Dirty by Megan Hart (2007)
Summary: This is what happened… I met him at the candy store. He turned and smiled at me and I was surprised enough to smile back. This was not a children’s candy store, mind you–this was the kind of place you went to buy expensive imported chocolate truffles for your boss’s wife because you felt guilty for having sex with him when you were both at a conference in Milwaukee. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
I’ve been hit on plenty of times, mostly by men with little finesse who thought what was between their legs made up for what they lacked between their ears. Sometimes I went home with them anyway, just because it felt good to want and be wanted, even if it was mostly fake. The problem with wanting is that it’s like pouring water into a vase full of stones. It fills you up before you know it, leaving no room for anything else. I don’t apologize for who I am or what I’ve done in–or out–of bed. I have my job, my house and my life, and for a long time I haven’t wanted anything else. Until Dan. Until now.
I decided to read this book after finishing The Space Between Us and wanting something a bit lighter to read. This was the only thing on my Kindle that fit the bill, so I reluctantly started reading. Turns out, this book wasn’t as light as I’d thought it was. It’s a romantic/erotic book but it had a lot more depth than your average “bodice ripper.”
It follows the story of a woman named Elle who is a workaholic, not to mention an emotional mess because of some unresolved issues from her childhood. She doesn’t date and keeps herself closed off to any possibility of a relationship, whether it be romance or friendship. Then she meets Dan and starts to fall for him which makes her get really nervous and start acting crazy.
Of course Dan is the perfect guy in that he puts up with her emotional unavailability and the fact that she’s dramatic, runs hot and cold, treats him badly sometimes, and doesn’t communicate. I found this to be a bit unrealistic because she got pretty annoying sometimes and I found it hard to believe he would have put up with all her drama.
In the end she is forced to deal with the past and overcome some painful things before she can find joy and happiness in a relationship. I liked this part because usually in romantic books, finding a boyfriend is the solution to the heroine’s problems and that just isn’t realistic. So if it wasn’t for that aspect of the book, I probably wouldn’t have kept reading.
One thing I didn’t like about the book was just how long it was. I felt like there were a lot of unnecessary plot points, like her relationship with her next door neighbor’s son. I understood the purpose of them, but I think something else could have been used in their place that wouldn’t have been so boring. Plus her relationship with her mother was so boring and I was tempted to skip over any of the parts including her.
But as far as books of this ilk go, I was happily surprised at how much thought went into it. It wasn’t at all cheesy or cliched and that’s something I really appreciate in a book. So if you like romance and erotica with a bit more substance, this might be the book for you. As for me, it worked well enough as a palate cleanser.
What books do you look to when you need something on the light side? Have you ever been happily surprised by a book you thought would be worse than it was? And if you read erotica, what do you like/dislike about the genre?