Friday, October 12, 2007

Dirty by Megan Hart

PAGES: 425
SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Erotica
SERIES: No (loosely related to Broken)

REASON FOR READING: Janine's review at DearAuthor piqued my interest. Also I greatly enjoyed Broken.

This is what happened . . .

I met him at the candy store. He turned around 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.


This was a much harder review to write than the one I did for Broken. Elle Kavanaugh is a very troubled young woman and even though this book is written in first person we don't really know what's going on. Somewhere around a third of the way into the book I started to decipher all the signals and hints which had raised my suspicions. By the halfway point I had figured out the main issue and although the subject is a difficult one for most women, I couldn't put the book down.

Elle is not a likable person or admirable in any way. She doesn't act wisely and seems self destructive. Well, actually she is self-destructive and that right there is a big hint and should set off the alarm bells in your brain. When we first meet Elle we find out that she has been celibate for 3 years but before that had been having frequent anonymous sex. It was strange how the way Ms. Hart wrote this made me feel like I was inside Elle's head but she wasn't telling me what I really wanted to know ..... mainly my question was "Why?" Eventually I had to figure it out for myself.

Elle meets Dan Stewart in a candy store. They start dating but their relationship takes weeks to become sexual. Elle can't do emotional intimacy so she treats their relationship like those anonymous sexual encounters from years ago. Some reviews I've read on this book thought Elle's voice read rather flat but I had the opposite reaction. I thought it was very emotional and very thought provoking especially after I figured out her issues. It was difficult and sometimes painful to read but I have to agree with Janine from DearAuthor when she describes the tone of the book this way:
...this delivery showed Elle’s numbness, her emotional armor, in a way that a different tone would not have.
That about sums it up.

Dan wants more intimacy and Elle wants less. Eventually they figure out why she pushes him away and they have a happy ending but it was not an easy journey. The resolution of their problems was dealt with very realistically and some readers might feel it's a bit too real. The cover calls it "An Erotic Novel" and the sex scenes are burning but some of them were not really "sexy", if you know what I mean. Well, maybe you don't. Anyway, this book isn't for everyone but I found it satisfying and was convinced of Dan and Elle's future happiness. If you want to read something a little deeper or if you enjoyed Hart's Broken, you might consider giving this book a try.



Kristie (J) said...

Hmmmm - sounds interesting. And by the way - I did get Broken by Megan Hart.

Rosie said...

This book really knocked my socks off because it spoke to personal issues (my Dad being an alky for one)and I think she writes very powerfully. It made me a fan, that's for sure.

ReneeW said...

Kristie: Oh, good, I'm glad you got Broken. I hope you like it. Read it first before trying this one to see if you like her style. As Rosie says below, she writes some pretty powerful stuff.

Rosie: Yes, I'm definitely a fan now too. Both books dealt with difficult topics and coupled with the burning erotica.... wow, she is definitely different than any other author out there.

Karen Scott said...

I totally agree with you and Janine's assessment of the tone of the pov, it highlighted the disconnect that Elle felt from everything, and everyone. Although I didn't particularly warm to her, it still didn't stop me from appreciating the story. It was terribly sad though wasn't it?

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