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Like many of Rachael’s books this was marketed as an erotica, yet it didn’t feel like one to me. Yes, there was explicit sex scenes. Yet the sex felt like it was a part of how Ash and Coco shared their feelings and emotions.
The way Rachael made this happen was how she included both Ash and Coco’s thoughts and feelings before, during and after those encounters. By adding that depth to the sex it felt like it had its place and really added to the story in a meaningful way rather than just to add some spice.
Another thing that’s consistent across Rachael’s novels is a message she’s trying to convey. They could be about domestic and family violence, addiction or any number of themes. For Ash and Coco, I felt the themes of trust and communication in relationships.
Although I also got a sense she was including how money, power and social status can impact and define relationships. Including those between family and friends. It was a powerful reminder that these simple things that we often take for granted can make or break relationships.
Now if you follow me on Twitter you might remember I mentioned reading a book I not only couldn’t put down but couldn’t get out of my head. Well, this was that book. The premise, as with all of Rachael Stewart’s stories, is intelligently plotted and perfectly executed. This was a fast-paced sexy read, as befits the Dare line. But I’ve always said Rachael goes above and beyond when it comes to writing emotionally compelling characters and this is a real testament to that.
Both Coco and Ash are amazing! Both together and in their own right. She’s a society princess (or so it would seem!) and he’s a private investigator, hell-bent on not letting a woman get in the way of the job he has to do. I love his determination, poor clueless determination… Sorry, babe! Just isn’t going to happen with Coco Lauren on your tail… Ah those two and their unlikely pairing. They say opposites attract and they aren’t kidding with these two. From the instant they meet the attraction is undeniable. The draw, the pull — is written in the most extraordinary way and the way in which the characters progress together throughout the novel is so beautiful.
The multilayered emotions that have been weaved into this story are remarkable! Not only in the relationship between the hero and heroine, but also between the hero and his best friend and the heroine and her grandmother. It adds so much to the story and makes it about so much more than the two main characters. This is so important to make the reader feel connected with the couple, to see their lives outside of each other. I think the fact this is written in the first person has also enabled the author to really showcase her talent at crafting really well rounded, complex characters. Rachael’s writing has always been faultless to me, but, here she really has surpassed everything she’s written to date. The characterisation and development throughout the story, combined with such an original and compelling plot really set Rachael up to have one of the best novels within the DARE line with this one.
Coco and Ash are an absolute delight to read, really, their banter and their sex scenes complement each other in such a way that I felt like I was intruding on a romance unfolding. GOD. THE ROMANCE! I don’t think you go into a hot contemporary DARE expecting heart-stopping romance, but this one, this one just floored me. Coco and Ash fell in love with each other and I fell in love with them. My chest actually aches just thinking about them. This book haunted me for weeks and still finds me sometimes, when I’m not expecting it I’ll suddenly think of a scene that makes me want to pick it back up and start over. If anyone ever finds a magic way to wipe a book from memory, let me know, so I can read this one for the first time again.
I’ve decided that all Rachael Stewart DARE books should come with a disclaimer. Something along the lines of...
Warning: due to internal heat fluctuations read at your own risk.
Side effects may include, but are not limited to:
Lusting over fictional characters
And more significantly, loss of brain cells
Okay, okay – maybe it’s just me *shrugs*.
We readers truly are spoiled, aren’t we? It was only a few short weeks ago we were introduced to Eva and Lucas just in time for Christmas, and now we have Ash and Coco *mini fist pump*.
Do you know what I love? How each of Rachael’s men are so different to one another. Ash Livingston is no exception. I like my men with a bit of rough (alright, alright – I’ll admit it’s my book men because heaven knows I haven’t got any luck in RL *shrugs*), and Ash is scrumdiddlyumptious in the extreme!
But let me be real here for a sec, the man is not without his faults. I’ll admit to not liking him very much to begin with (please note that you can still want to do very naughty things with, and to, someone even if you don’t like them *winks*). A lie by omission is still a lie nonetheless, and Coco needs a warrior to stand by her side. Is Ash capable of being such a person?
My heart went out to Coco. Being treated like a bird in a gilded cage can be no fun for anyone. Can you imagine being held to such a high ideal that you fear stepping one foot out of turn in case you’re stripped of the only love/family you’ve ever known? Ugh, it’s no wonder she relieves stress the way she does and makes no apologies for it too! What a shocker?... not!
As Coco lets Ash in more and more (not just like that you dirty lot!), I was screaming at my kindle for him to reveal the truth. Heart in mouth? *nods* You could say that!
Rachael has taught us that love is more than a one-night stand, temptation can awaken a heart, and when it comes to being naughty or nice, I know which list I want to be on. And last, but my no means least, getting dirty never felt so good!
Getting Dirty, in true Racheal Stewart style, is a sizzling romance that grips you from the outset. I loved the main characters socialite Coco and private investigator Ash. Their first meeting was so hot it should have come with a warning - the chemistry jumped off the page.
It wasn’t all about passion though, there was a deeper story at the core and I really enjoyed Coco’s complex family and her personal journey as well as Ash’s internal conflict of heart v work. I really bought into their stories and rooted for them. The ending was so perfect that I’d have cheered if I wasn’t sat in the hairdressers!