I can honestly say this is probably one of the most highly anticipated books of the year and for obvious reasons (Remember the end of Raw? Yeah that!) is most likely the hardest review I've ever had the fortune to write. It also is one of those books that I couldn't decide whether should have been written or not. A book as immense as Raw was always going to be a hard act to follow.
This book focuses on Julius Carter, who was Twitch's ally in Raw, and Alejandra Gambino, the daughter of Mobster, Eduardo Castillo. As far as I know Alejandra and her family are entirely new characters. I was able to get into Alejandra's mind fairly early on and her circumstances really got to me. Julius was a lot more difficult for me to get a feel for. Although he appeared in Raw, I had a hard time visualising his character, plus as he was a man of so few words it was sometimes incredibly hard to warm to him. I wasn't able to do a reread of Raw, so some recapping would have really helped and it wasn't until I was quite a way into the book that enough of a description for Julius was given that I could picture him in my mind.
I, like I'm sure is the case with nearly every reader who has read Raw, went into this book with questions that needed answering, like they needed air to breathe, however I felt the mystery surrounding Raw was what made it such a monumental read and for me I wasn't entirely sure this book was really necessary as some of that mystery was taken away. However it was the final 25% of Dirty that really made me thankful Belle wrote this. I was simply glued to the pages. I was immersed in Alejandra's world, I finally got Julius as a character and I simply didn't want it to end.
Could this book live up to the epic-ness that is Raw? Could Julius be a serious contender for Twitch? Personally I think no, because there was too much of a hard act to follow and so much uncertainty for me so early on, but that's not to say this wasn't a good read. Because firstly I can't stop thinking about what happened in this book and I really can't stop wondering what will be revealed in the third and final book of this iconic series.
Reviewed by Louise Dale
My marriage seemed perfect from the outside looking in.
People envied me. They wanted my life, wanted to be me.
Mrs Alejandra Gambino.
Wife of Dino Gambino. Daughter of Eduardo Castillo.
Respected. Loved. Mob royalty.
They had no idea of the horrors that lurked behind closed doors.
They didn't know I was at the lowest point a person could reach.
Enter Julius Carter.
Aloof, handsome, blue-eyed Julius Carter.
He saved me.
I screwed him over.
Now everybody was after me. My life was forfeit.
It was only a matter of time. I was a dead woman walking.
The question was, who would get to me first?
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