I started reading Megan Hart a couple of months ago, when I came across her erotic horror serial The Resurrected. I wondered how on earth two such different genres would work, but they really did. This was down to Hart’s great writing style which I instantly fell in love with. I’d heard a lot about her erotic romances, so thought I’d try one out.
Dirty was a completely addictive read. From the outset I was immersed in Elle’s life. I did find that there was a bit too much sex and not enough plot at the beginning, but about half way through it kicked into high gear and just bombarded my senses and my emotions, and didn’t stop until the last page. This was certainly a far cry from the old Mills & Boon I remember sneakily reading when I was twelve years old.
Hart’s writing is descriptive and full of emotion, realistic and overall just very well written. The past life of Elle, our heroine, is slowly revealed throughout book. Nothing is ever given away in large info dumps or too soon, which made Elle an intriguing character. It is like a mini mystery: what happened between Elle and her mother, her father, her brother, her ex-boyfriend? So many questions, (although I had my suspicions, which turned out to be true *smug*).
Elle is a complex, broken character, which I must admit is my favourite kind of heroine. I love to see them struggle and grow throughout the book which Elle certainly did. Dan, our hero, is very patient and tolerant. We didn’t really get to know him, other than through Elle’s eyes, as it’s a first person narrative. I think more could have been offered through dialogue as I really wanted to know more about sexy Dan, and his life.
Due to Elle’s dark background, Dirty is more than just an erotic romance. It has a lot of emotion that pulls you in and wrings you out. My heart bled for her when the full extent of her past is revealed. Dan does his best to try and win her heart but there are many bumps in the road. I loved their blossoming relationship and hoped they would get their happy ending.
There are two aspects of Dirty that prevented it from hitting my elusive five stars. The first is the use of a popular trope of erotic fiction: lover watching lover get shagged by someone else. This is one of my pet hates. In my mind how can you possibly watch someone you care for enjoy sex with someone else right in front of you? Of course this is just a personal thing, but for me it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and takes away from the romance aspect of the character’s and their relationship.
The second is the fact we aren’t given too much regarding Dan, as previously mentioned. I wanted to know more about him and his background. Because of this I was a little disconnected from him, even though I liked him a lot. Generally the first person narrative is my favourite perspective, but I will admit that occasionally the lack of background to other characters is a downside. That isn’t to say Dan was one dimensional, as he wasn’t at all, but I think I would have gained a better connection to Dan if I knew more about him, which could have been achieved if the author used the dialogue between him and Elle as a tool for offering more snippets into his life.
The sex scenes are plentiful, but well done, sexy and erotic. Sadly Dirty does contain my least favourite word (in fact I hate it). I still don’t understand why the “c” word has to be used at all. Obviously this is a personal preference, but as I never use this word in real life, find it highly offensive and about as sexy as a potato, as most women I believe, I find it odd that authors think women want to read it in their romance. However, I managed to skim over it this time as the writing and story were just so good and it didn’t prevent me enjoying the story – I devoured Dirty in a day and a half.
Dirty is definitely one of the best erotic romance books I’ve read. I love Hart’s writing style as it’s full of depth and emotion. Although I had a few issues they didn’t prevent me from gobbling it up in a day and a half, which for me is some going! If you love erotic romance, this is a must read.
Rating: 4 Stars
Dirty by Megan Hart
(Dan & Ellie #1)
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Mills & Boon: Spice (June 2009)
Ebook: 432 pages