by Mia Storm (Goodreads, Twitter)
Self Published on March 19th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Taboo, College
Format: eARC (268 pages)
Source: Author via Inkslinger PR
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A poem by Blaire Leon
If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone I love?
If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from the dirt?
What if I like the dirt?
What if I want to get dirty?
What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?
When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don Juan and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate poets he’s ever met.
But it turns out Blaire hasn't been totally honest. She's the seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.
Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into risking his entire future on Jail Bait?
Forbidden romance isn't exactly a trope that I have explored wholly, as there are a lot of books about taboo romances out there, but I'm not exactly irked by the idea of an underage person in a relationship with an older man; although depending on the circumstances, I may be bothered.
In Getting Dirty, our heroine, Blaire, is a minor—sixteen years old, to be exact, turning seventeen in a few weeks—meanwhile her love interest, Caiden, is a twenty five year old. Not much of an age difference, I might say, so this doesn't really bother me. I wouldn't consider it a big deal, unless a member of the party is definitely of bad influence, then I would be bothered. However, still in regards to age appropriation, say Blaire was below the age of fifteen, or had Caiden been way older than her, old enough to be her father or grandparent; now that is something that would greatly bother the heck out of me.
Told in interchanging POV's, Getting Dirty explores both sides of the story, Blaire and Caiden's, and is a perfect balance. Reading about their romance is exasperating and does pack a punch, I was met with a mixture of feelings regarding the characters, especially with the first half of the story.
Caiden wasn't exactly a character who stood out for me. He was the typical male love interest, albeit broken and has an interesting back story, although, there were a lot of parts that made me feel sorry for him. However, Blaire's character was a different story.
Blaire is portrayed as a mature teenager, as she had grown up with pretty much absentee parents. She's intellectual, perhaps way more for her age, but of course, still displays the naivety of a lovelorn teenager. At times, especially at the first half of the book, her character frustrated me to the point that I wanted to DNF this book, however, there were also moments which made me read more. Blaire is a poet—a slam poet, to be exact, and as I am a huge fan of poetry, be it traditional or modernized, her love for poetry hooked me, and the lay down of words as Blaire recites her pieces at a slam poetry contest blew me away.
Although Mia Storm's writing isn't exactly fantastic, as there were a couple of cringe worthy moments, particularly the part in Blaire's POV where she greatly examines her soon-to-be lover's forehead and the number of his freckles, and so on and so forth, however, as mentioned, it was her poetry that kept me going. I'm unsure if the pieces were originally crafted by the author herself, but I was stupefied.
"When they say it's a man's world, they must be talking about the bedroom. Glass ceilings are shattering. We'll have a female president someday. But only if she's never slept around. Because a male president can get head in the Oval Office, but no goddamn dirty whore is ever going to be good enough to run our country."
Another thing I love about this book, is the highlight of various "societal taboos" and issues; women who love to have sex even at a young age, age appropriate relationships, statutory rape, feminism, and what not. Although these topics are in various novels with taboo stories, I haven't read much books that tackled quite a number of such issues and even portrayed such as realistically as possible. What's even amusing, is the author's note implies this book to be a fictionalized autobiography, as she had been in a similar relationship with an older man at the age of seventeen.
"If we both want this, why should it matter how old we are?"
"Because I'm twenty fucking five, Blaire! Guys my age go to jail for doing what we've been doing."
I honestly want to kick myself for almost not giving this book the benefit of the doubt because certain parts of this book caught me off guard and had me reading thoroughly. It's very different from the usual New Adult contemporaries out there that I normally read, but I devoured this book in a single day. Although a few may be irked by the instalove between the characters—which I began to wary of the moment I came across it—I was still hooked.
Getting Dirty may not be for everyone, as the topics aren't exactly people friendly, but this book blew me away. If you're willing to step out of your comfort zone, I suggest you give this book a try, but I warn you, this book is intense, and passionate, and exasperating.
If you want to get dirty, this book should be your next read.
*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.