Meet Declan and Elizabeth in Ilsa Madden-Mills
new fighter romance!
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☆✮ My Review ✮☆
☆ I received an ARC via TRSOR PR in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ☆
“The moment that dragonfly landed on you, I knew you were going to rock my world.”
'The British are coming! The British are coming!'
Two to be exact. Twins. *YESSSSS!! Fist pumps in the air!! I lay claim on both!! I'm greedy like that!! Muahahaha!!*
Dirty English was much more than a NA themed, college love story. Yes, I had romance. But it was mainly about the trials of life, second chances, redemption, persevering through your darkest of times; and, succumbing yourself to taking risks and leaps of faith.
Elizabeth Bennett *yep, the character is really named that*,
has been through the worst pinnacles of love. Left shattered and broken, after the boy she loved leaves her bloody and her heart in tatters, she vows to never love again and to live her life by a new set of rules in insurance that she will never be the one reeling and in pieces.
“Love is a knife that cuts out your heart piece by piece, feeding to the boy you love. Broken in more ways than one, I vowed to never love again.”
Now fast forward two years later, Elizabeth is a changed woman-- only partaking in emotionless and meaningless one night relationships with men. She sees them as vessel of gaining back power and control of what she once lost and was taken from her… that is, until, she meets Declan Blay.
Declan Blay “Ring name: Dirty English” / Older twin bro of Jax Blay
is a half-Brit/American *swoon*, tatted, illegal street fighter who attends the same college university as Elizabeth. A nefarious ladies man and notorious bad boy, commandeering the gorgeous blonde with the skittish personality, is the last of his agenda, after just gotten out of a disastrous relationship with his now ex gf and trying to start up his own gym from the ground up.
But with a haunted look in that masked pain and guarded exterior, Elizabeth piques an interest in Declan, and soon her realizes that they are not so different. Her suffrage and vulnerability strikes an accord close to home with him, and propels him to want to desire more with her, protect her at all essential costs, and a craving for her to want him too.
“Maybe it was more. Deeper. I sensed a kindred spirit with her, a loner who ached to find someone to love for real. Like me.”
I have to say, gosh darn it! This book was over before I knew it, and in a bittersweet way! I wanted it to last forever, and yet, I was sooo content with how it was executed.
I came, I soared, I conquered. Damn, this was an amazing read with a swoonworthy alpha male!!
Dirty English, covers grief, anger, despair and two individuals from different worlds learning to heal and let go of their pasts.
For persons like Emma, who have experienced an event so traumatizing to them like that, it was about trust, reclaiming power and control and ultimately yourself, and opening yourself to life’s unpredictability and to love.
“Loving Declan was like the rain storms I loved to dance in. Crazy and unpredictable."
For Declan, it was finding someone, or something (in this case, someone ) to live for. Declan, in a sense, was a lost soul, much like Elizabeth who needed purpose and calming of his own personal sh*% storm. That purpose soon becomes wooing and rebuilding the fair Elizabeth and discovering his own self pillage in the world.
“Was it because she was so wrong for me that I wanted her even more? Yeah. Fuck. Elizabeth Bennett has her pretty little claws in me, and Gold help me, I wanted her to dig them in deeper.”
I really loved how both find a lot of common ground in each other and their love for the English classic, Pride and Prejudice. It was just so fitting that Elizabeth shared the name as Jane Austen’s character as sometimes she and Elizabeth are very strong, intelligent, but mistakenly pre-grudges Declan with a novice that because of his ruggish exterior and underground participation in the fighting ring, that he is bad news and off limits. That of course, like Elizabeth with Darcy, is in fact, a state of prejudice with Declan until she is later proven otherwise and changes her mind about him in the end. Declan, like Darcy, is extremely intelligent, forthright, and hails from wealth (on his father’s side, despite not ever using it to his advantage), a trusty trust fund, and is very miscalculated by Elizabeth by his looks and background.
I believe that Elizabeth and Declan, her Darcy, compliment and counteract each other such endearing and dynamic parallels, that it felt like a fusion of old and new between them and the two main protagonists from Austen’s timeless classic, while also delving into unchartered territory apart from P&P.
They were passionate, they were virtuous, and they were imperfectly perfect for one another.
