Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills @ilsamaddenmills



 4 Stars
The classic tale, Pride and Prejudice, was the inspiration behind the story told in Dirty English - A modern-day, steamy romance between a sexy underground fighter and a girl whose life was shattered. The first thing to grab my attention was the outrageously delectable cover. Wow, I could stare at that all day. However, the story is more than it’s cover. It’s about surviving horrific traumas, self-preservation, the desperate struggle to achieve happiness and the healing power of love. Both main characters, Elizabeth Bennett and Declan Blay, are haunted by the demons from the past, which affect their outlook on life and relationships.

Elizabeth’s spirit is broken. A poor ‘trailer park’ girl raised by a neglectful mother learned the lesson of betrayal after being utterly destroyed by her high-school sweetheart. Left battered and devastated, Elizabeth barely survived the brutal violation suffered at the hands of her bastard scum of an ex-boyfriend.
This became a turning point for Elizabeth. Starting over, she focuses on her college education and plans every detail in her life. Vowing to never place her heart and trust into the hands of a man again, she takes drastic measures to regain the power, which was stolen from her.  Everything was going according to plan, until she meets the incredibly sexy neighbor/classmate, Declan - A hunky Brit that’s working his way into her world.
Elizabeth is a likable girl – stubborn, sassy and determined. The flashbacks to her past were difficult to get through. Although it was not overly detailed, there was the element of sexual assault, and that’s never an easy thing for me to read. Seeing that within the story line, I understood Elizabeth’s mindset. Despite the attraction to Declan, she has good reason to remain closed off emotionally. I will say that eventually, her stubbornness got to me. Declan made great efforts to be gentle and considerate of her situation. For a major part of the story, she gave the appearance that sex was merely a battle for control, without the entanglement of emotions. She fought too hard against Declan’s sincerity and feelings of love.

Declan is the super hot, tatted and muscular college student/underground fighter dealing with his own relationship issues. Getting over the betrayal of his ex, he’s focused on education, gaining independence from a judgmental and overbearing father, and opening up his own gym. His painful past affected him as well – dealing with the loss of his mother as well as infidelity. Declan is hesitant to lay his heart on the line, until he develops strong feelings for Elizabeth. Intrigued and enamored, he is determined to break through her fortress to gain her heart and trust.


I loved Declan’s tenacity, his strength and over-protectiveness when it came to dealing with Elizabeth. She was a tough nut to crack, but knowing she was guarded, he never hid his true feelings. Showered her with so much affection, especially when she fought against his efforts. Declan was way beyond patient in dealing with the push and pull angst Elizabeth created. (Which honestly, he was so sweet, she ticked me off at times). Behind all his rugged, bad-boy exterior was a gentle and sincere man. And he definitely was scorching in the bedroom.

Declan (as well as his sexy twin…Dax) made the story for me. But, I wanted more from his character. More of his back and forth banter with Dax, a deeper look into his strained relationship with his father (which was a major force in shaping the man he has become) and more time dedicated to his relationship as a couple with Elizabeth. Never the less, his character won me over quickly. He was a totally swoon-worthy bad-boy.

Dirty English was a well-written sweet read filled with heartache and joy. Told in dual points of view, Ilsa Madden-Mills has a way of creating broken characters I can’t help but adore. Looking forward to Declan’s sexy twin…Dax’s story. He’s certainly one interesting, smart ass kind of guy and I can’t wait to see inside his crazy head.





Arc received in exchange for an honest review





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