Book Reviews

Book Review: Dirty Like Dylan

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

What It’s About: Amber shows up at the location of her sister’s shoot, and waits as the car goes through before approaching the security guy, who tells her that she, Amber Malone, is not on the list. The security guy calls additional security folks, who ask her about information, and she tells them that she may be under the name Amber Paige–her professional name as a photographer–which she is. After checking her ID, Conner, one of the security guys, takes her to the set where her sister, Liv, is shooting the Underlayer campaign with Dylan Cope. Liv admonishes Amber for not bringing in steel toed shoes, and the sisters catch up, while Live sends someone to fetch some boots and socks for her and as Amber prepares her camera for the session. Dylan is already running late, and the producers are becoming restless, so Liv sends Amber to hurry Dylan along, after specifically instructing Amber to keep her mouth shut.

Amber walks down the hallways and encounters a man with blue eyes and black hair–none other than Ashley “Ash” Player, Dylan’s best friend–who tells her off; that she’s not getting anywhere near Dylan. Finding him rude, and knowing not to push further lest she gets in trouble for running her mouth, Amber returns to her sister without Dylan in tow. Fortunately, Dylan shows up shortly thereafter, and the shoot gets underway. The whole time, even though she was hired to shoot candids, Amber ends up shooting Dylan, before the shooting stops for a break. Throughout this first part, Ash stays close to Amber telling her that she needs to get lost–secretly, though, he knows that Amber is Dylan’s type and is afraid of losing Dylan.

Dylan notices them when he gets on stage, and chuckles at Ash’s brooding nature over the girl, but once they go on break, he invites Amber over with him to his room. There, Amber continues to take some photos of him, including some images of him sitting in his chair while they talk. At that point she tells Dylan that they should have done a session of him in his natural environment–not just taking pictures of him with a drum set in front of a colored screen–and this is overheard by Liz and one of the executives of Underlayer, who signals her to deal with it. Liz, without any further ado, fires Amber for opening her mouth.

At some point later in the day, Amber makes her way to the house that Liz set up for her to stay in. She hopes that it wouldn’t be Ash’s or Dylan’s house, and when she finds a nice looking family on a picture in the fridge, she decides that she’s safely happy. Only to find out, as the evening wears on, that Ash has shown up in the house. It turns out that the house belongs to Ash, who grabs some toiletries and tells her to come over next door if she’s hungry.

As soon as the morning rises the following day, Amber sneaks out of the house, and tries to stay out, having missed the first ferry in the morning out of the island. So she takes photos around the island, finding herself on the docks, only to make her way back to the house. This time she passes by Ash’s house and finds herself facing a mansion, where she knocks on the door, only for it to be opened by Ash, who asks her if she’s hungry. She enters the house and finds Dylan talking to a blonde haired woman, Susanna, who clearly has fake boobs and who constantly talks about the house that Dylan has. As the tour of the house goes, Dylan invites Amber to dinner, but sends Susanna packing out of the house, which Ash is not entirely happy with–he had wanted to bring Susanna over to distract Dylan from Amber, which did not work.

They have a wonderful dinner, and Dylan decides to hire Amber as a photographer for three thousand dollars per day to photograph his home, and stick around. Amber does, and spends the next few days photographing the home, including catching Dylan and Ash in a kiss that leaves her questioning whether either one really is attracted to her. The next day Ash catches Amber staring at Dylan through the glass windows as Dylan walks out of the heated pool after his swim, and Ash walks in from his shopping. As she leaves, Ash asks her to leave the cards with the photos to go over them–his plan is to try to get her fired, unbeknownst to her. She leaves him with a spare camera to view them, only to find Ash in his house the following morning asking about the photo she took of the two of them. She offers to delete it as it’s the only copy, but Ash tells her to keep it. He also tells her to take pictures of Dylan as he gets out of the swimming pool, telling her that Dylan likes to be on display and is a bit of an exhibitionist. The three of them-Dylan, Ash and Amber go to Zane’s 30th birthday party and housewarming party–and Amber gets drunk enough to find herself touching Ash, who stops her because she’s too drunk to consent. She wakes up in the morning cuddled between Dylan and Ash, and after a day of shooting the house, she returns home and masturbates to the idea of having sex with both of them. Ash overhears her pleasuring herself and before she is aware he is there, he goes to the bathroom and comes.

The next day Amber takes pictures of the house and also of Dylan as he comes out of the pool. That night, she is at home looking over the images when Ash visits her and sees the images of Dylan and ends up having sex with her–several times over the night. This prompts Amber to run away in the morning, and for Ash to find her that day at the docks, to tell her that it’s okay, but she gets on the ferry to visit Liv and ask what is going on. Her conversation with Liv and Liv’s partner, Laura, is not really enlightening beyond the two women telling Amber that Dylan and Ash like her, which Amber has a hard time believing. Dylan shows up to take her on a date, and Laura helps Amber dress up.

Dylan and Amber go to a restaurant, where they talk and Dylan proposes that he, Ash, and Amber be exclusive–having sex together, without condoms as she’s on the pill once they get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Amber gets upset at the conversation at one point, because Dylan says that he would like that so long as Ash decides to share her and runs out of the restaurant. He follows her out and speaks with her a bit more, calming her down enough for her to come back to the restaurant with him. After they finish eating, the two of them go to a bar, where Ash is waiting for them, and have a good evening, before returning home and basically having a threesome.

They spend days like this together, even when Dylan returns to playing for Dirty and preparing for the album. One of those days, he takes her in to the jamming session, because he would like to show her to his world, which raises quite a few eyebrows from the band. At first Brody is not too happy about her being there to photograph them, but ultimately he agrees to it, so long as she doesn’t reveal the location. She quickly fits in to the band and the atmosphere, which Dylan finds very sexy. After the jamming session, he takes Amber to see his family, and she is shocked, though quickly warms up to all of the Cope family members. When she stays alone with Ash the following day, he tells her that Dylan has never taken a girl to a jamming session or to his family home like that, so it’s bound to raise a few eyebrows.

They continue to have threesomes, even going to an Underlayer party that Dylan had to be at, together. But Dylan quickly leaves that scene and takes them to a couple of bars, including the bar owned by Kitty–the only other woman who had a similar kind of agreement with both Dylan and Ashley. They end the night at another club where Amber comes face to face with her ex-husband Johnny O’Reilly, and she goads him on with Conner, the security guard, until Conner and Johnny are almost about to get into a fight. Dylan comes out of nowhere and whacks Johnny in the face, while Ash pulls Amber to safety. Soon after, when they are back in Vancouver, Amber gets on the topic of their bad sides, and Dylan does not give her his. The following day, Dylan and Amber are left alone while Ash goes into the city, and Dylan tells her that he’s non-confrontational and tends to avoid things because he doesn’t want to hurt the people he cares about. The two of them have sex, and Amber does not believe him when he says that’s his biggest negative or secret, so she texts Ash about it, who tells her that Dylan is in love with her. Dylan does not deny it and as a result of that, Amber bolts from the bed.

The next day, she also has sex with Ash alone, who reveals to her that he has started to fall for her. At this point Amber has realized that Ash has some type of feelings for Dylan–based on the fact that he came while looking at the photo, and almost always has sex with her after Dylan has already come–so she tells him that she thought that both of them have a kink going on for Dylan. This upsets and hurts Ash, who goes onto the docks. Amber follows him and they have an honest conversation (once again) where Ash reveals that 66.6% a straight man, but 33.3% of his heart is in love with Dylan. Amber tells him to take a chance and tell Dylan the truth, because you never know what the outcome will be unless you try; however, she is also a coward because she hasn’t been able to tell Dylan how she feels. She had known her feelings about Dylan because of her conversation with Liv a little while ago when they met at a dinner, and her sister told her that you know when you’re in love with someone and when you’re not.

Ash still takes her into the city and drops her off at Dolly’s place–Zane’s grandmother’s mansion–because that is where the baby shower for Jessa is taking place. Amber has a good evening with all the girls, including them ending up at Jessa and Brody’s place because Jessa wants to be comfortable. At some point, Jessa’s water breaks and everyone starts leaving, except for Amber as Jessa requests her presence to photograph the birth of their child. Amber agrees to do it, and per Jessa’s request, she tries to reach Maggie, Dirty’s assistant manager. Except Maggie is nowhere to be found, only for Jessa to suggest reaching out to Zane. Zane picks up the phone call, and tells Amber that Maggie will be right over. Sure enough, within a few minutes of the phone call, Maggie has shown up at the house, and Amber realizes that Maggie was way closer than the thirty minutes drive to her own home. Zane’s home is closer, and that results in Amber putting two and two together to realize that Maggie and Zane are having some sort of relationship. Of course, Maggie shuts that down, and takes control of the situation as Brody is still stuck in Saskatchewan after a night of Ice Fishing with Jude.

Dylan gets off a phone call with an exhausted Amber–she had been taking photos all night of the birth and Brody’s and Jessa’s child–after telling her he loves her. She does not answer, just hangs up, and he returns into his kitchen only to find Ash, who is nervous. Ash tells him that Amber said that he is in love with Dylan, and suddenly things fall into place for Dylan, who realizes that he will never want that kind of relationship with Ash and that he has been hurting Ash all along. The two guys talk it out, and Ash brings up a situation that happened with Kitty in which Dylan had come in Ash’s face. Dylan claims that it was an accident and Ash gets angry thinking that Dylan wanted to just try the bi-sexual or gay life style out of curiosity, which Dylan denies. Ash leaves in anger at Dylan because he’s not fully able to comprehend the feelings, and of course he’s lashing out because he does not want to get hurt.

