Saturday, February 13, 2021

Mini-Review: Dirty Work

The book I finished before I picked up Dirty Work by Regina Kyle was the Romancelandia equivalent of watching paint dry. No conflict. Boring AF. So to get my mojo back I figured a short category read by an author somewhat known to me was the way to go (the one book I've read by her previously was enjoyable). Kyle does well writing in the category format (folks, it's a skill...) so while my previous adventures in Dare Land haven't lit my world on fire, I settled in for a read that I zipped through in a couple of hours.  It wasn't true love, but it did the trick in helping me get over the 1-star snooze-fest that preceded it.

After her fiancĂ© dumped her before her wedding, citing her workaholic lifestyle as "a problem" - Ainsley Scott chucks aside her law degree and starts her own executive concierge business.  She has a strict "no pets" policy but ends up bending the rules for her friend Brie Lawson.  Brie has just landed an acting gig in San Diego which means she'll be leaving New York City and sticking her workaholic nightclub-owning brother, Jake, with the dog-sitting duties of their parents' Irish Wolfhound, Roscoe.  Jake is perfectly capable of taking care of Roscoe, but given the hours he keeps, not by himself.  Ainsley agrees to help out her friend for a generous hike in her usual fees.  Jake has a loft in Tribeca. He can afford it. 

Jake is super supportive of his sister's acting career but he still can't believe she's leaving him alone to deal with Roscoe. Oh well, at least she's hired someone to help with dog-walking duties - which is good.  However it immediately goes to a whole lot better when Jake enters his loft and finds Ainsley there.  Ainsley with curves in all the right places and a saucy grin.  It's lust at first sight and pretty soon these two can't keep their hands off of each other.  But can a reformed workaholic and a current workaholic find happiness beyond the bedroom together?

What I liked about this story is that it's a low-angst, playful erotic romance. There's no broody emo baggage and there's lighter moments that felt very "rom-com" to me.  My, admittedly limited, previous experience with the Dare line definitely fell on the more angsty end of the spectrum.  This one read like light, fun brain-candy.  I also liked the New York City setting. Look, it's a category romance so it's not like the author can spend oodles of time on "world-building" but this book at least felt like it took place in the City.  There's enough on the page to convince me.

Naturally the Black Moment revolves around work/life balance and this is a romance where I felt both characters were "in the wrong."  Ainsley for flying off the handle. Jake for letting his anger run away with his mouth.  There were too many pop culture references for my liking, which seems to be "a thing" with the Dare line.  YMMV, but generally these tend to annoy me.  Outside of a Ariana Grande reference, Kyle at least tends to name drop things a few years older that take on a more "classic" feel. It'll still feel dated a few years down the road, but hey - maybe not as much?  Also, this is a dueling first-person story, chapters alternating between Ainsley's and Jake's point-of-views and even me, a long-time first person lover, feels like Romancelandia has beaten this dead horse to a pulp.  Kyle at least writes in this style well, so that's something.

It didn't change my life, but it was fun and low-angst, which is kind of a rarity in erotic romance circles these days (IMHO).  Not a bad way to spend my Saturday morning.

Final Grade = B-

No comments: