Review: Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond

Reviewed by Joanna

Enjoy a rock star romance? This is book two of a series I’ve been enjoying. It’s got a host of sexy musicians, big love with a helping of angst, plus an a-hole heroine who needs to sort herself the flip out.

This book follows Jessa, successful model and former songwriter to Dirty, the band she was in with her older brother. Our girl is all kinds of complicated, including with her relationship with Brody. Dark-haired, blue-eyed brooding, angry Brody. Mmmm. He’s the band’s manager and in the past he and Jessa had a thing. She ran out on him and broke his heart, but she also hurt and alienated herself from her family and friends, unable to stay near them and unable to tell them why she had to go. It’s the big mystery of the book.

With her brother getting married (book one HEA right there), she’s forced back into the Dirty circle (love all the dirty puns), returning home to wintry Canada for several days of celebrations at a remote and beautiful coastal resort.

Jessa isn’t expecting brooding Brody to collect her from the airport, and it isn’t a happy reunion. He’s only there to make sure she doesn’t ditch her brother’s wedding, and to tell her, after six years of absence, to consider him dead to her. So dramatic. Except it isn’t true.

Seeing Jessa sends Brody reeling, and thus follows brief encounters of the tense kind amidst the festivities.

Jessa’s a naive, aloof sort of person, occasionally clumsy, very sexy, instinctive, and more inclined to sit back and watch what’s happening than get involved. Yet she finds herself in the middle of the action with Brody faster than she can whisper “I’m not wearing any underwear.”

I didn’t hate her, but on a couple of occasions she frustrated me to the point of grinding my teeth, and I found it difficult to sympathize. Without knowing her reasons for estranging herself the people who loved her, it would be easy to accuse Jessa of being cruel and selfish. I withheld judgement, as I guessed she’d been through some terrible torment, but it was her way of getting herself into trouble, and putting other people at risk when she was too passive which did my head in.

Brody is more a man of impulse. He sulks a lot but can’t control his feelings around Jessa. He has always loved her, though hate and love are very similar emotions, so the animosity he shows quickly returns to lust. I do love it when a man loses his s*** around the woman he loves as he just can’t handle it.

They knew each other from when they were kids, and there are flashbacks to tender moments e.g. Brody buys her tampons when she first gets her period, which must’ve been mortifying but also was sweet. This quote, from him, sums up the epic love between them. I thought it was wonderful:

“I have about two hundred thousand memories of you like that,” I told her, “and I loved you in every single one of them.”

With a modelling gig coming up, Jessa has to decide whether to go back to the old life she made after she ran away, or find a new life in the bosom of her family and friends. Including, of course, Brody. But to do this, she has to tell him the truth, and when an old band member shows up, things get messy.

I enjoyed the tension between Jessa and Brody. They clashed when they came together and it was killing me that they couldn’t just sit down and sort their issues out. I also really enjoyed the world of Dirty and the well-developed host of characters, songs, and musical background which enabled me to immerse into this world. The story rambles a little, but I’ve complained about other books being too on-the-rails, so I didn’t mind this.

Though neither Brody nor Jessa are rock stars per se, her being a lyricist and him being the manager meant we didn’t entirely miss the roar of the crowd or the heat of stage fever that came with book one.

It’s HEA, of course, and there are other members of this band I need to see get it together like yesterday.

Rating: B

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Dirty Like Brody
by Jaine Diamond
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Dream Warp Books

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