers of contemporary urban fiction.

Eric Jerome Dickey's book signing tours for Sister, Sister; Friends and Lovers; Milk in My Coffee; Cheaters; and Liar's Game took him from coast to coast and helped propel each of these novels to #1 on the "Blackboard Bestsellers List." Cheaters was named "Blackboard Book of the Year" in 2000. In June 2000, Eric Jerome Dickey celebrated the French publication of Milk in My Coffee (Cafe Noisette) by embarking on a book tour to Paris. Soon after, Milk in My Coffee became a bestseller in France. Eric Jerome Dickey's novels, Chasing Destiny, Liar's Game, Between Lovers, Thieves' Paradise, The Other Woman, Drive Me Crazy, Genevieve, Naughty or Nice, Sleeping with Strangers, Waking with Enemies, and Pleasure have all earned him the success of a spot on The New York Times bestseller list. Liar's Game, Thieves' Paradise, The Other Woman, and Genevieve have also given Dickey the added distinction of being nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005. In 2006, he was honored with the awards for Best Contemporary Fiction and Author of the Year (Male) at the 2006 African American Literary Award Show. In 2008, Eric was nominated for Storyteller of the Year at the 1st annual ESSENCE Literary Awards. In January 2001, Eric Jerome Dickey was a contributor to New American Library's anthology Got To Be Real: Four Original Love Stories, also a Blackboard Bestseller. He also had a story entitled “Fish Sanwich” appear in the anthology Mothers and Sons. In June 2002, Dickey contributed to Black Silk: A Collection of African American Erotica (Warner Books) as well as to Riots Beneath the Baobab (published by Inte

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5 stars
5,321 (48%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 190 reviews
Profile Image for Nakia.
385 reviews232 followers
March 15, 2017
Decided to re-read this because I'd promised myself I'd throw a few of the 90s urban fiction classics on my reading list this year. I hadn't read this since my teenage years, so it was almost like I'd never read it before.

The first half of the book sucked me in immediately. EJD used first person POV for each character, giving them their own chapters, which made it easy to get comfortable with everyone in the book. Because it is about exactly what the title says, Friends and Lovers, I was quickly drawn into Tyrel and Leonard's friendship, and Shelby and Debra's friendship, and their subsequent dating escapades with each other.

But during the second half of the book, it kind of took a turn for the worst. Time stood still as much of it focused on three very slow but very significant days, which was a complete 180 from the first half of the book that zoomed through a year and half. There were also a lot of completely ridiculous scenarios that I cant divulge without introducing a few spoilers. Just know that none of it was realistic and it was HUGE turn off and is why I'm rating it so low. I can only blame this mishap on EJD possibly having never experienced tragedy before (at the time this was written), and assuming that in the face of it, people would continue on with life as if nothing happens with no respect for their friends' circumstances.

And speaking of having no experience: the women were written like a man would write them, meaning not at all how women are or should be portrayed. It was obvious that this was written by a man, no questions about it. lol

Friends and Lovers got my hopes up, but then let me way down. I think readers who can suspend reality will enjoy this novel though, and the 90s references make for a really cool trip down memory lane. Also, even though I was disappointed with it, I think that with a lot of tweaking done to the second half, this would make for a great Lifetime movie or Starz miniseries, especially if the era is made a focal point.
5 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2009
This book is titled Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey. This book is a fiction. The main theme of the story is that friends can sometimes turn in to lovers but it doesn't mean that things will work out for the best.

The book is about two men and two women Leonard, Tyrel, Debra and Shelby. They all meet at a club and schedule another date to see each other again. Leonard who is an up and coming comedian who’s not really enjoying the single life meets Debra, a shy hard working black woman whos not loving the single life so much either. Eventually Debra and Leonard become engaged then married and end up with a happy relationship. On the other hand Tyrel is a very dominant male whose mind is strictly on work while Shelby is a very out spoken woman. Shelby and Tyrel lived in the moment of ecstasy in which led to them not talking for a while. Leonard and Debra of course upset that their best friends do not get along until a tragic accident puts Shelby and Tyrel in the same room again. To find out much more than what i am telling you, read it for yourselves.

The book is a very heart racing, tear shedding fiction. Some parts told of things in which happens in an every day relationship such as friends becoming lovers. People think that friends turned lovers will never split but this book proves this theory wrong. I would have not expected Tyrel and Shelby to even get along because of how stubborn they were. The book told of many descriptive details such as how each character felt for the other. People were actually able to feel the pain and love of each character. There was one character who I wasn’t bored with from beginning to end. The characters name is Richard. Richard was a comedian who’s always lived in the shadow of Tyrel when it cam to the lady’s. Now Tyrel is struggling and Richard is shining. He reminds me of my and an old friend. She used to get all the boys and I just sat there in the background unnoticed. I had it out for this character because I can relate to him so much. In a way reading this book has take atoll on me. All the drama between the two reminded me of a certain someone and me. It bought back old memories.

I would recommend this book to anyone who lives in the shadow of a friend when it comes to a relationship. Also any man or woman who might just be going trough the same issues as the characters in the book. However I would not recommend this book to a person who holds no feelings, because they would not be able to understand the book. I also would not recommend this as a read out- loud for little kids because some parts told of explicit details. I would compare this book to Drama High by L. Divine because it goes trough the same issues such as going out with a friend who turns lover. This is a good book because it is very exciting and it will have you wanting to read more and more. I wasnt able to stop reading until i knew what would happen next.
July 5, 2008
AAMBC Reviews, May 25, 2008

If you ever want to get to know a true artist, why not embrace a writer like Dickey. The characters in this book are so relatable that it is almost like your inside the book. There is a play on this book as well same tittle and I strongly suggest you read this book. You can't say your a true book reader without obtaining this novel.
Profile Image for Diane Wallace.
1,131 reviews71 followers
May 14, 2017
Love! action,reaction,tears and emotional pain that's what all these characters go through in this storyline...(paperback!)
Profile Image for Kameel.
807 reviews91 followers
December 31, 2020
For me this could have potentially been a great story....there were too many unresolved issues and an unnecessary killing in this story (sorry, I'm not a fan of this type of literature) ...reading the synopsis and the title will definitely have a person fooled. In addition, for me there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue, which would have shorten this book tremendously! Also, Shelby was wrong throughout this story, she was the main reason for the break-up between her and Tyrell....if she would have just been honest and not try and chase what Debra & Leonard had.....simply talking to Tyrell and creating her own HEA the story would have been a lot different for her. It really did take too much for her and Tyrell to finally get to their HEA...which included losing a love one.
Profile Image for ~*I love Tea*~.
18 reviews
July 30, 2018
Ahh Friends and Lovers, I don't have one wrong word to say about this book. I came to know the characters as my very own friends. I loved the book, beautifully written and masterfully presented. Mr. Dickey you have done it again, all hale the king of Romance.
Profile Image for Justice.
130 reviews
February 11, 2020
I haven’t read a good African-American romance novel in a very long time. I think I read so many when I was younger that I got tired of it. But that was refreshing. It was well written, there were emotions, there was character development and depth...and it was relatable.

I was expecting something to come of the Jackson character...felt like a loose end.
Profile Image for Ari.
51 reviews2 followers
November 20, 2022
My heart is crushed. I didn’t want this to be over.
I won’t lie, This is my first EJD read. I know I know. I own a few of his books, they line my shelves and sit unread and now I vow to read each one. RIP KING
I loved this so much.
True love doesn’t have to be boxed in. What works for one, might not work for someone else. Intuition is a MF, and truly live with your heart.
Love your friends today and live like tomorrow might not come.

Profile Image for Winter Sophia Rose.
2,208 reviews10 followers
June 30, 2016
Touching, Realistic, Deep, Riveting, Refreshing & Emotional! An Exciting Read! I Loved It!
Profile Image for Lanetta.
43 reviews6 followers
August 26, 2009
Friends and Lovers was a sad, but conceptual novel. Eric Jerome Dickey's books always gives a lesson from the evaluation of the book. This lesson from this book shows that you should not take people for granted, or deny their friendship/relationship.
Profile Image for Ruby.
38 reviews12 followers
February 19, 2009
A tragic love story. A very good read. Makes you learn not to take the person you love for granted.
Profile Image for Brandi.
4 reviews
March 11, 2009
I thought that this book was very interesting it was one of the few books I have read by this author and I truly enjoyed each and everyone of the characters.
Profile Image for Esme.
3 reviews5 followers
March 13, 2009
Another wonderful work from Eric Jerome Dickey! This book is about love, hate and moving on. It was also a major page turner! Loved it!
Profile Image for BookishGlow.
164 reviews38 followers
February 3, 2021
Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey is an amusing novel, that pairs the main themes of love and friendship (hence the title) to explore the complexities of relationships. Readers meet the four main characters of the story, Shelby, Debra, Leonard, and Tyrel, as they navigate their advancing adulthood, budding careers, and singlehood. Leonard and Tyrel are best friends, but more like brothers, who have been inseparable since childhood. Shelby and Debra are best friends who met in college. It is in the girl’s decision to go on a night out, when they cross paths with Leonard, which ultimately changes the course of all their lives forever.

I enjoyed this book. Is it a profound body of literary fiction? Nope. However, I do not think that was the intent of the story, and the book was definitely not a flop. The author wrote a good tale that included an interesting plot, good characterization, and a great depiction of the time period’s setting. The book was first published in 1997, so it contains much of the cultural settings during that time period. It was so nostalgic to read, and included mentions of walkmans, CD boom boxes, car wheel clubs, and the macarena dance.

What I enjoyed most about the novel were the characters depicted in the story, especially the four main characters. The main theme of friendship reverberates throughout the book and can be seen illustrated within the story through the literary device of character development. By the conclusion of the book, you really do feel that you personally know the main characters. Readers can see the progression of the characters through the matriculation of the story.

This is not the first novel that I have read by Eric Jerome Dickey, and will surely not be the last. If you have never read his books, what can you expect? You can expect a rather simple read, with an uncomplicated story line and good characters.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
32 reviews
January 8, 2023
I loved loved loved loved this book. Once again, I re-read an EJD book and once again I loved it just as much.

I think that Friends to Lovers is becoming my new favorite trope: It’s something about watching a healthy foundation of a friendship blossom into romance. This story follows two sets of friends that meet create healthy friendships and then pursue relationships.

This was a funny, sexy, realistic story that brilliantly captures the ebbs and flows of relationships and friendships. The one thing that I love about EJD is how friendships are written. The way that the characters although are friends, have more of a family bond. And again the organic and raw dialogue the evoked real emotion out of me.

The third part of this story had me in my feels. I cried throughout a lot of it. I loved how he shows how grief brings people together and how people process it differently. Lord I was not ready.

This book made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt. Made me cry thug tears. Made me yell at the characters. Whew! I may re-read it AGAIN

My only gripe: The book was written in the POVs of Debra, Tyrell and Shelby. So in this book Tyrell and Shelby date as well as Debra and Leonard. I thought that it was a little strange that we never got Leonard’s POV, but got Debra’s.
Profile Image for D.J. Walters.
Author 4 books126 followers
May 1, 2019
I enjoyed this book. It depicted the trials and tribulations of being in relationships and how tragic they can be. A reality that we sometimes find hard to get to grips with. However, the book was a very easy read and actually made me laugh at points which is a plus. I'm glad I flew through this treasure.
1 review
January 26, 2021
A very nostalgic and quirky read with descriptive language. But there are parts of the book that linger too long.
May 21, 2023
The plot twist was too devastating. Some of the black references were too forced but that’s in all of his books lol
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tiffany Spencer.
1,387 reviews15 followers
July 13, 2022
Friends and Lovers
Tyrell gets dumped by his financial planner Lisa after a casual hook-up leads to a pregnancy scare. Lisa returns to the husband she’s been separated from. Only she still wants to hook up occasionally. Meanwhile, Shelby finds out that her lover Bryce has been sneaking in another woman. So she packs her stuff, and leaves for her best friend Debra’s.

