Meet Declan and Elizabeth in Ilsa Madden-Mills new fighter romance!
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**Dirty English is a modern love story inspired by Pride and Prejudice**
A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.
There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end.
But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.
A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window.
She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.
With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.
One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.
This is the story about how fragile a relationship is without trust.
Elizabeth once had trust in men. Then the boy she thought she loved, destroyed that trust. From that point forward, she focused solely on one-night stands where she had complete control. She picked her targets carefully to avoid the chance of getting hurt physically and emotionally again. All that changes when she meets her new neighbor, a sexy Brit, Declan aka “Dirty English”.
The two share obvious chemistry, but that hot chemistry is cooled down either when Elizabeth throws out sad pickup lines, or pushes Declan away out of fear. Because he is the opposite of the guy she goes after. His looks and popularity sound off warning alarms for her, reminding how her ex, Colby, used to be. Nevermind that Declan is sweet and protective of her. She chooses to forget that part.
Declan and his twin brother, Dax, are the heart of this story in my opinion. Both, in very different ways, help to breakdown Elizabeth’s walls. Declan offers protection and comfort, Dax offers up his own version of bad pick up lines, and a friendship. I liked both brothers for different reasons, as individuals and as Twin Brits. I loved how Dax had his brother’s back, both with the gym Declan wanted to open, and in trying to protect his brother’s heart from the inevitable heartbreak Elizabeth would cause. I certainly wouldn’t mind if Dax got his own story. *side eyes author*
I struggled a bit with Elizabeth. What she has going thru is sad, and I applaud her for trying to move past her pain. It’s how she moved past that pain that I couldn’t understand. So she wants to be in control, but does it by creating a bad reputation for herself? Do. Not. Get. It.
Another thing that bothered me was how you grouped Declan with Cobly. Yes, Cobly is a major fucktard and with him now on campus, I felt like I had to keep an eye out for him at all times. Declan proved himself time and time again, but Elizabeth wrongly assumes he is just like Cobly, and that was very frustrating for me.
Fans of Pride and Prejudice will like all of the references in this book. Not only is Elizabeth’s last name, Bennett, but it is Declan’s favorite book. Yes, a UFC contender loves British classics. Just go with it. He is British after all.
Declan’s discussion on the book: “They’re both flawed people who are at times too proud to admit their own true feelings – hence the title.”
Hmm, sounds like life is imitating art.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read, with good character development and multiple plot lines, brought together with a huge redemption/revenge moment. Elizabeth had a lot of people in her corner, she just needed to learn to trust again.
“Your scars are beautiful. It means you survived. It means you’re here with me.”
*An ARC was received for an honest review.
“Come to my apartment and spend the night with me.” I touched his face, my fingers stroking the softness of his sensuous lips. “Just one night and we can make this shitty world disappear.”
He exhaled. “A one-night stand?”
He cupped my chin. “Someone hurt you, didn’t they?”
My lips tightened. No one at Whitman knew about Colby except for Shelley and Blake, and I sure as hell wasn’t telling him. He’d judge me like everyone else had in Petal, North Carolina. “That’s none of your business.”
“I see.” His eyes searched mine until I felt like a bug under a microscope. “What if I wanted more than just one night?”
“Then your hands can let go of my hips now.”
He removed his hands slowly, the tips of his fingers grazing mine. “This may surprise you, but I don’t sleep with every girl I kiss.”
I’d been rejected. Again. “Blake said you got around, that you used—”
“And you believed him?” His voice was incredulous. “Dude is in love with you and he saw exactly how we looked at each other tonight—”
“Looked at each other? What are you talking about? You refused to dance with me and then you ran off with your girlfriend. Not to mention I just kissed you and you didn’t even care.” I threw my hands up.
“I wanted to fuck you the minute you walked in that party,” he snapped.
“Then why don’t you,” I bit out, tossing back my shoulders.
“You think you want me?” he said tightly. “You can’t handle me, Elizabeth. I can see it in your eyes. You’re scared of something, maybe not me, but something.”
My eyes went to his black eye.
He let out a harsh laugh. “Ah, that’s what you’re afraid of. You want the real truth? You told me tonight you didn’t like violence, but I’m an arsehole who uses his fists. That’s who I am.”
“What do you mean?”
His gaze was intense, dark and low, his face struggling as he fought to find the right words. “I’m in a fight club for money. I show up at warehouses and fight other blokes. Sometimes I beat them so bad they need medical attention. A few times, I’ve been beat to unconsciousness. I’m everything you need to stay away from.”
I inhaled, anger and lust and excitement all riding me. Anger that he was pushing me away, lust for the alpha male in him, and God help me, the fighting thing repelled me and excited me at the same time. “I don’t want to stay away from you. I want you to fuck me and stop making excuses for why you can’t.”
My words seemed to snap his taut restraint.
He pulled me back in his arms, his lips fusing with mine unerringly. His tongue plundered me in a sensual way my body had craved for years. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my anger morphing into all-out desire as he turned us and pressed me against the wall.
Yes, yes, this is what I craved.
A passion to remind me that I was real, not just some sad excuse of a girl who chose to exist on scraps of love.
Before I knew it, he’d shoved my robe off, his hands sculpting my shoulders, massaging them as he ravaged my mouth. I reveled in the warmth of his hand on my neck as his mouth skated down, kissing the hollows of my throat, sucking on my collarbone.
“Like this?” he asked, his voice dark and gravelly. “You want me to take you up against this wall?”
“Yes,” I moaned. Gone. Past caring as long as he kept his hands on me.
Out of control, my brain whispered, but I beat back the dark warnings as his warm hand found my breast and squeezed, his fingers rolling my nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
I gasped in pleasure and arched my back to get closer to his body, ignoring the fear that pricked at the surface.
The rules girl in my head stamped her foot and yelled at me. I ignored her.
But even if I wanted to stop right now, I couldn’t. My tongue tangled wildly with his, my hands pulled at his hair, spurring him on, his hand palming my breast and then tugging. Sharp sensations of need went straight to my core.
“Is this what you want? Something quick where we just take what we want and forget each other the next day?”
No. Not that. Not like the way he said it, like it was something dirty.
“Yes, like that,” I whispered against his shoulder, my mouth on his skin, tasting him as my teeth bit down.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding heroes in books. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), Sephora make-up, and tattoos.
She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.
When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.
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You can stalk her on her website as well as get signed books: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com
Ilsa Madden-Mills’ other books:
VERY BAD THINGS
VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS
VERY WICKED THINGS
VERY TWISTED THINGS
SIGNED PAPERBACK OF DIRTY ENGLISH