Dirty Little Lies by Clare James is one of those small gems of a book that you think will be fun and okay and absolutely exceeds all of your preconceived expectations! In Stevie Sinclair, James has created a character that is fun, vivacious and totally unprepared for what the world is about to throw at her but rushes forward none the less.
“…Attending work functions is definitely one girlfriend duty I could do without. Plus, I don’t know why Max would even want me here. I’m so out of place. All the women are perfectly posed in their sculpted Pilates bodies-golden and dewy-draped in tiny, strappy little numbers. I, on the other hand, am secured in my modern day girdle and vintage dress. With coiffed hair, matte face, and pale lips to match. I was going for Ingrid Bergman, but have a feeling it’s coming off more like the sad librarian who lives with her cats…”
Stevie has the perfect boyfriend in Max. Someone who cares and loves her and accepts all her crazy little quirks. Only one thing seems to come between them. Max doesn’t do it for her and he knows it. She doesn’t even fake it anymore and their sex life has ground to infrequent moments of desperation. But with everything else that is so right about him she is willing to overlook this one small fault. That is, until she finds the box of condoms in his medicine cabinet, condoms they don’t use and Max has no explanation at all.
Stevie in an emotional moment moves out of their home and into a hotel with her pet bird. She makes a list of the things she wants to do and the things she has been denying herself. On that list is a sexual adventure. She goes down to the bar and begins to drink on her own when a man comes up to her. She tells him about the list and after a few drinks they make it back up to her room.
“…I hear the door open and close. My eyes pop open. Then my phone rings, displaying the name: Gabe Shannon.
‘What’s going on?’ I ask him, afraid of what he’s going to say and feeling the beginnings of rejection starting to kick in. ‘Why’d you leave?’
‘Don’t worry, Stevie,’ he says, which instantly calms me. ‘I’m right here.’
‘I don’t get it.’
‘We’re starting our sexual adventure,’ he says.
Mmmm. He has an amazing phone voice.
‘With what?’ I ask.
‘With words, Stevie.’
My stomach flips so many times, it’s the Olympics of stomach flips. I’m sure mine gets the gold.
The he continues, ‘I’m going to show you how I can make a woman come without even touching her.’
Oh my fucking God. There went the lace…”
With Gabe, Stevie sets out on an adventure of self discovery that goes far beyond their sexual escapades. As deep down she had begun to believe that she was the reason she had such an unfulfilled sex life with Max.
But what will Stevie do when Max returns and explains what he had really been doing and when she discovers that Gabe may not be exactly who he has led her to believe.
Dirty Little Lies is a fun little novel of one young woman’s breaking out party as she realizes she is much more than she could have ever believed or allowed herself to be. James does a terrific job of character development and as a reader you will grow right along with Stevie. She is a character that is easy to fall in love with and that is saying something in a genre where sex is the predominant factor. James does far more than help Stevie get her sexy back, she helps her get her romance back as well. And that is a journey worth following.
A terrific short novel that will leave the reader wanting more and more of Stevie Sinclair!