Book Review – Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

by Maryse on December 22, 2012 · 64 comments

in My Book Reviews

Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies #2)
QUICK NOTE for those who haven’t read The Opportunist. This review is sorta spoilerish if you haven’t read book #1 yet, so if you have not, of course, skip this review so you can experience the first book in it’s full crazy glory.

And for those who haven’t read #2, I’d say tread lightly if you decide to read the review. Just know that I LOVED IT!! 5 STARS!! What I have written doesn’t actually spoil much (since we pretty much “know”…things and the “obvious” ’cause of book #1) BUT!! Since I felt the need to just analyze the heck out of Leah (and my feelings for Leah), you might want to skip the review until you’ve read this book, and then come back so we can discuss! We must discuss!!

Whoa. That was fantastic. Fan-freakin-tastic. And I was so torn. I struggled with myself, as the book went on. Not with how much I loved the book. THAT was never in question. It sucked me in right from the very first few lines and didn’t let me go once. It’s SO good, and so well written, and so realistically detailed. All thoughts, reactions, conversations, snarky remarks, even the silly little moments and nervous habits were so in tune with real life, and played out perfectly, that yes (and yay!!). I did it!! I became Leah in this one. I was connected to her 100% and it HURT!!!

I went through so many emotions and struggled with my feelings for her. At first, her “disconnection” to a HUGE event in her life had me shocked. Infuriated. But not surprised. I knew how she was, what she was capable of, because of book #1, and that her jealousy knows NO bounds. Her obsession with Caleb is off the charts, and the things she will do to keep his attention is appalling. And then you start this book, and are forced to tack the word “unforgivable” to her character. Oh. You already did in book #1? Just wait. *raises an eyebrow*

Maryse’s Book Blog: Spoiled, selfish and self-centered is taken to a whole other level. I’m appalled, and yet it’s so good.

Chrissy: Agree!

But… as horrid as Leah can be at times (don’t get me started on the first 15% of the book – ACK!!!!!! This started me on my “unforgivable” kick), she’s just a lonely little girl. She’s learned to play the game, to be the perfect “woman” (as per her affluent, yet unloving parents), and to “fight dirty” as Noah would say. But I think it’s because she’s had to fight all of her life to gain the love of the people that should have loved her unconditionally from the start. Being the perfect daughter, the smart one, the polite one, the one constantly trying to seek approval, and doing everything in her “perfection” to actually earn it. And it never worked. (side note: “Jo/Johanna” is “Leah” in the quote below). You’ll get the full story in the book.

My mother loved my sister. My sister was worthy of love. I remember walking in on them once, as she was brushing Courtney’s hair after her bath. She was telling her a story about when she was a little girl. Courtney was giggling, and my mother was laughing along with her.

“We would have been good friends if we’d grown up together. You are just like me when I was your age.” I sat on the edge of the bathtub to watch them.

“What about Jo?” Courtney asked, shooting me a smile that was missing it’s front teeth. “Would you have been good friends with her too?”

It was like she hadn’t even noticed I was in the room until Court said my name. She blinked at me slowly, and smiled at her youngest daughter. “Oh you know Johanna and her books. She wouldn’t have had time to play with us, all that reading she does.”

I wanted to tell her that I would burn every book I owned to be a part of their little mother/daughter club.

There was a time when she wasn’t a backstabber. She wash’t a schemer. She wasn’t a ruthless b*%ch out for herself. She just wanted to be loved. That’s it. And she was willing to be the perfect daughter to have it.

But now, she’s emotionally stunted. Was never truly allowed to love and be loved, and reprimanded at every turn for just… being her. You’ll see. And I believe it. This isn’t some calculated “pity-me” lie we’re talking about. This is Leah, wide open, and bleeding, because while her face is schooled into remaining impassive, her mind is racing, and her heart is constantly fracturing. And we are in there, with her. She does her best to hide every single part of her, to her entourage. No tears, no real emotions, no reactions to good or bad. Everything is planned out.

In fact, one of the unexpected men in her life (that I sort of really liked… a lot) would say some of the most horrible things to her (or maybe more like telling it to her like it is without softening the blow), and she wouldn’t flinch.

“You are the single most offensive woman I have ever met, you know that?”

In fact, their… “chemistry” if you can call it that, was refreshing. Real. He saw through her, and at some point, she gave up trying to show him anything else. And I think it did her (and us) some good.

She’s so used to being the “villain”, in doing what she has to, to get what she wants. I think, in her mind, it’s the only way she can. So focused on constructing an image, working her plan, not being her, that she won’t let anyone get to know her. She can’t. She won’t. And therein lies her problem. Who she is on the outside (the only part of her that anyone ever has access to) is not 100% her.

He doesn’t want me for who I am. He wants to make me someone else. This is a game Caleb and I have been playing for years. He gives me a standard by which to live, I fail.

Each time she exposes a bit of herself hoping for love, she finds herself hurting.

And here’s the weird thing. I was so caught up in Leah’s pain, that I sort of forgot Olivia and Caleb’s intensity. I mean, deep down I know I want them together.  After all, we KNOW how they feel about each other, after book #1. There is no denying how deeply in love they are and that there will never truly be anyone else for them. And of course I’m dying to re-immerse myself back into that intense passion and get that angsty relief.

