I was so excited to read Book 2 of the Dirty series. I thought Book 1 showed great promise and I really wanted to know which characters were up next. Set in Vancouver with a bunch of ass-kicking rockers, I was breaking out my Pink Floyd t-shirt and dusting off my bong. I was thrilled when I read the blurb and the story is about Jesse’s sister, Dirty’s songwriter Jessa. Add in grumpy manager of the band, Brody Mason, and I was all in.
Jessa Maye’s helped propel Dirty up the charts with her magical lyrics. She wrote the words, while Jesse and Seth worked the music. The three together made magic. Jessa was young, I think around sixteen when the band really took off. Jesse’s band mates always watched out for her, especially Brody. Brody met Jessa when she was six and she is being bullied by a bunch of boys at school. Brody made the kids eat shit and scared them away from her. He took his Sinners pin off his jacket and told her if she wears it, no one would ever bother her. For Jessa it was love at first sight. He was her hero. As the years went on, Brody and her brother remained friends and created the band Dirty. Through the years Brody loved her from afar. We skip to six and a half years ahead, Jessa is a supermodel and she has to go home because her brother is getting married.
All those years earlier Jessa packed up her stuff without a look back and took off. You know she has some secrets and this pushes the book forward. Brody is waiting for her at the airport to make sure she makes it to her brother’s wedding. Jessa is known to run when things get too complicated for her. Of course, you also get her backstory which is sad. She lost her mom at a very young age and her father killed himself. All she had in the world was her brother and her brother’s friends. They treated her like a princess and were very protective of her, especially Brody. Right down to when she gets her period and he’s the one to bring her the supplies and explain how it all works. Brody never made a move on her because he was older than her and he wanted her to grow up and, I guess, come to him when she was ready.
In the meantime, Jessa was having growing pains. At this point you are kinda guessing what happened in her younger years. Brody is not too pleasant to Jessa when he picks her up. He’s very hurt by what she did and the fact that she never takes his calls or text messages for the past six years. Jessa at this point is “Do you hate me?” and I think from there I was not really into Jessa so much. It left a bad taste, but I kept reading. That’s a nod to the author, because the book is very well written and the issues I had in Book 1 about lack of emotion is in this book ten-fold.
Brody brought his current flavor of the month to Jesse’s wedding. Meanwhile, Jessa is in hell. They’re two miserable people in love with each other. The conflict is that Jessa cut him out of her life with no explanation and Brody had enough with constantly running after her. This book gave me whiplash and it also frustrated me. One second they’re hot and the next second they’re cold. I would call this a case of too much angst, but I actually think angst doesn’t quite describe it well enough. One minute they’re yelling at each other, the very next minute they’re having hot sex. The next second Jessa is running away because she just can’t bring herself to explain to Brody why she took off and never looked back. This went on the entire book. The next thing you know, the band wants to bring Seth back since he’s cleaned up his act and Jessa is all pissed off about it. You, the reader, don’t quite know why but you’re definitely filling in the blanks.
Jessa blames everyone for her actions. She had no say in the choices she made, it is always someone else to point the finger at or make an excuse. Like how it’s Brody’s fault he didn’t run after her the last time. I mean, he only chased her 5,000,000 times before. It’s his fault that he put her on a pedestal and she just couldn’t live up to all the pressure. It’s the band’s fault because she’s a talented music writer. But what pissed me off more than anything else is when she finally tells Brody what happened all those years ago, then it was Seth’s fault. But that just added to my annoyance. I don’t want to spoil the big secret, she tells Brody what her and Seth were up to, and, instead of addressing things with Jessa, he went to kick the shit out of Seth. Calling him a rapist. Now I have to say this upfront, he did not rape her. Jessa tells Brody that he didn’t rape her, yet that’s all that’s being said. Way to ruin someone’s life when the actual events didn’t happen that way. Jessa was out to sabotage herself and she did a damn good job all on her own. Just another victim to pile on. I would have had so much respect for Jessa if she just owned her shit. Some of the best books I have ever read were with flawed characters. It’s those flaws and how the character overcomes them that make or break a book for me. Jessa just likes to carry the wood like a martyr with the added bonus of being really self-centered.
At the end of the book I really don’t know why Brody was in love with her. I personally felt she needed to deal with her issues without everyone cleaning her mess up. I see Seth’s book is up next and I hope he finds peace and doesn’t feel guilt about someone else’s choices. While the book is tightly written with great pacing, I just couldn’t get on board with Jessa.
He was all she ever wanted. Then she broke his heart…
As longtime manager of Dirty, the hottest rock band on the planet, gorgeous and brooding Brody Mason has had his share of beautiful women. Yet the only one he’s ever wanted is the one he never had—the one who tore his heart out.
Beautiful and elusive Jessa Mayes appears to have it all. Talent, money, and a glamorous life. But she also has a secret. Six years ago, she ran away—from her dream career as a songwriter with Dirty, and the only man she’s ever loved—without telling anyone why.
Now Jessa’s doing the one thing she swore she’d never do. She’s coming home—to be a bridesmaid in her brother’s rock star wedding… and face the mistakes of her past.
It won’t be easy.
Love this intense never is.
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: