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Dirty    by Megan Hart order for
by Megan Hart
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Corporate accountant Elle Kavanagh doesn't need or want any complications in her life. And nothing's more complicated than relationships. She prefers one-night stands, which are about as simple as an intimate encounter between two people can get. But that all changes the day she meets Dan Stewart.

Elle thinks she understands what men want, and most of them are thrilled with her no-commitment rule. But Dan is different. The first time they meet, he barely indulges her in a chaste kiss, leaving Elle to wonder what she did wrong. The second time they run into each other things get a little more heated, but it seems every minute she spends in Dan's arms leaves her longing for more. As a woman who prides herself on her independence, Elle is thoroughly shaken by the emotions Dan stirs in her.

As Dan begins to unravel Elle's carefully constructed barriers, Elle begins to learn more about herself. Having been scarred from childhood by dysfunctional parents, a gay brother and another brother who committed suicide, her fear of commitment runs deep. But can Dan's love heal those old wounds, or will Elle give in to the haunting memories of her past and push him away?

Dirty is an erotic novel unlike any other. It features a deeply engaging heroine who makes it easy for readers to relate to her. There is nothing stereotypical about Elle Kavanagh. From the way she lives her life to the way she decorates her apartment, every one of her decisions stems from her vivid background. Hart's secondary characters are just as interesting. They have realistic flaws, wants and needs that drive the story forward.

Although Dirty is written in the first-person point of view and as readers we experience the action strictly from Elle's viewpoint, Dan also comes across as a fully developed character. He's complex and genuinely intriguing, a man who is as adept at surprising Elle as he is at wooing her.

Dirty is billed as an erotic novel, and it certainly is that. Readers who aren't comfortable with explicit language and behavior would be well advised not to pick up this book. However, those looking for a sensual, character-driven novel are sure to enjoy Hart's unique offering.

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