But Leah’s pain and obsession over Caleb… wow! She loves him on a scary level. We knew that but this time… I felt it. I lived it. I believed it.

 I’d yielded my soul to Caleb willingly. Offered it up like a sacrificial lamb.

This was almost just as painful as Olivia’s mess in book #1. The absolute agony of realizing he followed through with Leah instead of Olivia in book #1 devastated me. I thought to myself, “how COULD he?!!” I felt betrayed. How could he be SO in love with one woman, his true love, and STILL continue on with LEAH!!! Ugh. I couldn’t beleive it. I couldn’t fathom that he could be like “that” with another woman (especially Leah). Yep. Pure betrayal, for me.

But then, to sit here and live it through Leah’s eyes (moments from the past…

“Hello, Leah.” He sort of half smiled as he shook my hand and then dismissively turned back to the television. I knew his type. You had to play hard to get with boys that had crooked grins. They liked the chase.

… and plenty from the present) was painful, too. Cringeworthy. Over and over again I thought to myself, Leah… how could you accept this? How could you live and work SO hard at something that should come so naturally. How can you put yourself through this constant stress, and mistrust, and worry? This heartbreak for loving someone so much more than he can ever love you back is inevitable. And yet, you keep trying. And with all that trying, you keep making things worse.

The most expressive part of Caleb is his jaw. I use it to read his emotion. It is square, manly – only softened buy his overly full lips. When that jaw is happy with you, you want to trace it with your fingertips, reach on your tiptoes to run kisses across it. The jaw is angry with me. His lips are white anger pulled tight. I am afraid.

She’s so busy playing a part, and it’s a part she doesn’t know how to play. She’s so busy trying to control it all, that she’s losing everything. Especially herself.

A desperate, lonely woman fighting to keep a broken-hearted man.

… and I know from experience that nothing can compete with a memory.

Leah may have been the “winner” but I’m certainly not seeing… no… feeling her elation. Deep down, to know that he will always be in love with Olivia, and that she was (and will always be) second. Even if he gave his life to her, he’ll never give her his heart. That sounds like losing to me. And now she also feels betrayed, in her own messed up way. Even if she knew it was imminent. And I felt her agony through it all.

I have done a number of things to keep this man. I have lied and cheated. I have been sexy and meek, fierce and vulnerable. I have been everything but myself.
He is mine right now, but I am never enough for him. I can feel it — see it in the way he looks at me. His eyes are always probing, searching for something. I don’t know what he’s looking for. I wish I did.

She’s a mess, and so destructive, and sooooooo hurt. So deeply broken, she’s willing to accept scraps, and that hurt me so much for her. She’s horrible, and yet… not. I don’t know what to do with her, and what to do with how I experienced her. True love, real unconditional love, will fix her. I know it. And then I don’t have to feel so guilty for temporarily “siding” with the enemy.

Yep. There. I said it. And for that, I’m sorry to admit this to the true Leah-haters, but I don’t hate her. She’s so terribly broken. Who she is today is in direct reflection of what she lacked during her most formative years. Ohhh she’s gonna hit rock bottom if she hasn’t already. She needs therapy and to let herself be herself. And to love herself. And to learn to truly love someone else, unconditionally, with no demands other than just… being. And maybe then, will she she be happy.

And I hope that for her. I truly do. I feel sad for her. Not pity… more like empathy.

This is a one-sided love story. *sigh* Not so romantic, but so good, anyway. All of that angst, yearning, pining and desperation. All for that love-drama. It’s still here. Just through different eyes.

5 stars!!!!!!

So do we like Leah, now? Umm… I’ll let you decide. I’m still hearing “I hate Leah” shouts, from those finishing up #2. And you know… that last part in the book reeeeallllly worries me.

Michelle: I just finished!!!! I cannot WAIT for Caleb’s book!!!! Great book !

Kirsten: I wish I could feel some sympathy for Leah, I just can’t.

Mariel: Just finished reading this book… I do not like Leah at all… Love Sam though Olivia has really grown and so has Caleb!!!

Xilonen: OMG! I just finished could not put it down!! I hate her so much!! Kind of bummed there wasn’t more of Olivia. I can Not wait for Caleb’s book. We need a therapy page for this book Maryse! Does anyone know when Caleb’s book is coming out?

Get Free Email Updates from me :)

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten December 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Excellent review Maryse. I still don’t feel bad for Leah. I can understand how screwed up her childhood was, but I feel like she has brought this whole situation upon herself.

Rebecca Espinoza December 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Didn’t Leah remind you a little of Scarlet O’Hara and Sam of Rhett Butler for putting up with her stuff? (Of course this makes Caleb, Ashley). I thought this the whole time while reading that she was a modern day Scarlett, terrible, but you still can’t help but like her.

Maryse December 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Okay I’m going to shamefully admit I have never watched that movie. Gone With the Wind, right?

