Review: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Review: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-MillsDirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills
October 12, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US

A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end.

But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window.

She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*a modern love story inspired by Pride and Prejudice*

Good guy fighter meets damaged girl in need of control. That’s what you get in Dirty English.

Declan, a U.K. born underground fighter with dreams of UFC and gym ownership, is finishing up his college career and has is eyes set on big dreams. He may look like the typical bad boy, but he’s a bit of a romantic at heart, reading classics from the likes of Jane Austen.  Becoming involved with his new neighbor diverts his focus on life, and despite the fact that he knows he’s probably not the right guy for her, he can’t stop thinking about her. Wanting her. Wanting to protect her and maybe just healing her in the process.




Elizabeth is an interesting character. Growing up with a mother more interested in finding her next man than raising her own daughter, she’s learned to depend on herself.  Having her first sexual encounter be so far outside of her control, she’s learned that she can move on with sexual relations in one way only. One night stands, on her very strict terms.  Falling in love means trusting someone who could ultimately break you. She’s done that and won’t do it again.

But the sexy boy next door breaks down those walls bit by bit with his determination to be more to her than just a ‘use it and lose it’ guy.  He worms his way in to her life, as does his twin brother. Forcing her to see that maybe her carefully controlled life can handle something deeper, something real, without shattering her heart.

Madden-Mills has yet to deliver books that don’t grab my attention right off the bat.  She has a way of constructing a story that sucks you in, Dirty English does just that.  She also has a bit of magic with interesting characters, Dirty English has those.  It’s a sweet story that has a little underlying darkness, but that isn’t what takes center stage.




I think I gravitated more towards Declan than I did Elizabeth.  I think I had an easier time relating to where he was coming from.  I liked Elizabeth well enough, though, I only wish she had as much fight to allow her heart to feel as she did in all other aspects of her life.

My only real issue with Dirty English was the lack of big feels. This says something about me as a reader, more than Madden-Mills as an author.  I say that because I’ve always, always, had big feels from her other books and I went into this one expecting something of the same.  Had I gone in without those pre-conceived ideas, I think I would have enjoyed it more.  It’s still a solid read and I think Declan is going to be on a lot of women’s book boyfriend list!


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About Ilsa Madden-Mills

New York Times and USA Today best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), Sephora make-up, and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.

When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.

She loves to hear from fans and fellow authors. Drop her a line on the contact page.

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