Tuesday, December 4, 2018


*updated 12/23 to include a book review
Genre: Dark Erotic Suspense


They said write what you know so that’s what I did. I wrote dirty, I wrote erotic, I wrote the truth.
And then they called me a liar. But it’s not me who’s lying, it’s them.
Our story isn’t for everyone. It’s not even for us.
So if you’re looking for the fairy tale and the stupid prince on his dumb white horse, move along. You’ve got a hold of the wrong book.
This is not your story, this is not your life, and this is not your opportunity to dip your frightened little toe into the dark pool of water and “try new things” and then pull it out and decide… #NotForMe.
When you go in with us you go all in. So make a decision before you turn this page.
Because I’m making one promise with this book.
Just one.
We are The Dirty Ones and this is our truth.

The Dirty Ones is a brand new dark romance about the secret world of erotica authors releasing December 4, 2018.
~Book Review~
2.5 Stars

*May contain small spoilers but I couldn’t honesty express my frustration with this story if I didn’t touch upon the epic fail of the resolution*

When I first saw the listing for this title I was neither here nor there on the whole secret life of erotica authors spiel. Then at one point I read a blurb that said it was about a group of former friends who are tormented by what they did years earlier when they were in college or something, and it sounded a bit like a plot to a few horror movies I’ve seen, and I laughed.
“‘We’re locked in a room while a murderous crazy person runs free through a mansion. Will Mrs. Peacock kill us with the candlestick in the library? Or the wrench in the billiard room?’”
Never-the-less, when I looked at the book mystery plot it intrigued me.  I read the release blitz excerpt, the teasers, and asked a few questions (thanks again Eve!) I went into this knowing that there’s no monogamy here. I can’t do that shit blind. Everyone has slept with everyone. There’s ménages; there were orgies. And to be fair it was categorized as ‘dark erotic suspense.’  

So I compartmentalized all that because I made up my mind that if I was going to read this, I was reading it for the suspense angle. It was hard though to not gravitate to a romantic vibe. The story is told via Connor and Kiera’s alternating first person point of view, and while I agreed with Kiera that they were from and still living in two different worlds, I also believed Connor that she was something more. I felt the pull between them.
“‘I’ll never leave you again, Kiera. I’ll never lie to you. I’ll never cheat on you and if you fall, I’m still gonna be there. Because it’s my job to catch you.’”
I got caught up in them even though I was trying not to because I knew this wasn’t romance.
“It’s a new kind of kiss for us…A kiss that starts a new beginning and ends an old, well-buried past.”
The Amazon sample had already sucked me into the story. I related with the themes of a time and place that left you connected to people whether you’d seen them in six months or ten years. I understood how corruption, secrets, and debauchery can bond individuals at that time and place in their lives.
“The stars aligned that night we all met up in the woods. That’s how someone explained it to me once. Things…happened and then there was momentum.”
The opening is alluring and intriguing. I wanted to know more about these people and I wanted to know who wrote the book and who was pulling the strings.  It was more than just an I Know What You Did in the Tower and Most Likely To Write a Dirty Book. Or so I thought.
“Maybe no matter what you do or how hard you try, your dream and your future have nothing in common?”
There’s no doubt the first half or a little more is a great story. A solid 4 stars with the potential for 5. But potential is key with this book. It’s everything and the only thing. The premise and the characters had a ton of potential. The plot started out strong too. It could have been one of the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time. And it did have me turning page for quite a while.

But once you reach a certain point, the real genre becomes clear. This might have mystery/suspense; it might have erotica and dark themes. Hell, it has touches of romance too and gothic elements. And then it was if I’d put down all those books and turned on daytime TV.

Suddenly, it was as if CNN and Days of our Lives had an orgy. And out popped this love child which is the last quarter or so of the book.

Now what I wanted to know was did someone else write this—the ending. Cause it sure didn’t resemble the quality of characters and plot and development that it started out with.  In fact, everything it had established and developed imploded. It shot itself in the foot. The expression gone off the rails was made for this.

