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Before We Were Wicked

(Ken Swift #2)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  120 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey reveals how one chance meeting can change everything in this engrossing, sexy tale of star-crossed lust.

They say the love of money is the root of all evil, but for Ken Swift, it's the love of a woman.

Ken is twenty-one, hurting people for cash to try to pay his way through college, when he lays eyes on Jimi Lee, the woman
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  517 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Tiffany Reads
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Now, that’s how you write a back story. Not only did you get some real life relationship drama but some understanding on the difference between being African and African-American. It isn’t my favorite book by EJD but it’s a solid effort!
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sammira (blissfulreveries)
Apr 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs
DNF at 40%

*Thank you to Dutton Books and NetGalley for providing me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!*
To be quite honest, I had such a rough time sticking to this book. Half of the time I was too busy facepalming on every page that I did read to take it seriously. The writing was some of the worst I have ever seen and had an almost juvenile approach to the story overall. I honestly thought that I was reading a middle schooler's writing assignment that they decided to scribble down at th
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
Ken Swift is a young college kid, just trying to pay his way through school and life without having enormous debt. His job isn't exactly on the legal side, but it helps him to survive and once he's done with school, this job will be done too. When he is working one night at Club Fetish, reminding the owner that he still owes for his thriving club, he meets Jimi Lee. Jimi Lee is a beautiful Ethiopian woman who he can't keep his eyes off of. She feels the connection too and before long they are at ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's a solid story about a person's character and how life can take a sudden turn and learning to live with it somewhere inside this book but it lost me with two things:
1. The writing during the sex scenes - particularly the talking between characters - sometimes came out sounding like something ridiculous a sitcom or SNL would come up with to make fun of someone who has no idea what to say during sex. For each their own, but it just made me roll my eyes and lose all hope for the book.
2. Ch
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EJD was one of my first favorite authors. I always escape to another world while reading his masterfully crafted stories. This one did not disappoint. Jimmie Lee is one of the main characters. You will either hate or love her. Everything that happens, good and bad in BWWW is because of her. This story is packed with action, love, hate, intense sex scenes and edge of the seat drama. Highly recommend it to EJD fans and for avid readers who want to read a good pageturner!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shakir Rashaan
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written prequel to Bad Men, Wicked Women, where the characters were so complex and amazingly flawed. that you couldn't help but connect to them on a more cellular level. For anyone who reads this before reading Bad Men, Wicked Women, there will be no drop off to how things flow with the characters, both in their pasts and present.
Naleighna Kai
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eric Jerome Dickey always brings the heat and a unique story that will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. I highly recommend Before We Were Wicked, and follow it immediately with the sequel.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ejd, audibles
Birds Born NACage Think FlyN IsA IllNess
Jenn Conwell
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I did not read Eric’s first book “Bad Men and Wicked Women”, but that totally didn’t mean a thing as this was the prequel to that book. What a drama-filled book this is! I think it does a great job at portraying the political and emotional standpoints of these two characters and what they’ve gone through in their life. It’s raw and genuine. A lot of people need this culture shock in their lives. At the same time, I think Jimi was portrayed a little more dramatic than she needed to be. She went t ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Turning book into a DNF at 28% While I definitely see what Eric was trying to do with this book (bring awareness of the different experiences of blacks and Africans across the diaspora)... this book is just... too much. And not in the way that I don’t mind a good sex scene when the story calls for it, but this book 10% meat and 90% sex. Corny sex at that. LA natives will recognize a lot in this book as well.
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't like the way Ken Swift allowed himself to be treated...I just didn't like it. I hated the fact that he didn't put his foot down with that little girl from the beginning. Which is the reason I couldn't enjoy the story. I took issue from the beginning with her superior attitude...I hated everything about her parents and other family members. I wish Ken had made a better choice that night in the club....instead of Jimi Lee.
Jennifer Williams
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
I read this before the other book because I love a good background story. This book turned me off. The African vs African American was on every page and ignorance from the Ethiopian lady was sickening. And the the desperation from the AA man was just a crying shame. The stereotypes that filled every other page was just 🤦🏽! I finished the book and thought the story about the child may be great but I can't possibly read another black vs black extortion book. I loved this author when I was younger. ...more
Iyandi Varnado
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen Peyton
Sep 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Made it 50 pages in and I’m done... can’t get through it.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Crystal (Melanatedreader) Forte'
Eric doesn’t disappoint! Very engaging love his classic feel! Reminded me why I feel in love with his writing in the first place!
Lizzie Winns
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, I highly recommend. The sex scenes were HOTT!!.. The story flowed effortlessly while making you flip through the pages with a vengeance. But the ending kind of leaves you in a cliffhanger wanting more and more.
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As often as Not We R HomeSick 4Places WeVe NeverKnown
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Before We Were Wicked" is a prequel novel to "Bad Men and Wicked Women." The plot is based on Jimi Lee, a 19-year-old Ethiopian girl, and Ken Swift, a 22-year-old enforcement man for gangster San Bernardino. Swift is an African American. California native. Dickey does a magnificent job of exploring relationships and divorce. .

