Seven Dirty Words by Charlotte Howard, Book Review
By Pleasure Panel reviewer Candy Snatch
I volunteered to read Seven Dirty Words by Charlotte Howard for Pleasure Panel. I’m a big reader, particularly of erotica, so I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this book. The story centres around Paige Holmes, a troubled young woman who despite her dark past is desperate to rebuild her life.
Paige finds herself drawn to a man she meets whilst playing rugby, Vance Ellery (or TDS, Tall, Dark and Smouldering as she nicknames him.) Ellery is rich, well connected and intimidating, Paige feels an immediate magnetism towards him. When Ellery becomes involved with local investment towards a much-needed sports pavilion Paige’s affluent parents begin inviting him into their social circle.
Paige whilst drawn to TDS meets a younger, gorgeous man through her job in a garage. Matt Jackson is everything anyone could want in a man and Paige finds herself smitten with him. As Paige and TDS’s connection grows stronger she is stunned to find the two men she’s torn between have a connection. Matt is TDS’s son. Whilst Paige struggles to make a choice between the two her past begins to catch up with her. Will she be able to keep her secrets or will her past and present collide and can she survive this?
I don’t want to give too much of the plot twist and turns away so I’m going to be careful and deliberately vague in my review of Seven Dirty Words. The first thing that I feel I must mention is I wouldn’t describe this book as erotica. It contains a few steamy sex scenes between Paige and either of the two male characters. But I would say there is nowhere near enough sex to classify as erotica.
That aside I did really enjoy Seven Dirty Words. It’s well written and the story has enough hooks that I didn’t feel I needed the sex to keep me reading. Paige’s backstory is dark and difficult and it’s impossible not to sympathise with her as she struggles to make a choice, and to know who to trust.
The male characters divided me. I liked Matt Jackson, he felt like a warm, well rounded character and I found myself devouring the chapters containing interaction between him and Paige. Ellery (TDS) I didn’t warm to at all. Maybe I wasn’t meant to as he was written as intimidating but there were points where he felt a little too much like a Christian Grey clone.
Whilst he’s not a Dom in any sense of the word there were definite similarities in behaviour with Paige. For example, when TDS buys Paige a car as he dislikes her battered Golf I was immediately put in mind of the same scene in Fifty Shade of Grey. Similarly, when TDS “deals” with a man hassling Paige in New York it was Christian Grey that popped into my head. Add into this equation private jets, owning hotels and buying half her village and it was very reminiscent of Mr Grey.
Whilst TDS isn’t a Dom and Seven Dirty Words is not about a D/s relationship you can see he is quite domineering and during the sex Paige is quite submissive. I feel like this is the first part of a continuing saga so maybe Charlotte Howard will explore this more in later books. Whilst I feel like by the end of the book I know TDS a little better I still prefer Matt.
Paige herself is a complicated character. At first I thought she was a strong, driven young woman but as the story unfolds I realised she’s extremely fragile and in many ways broken by her past. She has temper issues and uses alcohol as a crutch. She pushes away people trying to help her. Whilst I sympathised with her at times there were also times when I was aghast at the decisions she made. And a few times when I wanted to shake her.
Charlotte Howard has done well to write a love story which is not your average fairy tale. For most of the book I was unsure which way the ending would go and unsure who the villain was. This kept me on my toes as a reader and made me read the book in record time. It also kept the story in my mind when I put the book down. To me this is the sign of a good read.
The sex scenes which were in Seven Dirty Words were hot, in a sensual kind of way. My personal flavour of erotica is much stronger and more hard core but this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. I also understand why given the content of the book the sex couldn’t really be much more hardcore, it wouldn’t have worked. Paige needed the sex scenes to be the way they were and they also marked the differences between her two suitors.
The ending surprised me totally. I didn’t see it coming and was left a bit like “What happens now?” this is what leads me to think there must be a sequel. I’d definitely like to read this sequel as I’d really like to know how the story expands.
If you’re looking for erotica to get yourself off to then this is not the book for you. However, if you want an actual story, with a splash of romance and drama then Seven Dirty Words by Charlotte Howard is a great way to lose a few evenings. I enjoyed it immensely and rate it 8/10.
Thank you very much to Cara and Charlotte Howard for giving me the opportunity to read Seven Dirty Words.
– Candy Snatch
This e-book was provided free of charge, in exchange for a fair and honest review by the Pleasure Panel, by the author. Thank you! 🙂
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