Little Black Dress: A BookShot, by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

Six stars

Patterson continues his literary experimenting, bringing Emily Raymond along for the ride. In this BookShot, Patterson ventures outside the genres for which he is known, waltzing onto a more romance/erotica pathway. More on this concept below and my sentiments on its success. Jane Avery is living the typical a 35 year old divorcée life, at least in her eyes; a slave to her work whose social time is filled with cookies and binge watching television. When she purchases a dress, black and slinky in nature, she finds herself filled with new confidence. While the dress does not possess any magical power, per se, Avery is pulled into a level of confidence she lacked up to that point. This confidence is primarily that of no strings attached sexual encounters with men, most of whom she has never met and all of whom will not get a second chance to unzip her. Patterson and Raymond layer this concept with parachuted visits that Avery makes to her therapist, who is unknowingly fuelling her nymphomania. Avery’s confidence reaches a climactic point when she visits a sex club and finds herself drawn to a man whose intrigue matches his prowess. However, Avery is eventually left to wonder if she will be able to continue her sexual gratification of meteoric proportions on her own, without the aforementioned dress as her crutch. Definitely an interesting and unique take for Patterson fans, though those familiar with Raymond may expect this on a regular basis.

I will admit, I have no experience with Emily Raymond or anything that she may have penned. I do not dive into the “his pulsing member” genre and will not be scouring websites to sign up for newest releases anytime soon. That said, the story was effective for what it was; not too smutty and yet nowhere near as sleuth-based as James Patterson tends to be. Jane Avery sought sex and she found it until she had an epiphany, short and sweet. The story was decent, its characters helped push it along (though this genre does not seem to thrive on strong characters other than the protagonist). That Patterson would put his name to this type of story does not sully him, but it does go to show that he will slap his name on most anything to sell it, which benefits the co-author in some form. That said, I am completely unsure why Patterson cannot stick to working with authors who fit into the genres of writing for which he has been popular for a while. Alas, I am but a small-time reviewer and not some filthy rich man whose prime can sometimes be said to have sailed when he churned out fluff. I do hope he returns to the BookShot family with something a little more substantive, at least that bears his name. 

Kudos, Mr. Patterson and Madam Raymond for this story, though I think our latter author could and should have peddled this piece under her own name alone.