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Down & Dirty (2019)

by Rhenna Morgan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
195931,886 (4.31)1
"A slow burn from the very first page. These boys have the perfect amount of sweet and heat. Every woman needs her own Haven brother." --Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times bestselling author The Men of Haven: fierce passion, unyielding loyalty. Especially when it comes to their women. 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. Don't miss the Men of Haven series by Rhenna Morgan! Order your copy of Rough & Tumble, Wild & Sweet, Claim & Protect, Tempted & Taken and Stand & Deliver today! This book is approximately 93,000 words One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Men of Haven series for the underlying themes of family and doing what’s right. You might also have noticed I’ve expressed concern about the edge of risque behavior they mention but which occurs off screen. Well, that’s thrown out the window with Axel and Lizzy’s story.

I state this up front because I’m not the only one leery. I didn’t quit the book because Morgan is a talented writer, and she brings the emotional connections to life during those scenes. While Lizzy is introduced to this behavior in the book, Axel makes sure he has consent and takes care to confirm she’s still willing at all points. It also doesn’t go into any of the violent aspects beyond a bit of rope. It’s not my thing, but thanks to the writing, I was able to accept it was theirs even though the dominance play was very much front and center in detailed description.

Nor was this the only way Down & Dirty differs from the rest of the series. Instead of discovering Lizzy is in imminent danger and helping her solve the problem, the trouble rose from her past. When the psychological abuse became physical back then, her good friend Rex pulled her out, but the effects still linger.

What starts as a revenge plot turns a little more current as her ex-manager and lover tries the same tricks. Axel is not one to stand back and let this happen, but the brothers do their homework. They find a way to make the man pay not just for his crimes against a younger Lizzy but also those he continues to perpetuate.

While it is different in those two aspects, otherwise, the book holds to the same principles as the rest of the series. They have a family of choice that supports and backs them. This is true even before Lizzy is willing to admit she’s bonded with Axel because of her history with the ex-manager. The brothers even adopt her friend Rex because he’s as much or more her family than anyone with blood ties.

The mothers take Lizzy under their protection, attempting to make up for everything she’d been denied in her family life. Lizzy growing comfortable with female friends is lovely as is her acceptance of how she trusts Axel’s character no matter what appears to be going on. That trust is confirmed in the best way possible at the climax, solving the one niggling aspect of the series for me in a beautiful way. I’ll say only that accepting the friendship of the other women in the Haven group is one of many changes she makes. You must read the book to find out the others.

It’s a testament to the strength and complexity of the characters and the story that I enjoyed this novel despite it going a little beyond my comfort zone. Rhenna Morgan could have lost me here, but she has not. It’s a beautiful story that asks a lot of both Axel and Lizzy while giving the Haven family another chance to demonstrate how family should come together and do the right thing. They protect their own members, but also help any others affected by the same wrongdoing. The series holds true to its themes and offers clear examples of making the right choices even when they are tough ones.

P.S. I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | May 6, 2019 |
Enjoyable, but it didn't catch me like the previous stories. I like both Axel and Lizzy, and his motivation is nice (in several senses). The sex is hot, and only moderately kinky - at least, what we see in detail is not much more than we've seen in previous stories. One excellent thing was Lizzy stepping up to take her own action - and how that _didn't_ become a disaster. Two trains on the same track doesn't end well for either one. As it was, the focus scene was just beautiful. And Axel abdicating because that's what Lizzy needed then was good too, though it didn't last long. Lots of good scenes, nice plot (though the villain was more than a little limp - sledgehammer to an ant, it seems to me), good characters old and (a few) new...but I was somehow less impressed than I was with the earlier books. Possibly it would have been better if I'd read them all straight through, rather than a several-month pause between the fifth book and this one. Still, enjoyable, and possibly worth rereading sometime. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Apr 18, 2019 |
Down & Dirty by Rhenna Morgan
Men of Haven #6

One of the true pleasures in my life is finding wonderful characters that I would love to know in real life. Each and every book in this series is such a book. Who wouldn’t like to have a “family” of men who have chosen one another to be “brothers” and live by a code of honor that puts family first...no matter what. Add to that the men are HOT and ALPHA and know what they want when they see it and you have a series I eagerly await each book that comes out to see which man will meet his mate next. AND...this time it is Axel McKee who finds Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hemmings and knows she’s the one.

We meet Lizzy as she is getting to perform with her band Falcon Black and then she meets Axel when she goes out to get the band’s payment from the club owner they have just finished playing in. The guy is a bit of a scuzz-bucket with a reputation for trying to cheat performers out of money and Axel, knowing this, steps in...and it does not go over well. So, how is Axel to woo the lady if he makes a bad impression? Call in a brother? Perhaps.

What I liked:
* Axel – what a wonderful man he is...in all ways always!
* Lizzy – a brilliant musician and so strong to be able to overcome her past!
* The relationship between Axel & Lizzy – sizzling and so mature – in more ways than one
* Seeing the family members and how they are changing
* Meeting the band members and wondering if they might have books of their own
* Well...really...just everything about the book except for…

What I did not like:
* Joffrey – I was supposed to hate him and I did and was thrilled to see he was dealt with in the perfect way.

Thank you to NetGalley, Lady Amber Publicity, HQN-Carina and the author for this wonderful book in a superb series. This is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Mar 11, 2019 |
Oh my gosh! Axel just blew me away. He has been one of my favourite characters right from the beginning of this series and I’ve been really looking forward to his book. I did not expect him to be such romantic. Elizabeth didn’t stand a chance. He dove right in and made all her dreams come true. And loved her exactly as she needed to be loved to. Oh God I melted into a puddle of goo with the way he begins their first night together. Perfect guy! I wish he was real.

Advanced Review Copy provided for voluntary review consideration. ( )
  AshPReads | Mar 8, 2019 |
Title Down and Dirty
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin - Carina Press
Series: Book #6 in the Men of Haven
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Down and Dirty" by Rhenna Morgan

My Rationalization...

This was another enjoyable series Book # 6 of the Men of Haven which featured Axel and his pursuit of Elizabeth. Definitely, the hot chemistry was there among them from the first meeting however from the story Axel will have to gain [Elizabeth] Lizzy's trust due to what all had gone on in her life earlier. I loved hearing from many of the family members we have met from other Haven series with them all coming together giving the reader one heck of a good read. The author really works her magic with Axel and Elizabeth that will keep you turning the pages, especially from those hot steamy sex scenes. Be ready for Axel who is 'big red-haired, green eyes, beard rocking Scotland accent with quite a kinky side and Lizzy a rock star who seemed somewhat shy but yet at the end able to hold her on when it is necessary and definitely the one for Axel.

All in all, this was one good enjoyable read "Down and Dirty' that I will recommend along with the other five Men of Haven series.

*I received an arc via the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* ( )
  arlenadean | Feb 13, 2019 |
Showing 5 of 5
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"A slow burn from the very first page. These boys have the perfect amount of sweet and heat. Every woman needs her own Haven brother." --Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times bestselling author The Men of Haven: fierce passion, unyielding loyalty. Especially when it comes to their women. 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. Don't miss the Men of Haven series by Rhenna Morgan! Order your copy of Rough & Tumble, Wild & Sweet, Claim & Protect, Tempted & Taken and Stand & Deliver today! This book is approximately 93,000 words One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

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