Also by this author: Guardian's Bond, Stand & Deliver
Also in this series: Stand & Deliver
Series: Men of Haven
Published by Carina Press on March 11th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Carina Press, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: John Lane
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
A powerful man
Axel McKee abandoned his musical career years ago in favor of becoming a power player on the music scene. His dreams of the spotlight are over—and he’s better off for it. Working with his Haven brothers and building their empire is enough for him.
One who commanded attention with nothing more than a look
And then came Lizzy. A dynamic, beautiful powerhouse of a performer unlike any he’s seen or heard before. Her presence leaps off stage and into the heart of anyone who watches her sing. Axel wants her. Wants to help her and collaborate with her… But more than anything, he wants to be with her.
And every ounce of his attention was locked on her
Two things are immediately obvious: Lizzy’s been burned before, and earning her trust will be Axel’s biggest challenge yet. If he can get this fierce, stubborn, talented woman to see the passion and care that he’s offering, he might get a chance at a new dream—sharing the spotlight with the woman he loves.
DOWN & DIRTY
by Rhenna Morgan
DOWN & DIRTY was not at all what I expected. In a six-books-series you form opinions about side characters, going by the hints and facts the author drops along the way. This story was the one I was looking forward to and anticipating the most.
From the previous books we know that Axel is the eternal bachelor, a man who enjoys his kink and women, a shrewd businessman. We learned quite a bit about him over the course of this series, so when a new fact is sprung on us we are taken aback a little. That Axel’s greatest love until Elizabeth is music, that he actually wanted to become a musician that wasn’t mentioned in any of the previous stories and it felt a little like Rhenna Morgan didn’t know what to do with him until the very last minute. It felt a little too random to make sense to me. I also never pictured him as a musician.
Axel had always been adverse to relationships and, while kind, a little rougher and ruthless, at least that’s what I remember from the last books. I didn’t expect him to be as sweet and easy to reel in. That too, felt a little out of character. He was a goner the day he met Lizzy and there I thought he’d put up more of a fight – it felt a little too insta-love-like. Gotta say, though, with all my niggles he was an entirely lovable character. Bossy, protecting his family and those he considered his, oozing masculinity and self confidence. He understands Lizzy, how her thought process works and adjusts to give her what she needs. And in the last 15% or so, the Axel I remember from the previous books made an appearance.
“Gonna fight to keep that. Whatever it takes—whatever you need—I’d kill to keep that laugh and the woman who makes it in my life.”
Lizzy was a guarded young woman when she met Axel. She had sass and snark came to her like breathing but it took Axel a while to take apart the distrust she had toward men. Yet, I didn’t feel like Lizzy, being the rockstar that she was supposed to be, had that charisma Rhenna Morgan was describing. She felt a little bit boring to me and I really wanted more of a firecracker for Axel.
He’d given her everything. A chance at her dream. A real family. Passion like nothing she’d ever experienced before. Constancy. Affection. Him.
This installment also had less suspense than I’m used to when it comes to this series. I enjoyed the banter between the Haven family that we have come to love so much. Especially Jace, who gave Axel hell during his courtship, repaid him for Axel’s needling during his wooing of Vivienne, made me grin and laugh. Their bond is so strong and based on love and loyalty and the meddling just comes with the territory.
DOWN & DIRTY may not have been the bombastic conclusion I wanted it to be but it is a solid story and I do think, read as a standalone, this could be a total winner! I found some beautiful quotes in this book, sweet, deep and beautiful. If you like your romance with a dash of suspense don’t hesitate to pick up this series – it’s definitely addictive.
“I waited a long time for you, Elizabeth. Years I wish we could have spent together.” He skimmed her lips with his own. “But I’d have waited twice as long if I knew you were my reward.”