Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TBR Read: Dirty by Megan Hart

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've been meaning to read Dirty by Megan Hart for years, and it has been in my "to be read" pile for quite a while too. This month's theme for the TBR Challenge is a "steamy read" and boy does Dirty fit that theme so far! Yes, so far. I was not able to finish the book in time to post a complete review due to my usual challenging family life. However, I wanted to post my impressions of what I've read so far and how I feel about it.

Dirty is narrated by Elle and it begins with the above passage when she meets Dan at an adult candy store. She's a brilliant woman with an excellent position, her own home and what on the surface could be a satisfactory life for anyone. But it is almost immediately apparent that inside Elle is broken, and in the past her way of fixing that empty broken space has been through mindless sex with strangers and the consumption of alcohol. She is a "black and white" woman, leading a colorless life and hiding behind a mask by wearing conservative clothes and displaying a distant, detached and bland personality in public, but we know that Elle is a very different woman.

Angel? Demon? Ghost? What is she? Who is she? That is what Dan wants to know once the two of them meet again and following his instructions, as well as inciting the moment, Elle more or less has public sex with Dan on a dance floor. However, Dan soon finds out that although Elle enjoys following directions during a sexual haze, she is not willing to do so when it comes to her personal life. There is no room for intimacy in Elle's broken life. She won't allow it, at least not until Dan slowly manipulates and begins to coax personal information out of her, talking her into seeing him again and again.

I'm absolutely taken with the story and characters. There are some very exciting, erotic and sexually charged moments in this book, all beautifully rendered by Ms. Hart. But frankly, I can't wait to find out the reason behind Elle's behavior. It is obvious to me, that there is a reason behind the fact that Elle has slept with 78 men throughout her young life and has only had 1 boyfriend, and there is definitely a reason behind the nightmares. Elle is an intriguing character.

I'm also curious to find out, why Dan? He's one sexy man! Dan can get any woman's blood pressure up in less than one minute. But, he's also hmm. . . perfect for the circumstances -- willing to unravel the mystery that is Elle without judging her. So you can imagine that at this point I'm loving Hart's characterization of Dan.

I'm about half way through Dirty, and so far I would say that this is not "romantica" (erotic romance), nor is it your typical fluffy erotica read. I'm finding that it's definitely darker erotica with a deeper plot than I expected, intriguing characters and excellent writing. There's a good balance between the erotic moments and the deeper plot that involves Elle's life, all interwoven of course. I'm hooked and can't wait to finish the book!

Theme: Steamy Read
August
Have you read Dirty by Megan Hart? If you did, what did you think of it? Besides Dirty, what book by Megan Hart have you read and recommend?





19 comments:

  1. I loved this book. I think you'll enjoy the emotional payoff at the end, too.

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    1. I'm really, really enjoying it, Phyl. I will look forward to that payoff.

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  2. YAY! I can't wait to read your thoughts on this! I am such a huge fan of Megan Hart's writing. Is this your first Megan Hart book? I absolutely loved this book. It's so smart, well written, thought provoking and steamy ;) In my opinion her books are SO much more than just erotica or erotica romance. And you're right, non of her books are of the "typical fluffy erotica" variety. Also, she doesn't follow a formula, no two of her books (or characters) are alike.

    I would highly recommend you read "Broken" next. I have read almost all her books and "Dirty" along with "Broken" are my absolute favorites.

    Hope you enjoy the rest :)

    Negine

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    1. Negine, Tempted was my first read by Megan Hart and unfortunately I was expecting something like what I'm finding in Dirty when I read that book. I didn't find it there and was a bit disappointed, although again, I liked her writing style and the fact that that book is... more -- I just didn't find it erotic, so the balance was not there for me personally.

      The balance is definitely in Dirty! I can't wait to finish it. :D

      Thank you for recommending "Broken." I wasn't sure where to go next with her books, because I'm definitely reading more!

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  3. No way!!! I am reading a Megan Hart book for today's challenge, too. I'm racing to finish DEEPER by midnight.. wish me luck! lol!

