Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Dirty Games is my first ever Barbara Elsborg read, and the book certainly lives up to its title! Linton Williams is an architect on the rise. He wishes, however, that his younger brother Dirk had a better sense of direction when it came to his own life. When Dirk uses Linton's flat without his permission, trashing it and going as far as to bring a couple and have sex with them on Linton's bed, Linton puts his foot down and throws Dirk out. He wants his brother to kick the addiction that's sucked him into the abyss he's now drowning in. In order to help him, though, he's dragged into a devious game of revenge, one that sets him on a collision course with lust, and ultimately, love.
But while Linton becomes a reluctant participant in this game, Thorne Morrisey becomes an unknowing one. After having publicly broken up with and humiliating his ex-boyfriend, Thorne doesn't bother to take stock or wonder about the ramifications of his bad behavior. But his ex's brother has something to say about what happened, and now, like a puppet master, he's making use of his very own employee--Linton--in hopes to get Thorne to not just notice, but fall for him, and once that happens, Thorne will experience exactly what Linton's boss's brother did at the hands of Thorne. When what was supposed to be a lie becomes real, can there be any winners left in the end?
This novel was dirty in the best way possible. Thorne and Linton are unwittingly dragged into a game concocted by Linton's boss, who just happens to be Thorne's ex-boyfriend's brother and former architect before he was fired by Thorne. His motives, of course, aren't purely altruistic, and it's pretty easy to dislike the man from the get-go. However, Thorne isn't exactly an easy guy to like either. He acts like a spoiled diva half the time, but meeting and being with Linton does seem to set him on the right course...not taking into account what happens when the truth comes out, and let's face it, that's not really a spoiler, because in stories like this one, the truth is always revealed.
I enjoyed reading Linton and Thorne's story. There are quite a few supporting characters that you'll need to keep track of, mainly because a lot of them do play essential roles in the overall tale. Barbara Elsborg has taken the concept of a game with one person controlling all the players and added her own creative touch to it, making for an intriguing and very sexy read. Her characters are far from perfect, but Linton Williams and Thorne Morrisey evolve over time, especially when they engage in a relationship with each other, and their development shows how love can reform and transform. Dirty Games is merely the first of, I hope, many more Elsborg reads. 4.5 stars. ♥
Date Read: March 28, 2017
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