Desert Isle Keeper
Dirty for Me
Dirty For Me is the first story in Jackie Ashenden’s new Motor City Royals series, set on the gritty streets of Detroit. Zee escaped from his corrupt father, adopted his current name, and set out to support himself by picking up the mechanics trade. He works at a garage now with colleagues he calls his family, runs his own gym, and at night he expresses his frustrations by engaging in no-holds-barred underground fighting. He definitely doesn’t run in the same circles as Tamara who shows up with a friend taking one of his self defense classes – one of the rich women who’ve heard about the tattooed hottie and his lessons.
While Tamara watches the class from the sidelines in her expensive clothing and clutching her designer purse, she can’t take her eyes off the rough, dangerous instructor. And when her friend heads off with her new classmates to a local bar, Tamara insists that she can get herself home – though on the streets looking forlornly for a cab she looks like a lamb being led to slaughter. Zee knows he should stay away but he can’t help it – he’s drawn to her like a moth to a flame even though she’s exactly the kind of woman he’s vowed to stay away from. Offering her a ride home, Tamara accepts and the sparks between them turn into an inferno, resulting in the best fuck of her life in the back seat of his car. Shaken out of her complacent life, Tamara returns to Zee for more of the passion he’s shown her. She’s only got a few short weeks before her controlling parents have her locked up tight in a relationship with a man they’ve chosen, one who fits their high society lifestyle. Zee and Tamara both have secrets in their past that have affected their paths – can they overcome them and build a new future together?
If you’ve never read a Jackie Ashenden book before–and really, if you have–and if sexual tension in a romance is your thing, you are in for a treat. She skillfully weaves intense plots with enough drama and sexual situations to make for the kind of story that is difficult to put down once you start. From the moment Zee and Tamara lock eyes with each other, you know they are going to be in for a rough and sexy ride. There is no preamble, no “getting to know you” conversation before that first encounter in the back of Zee’s car. It’s pure unadulterated lust, but the best kind. From that point on it’s not a question of if, but when they will see each other again. It’s a talented author who can take a seemingly hopeless situation and give us a happy and satisfactory ending when all is said and done.
Zee’s background is one of wealth, power and corruption. His father is a businessman who dabbles in as much illegal activities as legal ones, and throws his weight around in physical and financial ways. He wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, and when Zee got involved with a naïve and innocent young woman as a teenager, his father took care of things his way. The death of the woman he loved in a deliberate car accident was the impetus for Zee to run away, shedding his real name and anything to do with his father along the way. He’d made his way to a teen drop in center and become friends with Gideon, Levi, Zoe and Rachel, and ended up working with Gideon when he opened his auto garage on Royal Road. He has plans now to expand the gym he started, getting his own teen program up and running, teaching martial arts and self defense classes. It’s a far cry from his upbringing but he’s happy there and loyal to his friends. Pretty little rich girls aren’t for him though, reminding him too much of the girl he lost and the mistakes of his past.
Tamara is following the road her parents have set out for her. A tragic event in her past resulted in the loss of her brother and her guilt over what happened has set her on a permanent path of atonement. They’ve found a suitable man for her in New York, and while up to this point Tamara was faithful to him, she suspected he had other women on the side, a fact he confirms in a phone call. It’s a relationship of convenience (on his side, not hers), but there is no love lost between them. When Tamara’s father spills the news that her mother and Robert (the ‘boyfriend’) are planning a surprise engagement party, Tamara can feel the trap closing in on her, but doesn’t know how to escape it. She’s working as an intern at her father’s company with a manager who clearly despises the fact that she’s the big boss’s daughter and goes out of his way to make her miserable. She can’t afford to lose the job and disappoint her parents yet again. Her night with Zee was the first time she’d felt free, that she could let go of the tight control she’s kept on her life since her brother died. She wants that feeling again. She’s desperate for it again. And if it means she has to seek Zee out and offer herself up to him, she’s ready and willing to do it, if he’ll have her.
It soon becomes apparent to both Zee and Tamara that the shields they’ve put up to ward off any intimacy are cracking. Sharing their emotions and thoughts wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan but it happens and they quickly find that it’s not only sex they want from each other. But Zee’s father isn’t finished with him yet, and the second half of the story is intense and action packed as Zee and Tamara work to find a way to free themselves from their pasts. There is also a set up for the next story in the series, as Zee’s friend Levi is set to be released from prison and clearly he and Rachel have a past to deal with. The streets of Detroit are a perfect backdrop for this gritty and intense romance. If you like bad boy heroes and opposites attract stories with a healthy dose of super steamy scenes and a compelling and action-packed plot, Dirty For Me is for you.
I'm a biochemist and a married mother of two. Reading has been my hobby since grade school, and I've been a fan of the romance genre since I was a teenager. Sharing my love of good books by writing reviews is a recent passion of mine, but one which is richly rewarding.