The writer’s guide to soap operas blew open and the most popular clichés and tropes came spilling out. Bobby Ewing stepped out of the shower. A mad witch doctor in a white lab coat with a German accent was the evil villain’s henchman.

Okay that really happened on TV. But it happens here too more or less. The elements that screamed clichéd bad guys and ‘I don’t know how to finish this storyline’ were all there to ruin what was a really good erotic psychological mystery-thriller.

Instead, it turns out that the psychological ploy is on the reader. It’s meant to keep you guessing and whispering…in your books circles to generate buzz (and by extension make money). It's lazy writing. Even the author in her end notes admits she wasn't invested enough in her own characters to provide in my opinion a satisfying and sensible conclusion: 
"Did they really have all that sex? I dunno. If you think they did, then they did." WTF?

So my advicedon’t waste your time. What pulls you in won’t deliver because it doesn’t exist. The characters that draw you in and seem real and interesting turn out to be idiots. And the reveal—the big answer—well it won’t add up any more than the fact that their senior year of college set in the US (when most students are 21/22) happened ten years ago (yes it say that many times) and yet these people are only 29 and 30 in the present!


Kiera’s room is dark, so I force myself to be still for a few seconds, allowing my eyes to adjust. When the crack of light leaking in from under the door goes from barely visible to a golden haze rising up from the floor I step forward towards the edge of the four-poster bed, unknotting my tie and pulling it through my collar as I walk.
“Kiera?” I ask, pulling my shirt out of my pants and unbuttoning my shirt. “You awake?”
She moans, rolling over, one of her pale breasts exposed from her top, one long leg bare as it sneaks out from under the covers. Her hair is wild, splayed out on the pillow and half covering her beautiful face.

I want to turn the lights on. Want to see her better. See all of her. Never take my eyes off this woman. I want to make this whole nightmare go away. Give her something better. Leave behind my old life with all its expectations and just steal away

with her to some far-away tropical island. Stay naked with her forever and raise babies on the beach.
God, what the fuck is wrong with me? We’ve been back in each other’s lives for less than forty-eight hours and all I can think about is throwing everything away?
You’re in love, Con.
I hear the words in her voice inside my head.
You’re in love.
Maybe I am.
I unbuckle my belt and unfasten my pants. Drag my zipper down, trying to be quiet.
I don’t want to wake her. I want to ease into bed, slip my fingers between her legs, and kiss her mouth as she dreams. Make her come in her sleep.
I am one sick fuck and I don’t care.

When I’m naked I place one knee on the bed and carefully swing my other leg over hers.

She twists, flat on her back now. That one exposed breast caught in some stray ray of light that shouldn’t be there, but is. Like a spotlight just for my own sick, hedonistic pleasure.
Thinking back on the party at Camille’s house has turned back time for me. Taken me to the place I was, the person I used to be. The one who fucked her and Sofia—and sometimes Camille too. The one who didn’t mind sharing with Hayes or Bennett because they didn’t mind sharing with me.
It was an orgy. Group sex or whatever.
It was sick, and twisted, and very fucking erotic.
It was heavy breathing, and sweaty, naked bodies, and never enough.
It was never enough that year.
We fucked them all. Together.
It was sensuous, and uninhibited, and lecherous.
How did I ever walk away from these people? How did I ever live a day without them?
I place my hand on her one exposed leg and slowly slide it up to her thigh.
She moans again, mouth parted like she’s waiting for my cock.

I picture those nights long ago. At the parties. How Camille would always be the one to invite us in. And how Hayes would be the first to take her up on those offers.

How Sofia was meek, and afraid, and shy. And how she changed. How we all changed.
How Kiera used to whimper and moan as she came.
I want to hear that sound now. Right now.

I lean forward, crawling up her body, my rock-hard cock dragging across the sheets.

Aching to be inside her.

JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA TodayBestseller's list 21 times in the past four years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings. Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively, her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017, and her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.


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