USA Today Bestselling Author
Why do our secrets keep hurting us?
Why do our secrets keep coming back?
Why can’t our secrets just die?
Emersyn Sharpe was nothing like I expected and everything I could have ever dreamed of. She stayed and she changed everything. She put the guys in their place. She had fire and spunk, a ferociousness I wished I possessed.
Her darkness called to mine in a way that felt like home.
But hiding secrets is hard work and even the people who think they already know the worst, can’t be fully trusted. No matter how desperately you want it.
The truth may set you free, but the lies? They keep you bound so tight, you don’t even realize you’re trapped.
Milo coming home brought Liam back to us and Boo-boo fit right in. Everything was supposed to get better. So how did it get worse?
Why, why did she leave? Why couldn’t she have waited?
My name is Freddie Dunlap and I’m going to find her.
DIRTY DEVIL is a full-length mature college/new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. The dark romance aspects of this tale continue. Please be aware some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. Trigger warnings can be found in the foreword should you require them. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book four in the series.
If you haven’t read the first 3 books in this series, STOP! This series must be read in order as each book begins where the previous one ends.
At the end of the last book, after beating up security guards and the person who drove her to the airport, Liam watches helplessly as Emersyn boards a private plane. Now they have to figure out, exactly what happened and where exactly she is. They find out little from the driver, who had been hired to not only take her to the airport but also had watched all of them for months.
Freddie was the only one she called. She didn’t want them to talk her out of leaving. Now they have to find her before they can bring her back. Milo thinks they should leave her be since she appears to have left of her own accord. Freddie is adamant that she didn’t want to go.
The horrors Emersyn goes through on her return had me wanting to jump into the book and do something, anything to get her away from her uncle and his goons.
We get to see another side of Doc in this one, the one who once was a Vandal. It’s not a subtle difference.
It takes a while, but Rome is the one who finds the reason Emersyn left, pictures of them all with targets on them, she was protecting them. There’s also her phone and that’s when things get interesting.
When Freddie sees the message on it from Lainey, he immediately texts her back. He has to prove to her he really is a friend but then arranges a meet. We get a flashback here of Lainey and Emersyn in Florida. This time we get to know that Milo was there and what happened between him, Adam and Ezra.
Lainey is no pushover, and she won’t tell them anything unless they take her home with them. The arrival at the clubhouse offers a surprise as Lainey recognizes Milo. Then Liam shows up and asks why Elaine Benedict is there, obviously he knows her. She still won’t say anything until everyone is there, so she doesn’t have to repeat herself. There are many amusing conversations as they wait for Doc to get there.
This is just one of many favorite scenes.
Freddie had made sandwiches. A whole stack of them, and he passed them to Rome and Elaine when they came back. She eyed the sandwiches then Freddie before she’d taken a bite from one. I couldn’t quite pin down what it was about her. The clothes and the mannerisms screamed money, wealth, and privilege. But the attitude? The attitude was all fight me and control. She hadn’t said a word about the living room, the cheap furniture or the concrete walls.
She looked more out of place here than Emersyn ever had, but not in a bad way. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I stopped trying to figure it out. The moment Doc walked in, Liam pinned her with a look and said, “Talk.”
“Charming, I’d know you two were brothers without the looks.” Vaughn chuckled, even Jasper shook his head.
The humor, no matter how needed, was far too fleeting. I didn’t want to be entertained. I wanted information.
Thankfully, Elaine didn’t waste anymore time. “Everyone here is trustworthy?” Of all people, she directed that question to Freddie.
“Yes,” he said without equivocation.
“Good, because I’m going to need all of you to help.” She rose from her seat and moved to stand in front of the dark television. It shifted the power in the room, which I assumed was her intention. It also left her standing alone and directly opposite Milo. “Emersyn’s in trouble.”
“And you know this—”
She cut off Milo with a slice of her hand. “Pretty boy, this will go a lot faster if you let me talk and save the questions until after the presentation.”
My eyebrows weren’t the only ones who shot up.