Amber leaves the hospital in the morning only to find Dylan waiting for her in the parking lot. Dylan asks her to return home with him, and move her stuff from Liv’s place into his. She is unsure, but when they return to the empty house, they have a conversation. Dylan tells her that Ash told him how he felt but that Ash is not and has never been what he has wanted–he wants Amber. He also tells her that he’s laid back, non-confrontational, and avoidant, which pisses off a lot of people and he has never been in a relationship ever, so he doesn’t even know how to do this right, but definitely wants to try. Amber in turn tells him about her childhood, and how her parents were in love but they were also the type to fight, break things, walk out on each other in anger, and then make up loudly. Liv had tried to protect her from it, and would often get into the middle of her parent’s arguments, but it did nothing to stop them. Then her father left their mother, divorcing her, and it broke their mother, who had been living the last 2 decades as if her father would walk in the door at any minute, even though he’s been married for fourteen years. This has resulted in her being flighty and afraid of falling in love in case she got wrecked like that too.

Dylan tells her that passion can come out in many ways, and then they have sex. In the morning while they’re in bed, Dylan asks her if she would like to come with him on tour–and reveals to her that they royally messed up with Seth at the beginning. The band realized that Seth had to have a stake in the successes of the band in order to be part of it, and later land on his own feet, rather than being cut off. What he was offering her was to be a tour photographer, to take pictures of the band, and travel with them across the globe–two things that Amber absolutely loved doing. She said yes.

A day or so later, Dylan and Amber are pulling up to the recording studio for him to record with Dirty, at the same time that Jesse and Katie pull up. Amber and Katie had plans to go for coffee and then go shopping because Amber has agreed to move into Dylan’s house and put down roots. As the two ladies go off towards the coffee shop, Jesse tells Dylan that he and Katie are not going to be part of Dylan’s kinky threesome, and then Zane shows up and starts busting Dylan’s chops. So Dylan runs over to Amber, and in front of Katie and the guys makes out with her until they leave them both alone, before letting Amber go. Brody stops by at the recording studio at some point, and Dylan convinces Brody to hire Amber on as a tour photographer even though that means that he has to fire the other tour photographer they already hired.

At Jessa and Brody’s meet-the-baby party, Roni shows up with Taze, a member of the Sinners Motorcycle Gang. She told him to leave his patches behind, which he did, but he didn’t leave the motorcycle like she asked. They enter the party, and Roni looks through the rooms in search of one person: Jude. She is a little disappointed that Jude is not around, and had brought Taze so that she would not have to show up alone. She spends some time with Jessa and Katie, who are talking about the baby, and then Jessa talks to her about all of her issues, but Roni wasn’t really paying attention because she was thinking about Jude. When Jessa takes the baby–a boy they named Nicholas Jesse Mason–from her to change his diapers, Roni goes up to the baby’s nursery to put her little monkey that means a lot to her, in the baby’s crib. While she’s there, Jude Grayson shows up, and tells her that Taze is not welcome here but he will let it go this time. He then tells her that next time she wants to bring a Sinner, which is the rival motorcycle gang to his Kings, she needs to run it by him. Roni tells Jude off, and mentions to him that Taze is not here to start shit, which is why he left his colors home. They go back and forth about this before Jude asks Roni how she’s been since the last time they saw each other. She reminds him that the last time they saw each other was when she was in the middle of a threesome at a Sinner’s party that Jude and Brody showed up at in order to pick up Jessa. He tells her that Sinners are bad dudes, and Roni asks him if the Sinners would say the same thing about Jude. Jude tells her that he pays attention to what she’s up to because it’s hard not to, and that pisses off Roni because he was giving her a sexual look, but she knows that he has no intention of pursuing her in any way. So instead, she goes down and joins Taze on his lap–but she cannot stop thinking about Jude and how he makes her feel.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed the book, because it has a photographer who has been running away from her problems, a rock star who had a large chip on his shoulder, and a rock star who just avoided confrontation to not hurt other people he cares about. The whole threesome aspect of it was just adding in a complexity to a love triangle–one that Amber figured out at some point throughout the book, while Dylan was completely clueless. It’s hard to believe that Dylan didn’t really realize that Ash was in love with him until Ash told him so, because they’ve been doing the threesome part for a long time, which makes me wonder if Dylan is very much non-confrontational that he’d leave things be just to not rock the boat.

This is a different story than Dirty Like Me, Dirty Like Brody, and Dirty Like Seth-and it is because Dylan’s personality is so laid back that he mostly goes with the flow throughout the whole book. Even his disagreements with Ash are pretty avoidant–he just says things and then leaves them alone to not push further. Considering that Amber just tends to run, it definitely leads to an interesting dynamic, and makes me wonder if Amber and Dylan will at any point make it as a couple. It just seems that these kind of characters can lead to a lot of things left unspoken. And considering all that, this book fits so well with Dylan’s character, that the way it handles conflict is pretty on point.

Overall, great story and specifically a great continuation of the Dirty series.

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