by Barbara Elsborg
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Genre: M/M Romance
The last thing Linton needs when he arrives home after three months in the States, is to find his beautiful flat is a squat, complete with his younger brother Dirk, who’s lying in Linton’s bed with a couple who’ve paid him for sex. Dirk isn’t even supposed to have a key. But after Linton throws Dirk out, life slams in hard and if his brother is to have any hope of a future, Linton has to play dirty. Or at least pretend to. What he hasn’t factored in is having to play the game to the bitter end.
Film star Thorne Morrisey has everything. Good looks, charm, seductive magnetism and a voice that could charm a snake from its basket. He can also be a real shit and yet people still love him - though he’d rather not have the love of his ex. Owen’s a suicidal wreck after Thorne dumped him in a very public and humiliating way and Owen’s wealthy brother has his own reasons for wanting revenge on Thorne. Max’s weapon of choice is his employee, Linton.
Linton and Thorne are on a collision course and in for the game of their lives. But who’s playing who?
This is quite an unconventional m/m romance for me because it was filled with quite some angst, frustration and stupidity. I keep feeling like I want to throttle the characters in this book. But bottom line is, the plot was dramatic, engaging and I'm totally hooked.
Linton is a victim of circumstances, being blackmailed by his boss to revenge on Thorne. In order to keep his job and send his brother to rehab, he needs to make Thorne hurt emotionally. Linton is a good guy, despite some moment of cowardice. He doesn't have a malice bone on his body. He keep meaning to confess his crime, but he never did until is too late. Urg!!
Thorne is a total brat of a celebrity and self entitled jerk to the public. When things doesn't go his way, he just lashed out like a petulant child. He had his moment of stupidity, but I felt sympathetic to his character. He just have some growing up to do. I like that he make an effort to court Linton and their banter is hilarious. No matter how many cold shoulder Linton serve him, Thorne just keep coming back for more.
They are quite a cast of secondary characters, but the main one are their brothers, the ex and the evil boss who engineer the whole revenge plot. I usually never like angst in my book, but as long as there isn't any cheating, I'm okay with it. The thing that sorta bug me here is the multiple referencing to characters being (view spoiler). Woah! There isn't actually any explicit details, just a mentioned here and there. But I think is a tad OTT for it to happen on multiple characters. Just saying!
Overall, Dirty Games really works for me. I like the intensity of the relationship, the dramatic plot, despite some angst and frustrating. I think the epilogue is a nice touch. I kinda wish it to be longer, just to see how Thorne manage to grow up and be a decent man.
Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.
After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.