Review: Dirty Beautiful by Jodie Becker

Filed in 3 1/2 Stars , featured , Jodie Becker , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on December 28, 2011 @ 7:00 am 5 comments

Format read: ebook provided courtesy of the author
Series: Dirty Deeds, Book #1
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon, Publisher Site


Disillusioned by love, Erica has tasted the bitter pill of betrayal and wonders if she’s enough for one man. When a hot guy moves in next door, Erica decides to settle for good old-fashioned lust. What starts out as a simple seduction quickly evolves, and Erica is fast finding out Dylan is dangerous not only to her libido, but her heart as well.

Recently retired from the adult-film industry, Dylan hopes for a fresh start in Templeton where his porn persona, Drake Van Wulf, is unknown. His new neighbor is unlike the women he’s accustomed to, but she stirs his blood nonetheless. His rule not to get involved is quickly tested by Erica and her lush curves. Unable to withstand her allure, Dylan finds himself wanting more from Erica than just her body. He wants her heart also.

With the secret of his past hanging in the shadows, Dylan’s about to find out if love truly conquers all.

My Thoughts:

How does a porn actor find love? Dirty Beautiful is a rather straightforward bit of romantica (erotic romance) from Jodie Becker, one that addresses that thought. I’m completely new to this author, but I must say that liked what I read. I dug her premise of an adult film actor trying to escape his past, finding love and acceptance instead.

The main character in this book, Dylan Marsden, is just a ball of sweetness. Okay sure, so he was a porn star. But he got into the industry due to financial hardships, and while he was good at it—damn good at it, thankyouverymuch—it never fulfilled him or gave him joy. As such, he escapes the “biz” and moves into a fixer-upper house in a sleepy Georgia town. His hope? Forget the past and live a quite life. Enter a sweet and affable local woman, Erica, who’s everything Dylan never knew he’d want, but who’s already been hurt by a previous lover’s infidelity. How ever shall the two see eye to eye? The main dilemma in this book basically involves a small bit of information that, if revealed, might ruin whatever romance and acceptance that Dylan and Erica were building. In this particular case, I understood and bought into Dylan’s reticence when it came to revealing his past life. I also understood some of Erica’s insecurities and emotional scars.

This book presents a convincing portrait of a sleepy Southern town (notice I didn’t say accurate—being a city girl, I have no clue what small Southern towns and must therefore leave that evaluation for small town folks). The cast of personalities that populate this town are charming (or, in the case of the antagonist-for-now characters, compelling), some of which would make for great recurring characters.

This story has plenty of steaminess; seeing as how one of the main characters is a former adult film actor, it almost goes without saying. ^_^ But again, there’s a layer of intimacy and sweetness that makes the material so much more compelling. In fact, I think the author does the first- and second-base descriptions best (which is to say, she’s great at steaminess even when not being explicit). ^_^ For a book whose premise is about sexuality, this book does sensuality quite well.

And yet, believe it or not, I wish that there was just a bit more focus of Dylan’s former life as an adult film actor. Granted, the book is supposed to focus on the various perceptions others have of him, but he spoke so much about the love-hate relationship with the industry that it would have been interesting to see more of the internal struggles he’d endured (or didn’t perhaps) while he was an active actor.

Also, I have to admit that the book wasn’t without some truly cheesy bits (“Her house would smell like Willy Wonka’s because she couldn’t get the willy she wanted.”) and some subplots that didn’t resonate with me.

When I initially finished Dirty Beautiful, I didn’t know it was part of a series, so I was scratching my head as to the unresolved plot lines of some of the cast. But lo’ and behold, this is only the first book in a series, which I imagine will be about some of Dylan’s actor friends. I see on Jodie Becker’s website that the next book will feature Max, one of Dylan’s former colleagues. Do I plan on picking that next book up? You bet!

I give Dirty Beautiful 3.5 bookies!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha

Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian December 28, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Nice review Alisha, a very interesting story line.

    • Alisha December 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Thanks aurian! Indeed, this was a really sweet one. mostly about perception and acceptance.

  • Mary Kirkland December 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the review, I don’t think I’ve read a story like this one in a while.

    • Alisha December 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      I hope you enjoy it if you do check it out! I think you’ll like.

  • Tamsyn December 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I thought this is a rather unique angle, a porn star starting over. Sounds really interesting.

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