So a bunch of my favorite authors have gotten together and decided that they are going to write a bunch of books around the common theme hard and dirty. Today is Aubrey’s entry. Monday we’ll have Alta Hensley’s. Without any further ado, let’s talk about Getting Dirty.
Madeline Elaine Fitzpatrick was born to be perfect. She has spent her entire life being perfect. She had to prove to her jackass of a father that she was successful and not just successful but better than him. She came from a very rich family, the kind where you go to private school from preschool until you graduate high school, then you go to an Ivy League school, date and marry the right people, and go on to raise your children in the same rarified air. From the time that she was born, that’s the world that Madeline lived in. (And does anyone else think of the children’s story Madeline when they see the heroine’s name?) Her father has told her all her life that she was better than other people and did everything he could to reinforce it. When her mother died in her teen years, her father got rid of the house in the city and moved her from her private school with all her friends, and then moved them into their lake house in a tiny little town. She went to the public school where she was stand-offish because of course she was. Even if she hadn’t grown up the way she did, moving in your last couple years of high school to a brand new school in a brand new town, and a small town at that, would be really difficult. But then she got out of town.
Now, she’s a very important, very successful businesswoman. And her father had just died. Even though she and her father were pretty estranged, it’s sent her off the rails. Off the rails enough that she destroyed her office and her bosses forced her to take a leave of absence, and then she ended up having a little bit of a nervous breakdown. And during all this, she has to go back to that little town and take care of her father’s estate. And wouldn’t you know it, her car has broken down, and she has to hike to the local garage, Wallace & Sons.
Jess Wallace went to school with Madeline. He always has a crush on her, and when she walks into his garage looking like something the cat drug in, he’s thrilled to see her, but upset that she looks so much in pain. He takes her and doctors her up, bandaging her hurt ankle and her blisters. And getting her all worked up in the process. They are getting very close and then Jess’s brother Jace walks in. When Jess takes Madeline to a rental place, he asks her out on a date to a dive bar.
Jace Wallace’s first thought when he saw her was Madeline fucking Fitzpatrick. They had a history, and none of it was good. He wanted nothing to do with her rich, snobby, prissy ass, especially after she made it perfectly clear that the son of a mechanic who was going to be a mechanic wasn’t good enough for her. What made it even worse was that they were supposed to go see a movie the night before she told him that, and she stood him up. They had been friendly because they were science lab partners, but after that day, that all went kablooey. So when he walks into his favorite bar and finds out that Jess has invited Madeline there for a date? He decides that he needs to interrupt it.
Now, Jess and Jace aren’t quite twins, but there is less than a year’s difference in their age, and they might just as well be. They’ve always been close and shared a lot of things, including women, but in the recent past, things have become tense with them, which is really hard, since they share a house and all. So Madeline being around runs the risk of causing even more friction between the brothers.
I liked Jess from the first time we saw him. Jace took me a while to warm up to. He has some mighty thick walls that need to be broken down, but he can be a serious asshole too. I feel sorry for Madeline, she put so much pressure on herself and we all know what happens when something under pressure doesn’t get the release it needs. It’s not pretty. I mostly liked her, but sometimes there were things that she said that I didn’t particularly care for, but they were more things that were ingrained in her as a child and then became habit. I don’t think that she really believed them as much as they were just what she had always been taught and she hadn’t really put any work into changing her thoughts. Deprogramming ourselves from things that we learned as a child can be really hard, especially if you are still in the same kind of environment.
OK, remember when I said that Jace was an asshole at times? Yeah, the morning, when he takes Madeline to her car, is one of his asshole minutes, as is when they are in the garage together. Totally hot asshole, but still asshole. I mean, he knew that she and Jess and gone hot and heavy at it. Of course, Jess knew that Jace had a thing for her in high school. Jess liked her back in the day too.
Plus that freaking asshole cop. I hate sniggering little people like that who are titillated by other people but who want to look down at them. He really tried to make Maddy feel like a whore. I don’t know if he did it on purpose, but…
OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, as well as the rest of this theme set as they come out. Happy reading!