Book Reviews

Book Review: Dirty Like Zane

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

What It’s About: Maggie Omura walks through the parking lot behind Dirty’s old rehearsal studio, and does her best to avoid Zane Traynor, the frontman of the band, who happens to be her husband. She makes her way to the Lady Bus, which has the sign of “No men” only to find that a guy had brought up her bags into the bus. She makes her way onto the bus, prepares her bunk bed, and then finds herself face to face with none other than Zane Traynor, who tells her that his bed has plenty of space for the both of them, and he would like for his wife to be with him.

Maggie pushes him away before she falls into the trap of finding him too hard to resist, but Zane reminds her that he has space for the two of them, which would make it even easier to get through the band touring around the US if they were together, and no one would think of it because they don’t know that he and Maggie have been married for two years, but they would think that they are working on things together.

As they drive down to California, Maggie does end up in Zane’s bed a couple of times, but then she refuses to speak to Zane, no matter how hard he tries to speak to her via text messages. One of the things that she tells Zane after their Los Angeles performances is that he needs to stop with the women, the pot and the sex with her, but Zane doesn’t take that to heart, and things come to head in Las Vegas. On their route to Las Vegas, they stop at a diner, and Maggie sits in a separate booth, with Xander, the bassist who has replaced Elle during the tour due to her pregnancy. Zane watches as Xander makes a move on Maggie, who realizes a little too late, and Zane throws food at Xander. A food-fight breaks out, with Zane being pulled out of the diner screaming that is his wife and Xander better get his hands off of her. Dylan pays for the bill, and Amber, Dylan’s photographer girlfriend, helps the waitress clean up.

At the hotel in Las Vegas, Maggie and Zane have a fight with her telling him that while they are married, they are not a couple because he does not know what it’s like to be married. This results in Zane walking down the stairs of the hotel, and then sitting down on those stairs while his bodyguard, Shady, is behind him. For the first time in seven years, Zane wants to drink an alcoholic drink, which is why he is sitting on the stairs to figure what to do about the temptation. Seth finds him on the stairs and asks him how he is doing, to which Zane responds honestly–he’s considering a drink. Seth tells him that he will be back in five minutes and if Zane is still dry and good, Seth will take him to a place.

Seth does deliver on the promise and asks Shady to stay behind, while he takes Zane. Together, the two of them drive and have a heart-to-heart talk as both of them are addicts. Seth takes Zane to the desert, where there’s nothing for miles around Zane so that Zane can do whatever thinking that he needs as well as any other outlets for his emotions in a way that will not lead to harming him. They continue to talk, and Seth reveals to Zane that the reason why he’s been staying sober is because he wants the life that he is having, that at the end of the day it is for himself. He also tells Zane that he fully expects to walk away from Elle and their child if it turns out that he cannot stay sober. They then talk about Zane, and Seth tells him that he has basically replaced alcohol with pot and women, so if he’s serious about Maggie, he needs to let go of both. Seth tells him that it will most likely make Maggie come to him instead of Zane having to chase after her if he opens up to Maggie about his real self and works on letting go of the other addictive things. Zane goes walking into the desert, not too far away, and pondering all of the things that have been going on. When he’s ready, he wakes Seth up and they drive back.

At this point, Zane realizes that he has missed out a lot of phone calls from Brody, Maggie, Shady, Jude and more. Even text messages. When they return to the hotel, Zane finds some of the members of the band looking for him, and telling him that he needs to go to Brody, who had flown in from Vancouver to figure what has happened. Zane enters the room and sees that Maggie is there, all cried out, and is worried about how he hurt her. He then tells Brody and Maggie the truth about how he almost had fallen off the bandwagon, and that he is giving himself only one chance to not fall off of it during the tour or Jude will have to check him into rehab. When Brody asks about Maggie and the marriage, Zane tells him that they have been married, but they are not a couple. The next day, they have a band meeting, where they tell the band what has happened, and ask for everyone to support Zane in his sobriety. That means removing all the alcohol from anywhere that Zane has an easy access to the stuff, and also the members of the band work with him to help him around the media, working out, and eating healthy.

Times goes on, and it becomes clear that Zane has become better once he’s off the drugs–he’s kinder, he’s sharper on stage, and he seems to be an even better vocalist. He seems happier, and after every performance, he gives Maggie a hug, but doesn’t push it any further. As the tour continues on into Chicago, Maggie goes up to him, gives him the schedule, and tries to have sex with him. Zane stops her, and tells her to leave his bus, even though he is very much interested in her. So Maggie flies home to Vancouver and talks to Jessa, who tells her that she has to decide if her love for Zane is worth losing her role in Dirty over, and whether she can be okay with being with someone who is an addict. Maggie knows that for her, Zane is worth the risk. That night, Zane flies into Vancouver, and knocks on her door. They talk, and he tells her that he didn’t want her to leave the tour, but that he wanted her to go from his bus so that she doesn’t tempt him because of his sobriety. They have a real heart to heart conversation, and they decide to give their friendship a chance.

