Book Review, Romance Review

Review: Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen
Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
…And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory–namely, his wallet.
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I.
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

Jude is down on her luck I every way. Drowning in medical bills for her sick father and desperate to find a job, the last thing she needed was to surprise her boyfriend when he’s balls deep in another woman, but that’s Jude’s day. A sexy stranger approaches her at the bar while she drowns her sorrows and she can’t say no to him. One night stands aren’t her thing, but he’s only in town for tonight then she’ll never have to see him again, unless she travels to France and runs into him there. He’s amazing in every way and the night is unforgettable, but Jude is just desperate enough to do the unthinkable. Slinking away in the pre-dawn hours before he awakes, she takes his wallet. Guilt consumes her, but she’s out of options and it’s not like she’ll ever see him again.

Until she finally lands a new job days later and he’s her new boss. She’s livid that he lied and completely embarrassed, he’s pissed that she stole his wallet but still intrigued by the woman who rocked his world that night. The attraction is too strong to ignore but aside from him being her boss, there’s another enormous complication in the form of his fiancée. Jude has fallen hard for Célian Laurent and it’s only going to complicate her life. Between her jealous, scheming ex and Célian’s conniving, manipulative father, who’s also the CEO, things quickly go from bad to worse.

Jude is a talented reporter but is soon painted as sleeping her way to her job. Things only get worse when they discover her hiring may have been orchestrated. The last thing she needs is that knock to her confidence, making her doubt what she’s earned and what she deserves. I loved Jude immediately. She’s smart, funny and quirky without being annoying. Her inner monologue is witty and entertaining. She’s loyal to a fault and so, so likeable.

Célian may be the hottest of all of Shen’s hotholes (okay, maybe tied with Roman Bane Protsenko because, come on) because you want to tear off his clothes and slap him at the face at the same time, more than once. There’s a lot he doesn’t know about Jude but he’s got secrets of his own and they’re both unknowing pawns in a game they don’t even realize they’re playing. He’s sweet and sensitive and kind under the hard shell he wears to protect himself and that’s understandable once you meet some of the other people in his life.

This book has an awesome supporting cast including Jude’s dad and her friends, plus the cheating ex-boyfriend you’ll love to hate. He’s just so douchey and absolutely perfect for the role he plays in her story. The main characters steal the show by both being funny, smart-mouthed and quick. Their constant banter is great and ups the sexual tension at every turn. These two are fire together and I can’t get enough of his mouth.

“I don’t think I’m much of a father figure, but if you want kids, we’ll have kids. Hell, if you want rabies, we’ll catch it together. Make a day of it.”

This on-again/off-again couple has to contend with more than one villain while finding their way and it’s a fantastic story. This story is much steamier than other Shen books or maybe it just seems that way because I’m such a sucker for Célian’s filthy mouth and bossy demeanor. I love Dirty Headlines and it’s definitely not a one-time read.

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