Dirty is the story of Elle and Dan. They met in a candy shop, went to a bar and had a few drinks, and that was that. But Elle couldn't stop thinking about him. When she went out for drinks and dancing with her friend from work a few weeks later, Dan was there. It was hot and steamy right there on the dance floor!
Elle has a lot of issues that you don't see right at the beginning of the story. She's got a dysfunctional relationship with her parents, and her gay brother won't come home to visit. Elle is a counter, she counts everything. Counting is one of three ways she can forget her past - the other two are sex and drinking. Her father is a full-fledged alcoholic, so she doesn't drink much, which leaves counting and sex. She doesn't date, but she does pick up men for sex. She thinks this is what will happen with Dan; but acknowledges to herself she's strangely drawn to him.
Although he's described as average in height and stature, Dan is definitely a dominant male. He knows better than Elle what she wants for herself. The thing about Dan is he's also patient and sensitive to her needs. He knows there's something under the surface that he doesn't know or understand yet. He knows he wants her and puts up with a lot of things a less secure man would walk away from. And yet he was not a "super" hero - he had flaws. He got mad. He had insecurities (shown especially, I thought, in the class reunion scenes).
These two are amazing together, and not just sexually. Dan is in her life but she won't let him be a part of it; I think I would describe Dan as the catalyst that causes Elle to be ready to really look at herself and her life when the time comes.
This book is beautifully written. Her descriptions of Elle's thoughts and reactions and sensory perceptions made me feel like I was in the story, watching while the scenes played out. Ms. Hart layered this story perfectly; Elle's relationship with her next door neighbors is hopeful yet sad and is another symptom of Elle's primary issues, her relationship with her brother and mother, her books, and her counting are all beautifully woven together to leave us wanting more of her story, and when we get The Whole Picture - wow. Just...wow.
When I wasn't reading this book I was thinking about it. I give this story 5/5 stars. Thank you Ms. Hart, for sharing it with your readers.