As they continue touring, Zane and Maggie spend more time together, working side by side, and becoming close. Ultimately, they stop at a location where Zane gets a tattoo, and Maggie has to leave the parlor because she cannot take the idea of the pain of the needles. Then when she returns, she finds out that Zane has tattooed her name “Maggie May” around his ring finger, and she finds that so incredibly sexy that she asks to have his name, Zane Adrian, to be tattooed around her ring finger, telling Zane that she will cover it up with her ring–and that she’s kept her engagement ring from him and her flimsy wedding band that they chose when they got married. Zane is touched that she would do this, and then when they return to the hotel, they do end up having sex for the first time since his sobriety journey, which Zane finds to be really amazing now that his mind is clear.

At one point, they get on a flight because Zane finds out that the ex-girlfriend of Maggie’s father leaked that Zane and Maggie got married in order to get back at Maggie’s father, Dizzy. And he knew that Maggie would be upset that this information got leaked, so he tried to stall it for as long as possible, which was with a flight. When Maggie does find out, she flies over to Las Vegas to visit her father, who now has a new girlfriend. When she tells Dizzy how much that has bothered her, she realizes that he dad has never really cared; that he doesn’t care that it hurt her, and always when she’s asking or explaining something that bothered her, he would call her a bitch, or a slut. Maggie realizes that she has been hoping to get Dizzy’s approval but that he’s never really been able to give that for them.

Eventually, Maggie and Zane talk about sharing their marriage with the rest of the world. Maggie explains to Zane that she’s afraid to share it with the world because of what her childhood was like as the daughter of a rock star–her mother would get letters from fans, both good and bad, and she would respond to them. Maggie does not want to do that, and have to deal with all the bad things that come with the territory, which Zane understands, and tells her that he will do what he can to shield her from that. She agrees to at least tell her father, Brody and the band, which they do at a dinner during which Maggie toasts Zane for being sober for two months.

More time goes on the tour, and at one of the stops, Jesse reveals to Zane that Katie is pregnant–it took them a year–but he also talks to Zane a bit about Maggie and tells him that he is proud of Zane for his sobriety. Zane gives Jesse some relationship advice, which surprises Jesse. At some point, they hold a party and Zane invites Dallas–one of the girls who he had sex with before Maggie’s and his marriage, as well once during the marriage when Maggie did not want to be with him. Maggie is furious, and she tells Zane to get rid of her, only for Zane to tell her it’s not a big deal, because it’s a party. When it is evident that she is upset and leaves, Zane catches up to her and asks her what this is really about, at which point Maggie reveals that it’s because she overheard Dallas talking to her friend in the kitchen asking for “the brown girl who makes the cocktails” during one of Zane’s parties. Maggie is part Filipina with darker skin tones, so it was an obvious dig at her when they were talking because Maggie also makes cocktails at the Dirty parties. Zane is angered, and then he kicks Dallas out of the party, having some choice words for her. At one of the concerts, Zane does sing a song especially for Maggie, bringing her out on stage, and telling the world that they are married.

When there is a break in the touring schedule, and the whole band is back in Vancouver, Maggie feels left out from being part of the planning party for Katie’s baby shower. She is tasked with taking Katie down to the ballroom for the party, and when Zane and Jesse are not where they are supposed to be to meet Katie, she texts them. Zane tells her that they will be right there, and at some point Maggie opens the doors to the ballroom, which is all decked out in pink. It turns out that Zane had tried to prepare a wedding reception in secret all for her, with the help of Jessa and Katie. Maggie gets dressed in a wedding gown, and they renew their vows to each other, before having a wonderful party.

It is Ash who sings at their wedding that Zane and Maggie dance to. He wishes to have the same thing that they do, but is unsure if he will find that kind of love. His band is broken apart but it has not yet been announced. He escapes to the balcony for a smoke, and then is found by Zane, with the two men talking about Ash’s future, and Ash promises him that it’s not over yet.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed Maggie’s and Zane’s story–I loved how they both had issues that were compounded by each other. Zane wanted to be loved, but Maggie was withholding giving him all that because she was afraid of her heart being broken the same way her father broke it. I think that since their story starts with a prequel, it’s a much deeper story in the sense that you find out as they grow from the folks who naively got married as a joke, to folks who are supporting each other.

If I were to choose my favorite couples from the Dirty series, I don’t honestly think that I could because each of these are so different from the other. My least favorite is certainly Jude and Roni, and I’m not sure how I feel about Dylan and Amber. Still, this is a solid book to read, and if you’re interested in reading a romance story, you should definitely take a look at this one.

The one thing that I will mention is that this book ends with Ash’s perspective, which is meant to be a segue into the Players series that starts out with Ash’s story. I will not be reading them at this time, but if this is something you’re interested in being reviewed, drop a comment below and I will *maybe* consider it for later this year.

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