A Review by Wendy
4 Getting to the Essence of Why Stars
She did the Prequel type... which can really make or break an upcoming project. The prequel was right on the money...and created all of the intensity, edginess, longing and curiosity desired. I bought into it Hook, Line and Sinker... (Look for the review on Dirty Filthy Rich Boys (Dirty Duet 0.5) on today's blog)
After successfully accomplishing her goal, Ms. Paige then went and finished her first part of her duo. She took the free teaser mentioned and used it as Part One of this book. For those who had read the teaser, this book then starts at Part Two.
What struck me throughout all of my read was the understanding of how telling pivotal moments and impressions are in all our lives. How so many factors come into play...Status, Power, Group Peer Pressure and Society's Dictates as to what is Acceptable, Normal etc. in everything we do.
Quickly, to bring you up to speed, the main players in this book are Donovan Kincaid, Weston King and Sabrina Lind. Donovan is best friends with Weston. They both come from the type of money that runs political parties and the world. Donovan is a bit older than Weston and was the Teacher's Assistant in a class both Weston and Sabrina shared.
Sabrina is the "scholarship girl" at Harvard. No connections, no pull, deep insecurity about all things social but on the flip side extremely smart and resourceful. She, unfortunately, has a fascination,...a crush on Weston... Harvard's fraternity playboy. She is so taken with him, she goes to the weekly beer parties at the frat, stands in the corner and watches as he woos a different coed to walk the stairs... and hook up with him.
At one of these gatherings, Sabrina finds herself in the restricted upper level watching the shadows of Weston and his latest conquest....Excited, stimulated, scared and shocked...she is called out by a voice across the hall...Donovan.
Donovan is not light, flirty or charming like Weston....no, he is dark, brooding and manipulative. He uses all of his sense of power and skill in this exchange...causing confusion and discomfort in Sabrina. He picks at her psyche, knowing of her crush on Weston... filling her head with ideas of what he likes and what he will and won't do...Sabrina, shocked by her mental and physical reaction to some of the things Weston implied, races out the door and then out of the fraternity house...
It is dark, cold and not where she wants to be but she also doesn't want to go back into the house while she waits for transportation. Sabrina's head is clouded when another of the Frat guys comes out...At first she thinks nothing of it...but later as he becomes more aggressive and pushy, her fight or flight instincts kick in... only spurring on his drunken groping and forceful grabs. Things become dire when Donovan appears and takes matters into his own hands...
The assault is stopped before the end result.... but damage has been done to Sabrina...violation to her physical and mental person has happened and nothing will ever take it away. The presence and threat of what Donovan will do to her molester makes the boy leave. Donovan is still distant and cold while asking her if she is satisfied with how he ended this situation. There is an undercurrent between these two and Sabrina is confused, hurt, traumatized and in the end... alone.
What happens next is everything...Donovan uses his power to cause a confrontation between him and Sabrina...it starts off angry as he has once again manipulated her by giving her a low grade...She has to address this as her grades are all she has...her only way to achieve the goals she has set for herself. This confrontation percolates into something more than words and becomes everything Donovan wants and everything Sabrina is afraid to acknowledge wanting...
It is harsh, hot, overpowering, stimulating, surprising and in the end something, both Donovan and Sabrina will be marked with for the rest of their lives.
She....being drawn deeply to a type of sexual encounter classified in her mind as dirty, filthy, rough and oh so bad.... and never going after any other man who would behave that way...but in her dreams it will always be Donovan.... Yet in her actual life... it will be men who make no real impression and are classified as good.
And Donovan...he will remain the manipulator... the watcher, the one who will have women for a release if he so pleases....but never will be involved.
In part two... These three people cross paths again...each still in the same status position although Sabrina has become an accomplished professional in the marketing industry. She has had her successes at her level and made a friendship or two with co workers. She is at a seminar with her friend where Weston is the main attraction. He and Donovan opened their own Marketing company and it has become the powerhouse of the industry. With the backing of their own personal monies and other from their Harvard days, they have risen to the level of Global players.
With the urging of her friend and co worker, they are in line to give their respects to Weston after his presentation. Sabrina isn't even sure he will remember her...they did have a quick, very brief encounter where he Finally looked at her and asked her out. Life tore that chance away with her family falling apart and her having to leave Harvard immediately.
We take in this encounter of a man, charming... use to others flattery and giving back the standard responses. The co-worker opens the dialogue praising the accomplishments of Weston's Company and then sees Sabrina is not going to acknowledge her knowing Weston from school. Before Sabrina can do anything, it is out there... that Weston should remember Sabrina... going to Harvard together and all....
Weston takes another glance and then really sees Sabrina... He insists she and her friend wait... and there we are.... on our road to what is to come....
We will have the flirtation of what could have been for both... Sabrina and Weston...actions to work out that itch and then the request for Sabrina to work at Weston and Donovan's Company.
The first request is turned down...it seems cloaked in more than just what Sabrina's Professional Marketing skills are...she seems to have worked out that need for Weston and goes on with her life...as it is.
But with the second request coming from Weston many months later...it seems too good to turn down. It has her in the same position but in a much larger company so it is a move up, full monetary benefits impossible to ignore and Donovan will not be in NYC because he heads up one of the overseas locations. There is also the wonder of whether Weston is still wanting something more than just what they shared over that weekend.
I really do not think I will shock you when you learn Donovan is a player in this book....The essence of Donovan the Cold, Manipulator... the Dominant Puppet Master.... the true fantasy Sabrina has been harboring all these 10 years....is the Hub of this book. Everything seems to branch out from him... and how Sabrina responds to his actions.
That is not to entirely say Sabrina is weak...or not self assured...But this is a woman who has fought desires and needs from an imprinting of sorts from a horrible experience and turned them into something attached to Donovan and her feelings for him. She lusts after him but at the same time tries to stop herself. As confident and capable she is in her work, she is also conflicted with how she sees who she is and what she actually wants.
All three of these players are not as easy to classify...They act in ways which could cause you to dislike or even be repelled...It is kind of a roller coaster of manipulative gamesmanship, emotional turmoil from more than just Sabrina and a question of what is to come...
Laurelin Paige did not write a touchy feely love story... she has written something very complex; something which will either cause the reader to want to continue... or something which may touch off distaste in the cruelty shown...or any number of other reactions...But all of them will be based on an intriguing concept and strong writing....
It will be interesting to see where she takes this...Dirty Filthy Rich Love (Dirty Duet #2) will be released September 11th 2017.
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman and Friedman Literary.