I'd wanted to read 1-900-A-N-Y-T-I-M-E
for a while because Tracy Price-Thompson is the author of one my favorite books, Chocolate Sangria
, as well as A Woman's Worth
, and she knows how to tell a rich story.
Then comes 1-900-A-N-Y-T-I-M-E, which is quite an ambitious tale in itself. However, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
Bertha, a severely disfigured woman with a traumatic past, uses her seclusion to her advantage by running a sex line as "Bliss" to fulfill her sexual needs. Her clients are mostly delusional men living out their secret fantasies through her. Bertha truly believes she knows what these men want. When they all figure out (at the exact same time no less!) whom she really is, it dawns on her that phone sex can't compare to the human connection - and that people are willing to pay a lot keep their hidden desires just that.
While the novel is multi-layered and character driven, the plot didn't gel as well I'd hoped. It was almost unbelievable in some parts. Like one of her clients, a rapper named La-Rule (get it?) was a closethead who imagined making love with Bliss's boyfriend. He was so worried about the public discovering his secret that he stalks Bliss to retrieve her credit card records tying him to her sex line; yet, he fully disclosed himself and his career to her in the beginning, even sending her CDs and promotional items in the mail. Huh?
Yes, there were other things that made me go hmm, but I will say it was fast paced and kept me hanging on.