    I LOVE Megan Hart's books. I have read TEMPTED, NAKED, STRANGER, TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS, THIS IS WHAT I WANT and EVERYTHING CHANGES. I think I've read at least one of her ebook stories from years ago, too, but can't recall the title offhand. Not a Spice publication. I have DIRTY and BROKEN on the TBR pile and still need to buy COLLIDE and SWITCH. Yes, I'm a fan. Can you tell?

    Okay.. I gotta get off the computer and finish my book...

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    1. Ooohhh! We chose the same author this time around! At least you're going to get the chance to finish your book! Last night I had to stay with mom (little chance to read), and then found that that tonight was going to be a late night at work (just got home from the office), so I knew there was no chance that I was going to finish my book on time to review it today. But I'm enjoying this one so much, I wanted to write something about it. ;P

      And, wow! You're really a fan! So I guess you're recommending all the books? LOL!

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  4. I read this book when it was brand new, just published and it knocked my socks off. For that reason I suspect it will always be my favorite Megan Hart novel - although Broken comes in an extremely close second.

    And yeah, I have a hard time labeling Hart's work - period. Her books always seem bigger than genre labels.....

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    1. Wendy, so far this story pulled me in and although I couldn't continue it, I can't wait to get back to it! It's fascinating. I'm definitely reading "Broken" next. I think I began with the wrong book by Hart...

      Labeling is tough. Erotica? Definitely. But more, and not necessarily romance. Not easy to define, but when I read Tempted I thought of it as a combination of erotica with traces of women's fiction.

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  5. I love Megan Hart's writing. I haven't read everything she's written but have read Dirty and enjoyed it - I think you'll enjoy the rest of it. :)

    My favorite is Broken with Stranger coming in a close second.

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    1. Hey Leslie! I know you like Hart. ;P I believe your reviews of her work have kept her on my list of authors to read.

      I will add Stranger to my list, after Broken. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  6. I read this book for TBR Challenge, too. I can't wait to hear what you think of the rest of the book - I thought it was amazing. I've liked other things by Hart, but this is now one of my favorites.

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    1. Lynn, you did? That's great! I'm gobbling it up at the moment! That tells you how much I'm enjoying it. I'll have to come by and check out your full review once I'm done with the book -- this afternoon, surely/hopefully. :D

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  7. I read Broken and thought it was good, but didn't blow my mind. However, the blurb is intriguing and you seem to really enjoy this one. I think I'll have to give it a go... :P Thanks for the review, Hils!

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    1. Nath, I don't know if Dirty will blow your mind, but I think this is an excellent erotic piece. I think you would really like Dan. Elle was intense and her story kept me glued till the end. Definitely give it a go. :)

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    2. Well, you got me convinced and I did read the book :) I enjoyed it :) Indeed, I really liked Dan :P

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    3. nath!!! I'm so impressed!!! Yay! so glad you liked it. I'm going to make Dirty my next Megan Hart book, too. Although I need to wait a couple of weeks before I read something heavy again. Last week I read Deeper and today I just finished another heavy book--Gold by Chris Cleave. Not a romance, but women's fiction/relationships. Gah. I'm so exhausted. lol!

      ****SPOILER DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET READ DIRTY******
      Dan and Elle have a spotlight appearance in Stranger, by the way. So I've met them already.. just after "their" story.

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    4. Ohh, Christine beat me to it! But yes... I'm so glad you read it too! And yay! I was right about you liking Dan... he's a great character. I'll look forward to your take on the book.;P

      Christine, thanks for the heads up! Now, I'll really look forward to reading Stranger. By the way, I read the short story "Reason Enough" that also includes Elle and Dan in the anthology Naughty Bits: An Anthology of Short Erotic Fiction 3. The short story is wonderful!

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  8. I have yet to read a Megan Hart book. I love my happy endings, so I've always just not bitten the bullet and picked one up. So glad you're enjoying it :)

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    1. Orannia, it took me forever to give Megan Hart a go too. I began with another book first... but for you, I recommend this one. :)

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