Swift and Lee's relationship begins after a night at Club Fetish. Lee had come to the club with another date, when Swift butted in. They slept together the first night of
Dec 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: audible-cd-mp3
I want to BEAT the BREAKS off Jimi Lee!
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked this book up on a whim and when I got to the end I saw that this was written as a prequel or backstory for Bad Men and Wicked Women so I went to pick up BMWW and I'm excited to see what's going on. Before We Were Wicked really had me feeling simultaneously turned on and an unshakable belief that Ken Swift was telling this story from prison. His relationship with Jimi Lee was unbelievably toxic and unhealthy and they really shouldn't have had a baby, let alone continue on in any type of ...more
Norma Smith
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Urban Romance
Recommended to Norma by: Brooklyn Library
Before We Were Wicked takes the reader back 22 years when Ken Swift met Jimi Lee at Club Fetish. That meeting would changed both their lives in many ways. When they both have different paths toward a successful future. But life has a way of twisting things around. Jimi Lee is a beautiful Ethiopian woman who lives in fear of a father who won't let her grow up in many ways. Also she uses people to do what she wants. Ken Swift has a job that pays well but is not something he can tell anyone about. ...more
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
So this novel put into perspective the situation between Ken Swift & Jimmi Lee. I think Bad Men & Wicked Women had some gaps that's why Before We Were Wicked came about. Thanks Eric Jerome Dickey for this.

You didn't leave your readers hanging. You closed all the gaps that had one wondering what WTF.

All was explained with Ken Swift, Jimi Lee & Margaux (Tsigereda) and that whole Ethiopian culture.

Very interesting thinking in regards to culture politics & life in general.

Jimi Lee got a taste of so
Up All Night With Books
2 Stars
Review by Alysia
Late Night Reviewer
Up All Night w/ Books Blog

Before We Were Wicked by Eric Jerome Dickey was a different type of book than I'm used to reading. The girls at work raved about his work and I thought I would give him a try. It was difficult for me to read. I never was able to really get into it.

The main characters were Jimi Lee and Ken Swift. It was a one night stand that turned into a secret affair, turned into pregnancy and a lot of angry emotions toward one another. Yet,
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I was not a fan of Before We Were Wicked. I'm more into his older books and it seems that he has steered away from that writing style, which is completely understandable. It is necessary for an authors growth at some point in their career. I felt disappointed that I wasn't able to get into the book.

I could not relate with the characters. I wasn't rooting for either Ken Swift or Jimi Lee. Jimi Lee was such an unlikable character. Their relationship was terrible, the amount of blackmail and strife
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
"People show you who they are when you meet them. But I'd been too busy looking at her ass to listen to her words." (p. 248)

This is one of the wisest thoughts Ken Swift had during this entire story. Unfortunately, in his dealings with Jimi Lee, wisdom definitely did not prevail. One the one hand, I found the cultural discussions interesting and for me, this novel did much of what good novels should do -- e.g. keep me interested and make me think and feel something. On the other hand, my enjoymen
Lauren Murphy
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
What I have gathered about this story is that it is told by the main character Ken's point of view. I couldn't really connect with him or with Jimi the way that I would have liked however it was a tad bit better than the first book. I have never really read any Eric Jerome Dickey's work other than the first book of this series and I couldn't even get into it; however with this second book I still have yet to know what this book is about really but I could tell that it was in the main characters ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Ken Swift (2 books)
  • Bad Men and Wicked Women

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