I received this book for free from NetGalley, Provided by Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Riding Dirty by Jill ShalvisSeries: Dirty Eleven #1
Published by Harlequin, HQN on October 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: NetGalley, Provided by Publicist
Also by this author: It Had to be You, Ice Games, Once In A Lifetime
PJV Quickie: Wow, this is my first Jill Sorenson read and Riding Dirty was nothing like I expected! I thought I’d get a a sex scene or two, some MC (motorcycle club) action, and an HEA. What I got was a really, really sexy read with an interesting story and an unbelievably hot ex-con for a hero. I had a few slight issues with certain events in the story, but overall I was completely entertained and kept reading ahead to see how the author was going to make this couple work.
Three years ago, Mia was the victim of a home-invasion by two motorcycle gang members. Her husband was killed and they attempted to kill Mia (and thought they succeeded). Now she’s got a new identity, and as a forensic psychologist she’s helping the cops solve a MC-related case by working with a prisoner-turned-informant. Secretly, she also plans to use any means necessary to convince this person to hunt down her husband’s killers.
Cole has been targeted by a rival gang in prison, and has worked out a deal to get out early if he’ll go undercover to provide the cops with insider information in his MC. He has to wear an ankle cuff and meet with the forensic psychologist twice a week. He’s definitely attracted to Mia, and thinks she’s attracted to him too. He knows she’s totally out of his league, but he can’t help flirting a bit, and is surprised when she seems responsive. Is she playing him for the cops, or does she genuinely care for him?
Going in to this book, I did not realize going in that Cole was an ex-con who was released from prison early to work on this case. I’m really not a fan of prison heroes, but I have to admit I warmed up to Cole and wanted things to work out for him and Mia. They had great chemistry and together they are sexy as hell. That being said, I had a few problems with Mia besides the fact that she’s a forensic psychologist entering into a sexual relationship with a felon: although she was able to express her needs sexually, she seemed to be a weaker character in general and I felt like she cried a lot. My main issue with the story though, was their actions after they left his buddy’s repair shop – If you’re running from the cops I’d think that you would want to continue moving, not stop for sexytime.
The thing is, even with the issues I mentioned above, I really enjoyed Riding Dirty. I will definitely be going back and reading Ms. Sorenson’s backlist – Riding Dirty was very, very sexy (including a threesome) and I like her style of writing – the book has this dirty, gritty feel to it that you can’t shake. The bad guys are bad and I wasn’t really sure who the good guys were, which kept me on my toes.
Riding Dirty is much more sexually explicit than I thought it would be, so if you like your stories ‘hot-n-dirty’ than you’ll like this. There are some MC elements, although the story is not set IN a motorcycle club, more like it is centered around MC life. Fans of Victoria Dahl will want to give Jill Sorenson a try.
I was curious about being a published author and Ms. Sorenson was kind enough to answer a few questions that might be of interest to PJV readers:
PJV: Did you always want to write books? How long did it take you to find a publisher once you decided to do it?
I always liked reading and writing but I’d planned to teach. I have a credential for high school English. After I had my first daughter, I wanted a creative job I could do from home. I started writing one day and it just felt right. It took me about two years to find a publisher.
PJV: How do you come up with ideas for your stories? Do you plot ahead or wait and see which character seems to be ‘asking’ for a story? (does that make sense?)
It makes perfect sense! I don’t plot a lot of character-specific details before I start. Their individual personalities develop as I delve deeper into the story. I’m a suspense writer so plotting twists and turns is a big deal for me. I use a synopsis and outline plot points. I find it helpful to know where I’m going.
My ideas come from a lot of different places. I daydream and people-watch. I’m inspired by settings, current events, movies and real life.
PJV: What is a typical writing day like for you?
I get up pretty early, usually between 4 and 6am. I check emails and mess around on the internet more than I should. My main writing time is while my kids are at school, but I often continue for a few hours after they get home. I work a lot because I love what I do.
PJV: What’s your favorite part about writing? (ie, coming up with the ideas, research, writing, publicity, release day?)
My favorite part of the process is writing a rough draft. Research and outlining is a close second. I love the beginning, when my project is shiny and new and full of promise. I’m awkward with promo but I think I’m getting better at it. Release day is just another day to me.
PJV: Do you read other books in your genre or do you try not to? What are some of your favorite books?
I read romance like crazy. I don’t pick up much romantic suspense because it feels like my day job, rather than relaxing entertainment, but I loved Carolyn Crane’s Into the Shadows. It’s the best RS I’ve read in ages. I love Victoria Dahl’s contemporary romances also. I like reading erotic romance, lesbian romance and multicultural romance.
PJV: What was the moment when you suddenly realized, “Yes, I did it; I’m a published author”? How did you celebrate?
It was so long ago I don’t remember! I got “the call” in 2007 (I think) from Harlequin editor Stacy Boyd. She made me an offer and I accepted. We’re still working together. My celebration was probably a happy dance around my house.
Thank you so much, Ms. Shalvis, for stopping by and answering our questions! Best of luck with Riding Dirty!
Great questions! Thank you.
Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels, including the Aftershock series by HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, twitter and reality TV. Jogging keeps her sane. Riding Dirty is her first erotic suspense novel.