BOOK REVIEW: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills


Release Date: October 12, 2015

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*


Ilsa Madden-Mills is one of my “go to” authors and it’s become almost second nature for me to pick up anything and everything that she writes. However, what spoke loudest to me about Dirty English was the book cover. I mean, if you’ve seen it, then you know exactly why those powerful back muscles were yelling my name. Add on to that a brilliant background of the Union Jack, well… I was going deaf with excitement to finally get my hands on it. I am so, so happy to say that not only did the book cover rock my socks, but so did Declan and Elizabeth’s story.

I was hooked from the very start of this book; reaching out to the heroine just in its prologue alone. The horrid actions of someone she thought she could trust just ripped my heart out. It’s terrifying to know that one moment could change a person forever and in this case, Elizabeth’s way of coping with such hurt and ugliness, was by swearing off love forever. She instead turns to one night stands where she takes control by creating detailed rules about who it’s with, what happens, and when it ends. Every single minute detail is decided by her; prohibiting any chance of being taken advantage of. I felt for Elizabeth. Her character and everything that she’d so tragically experienced called out to me in a way that had me clutching at my chest. Elizabeth and Declan’s story once again proves that love comes when you least expect it.

Declan… Oh you sexy piece of hot stuff!!! Having been burned by love in the past, he too has sworn off any sort of committed relationships with the opposite sex. With his focus solely on starting up his own gym, his world is thrown upside down the night he lays his eyes on the enigmatic Elizabeth Bennett.  The lengths that he goes through to make her believe that he’s the real deal had my pants melting right off of me—I was a giddy teenager every single time Declan wooed her in some way. I don’t know how Ilsa managed to create an alpha male without making him seem like a possessive tool. Declan was the perfect match for Elizabeth. He was everything that she needed to begin truly healing and finally begin living. He was the light to the darkness she was suffocating in. What was so interesting to me was how Elizabeth and Declan were both abandoned by a parent—Elizabeth’s mother to Declan’s father. Yet they somehow lived a completely different life with different expectations. And speaking of Elizabeth’s mother. OMFG did I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate… No! I LOATHED that woman. I mean, she wasn’t even a constant physical character in the book but the few parts she was in was enough to do me in. I could feel my blood boiling, curdling with such distaste and I praise Ilsa for being able to create such a conniving and uncaring character who wasn’t even really the primary villain!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t only have a strong duo of primary characters, but Ilsa gave us an amazing secondary cast of characters too. Dax who is Declan’s twin brother was a huge part in their story and I thought that his character was wonderfully well developed. You actually saw a steady progression to his personality and many times I found him to make the most sense when situations and emotions between Declan and Elizabeth got the best of them. I am hoping that Ilsa gives him his own story too because I think that he’d give his twin brother a run for his money.

So if you’re looking for a read with major angst and a whole lot of swoon factor, then Dirty English is exactly what you need.

We Like It Big Tunes:

Angel- John Legend

Exclusive Excerpt

“I wanted to f*ck you the minute you walked in that party,” Declan snapped.

“Then why don’t you,” I bit back, tossing back my shoulders.

“You think you want me?” he said tightly. “You can’t handle me, Elizabeth. I can see it in your eyes. You’re scared of something, maybe not me, but something.”

My eyes went to his black eye.

He let out a harsh laugh. “Ah, that’s what you’re afraid of. You want the real truth? You told me tonight you didn’t like violence, but I’m an arsehole who uses his fists. That’s who I am.”

I didn’t believe that. I sensed a good guy in him. “What do you mean?”

His gaze was intense, dark and low, his face struggling as he fought to find the right words. “I’m in a fight club for money. I show up at warehouses and fight other blokes. Sometimes I beat them so bad they need medical attention. A few times, I’ve been beat to unconsciousness. I’m everything you need to stay away from.”

I inhaled, anger and lust and excitement all riding me. Anger that he was pushing me away, lust for the alpha male in him, and God help me, the fighting thing repelled me and excited me at the same time. “I don’t want to stay away from you. I want you to f*ck me and stop making excuses for why you can’t.”

My words seemed to snap his taut restraint.

He pulled me back in his arms, his lips fusing with mine unerringly. His tongue plundered me in a sensual way my body had craved for years. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my anger morphing into all-out desire as he turned us and pressed me against the wall.

Yes, yes, this is what I craved.

A passion to remind me that I was real, not just some sad excuse of a girl who chose to exist on scraps of love.

Before I knew it, he’d shoved my robe off, his hands sculpting my shoulders, massaging them as he ravaged my mouth. I reveled in the warmth of his hand on my neck as his mouth skated down, kissing the hollows of my throat, sucking on my collarbone.

“Like this?” he asked, his voice dark and gravelly. “You want me to take you up against this wall?”

“Yes,” I moaned. Gone. Past caring as long as he kept his hands on me.

Out of control, my brain whispered, but I beat back the dark warnings as his warm hand found my breast and squeezed, his fingers rolling my nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
I gasped in pleasure and arched my back to get closer to his body, ignoring the fear that pricked at the surface.

The rules girl in my head stamped her foot and yelled at me.

But even if I wanted to stop right now, I couldn’t. My tongue tangled wildly with his, my hands pulled at his hair, spurring him on, his hand palming my breast and then tugging. Sharp sensations of need went straight to my core.

“Is this what you want? Something quick where we just take what we want and forget each other the next day?”

No. Not that. Not like the way he said it, like it was something dirty.

“Yes, like that,” I whispered against his shoulder, my mouth on his skin, tasting him as my teeth bit down.

Pre-order form for SIGNED PAPERBACK copies:…/1FPfmnwqhdJp8vWi6_84Mydr…/viewform

About the Author:

ilsa madden -millsa

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 dystopian books and 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, homemade soups, 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.

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