Holy shit. She didn’t miss a beat either.
“So, a little more this,” she continued, holding her thumb and fingers together like a closed mouth. “Instead of this.” She mimed yapping with her hand. After a beat, she nodded. “Good. Emersyn contacted me a few days ago because of a reward that was put out by my family and friends of ours. I knew she was okay, but my grandfather offered the reward at my request. We were hoping someone would try to collect from us before the Sharpes, and that would let me know if anyone had found her before they could sell her out.”
Some of her confidence wavered, but all she did was fold her arms. “I promised her I would help in any way. I would also warn her if we heard anything. That was our last conversation. Then I heard she’d been found and was coming home.”
A shudder raced through her.
“That was the last thing she wanted.”
“Told you,” Freddie said, though his tone was far from smug.
“You sound certain,” Milo said.
“That’s because I am, I’ve known Emersyn since we were five. Granted— we haven’t always been in the same places, and we had a hard time keeping in touch sometimes, but we never gave up on each other and I’m not giving up on her now. As much as I hated not knowing exactly where she was, I was happy knowing she was safe.”
The emphasis she gave to that last word slayed what reservations that might have still lingered over our choices in taking her.
“She never told me why you took her and I don’t care right now, I’m just glad you did. Her going back was never the plan.”
“The false IDs,” Liam said. “You got them for her.”
“Yes, a new identity, cash, anything she needed to not be Emersyn Sharpe anymore, and disappear.”
I frowned. The ferociousness in her eyes glinted with no small amount of danger. She was the real deal. She’d fight for Emersyn. Fight for her the way we would fight for each other.
Freddie and Rome were right to bring her here. “Where is she now?” I asked. “Where is she that you’re so damn worried about?”
As desperate as I was to see her, I wanted the answer to be something like a beach in Mexico or the Caribbean or anywhere. I wanted this to be overkill. I wanted our concerns to be unfounded.
“If he’s done what I think he has and if the rumors are true, he’s sent her back to Pinetree.”
“What the hell is Pinetree?” It was the first time Doc had said a word since he arrived.
“It’s a psychiatric facility,” Liam answered, a muscle ticking in his jaw. “A very exclusive one.”
“You’ve heard of it?” The question seemed rhetorical because she didn’t wait for his response. “All I know is that if she’s there, we need to get her out. I have the money and the connections, but I have no way to get in and I don’t think I could anyway— the last two times he sent her to that place— she was different when she came out.”
“Different how?” Milo took two steps toward her. “There was never anything about her being in a facility.”
“Of course not, it wouldn’t reflect well on the family. But I knew. Some of us knew, because we saw what happened after. The only reason they sent her there was to control her— to take away who she is, and I couldn’t stop it before. I can do something now.”
“That’s where we come in,” Vaughn said, like Doc, he’d said almost nothing. But real fury had replaced the agony in his voice. If they were caging her, we would damn well shatter those bars.
“Exactly. I just— I just don’t know how to make it happen and I need help to get her out.”
“We’d need to know if she was there for sure,” Doc said. “HIPPA would prevent them from admitting it, but medical requests…”
Milo cut a look at him.
Right. No one wanted to admit this. No one wanted to say she was in trouble, even if it was what we’d all, been saying.
“Tell them,” Rome said and that got all of our attention. But he wasn’t talking to Elaine. He was looking at Liam. “It’s time. Tell them.”
“He’s right,” Freddie said. “Tell them and then we figure out how to get me committed. It’s not like anyone needs to tell me how to be crazy. They’ve been wanting to lock me up for years.”
Heather Long. Dirty Devil (Kindle Locations 1993-2041).
Freddie is my hero, I love him so much. The way he reconnects to Emersyn, and the new friend they make in Bodhi are some of the best scenes ever!
There’s some very interesting intertwining in this book with Liam’s relationship with the Royals that also seem to connect to Lainey.
This book is an emotional rollercoaster, one I couldn’t put down. I laughed, cried, screamed and OMG the ending! The next book can’t get here soon enough!
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.