I absolutely encourage anyone to pick up this read, and am now, seriously hoping and praying for a second novel, as I would LOVE novel. And perhaps, would like to know if there’s anything in the cards for Elizabeth’s besties, Blake and Shelley, and their own love quests for love.
"Nothing matters without you. My past, my rules. It all seems unimportant now."
☆✮ Excerpt ✮☆
“Come to my apartment and spend the night with me.” I touched his face, my fingers stroking the softness of his sensuous lips. “Just one night and we can make this shitty world disappear.”
He exhaled. “A one-night stand?”
He cupped my chin. “Someone hurt you, didn’t they?”
My lips tightened. No one at Whitman knew about Colby except for Shelley and Blake, and I sure as hell wasn’t telling him. He’d judge me like everyone else had in Petal, North Carolina. “That’s none of your business.”
“I see.” His eyes searched mine until I felt like a bug under a microscope. “What if I wanted more than just one night?”
“Then your hands can let go of my hips now.”
He removed his hands slowly, the tips of his fingers grazing mine. “This may surprise you, but I don’t sleep with every girl I kiss.”
I’d been rejected. Again. “Blake said you got around, that you used—”
“And you believed him?” His voice was incredulous. “Dude is in love with you and he saw exactly how we looked at each other tonight—”
“Looked at each other? What are you talking about? You refused to dance with me and then you ran off with your girlfriend. Not to mention I just kissed you and you didn’t even care.” I threw my hands up.
“I wanted to fuck you the minute you walked in that party,” he snapped.
“Then why don’t you,” I bit out, tossing back my shoulders.
“You think you want me?” he said tightly. “You can’t handle me, Elizabeth. I can see it in your eyes. You’re scared of something, maybe not me, but something.”
My eyes went to his black eye.
He let out a harsh laugh. “Ah, that’s what you’re afraid of. You want the real truth? You told me tonight you didn’t like violence, but I’m an arsehole who uses his fists. That’s who I am.”
“What do you mean?”
His gaze was intense, dark and low, his face struggling as he fought to find the right words. “I’m in a fight club for money. I show up at warehouses and fight other blokes. Sometimes I beat them so bad they need medical attention. A few times, I’ve been beat to unconsciousness. I’m everything you need to stay away from.”
I inhaled, anger and lust and excitement all riding me. Anger that he was pushing me away, lust for the alpha male in him, and God help me, the fighting thing repelled me and excited me at the same time. “I don’t want to stay away from you. I want you to fuck me and stop making excuses for why you can’t.”
My words seemed to snap his taut restraint.
He pulled me back in his arms, his lips fusing with mine unerringly. His tongue plundered me in a sensual way my body had craved for years. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my anger morphing into all-out desire as he turned us and pressed me against the wall.
Yes, yes, this is what I craved.
A passion to remind me that I was real, not just some sad excuse of a girl who chose to exist on scraps of love.
Before I knew it, he’d shoved my robe off, his hands sculpting my shoulders, massaging them as he ravaged my mouth. I reveled in the warmth of his hand on my neck as his mouth skated down, kissing the hollows of my throat, sucking on my collarbone.
“Like this?” he asked, his voice dark and gravelly. “You want me to take you up against this wall?”
“Yes,” I moaned. Gone. Past caring as long as he kept his hands on me.
Out of control, my brain whispered, but I beat back the dark warnings as his warm hand found my breast and squeezed, his fingers rolling my nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
I gasped in pleasure and arched my back to get closer to his body, ignoring the fear that pricked at the surface.
The rules girl in my head stamped her foot and yelled at me. I ignored her.
But even if I wanted to stop right now, I couldn’t. My tongue tangled wildly with his, my hands pulled at his hair, spurring him on, his hand palming my breast and then tugging. Sharp sensations of need went straight to my core.
“Is this what you want? Something quick where we just take what we want and forget each other the next day?”
No. Not that. Not like the way he said it, like it was something dirty.
“Yes, like that,” I whispered against his shoulder, my mouth on his skin, tasting him as my teeth bit down.
☆✮ Teasers ✮☆
☆✮ About the Author ✮☆
New York Times and USA Today best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She's addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she's a Gemini), Sephora make-up, and tattoos.
She has a degree in English and a Master's in Education.
When she's not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.
She loves to hear from fans and fellow authors. Drop her a line on the contact page.
☆✮ Other Works by Ilsa ✮☆
☆✮ Buy Links ✮☆