Book Reviews

Book Review: Dirty Like Us

Title: Dirty Like Us
Author: Jaine Diamond
Genre: Romance, Fiction

What It’s About: Maggie Omura, the assistant the the band manager of Dirty, the hottest rock band on the planet, has found herself in a series of unfortunate events in Las Vegas. She is bothered by a conversation with her father as she prepares to have a one night fling with Cooper, a member of Penny Pushers, which is the band that opens for Dirty at every show.

As they start getting ready for their fling, they are interrupted by loud music from Maggie’s roommate in the penthouse suite. She tries to ignore it but then cannot, and goes out to the room to face none other than Zane Traynor– the lead singer of Dirty, with a devil-may-care attitude, and the only man in whom Maggie has been interested, though she will never admit that as she knows that Zane is nothing other than a womanizer. Case in point: all the women in the penthouse suite, who are in various stages of undress and drugs. Zane kicks them out without argument, as she asks him to give her a break with the music–he actually feels bad about the music, because secretly…

He’s been in love with Maggie, and no other woman had lived up to his dreams. The revolving door of women in his bed and in his life have only served one purpose–to keep his bed warm while he dreamed of Maggie, who he has known and loved for 6 years. Once Maggie leaves, he cannot help himself much longer from figuring out who has been bedding her, so he barges into the room, and as a result of his conversation with Maggie, Cooper leaves the bedroom without having sex with Maggie. Zane starts kissing Maggie, who throws herself at him in frustration to get out; unfortunately, he later rejects her by pushing her away and spitting onto the floor. The taste of alcohol was too strong, and he’s a recovering alcoholic.

Later Maggie finds herself sitting in the patio, mourning that the man of her dreams (who happens to Zane) has actually rejected her by pushing her away and spitting. She continues to sip on champagne by herself, until Zane shows up with a tray of peace offerings–ice cream and sweets. During the subsequent conversation, he reveals to her that he pushed her away because of the alcohol and his background as an alcoholic, and Maggie feels bad as she realizes that she does not want him to fall off the wagon because of her. Zane continues to push Maggie in order to understand why Maggie is in such an odd mood, and points out that they are friends. Maggie knows that he’s right, and he’s really the only one who knows much of the truth about her dad, Dizzy, who is also a rock singer. She reveals that the reason that they ended up in the Penthouse suite is actually due to the fact that Elle and Jesse-two members of the band who have been dating-had a blow-out argument, with Elle kicking Jesse out. So, Maggie gave up her hotel room to Jesse so that the lead guitarist does not have to sleep on the floor, and when she went to get another room, she brought up her father’s name in order to get a room as Dizzy is the owner of the hotel that they are staying in. He had given Dirty the free hotel rooms, and Maggie’s boss, Brody Mason, had taken him up on it.

Unfortunately, there were no additional rooms for them available, but her father found out that she was looking for a room, and came to meet with her in the hotel bar. He offered to give up his penthouse suite to her in exchange for her talking to and leveraging her connections with Zane in order to get the two of them to sing on an album together. Maggie told her father that no, she cannot do that and has no leverage, which results Dizzy in calling her a slut.

Hearing this story, angers Zane because he knows how hard Maggie has worked over the years, and how it is obvious to her that her father does not care for her in any way. One of the sore points for Maggie is the song that her father wrote and sang–Schoolgirl–which is about Maggie’s mother, who was 17 years old when she met Dizzy and got pregnant with Maggie. He was in his 30s at the time, and when she got pregnant with Maggie, he left her to raise Maggie alone, though all of these years later he says that Maggie’s mom was the love of his life and they should have been together. But he was in and out of Maggie’s life, and he paid the bare minimum of child support for her.

As they talk, Zane gets the idea of them getting married to stick it to Dizzy. He doesn’t find that being a married man, especially with Maggie as his wife, to be that outrageous, and decides to pitch the proposition to Maggie. Maggie is taken aback when she hears this proposal, and she starts laughing so hard, that Zane has to actually come up and stand over her in order to get her to stop. He also does not leave her personal space until she says yes, though she does weakly argue that a proposal requires a ring, and he has none of that. He tries to give her one of his skull rings, but it’s too big, and she gives it back to him. Of course, Maggie cannot refuse him as she has been secretly pining for him, but she puts in rules of her own–he must get everything set up himself, and she will marry him; however, they must tell absolutely no one.

