Dirty: the librarian fantasy

Who knew I had erotica on my shelves? It’s October and more importantly a mere 7 weeks until Bibliophilia’s idea of heaven: the local library book sale. Noting that I still had several unread purchases from last year’s book sale, I decided to make some room and picked up Dirty by Megan Hart. Mon Dieu! Now you would be justified in asking exactly what I thought the book would be about being titled Dirty.

Dirty is the story of Elle Kavanagh, seemingly uptight corporate accountant whose self-imposed celibacy is tested when she meets Dan Stewart.  Elle is that rare woman who is more comfortable with casual sex than relationships.  Though she wants to see him but not date him, her feelings for him and unexpected desire for a real realtionship soon cause an awakening within her that forces her to face events from her childhood that keep her from having a normal relationship.

This was a pretty well-written book.  It had a plot and while sex was central to it, the relationship between Dan and Elle was the main point.  I’ve read one of Hart’s other books (there goes my carefully-crafted story about just picking a book randomly from the shelf), and Hart has an interesting and distinct voice.  Elle is very cerebral and reflective, yet you don’t feel like you know her all that much.  You know only what she reveals.  I was a little frustrated by how long it took to reveal what Elle’s issues were because I was beginning to think that she was just crazy or that the revelation wouldn’t be worth the hundreds of pages it took to get there. It was pretty grim, so I suppose it was worth the wait.

I liked how Hart took the idea of casual sex and flipped so that it was the woman who sought it while the man ended up wanting a relationship.  I did think there was a bit too much sex and that she could have made her point with less.  It got to the point where it seemed like she was throwing it in there because this was a “naughty” book and expected of her.  After several encounters, it started to detract from the plot (here I am dissecting the amount of sex in a book.  how bizarre). 

Sometimes I wonder what the point of books like this are.  I am no stranger to smutty romance novels with their heaving bosoms and quivering manhood, and it is tempting to dismiss this as only a contemporary romance novel.  It’s not.  Romance is most definitely secondary.  Maybe even tertiary. Is it to write a book filled with lots of sex and craft a plot around it?  There is something rather detached and mechanical about the book.  It’s like you know it’s a naughty book and are reading it only for its naughtiness.  Is there a book that melds both hot, wild action with a really, really good plot?  I’d say Lady Chatterley’s Lover would be a good choice (feminist revulsion notwithstanding); after all, they both involve men “awaking” repressed women.  But Lady Chatterley’s Lover is considered a classic. Dirty is what…”adult” fiction? Erotic fiction?  

I wondered how I would post about this book.  I planned a quick post to acknowledge that I had read it, but I surprised myself by having a lot to say.  So yes, dear reader, I knew exactly what I would be reading when I pulled it off the shelf 🙂


2 Responses to Dirty: the librarian fantasy

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