Friday, 15 March 2013

Book Review: Down and Dirty by Christine Bell

Title: Down and Dirty
Author: Christine Bell
Series: Book #2 in the Dare Me series
Release Date: 23 February 2013
Number of pages: 127 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
Source: ebook provided by the publisher
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Read an excerpt

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: He was a dare she’d never been able to resist…

Cat Thomas has never been the kind of girl to stick. A self-professed infatuation junky, she latches on the newest, hottest guy on the block, then finds a reason—real or imagined—to dump him. When she accepts a dare to rekindle her high school flame and jump in bed with her brother’s best friend, Shane Decker, she knows she’s in trouble. She can’t resist the man, even after all these years apart, and that just won’t do.

Shane has come back to town for a couple reasons. The biggest one? He’s tired of living away from those he loves, including Cat. But now she’s spooked and will do anything to drive a wedge between them, including trying to fix him up with other women through an online dating service.

What does he have to do to make her see that settling down doesn’t mean settling, and he’s ready to spend a lifetime proving it?

My Thoughts: Although I haven't read the first book in Christine Bell's Dare Me series, so Down and Dirty was my introduction to both the series and Christine Bell's writing and what an introduction! *fans herself*

Down and Dirty was an addictive read I gobbled up in a matter of hours and could have gone on reading more if it were only longer *sighs*

Down and Dirty features one of my favourite tropes: the brother's best friend falling for the little sister of said brother. Shane and Cat practically grew up together and once Cat's big brother left for college asked his best bud Shane to keep an eye on his little sister and that's what Shane did, much to the chagrine of Cat. Now a decade later Cat still resents him for curbing her fun and refusing her sexual advances back in high school, while Shane hopes that Cat has finally grown up and matured enough to want to leave her wild ways behind and commit to someone, more specifically to him.

I will not share any secrets if I tell you that I fell in love with Shane as soon as he appeared in the story. It didn't hurt that he was a wet dream come true:

Here is a snippet of the scene when the heroine (and the reader) glimpses him:

A man…no, a giant had just stepped into her peripheral vision and derailed all coherent thought. She twisted in her Mark Sanchez chair to get a better look. The guy’s head was turned, so she could only see his face in profile, but damn, that and the full-frontal body shot were more than enough. She sized him up with a practiced eye, calling him an easy six-three, two-twenty. He wore a threadbare white T-shirt that should’ve been as noteworthy as a bowl of oatmeal. Instead, it clung to his chest like it had aspirations of taking over for his skin. Hell, she’d have the same life goal. His chest was a dream, the contours clearly defined by the soft cotton. She could totes cling to him for a night.

but he was also all that is warm-hearted, considerate, generous and loveable. Here is another snippet showing a bit more about his personality:

“Hi, my name is Shane Decker. I’m not much for chatter, so I’ll get right to the point. I have some cue cards here telling me to describe my ‘type,’ but that’s not me. I respect and love women. All types of women.” His voice rang with sincerity and Cat found herself leaning forward, literally on the edge of her seat. “So if you think you’re too tall and skinny but have a smile that makes people want to smile back? You’re my type. Curvy and always trying to lose that last ten pounds, with a loud, bawdy laugh? You’re my type. A little older than me, with some lifelines that look earned and the confidence that comes with age? My type. Life is short, and I want to spend it with someone who recognizes that, and takes happiness wherever they can find it. If you think I might be your type, send a message to Shane84, and we can meet for coffee.”

Cat was a tougher nut, I am very different from her, so it was an issue for me to relate to her, to understand her commitment issues and her resistance to Shane and a relationship with him. She was feisty, passionate yet retained some of her brattiness. She was quite different from the usual heroines. And the relationship between these two was both explosive when it came to their physical attraction (wow was this story steamy!) and frustrating seeing how Cat showed herself to be uncooperative when it came to resolving their issues. It was interesting to see a couple where it's the woman who breaks out in hives just thinking about commitment and the guy is the one suffering from unrequited love.

Christine Bell's writing was wonderful: the story flew smoothly and she wove together the steamy or sensual scenes with entertaining and even chuckle-out loud humour:

“I know you have feelings for me and I sure as shit have feelings for you, which is why I didn’t want to see you hurt. It’s called caring about someone.”

Verdict: I LOVED Down and Dirty. Shane was dreamy, he had so much emotion and longing bottled up  inside of him it moved me and clenched my heart reading about his unrequited love. Cat's reasons for refusing Shane and a relationship with him and especially the last big crisis was hard to understand as in my reading their last fight (=Cat's reasons for picking a fight) made absolutely no sense. I found the ending a bit rushed and too simple, and I'm sorry Down and Dirty ended on a lower note due to them compared to the stellar beginning. But I am very happy to have discovered Christine Bell and will most definitely check out more of her stories!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 9/10

Buy it:

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