DIRTY PAST: Escape from New York

Dirty Past


DIRTY PAST AUDIO COVERBook 2 in the Burke Brothers series
By Emma Hart
Narrated by Lidia Dornet, Iggy Toma
Publication date May 26, 2015
Running time 9 hrs
Also available

E-Book:  264 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star/Simon and Schuster  (May 4, 2015)


Tate Burke, the eldest of the Burke brothers and a member of the rock band Dirty B., is pure sex. Women actually throw their panties at him during shows. And Ella Dawson is the lucky little thing that gets to escort their fangirling butts out when he’s done with them.

Tate’s a cocky son of a bitch, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Every now and then Ella gets a rare glimpse of the Tate behind the bad-boy act, and it attracts her in the most annoying way. The most annoying, heart-thumping, panty-wetting way.

When her raging mad, abusive ex turns up at the hotel room that Ella and Tate are sharing, Ella knows that she’ll need more than just a little protection. Tate sees red, and Ella can’t help but lean on him despite his bad-boy ways.

And now? Now, he’s in a whole lot of trouble.

Contains mature themes.

My Take Oblong


I’ve really been enjoying the rock n’ roll romance sub genre of late.  This one felt less like rock and more like country music to me; probably a by product of listening to the book instead of reading it as Tate is voiced in a serious Southern accent which I associate with country. Beyond that they feel more like a good-old-country-boy country band than a rock band; which I especially felt when they return home to visit their parents. They are really connected within this small community in the South.

I didn’t feel there were any surprises in the book; it felt pretty obvious how the story would unfold.   I liked the way the relationship unfolded — it’s very natural for a woman to want to feel safe when she is threatened and of course that is what Tate, the band members, and their family provide.

I felt sad that Ella had such a terrible family even if they were from the right side of the tracks; love is more important than money but her parents were colder than popsicles in February.  But as much as the couple is attracted to each other physically and with his alpha-male, protective response, I thought it is pretty unlikely this couple would have much in common after the initial novelty, need for protection, and gratitude wears off.

Often, it is a physical, and very hot relationship that brings a couple together; sometimes need, healing and protection are added. But with huge disparities in education and background, that is not a recipe for a long-lasting romance. It is the romance book ideal — the fairy tale made adult, but it has little to do with reality. Opposites attract and sometimes relationships are made by each member’s strength filling in a spot where the other is weak, but without something other than immediate need and physical attraction there’s not much more to hold two people together.

Tate is pretty crude and I am not attracted to a guy who first thinks about my breasts as “tits;” or for that matter, whose nearly first in looking at me when I was introduced as his employee was about my breasts. At first, it seems as if Tate’s moral compass is broken; but then we are shown he is just going with what is available and what’s expected. In this case, he is so crude and immature I can’t see where he is at all attractive.  Indeed, his brother and sister touring with their young child in this den of rock n’ roll fueled, silicone-enhanced groupie, tour bus depravity strikes me as hugely irresponsible.

I do applaud the treatment of domestic violence in the story: how Ella has to fight her own parents’ lack of belief and understanding and get past her own desire to be what others want to get  position of strength and be who she wishes to be is moving. It’s always sad to read about parents like hers. I thought her getting past there disapproval was a bigger obstacle than simply getting away from her ex’s fists.

I found myself wondering what happened to Ella’s car from the beginning of the book. I just reread the chapter and cannot see that it is a rental. She parks the car, locks it and moves on.  That’s the last I remember it. These little details bug me. If you’re running away, leaving your car, rented or owned, is a great way to get found. You may be able to get a rental with cash, but it is pretty hard. And, if you’re being searched for as a missing person, your car will probably be noticed.

I recommend this story with reservations about the believability fo the relationship. Yeah, it is hot. And, sure, he’s a big strong man who can help her even if she doesn’t want to show her weakness. But eventually, her Harvard education and Manhattan socialite upbringing would be likely to reveal itself over his I-didn’t-finish-school-because-I-started-a-band-in-the-garage background and the verbal arguments will get ugly.  I couldn’t help but extrapolate that scenario from the story that was unfolding. But, hey, hey it’s a fantasy!


Links Blue Horizontal


TANTOR MEDIA:  https://tantor.com/dirty-past-emma-hart.html

AUTHOR: http://www.emmahart.org/  (Author offers more purchase options)

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Past-Burke-Brothers-Book-ebook/dp/B00MZAIT6K