Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond is the second book full-length book in the Dirty series. Although it is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Dirty Like Me book one in the series gave me my first taste of Brody Mason and Jessa Mayes. I found them both intriguing, but Jessa was the one that made me eager to read the second book in the series.
What the story is about.
Brody Mason is the manager for Dirty, the hottest rock band on the planet. He and the members of the band have been friends since childhood. Brody could have any woman he wants, but only one held the keys to his heart. The same one who left him nursing a broken heart 6 ½ years ago.
Six and a half years ago, Jessa Mayas ran away from her life as a songwriter for Dirty to pursue a career in modelling. To the outside world, she appears to have it all, talent, a glamourous life and money. However, the secret that led to her running away is slowly consuming her life. Her brother’s upcoming nuptials has provided her with the opportunity to face her past, face her fears and restore her relationship with the band and the only man she has ever loved.
Jessa has experienced loss from an early age, which had a significant impact on her life. Her inability to deal with the pain from the loss led to her making poor decisions. The worst of which led to her running away and leaving her family, friends and the love of her life behind. Brody’s love and that of her brother were not enough to keep her stable.
She internalised her feelings and pushes everyone away. Initially, she intrigued me, but as the story progressed her actions became frustrating and bordered on immature. I kept waiting for her to get over herself and come clean with everyone, most of all Brody.
Brody goes above on beyond for those he loves. Forced to grow up before time, due to an abusive childhood, he learned to be responsible and reliable, which made the perfect candidate to be the manager for Dirty. Meeting Jessa and her brother helped made his childhood bearable. The older they got, his feelings for Jessa moved beyond brotherly love, but he kept his feelings under wraps, patiently waiting for the day he could safely tell her how he feels.
He is carrying around a lot of pain and anger from Jessa’s betrayal and my heart broke for him watching him trying to come to terms with the hurt. He wants to hate her, but his love for her was stronger than ever. I understood his fears of having his heart trampled once again. Having your heart broken once is not pretty and to have done twice by the same person one may likely not recover.
Told in alternate first person POVs, I was given the opportunity of getting up close and personal with the main characters. The author’s use of memory flashbacks to provide her readers with information on Brody and Jessa’s past was flawlessly done. It was easy to follow and it helped me to understand what made them tick. The dialogue between the characters is realistic, it demonstrates their backgrounds and personalities, and I was pleased that the use of the F word was minimal when compared to the previous books.
The prologue was funny and sweet and it made me eager to discover how the remainder of the story would unfold. The pace was great for the first forty percent of the book, but then the story began to lag. The constant push and pull between Jessa and Brody were a recipe for a headache. There were many unresolved issues and the tension between them was palpable. Dealing with these issues sooner would have improved the pacing of the story.
I was eager to know why Jess left everything behind 6 ½ years ago. The build up to that was slow and when it was revealed, it was a let-down. I understood her reasons for leaving, but frankly, it did not warrant the drama, which I thought was a bit too much.
I loved that all issues were resolved and that the characters had their HEA. Dirty by Brody is a story of enduring love. It demonstrates the need for a strong support system when one has to deal with a painful loss. This had the potential to be a four star read, but my issues with the unnecessary drama, Jessa’s behaviour and the areas where the plot rambled needlessly prevented me from rating as such.
However, do not let this deter you from trying this book. Despite my issues, I am not averse to continuing the series.
“Time did not heal wounds. I was now thirty years old and I’d been aching for Jessa Mayes since we were kids. By the time I was twenty-one, she’d broken my heart. When I was twenty-four, she ripped it right the fuck out. And what did I do? I slapped a dirty bandage over that shit and left it to rot.”