Shelby and Debra attend the Playboy Jazz Festival and, on the way, home they stop by Denny’s Debra meets Leonard and is captivated by him. They spend hours flirting and talking. At the end of the night he invites her on a date. In the parking lot, they exchange numbers and kiss goodnight.

Leonard also invites Debra and Shelby to see him perform at a Comedy Show. Afterward Leonard suggests going to a dance club to let off steam. Tyrel and Shelby at first are just there to appease their friends, but as the night goes on they start talking about their families and music. By the end of the night, they’re close enough for Shelby to give Tyrel’s dimple the name “Shelby’s Cavern”.

Shelby calls Tyrell and they hang out in Obispo. On the way up they bond some more over their families. TAt the restaurant Shelby makes a sexual gesture that results in them stealing a hotel room and making love. On the way home, Shelby gets Tyrell to speak to his father because she never knew hers. But the conversation is one-sided. Pops doesn’t ask about (care about) anyone but Leonard. (We learn earlier that Mye and Tyrel (twins) are distanced from their father because they caught him freaking another woman. Shelby calls it off with Tyrel but later Shelby calls him up and says she doesn’t do one-night stands and he says he’ll go out with her.

Six months later, Shelby has moved in with Tyrell but Debra isn’t giving it up to Leonard. Leonard has now made a name for himself and is being hit up by H.B.O. Leonard takes Debra to look at houses. She picks out an empty one and they find themselves sneaking inside it. One thing leads to another and they make love. Afterward, they discuss where they want the relationship to go. They both say they want marriage. He pops a “fantasy scenario” of how “this brother he knows” would go about proposing to his dream woman. She says a beach at sunset would be nice (symbolizing the end of one thing and the beginning of another) The next night he proposes to Debra on a beach at sunset.

On a flight, a man named Richard Vaugh watch-stalks and keeps buzzing Shelby. To top that off, Shelby gets nauseated on the flight. She calls Tyrell in the middle of the night, tells him she took a home pregnancy test, and it was positive. Tyrell says they should get a bigger house and review their finances, which isn’t the answer she wants. She makes him promise not to tell Debra or Leonard. But she’s already told Debra and she hasn’t taken any kind of test. Debra tells her to come home so she can test her, Shelby thinks about her mother and how she died without a ring on her finger and is involved with a man that wasn’t hers.

When Shelby comes back home, Tyrell notices something is off. She says she just had a virus and was prescribed some medicine, but she won’t show him the medicine. He asks her if she had an abortion and she says her period was just off because of stress. Now it’s back on. Only he didn’t see anything to indicate that in the trash. Shelby starts packing her stuff and says she’s leaving. Tyrell tells then take her shit and leave, only Shelby just meant she was going to work. She says since that’s the way he feels then she will. Tyrell tries to take it back, but it’s too late. She walks out.

Lisa rats to Tyrell that she saw Shelby at the OBGYN and that they went to the same high school. Shelby goes MIA for some days and has been staying at a cheap hotel. When she contacts Tyrell, they meet up for lunch. She wants to come home, but still can’t tell him the truth and he won’t let up so she walks out. Shortly after, Tyrell finds out from Leonard that Shelby has moved to San Diego. He immediately calls Josh (who's been hounding him to transfer) and relocates to San Fransico.

Shelby celebrates her birthday at a club and she runs into Richard again. She gives him some polite conversation and takes his number. Shelby comes home to do a talk with Debra to young women but is disappointed to find that Tyrell has moved. Leonard has a show in SF and stays with Ty. He gets on his behind about all the women he’s been hoeing around with that all look like Shelby. He tells him pick one or call her. He gets her number but then decides one of em (Lorna) will be the one to replace Shelby and doesn’t call. But Lorna gives him an STD and she knows there’s someone else so they break up.

