I’m sitting down to write my initial thoughts after finishing Dirty, as I always do, I find that I am just sitting and staring. I have all these feelings rolling around and I have no adequate way to articulate my feelings towards this book, this story, these characters. So please excuse the jumble mess that I am sure this is going to be.
Dirty returns readers to the dark and gritty world of Raw, but focuses on the Julius and Ana, their relationship and the code of honor and retribution of the world they are both immersed in. Julius is still the calm and elusive character readers met in Raw. He is still working deep in the underworld as a judge of sorts with a character readers love to hate from Raw, Ling. Throughout this novel, readers get to see another side of Julius, family oriented, loyal to a fault, honorable, and lives by the code of the underworld. His confidence allows him to walk around this seedy world as an untouchable, but he is smart enough not to think he is untouchable. His utter devotion to the people he loves is what makes him such a likable character, and it is good to see him get a little dose of what Twitch felt with Lexi. Ana, the heroine of this story, is a conflicted character for me. She faces and survives extreme acts of violence and humiliation. I never fault her for her choices, especially in the beginning of the book. What makes me conflicted is that I want her to be strong, an equal for Julius and that never happens. She continues to be rather submissive throughout the book, even when she tries to be strong. However, I then consider her past and the abuse she has suffered, and it is no wonder she isn’t strong. People don’t recover quickly from the abuse, physical and mental, she suffered. It would have been fake for Belle Aurora to describe her or develop her character in any other way. My heart broke for Ana so many times throughout this book, and the fact that she is still surviving and fighting shows she is strong internally, but I want her to be strong externally as well. I am hoping readers will get to see more of this with the third and final book in the series.
Even though I like the characters of the book, the relationship between Jay and Ana fell flat for more. It is clear that they care for one another. They say the right words and their actions indicate they love each other, but I just never felt the passion. There was no spark for me from the two of them. That being said, the relationship development is believable.
Ling is another character from Raw who plays a significant part in the plot development in Dirty, but of all the characters in all the books, I hate her the most. She is vile with zero redeeming qualities. This book only solidified that for me. My hatred for her character though sucks me in and makes me anxious for book three in the series.
Twitch, oh Twitch, how I have missed you!! Lovers of Twitch will rejoice in the return of our favorite anti-hero, but it isn’t the savage Twitch readers have come to love. He isn’t afraid to get violent or seek out revenge when needed, but it is a different version of the one readers fell in love with in Raw. Even though this is the case, the development of his character in this way makes sense. He has changed his priorities. He values his family and is trying to secure a way to get them back. I cannot fault him for these choices or how he has changed as a result, but readers who are expecting Twitch in all his glory will be disappointed.
As a side note, I absolutely love all the allusions to her other books, all the worlds coming together is magic.
The plot of this story is unreal. There is violence and grit, and Belle Aurora shows the readers the seedy underbelly of the gang world. There are times that I had to look away because of the degradation that was occurring. But more than that, she shows readers the honor of these men and the value of their world, and it is an interesting facet to what most think of as a one-sided brutalistic realm. In addition to showing use this violent world, Belle Aurora will shock readers with the events of this book. Ling, Twitch, the Gambinos, the Castillos will have your head reeling. You will be angry, disgusted, sad, and eventually relived as the events of the story unfold. It is fast paced with a lot more characters from this mob world coming into play, but it will keep you engaged from page one. One thing that readers will be shocked with is the ending. It is not going to be anything readers saw coming, and one area of the story will not be fulfilled in the manner they want. I, however, am good with the ending because I can wait. I want this event to be epic and unreal and everything I have waited so long for, and if Belle Aurora would have rushed it, I would have been angry. So I will take the ending in stride, shut my gaping mouth as a result of the end of the book, and patiently wait for more freaking magic from Belle Aurora.
This book did something to me. It tore more up, made me angry, shocked me to the core, and yet I am still salivating for more. I need more of this gritty and seedy world with these unsavory characters that I shouldn’t love, yet I do. I need to see retribution, I crave it! And I certainly can’t wait to see how Belle Aurora is going to conclude this series.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
People envied me. They wanted my life, wanted to be me.Mrs Alejandra Gambino.
Respected. Loved. Mob royalty.They had no idea of the horrors that lurked behind closed doors.
They didn’t know I was at the lowest point a person could reach.Enter Julius Carter.
Aloof, handsome, blue-eyed Julius Carter.He saved me.
I screwed him over.Now everybody was after me. My life was forfeit.
It was only a matter of time. I was a dead woman walking.The question was, who would get to me first?
Belle Aurora is twenty seven years old and was born in the land down under.At an early age she fell in love with reading. Boredom one summer had her scouring the bookshelves at home. She stumbled across Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal and fell in love with romance.Having been brought up in a loud and boisterous family of Croatian descent, she developed a natural love for dramatics and humor. Only some years ago had she discovered a new love.
Humorous romance novels.
Kristen Ashley and R.L. Mathewson had opened a brand new world where she could lose herself yet feel safe and at home in their stories. Belle has been known to become a screeching banshee while anxiously awaiting their newest titles.
Belle never thought she would write. It had never interested her until recently. Friend-Zoned began to form and in February 2013 Belle typed the words Chapter One. And she fell in love.
With a creative imagination she never knew she harbored.Friend-Zoned is the first in the Friend-Zoned series. Keep an eye out for this cheeky author.