Maggie goes off to her room, showers and gets into a bathrobe ready to sleep, because she believes that Zane’s crazy idea will be quickly forgotten. Unbeknownst to her, Zane calls up the front desk, request information on a chapel, calls up Dizzy to be ready in a few minutes, and prepares the limo. Then he knocks on Maggie’s doors, finds her ready for bed, and then tells her to get dressed, by preparing the outfit for her to go out in. He then tells her that he was for real when he was talking about them getting married. Maggie gets dressed, only making sure to change Zane’s choice in underwear, and then she meets up with Zane, her father and her father’s booty call. They go to a chapel, where Zane speaks to the lady at reception, asking her to boot everyone out of the chapel if he paid a nice sum, and the woman gladly did. Dizzy, of course, is super excited because Maggie is getting married to Zane, and Dizzy only cares about the perception of others as well as money.

Maggie and Zane get married by the chapel priest, with Zane giving his own vows to her, and Maggie giving very simple ones, embarrassed by Zane’s words. After the ceremony, Dizzy, his date, Maggie and Zane go out drinking across town, and Zane keeps giving her alcohol to drink because of the night. They end their night at a karaoke bar, where Zane sings a song and they have a great time, before they arrive at the hotel. Zane and Maggie come up to their room, and find that their main suite has been made into a newlywed’s bed. At first, Zane tells Maggie that he won’t have sex with her, and basically goes to bed without fighting, which surprises Maggie, as she had expected him to argue with her and for her to ward off his advances. But in the end, Maggie gets his attention telling him that their first night as newlyweds they shouldn’t be avoiding each other, and suggests that Zane smokes some pot, to which Zane tells her that it will make him very horny. She doesn’t care.

Maggie and Zane end up having sex, first in his master bed, but then move to her smaller bedroom because the sheets were converted by the staff into Satin sheets and are too slippery. They end up having sex several times during the night, and in the morning one more time, before Maggie asks Zane when they will tell Dizzy that it was all just a joke. To which Zane replies that they really did get married for real–it wasn’t a fake marriage. There is a bit of a back and forth because Maggie claims they couldn’t have gotten married for real, and Zane tells her that they did, after which he picks up his pants, and pulls out a velvet box that he puts on her bed, telling her “there’s your ring.”

Jesse in the meantime has found himself in his own bedroom after a fight with Elle. He makes the decision, after playing music in the bedroom and brooding on the roof, to break up with Elle. At one point during the night, he finds himself in the lobby where he sees Dizzy and his girl leaving Zane and Maggie with the girl saying “Congratulations Mr and Ms. Traynor,” which makes him question whether they got married. Jesse doesn’t think it’s normal but also doesn’t find it unusual for Zane to be a husband, though he doesn’t question it either, knowing that Zane will probably announce it the following day if it’s for real. He hopes that Zane doesn’t screw things up with Maggie because everyone on the band loves her and will be pissed at him if she leaves them. Then he goes out and comes back to the hotel room late in the night, waking up in the morning to a million messages, with each of the members of the band asking whether or not he would join them for breakfast or for a run or for something else. Elle, specifically, wants to talk to him, though he has no desire to discuss anything with her–after all, she is in love with him in a way that he is not in love with her and he knows that she deserves way better.

My Thoughts: This was a very good novella, and I honestly read it after the third book in the Dirty series because I haven’t been able to get my hands on it in order to read it in the correct order. But for purposes of the story line, I will be putting it first in the publishing order.

That said, I really enjoyed Maggie’s and Zane’s beginning story, which really intrigues me as to what exactly happens with their relationship, and makes me curious what challenges they go to. Of course, I already have some idea, and I did notice that there was a discrepancy between this story and Maggie’s telling of the events in Vegas to Jessa in the second book in the Dirty Series, but still, there’s a lot of surprises here already, and I’m not sure where they will take us in Zane’s book of the series.

Short and sweet read, and a good one if that is what you’re looking for.

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