Debra finds gets a 3 AM visit and finds out Leonard was killed in a car crash, (We see that she’s pregnant). Richard and Shelby have now been engaged for two months. She hasn’t mentioned him to Debra. Richard “surprises” Shelby by getting a ticket to go with her. She thinks back on how their relationship when from pleasant to worse as she felt pressured into marrying him. Tyrell and Richard finally face off when Richard makes his presence and who he is known. Shelby gets pissed and tries to physically assault Richard. Debra comes out before it turns into some ish with Ty and Richard. Come to find out Richard has been calling Tyrell and hanging up. But once he called and asked what was up with him and his woman. Ty talked some shit because he thought it was Lorna’s ex. But now he knows who it was.

The Asian teen shows up who caused the accident full of apologies and grief. Debra says if she wants to do the interview happening there later and speak she can, but she’ll never forgive her and NEVER come back. The girl steps up and does the interview with no and says she’ll take the consequences. Debra apologizes and tells her Leonard would be proud, but still tells her never to come back there. Debra decides Ty and Shelby will be the baby’s godparents.

Shelby finally comes clean with Richard that she did call Tyrell A LOT, but she’d lose nerve and hang up. They go back and forth. Richard still thinking they screwed. Shelby finally tells him she doesn’t love him and won’t be marrying him. He packs up and leaves. Shelby and Ty talk and make up shortly after. She confesses about the abortion. They end up making love at the hotel Ty rented. Richard shows up while Ty goes to find the owner of the car (Richard’s) blocking there tries to attack Shelby and take her back with him. Fortunately, some guys inside come outside and run him off. Debra throws a homegoing for Leonard (despite the disapproval of Leonard's parents who want something more traditional. Shelby decides to move back home and into Debra’s to help her raise the baby and asks Ty to move back home and into Debra’s house also. Shelby tells Ty about a few things she wants to see happen (them marry, have twins, etc). One of the things is to be asked on a date. It ends with him asking her on a date and just like in Waiting to Exhale they celebrate and vow to always be a part of each other’s lives.

My Thoughts: This was SAD! For more reasons than the obvious fact that the only really good man in this story dies. Debra and Leonard’s part of the story I didn’t have a problem with because they were *GOOD* characters. Together they were the ideal couple and there was just something about them that I generally LIKED! But I liked them individually as separate units. I liked that Debra seemed to have morals. She was compassionate and had some emotions toward the 13-year-old girl. Whereas her partner just seemed cold and clinical. She was the kind of OBGYN that you’d want to go to. She stood her ground for longer than most women would because she KNEW that if she’d let Leonard hit, he would have probably walked. And *that* to me was admirable. Even at her worse, when she told the Asian girl never come back to her house, I could really get too mad at her considering. Because what was sad about this storyline was you can wait on love all your life and even if you ARE lucky enough one day to find a “Leonard” in the blink of an eye, it can just be snatched from you just like that. I’ve seen it happen a couple of times. Sometimes the reason is known. Sometimes it isn’t. I also really liked Leonard. I liked in him you saw that sometimes you just have to take a chance and that even if you have doubts you have to step out on faith and follow your dreams. I liked that he was the kind of guy that didn’t just walk away when Debra wouldn’t give it up. Nor did he get “too busy” when things started to take off for him like men have a tendancy to do. I loved that he wasn’t scared to IMMEDIATELY after they had sex commit to a life (and a house) with Debra. Men these days NEVER do that! I liked that he wasn’t scared to get in Tyrel’s face and clown him when he acted like an ass (which was A LOT). These were just two really good characters that fit PERFECTLY together.

Now as for Shelby and Tyrell. This story was sad for another reason. I just was not impressed with Tyrel. He definitely wasn't the 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Sometimes women don’t really pick up on key signs or listen very well. Tyrel told Shelby (just like his father) that in all his relationships he had women on the side. So where down the line do you think she’ll be when all that hot passion dies down and they do marry and it’s been years in and they’re both getting on each other’s nerves? Passion I heard doesn’t last forever in relationships. Eventually, it DOES cool. Tyrel is also IMMATURE! He shows this by spitting on Lisa’s car over and over. Yes, I know we’ve all had those thoughts. Doesn’t mean we’ve ACTED on them. He’s hoeish. He has an apartment full of photo albums of the women he’s screwing sitting on the coffee table like family albums which also means he’s COCKY. He called Shelby a bitch and a ho. “Go run after your bitch”. Really he’s not much better than Richard *who was just creepy. The way he keeps saying his full name was disturbing to me). Details over the years can get hazy over the years but I remembered that about him and I remembered that he comes back, full-blown psychopath. Somehow I actually remembered him worse in my mind than in the book. But we’re rooting for him and Shelby to have a happy ending? RIIIGHT! I just can’t find one endearing thing about this character.

