Review: Dirty Nails by Regina Bartley

Series: Standalone
Release Date: February 1, 2015
Publisher: Regina Bartley
Genre: Dark Romance / Romantic Suspense
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★ ½
From the outside looking
in, this life may seem jacked up. People may think that I’ve completely
lost my mind. They only see the bruises. They don’t know that Maxwell
Costin saved my life, and that I owe him everything. I’m alive because
of him. So when he tells me to keep my mouth shut, and do what he says
then that’s exactly what I do. And if anyone asks about the dirty
bodies, the dirty floors, or Max’s dirty hands, I know nothing. Even if
the man asking is dark and dangerously sexy. I will not break. Try me…

for ages 18+ due to graphic language, sexual content, & mature
subject matter.*** This book is not for the weak at heart. You have been

Dirty Nails was recommended to me by a reader. I asked what everyone’s favorite 5 star book was and this one popped up.  I sought it out on Goodreads, fell a little in love with the synopsis and one clicked.
The first forty percent of Dirty Nails was not a five star book, for me.  I found myself only slightly interested in the story. I was not fully connected enough with Shay to understand her unquestioning attitude towards her situation.
That being said, she really does have an interesting back story. It’s dark and all sorts of wrong, had I felt slightly more entranced by Shay herself, I would completely fell into the story.
As it was, it took nearly half of the book for me to be fully hooked.  I’m not telling you the first half is bad, it most certainly is not and it’s crucial story building. What I am saying is that the second half of the book was much more my taste.
Shay believes herself to be the lone survivor of a family tragedy. Saved by the man who was her father’s best friend, taken care of at times, abused at others. She knows no other life. She knows not the secrets that surround her. She never questions her life or Max.
Until Sketch arrives in her life. Making her feel things and eventually showing her that everything she thinks she knows isn’t at all what it seems.
I think I should hate Max. Well, I know I should hate Max. However, the biggest feels I had in this book came from him.  The villain, the abuser, the monster.  He’s so hot and cold and I wanted to unravel him, figure out what makes him tick.  Sadly, his story isn’t really told. Maybe we can talk Bartley into that. I think it is something that needs development.  His obsession with Shay was never fully explored and I want it, damn it!
That is kind of the crux of my issues with this book. So much yet to explore.  As I said, the story really picks up half way through and from that point it’s a bit of a fast ride.  I would have liked it to slow a bit and  dive into Sketch and Max a little more. It was somewhat rushed.
Does it sound like I didn’t like the book? Man, I hope not. I really did. I needed more though. I still want more! Dirty Nails is a good dark romance that had the makings of being a GREAT dark romance.

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