But what I find sad the most in this story is this. Yeah, Yeah, Shelby found her “soul mate” (and that’s seriously questionable) but speaking as a single, black, woman sometimes it’s damn near impossible in these days and times to find a man that’s marriage material. Shelby’s mother felt like she had to settle for man that wasn’t hers. The only reason Shelby even gave Richard the time of day and accepted his proposal-I don’t think was so much because of Pop- it was because she felt like if she *didn’t* who knows when she’d get another chance. And even today if you go on certain social media pages you see single women still out there “praying” and believing that one day if they keep on they’ll be sent a good man. Then when they aren’t they tend to in desperation take the matter into their own hands and choose. But they choose wrong. They accept too much. Stay too long. Put up with what they don’t need to be putting up with. And honestly, it really makes me angry because they end up with Richards and Tyrell. Tyrell was good for SEX! He didn’t have ANY other qualities other than maybe having a stable job, but he really didn’t have not ONE ounce of character. Yet this was good enough for Shelby and that is a damn shame. But that’s the way it is. I just could not figure out WHY Shelby could not (btw) tell Tyrell the truth. He was a lot of things but unlike Richard, he didn’t show any violent tendencies (except for the car thing and Shelby didn’t see that). This was good tho. There was a good love story in it. There were also good messages in it such as you might wanna be cautious before you sleep with either a friend of a man you just meet and move in with six months later and get knocked out. And you might not wanna get engaged to someone you just have luck-warm feelings for just to get a ring on your finger.

Rating: 8
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Andrea Joyce.
Author 3 books1 follower
December 31, 2018
This is one of my favorite books of all time! I fell in love with Eric Jerome Dickey's writing because of this book. I read this book at least once a year.
Profile Image for Nicole.
160 reviews3 followers
January 13, 2019
This was a re-read. This is my very favorite book from my favorite author. I had every intention on reading this time a little slower so I could have a reunion with these characters that I hadn’t had since I read this in the late 90’s. It didn’t quite happen that way as my reunion was almost like a starving BBQ where I began remembering the storyline and couldn’t stop myself from reading a little faster to get to those good parts I remembered. Although I didn’t cry when Leonard died like I did when I first read this novel, I still had an ache in my chest at Debra’s loss of her soulmate and for the little boy she was carrying in her womb who would never meet his Daddy. *Sigh* But it was fun catching up with Shelby and Tyrel’s emotional love affair. Their fire could never be extinguished even though Shelby hurt Tyrel down to his core when she lied about the abortion and then just left him high and dry without them talking about their feelings. Suffice it to say, I’m glad Dickey brought them back together in the end, but it’s because of Leonard’s death that has always made me feel uncomfortable and moody about it. For years, I begged Dickey for closure with Debra and he definitely satisfied it with a well thought out cameo in his novel “The Blackbirds”. She’s doing well as a doctor and her son grew up to be a solid example of his late father. All is wonderful again in my fictional world after this truly satisfying re-read of a true favorite.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
56 reviews3 followers
December 4, 2013
Friends and Lovers is a romance novel about four friends (two girls and two guys) that become romantically involved with one another. The novel basically goes through the up and downs of each relationship in addition to some added mystery and suspense with in the novel to add to the creativity of the novel. What I noticed while reading this novel is that the author used the technique of slowing down the Hot Spot. There are many parts in this book where the characters are engaging in a heated argument and every single detail and word is given so that the reader can engage and in away connect to what is going between the two characters at that given moment. I definitely believe that the author used this technique effectively in this novel. I would not recommend that my students read this text because it is not age appropriate for my students but I could take certain parts of the text and use it as an example. For example, There is a part in the book where a couple is attacked in a parking garage, instead of just saying they were attacked in a parking garage I could go into detail like it was done in the text to give an example of what drawing out the hot spot means and how my students should implement that in their writings.
Profile Image for Mrs Tupac .
677 reviews48 followers
November 7, 2014
I just finished reading this book, and I was sorry to see it end. This is a hard book to put down. I found myself turning down lunch out with co-workers so I wouldn't lose my reading time. I loved Debra and Leonard. What happened with them was a total surprise. I kept trying to think what comedian he may have been based on. Shelby kind of worked my nerves a little bit. But it was obvious that she and Tyrel were meant for each other. I wanted to punch Richard out myself! It's almost hard to see why Shelby would have even considered a man like him at all. Anyway, I totally enjoyed this book, as well as Mr. Dickey's other two that I have read, Milk In My Coffee and Sister, Sister. I swear that man must have been raised by a house full of women. He writes his female characters as a woman would. I found myself checking the back cover a few times to make sure it was a MAN who had written it. I think he is going to be a SERIOUS voice in black writing. His books are fast-paced, based in reality, and as I said, excellent reads! Keep up the good work. As a frustrated writer myself, I hope he doesn't get TOO mad if I steal his style! I can see that this will be an
Profile Image for J.
259 reviews8 followers
July 18, 2011
(FROM JACKET)When it comes to love, the attraction can be instant. So can the consequences. Ask Leonard and Debra. Ask Tyrel and Shelby. Four friends with so much in common: They're good-hearted and loyal, talented and sane, compliant, human, open to romance-and vulnerable to the complicated state of relations between the sexes while searching for love. Or at least unqualified affection. Either way, their lives are about to change...
In this wise, witty, on-target, and genuinely heartening novel, Eric Jerome Dickey has fashioned a soulfully honest story of the choices men and women make in the name of friendship and love.
136 reviews7 followers
May 26, 2015
Great book by the author! This book appealed to several of my emotions. I was happy one minute, sad, mad, disappointed, and happy again.
This book is about 2 sets of friends who meet one night. Tyrel and his friend Leonard meet Shelby and her friend Debra. Tyrel has just been dumped by his married girlfriend, and really doesn't want another relationship. Leonard is the complete opposite and wants to have a successful monogamous relationship.
Things work out great for Leonard and Debra. While things aren't go great for Shelby and Tyrel until a huge tragedy strikes that brings them back together.
Profile Image for Mister Riley.
1 review1 follower
October 17, 2012
The first time I saw this book, I said that I would hear from someone else if it was worth it. Did folks let me have it. When I decided to give this author (E.J.D.) a chance, I did not know that he would awaken a part of my imagination that had me laugh, get upset, ALMOST shed a tear, and embrace the beautiful complexities of black friendships/relationships. This was the first book of his, that led me to go on and read some of his other works. If you want to have a good time, pick this up and a cup of coffee.
Profile Image for Raedell Cannie.
21 reviews
December 24, 2019
Not His Best

A lot of not a lot happened in this book. I felt like there was a lot of build up for a story that really just didn’t go anywhere. The characters, their relationship with one another, and therefore the overall storyline were underdeveloped and loosely connected. As a reader I had to work overtime to imagine how everything for together. Which was really disappointing considering how long the book is. It dragged based on superficial characters and plot line. This is my least fave EJD book.
Profile Image for Lizzbetty.
44 reviews1 follower
May 11, 2018
The EJD I fell in love with

Rereading this book reminded of why he’s my favorite author. I remember reading this and enjoying the simplicity of it all. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy plays cool, girl freaks out, boy feels lost, girl reacts, girl swallows pride, boy and girl talk it out with forever in their hearts. Formula for greatness.

Now this story doesn’t exactly stick to the formula but I love it.
28 reviews
August 29, 2010
This book was Fantastic. It was also sad. I ready it for class and fell in love. The characters are wonderful and felt like they were real. When Debra meets Leonard, she makes it clear that if he wants her love, he'll have to produce a ring. Leonard must face that moment when he has to decide what matters most and whether he's ready for the love of a good woman.
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