Yep… she’s a mess. Terribly conniving, and manipulative, but I think a good dose of real unconditional love will help. I truly do. ;)

Maryse December 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Kirsten, true, true!… she instigated the majority of this mess… oh yes.

Rebecca Espinoza December 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM

WHAT?! I’ve never seen the movie either, but you have to read the book. It’s in line with The Bronze Horseman for how excellent it is. That book haunted me for weeks after reading it!!

Lise December 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Interesting comparison, Rebecca and I agree. I felt for Leah and I did not hate her, I did hate some of her actions, but as Maryse stated in her review; I feel empathy for Leah. As I found out more of her life story and understood why she is the way she is, I couldn’t help but feel for her. Yeah… so looking forward to book #3. I hope we get some more of Sam and more of Seth. Oh and Congrats to both of you (Maryse and Rebecca) for getting a BIG shout out in this book from Tarryn. Very,very Cool! :-)

Angel December 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Love your review and I agree with every thing you said but….I still hate her!

Maryse December 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Thank you Lise!! I was floored when I saw that. Honored. So very very cool indeed!! :D

Maryse December 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM

hahahaha Angel!! I love that we all seem to have loved it and yet have a different perspective on things.

I have a feeling her pain-in-the-butt days are not over…

Brandie December 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I feel for Leah I do, but I still hate her. There are plenty of people that dealt with messed up, unloved childhoods that don’t turn into horrible, manipulative bitches. I feel empathy for her but at some point you have to pull yourself together and grow up. There is not one thing that happened to her in her adult years that her actions didn’t create or make worse. I’m sorry, I just can’t get over some of things that she did, can you tell;) Loved the book though. Can’t wait for Caleb’s. I want an HEA!!!!

Lisa December 22, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Great review Maryse. You are absolutely dead-on with it. However, I still don’t like Leah. I don’t even feel sorry for her. She brought every bit of it on herself. Caleb was never hers to have. She knew that, but it never even slowed her down. My opinion, “she made her bed, she needs to lie in it now”. I was appalled with her feelings and actions regarding the “BIG” event. That just sealed it for me. Do you have any idea when we get book three? OMG… I hope we get Caleb’s book really soon, and its more than his POV. I really need to find out how this all wraps up and I still really want Caleb and Olivia to get their HEA!

Ash December 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I feel indifference to Leah. I can’t truly feel bad for her when she made poor choices to turn her life into the mess it is now. The last line in the book was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me. WHAT-THE-HELL?!

I absolutely loved this though, five stars for sure. I read this over the course of a few hours and my mind is still reeling. Also, is she writing under a different name for her next release? Who is Willow Aster?

Kathy December 22, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I am an emotional mess after reading this. I didn’t like Leah but I did feel some compassion for her at times. Not enough to excuse her behavior but enough to sometimes see where she was coming from. I think I still want Olivia and Caleb together but I’m not 100% sure. She seems to have grown up and moved on. I hope all the emotional baggage doesn’t come back and ruin a good thing she’s got goin on. Caleb was just as guilty at playing the game as both Leah and Olivia. I’m not sure I liked that. Can’t wait to see Caleb’s POV so maybe he can redeem himself a little bit in my book. Great book. I love it when a book makes me think about long after I’m done.

LucyLou December 22, 2012 at 6:20 PM

OMG!!! I just slipped away from my inlaws to check your blog, Maryse, only to discover that “Dirty Red” is LIVE!!!!! Yepeeeee!!!! I was not expecting this; this is great!!! AND YOU GAVE IT 5 STARS!!!! I’ve had the Dec. 28 release date circled forever….AND IT’S RELEASED EARLY!!! But, ALL my inlaws are here for the holidays. I have got to figure out someway to sneak away from everyone to read “Dirty Red” …..IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! ;)

Zizz December 22, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I think part of the reason why I didn’t hate Leah was because every bad thing she did pushed Caleb away. As for Caleb, I feel so bad for him. He’s just so broken. I want a HEA but I keep liking Noah in his little scenes…

Christina December 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Loved the book! At least this one didn’t leave me in knots like the first one. I cannot wait for the next book!! I can see why she was acting out. She didn’t have unconditional love from her parents, so acting out was her way of getting attention. Can’t believe what she did at the end! Hopefully he’ll see thru her. All she wants is someone to love her. She needs to let Caleb go and find someone where she won’t be second place.
Still want to know what was in the box. Hope for a happy reunion between Caleb and Olivia :) I liked how the book went back and forth from past to present to show why she was the way she is. Loved when Caleb said that he was faking amnesia to her. Heehee :) Do you know when the third is coming out?

Megan December 22, 2012 at 8:43 PM


EXCELLENT review! I was in the same boat. While I don’t love Leah, I certainly don’t hate her anymore. It was sad to watch her crumble. And I’m with Christina – I want to know what was in that box!


Carina December 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Maryse!! I have questions after finishing this book that I know you can answer! I don’t want to put spoilers out there for those who aren’t done. I don’t think I’m alone in my questions(fears) …… Help!!

Michelle December 22, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I did feel sorry for Leah at some points in the book because all she wants is to be loved. But she did bring it in herself and I still don’t like her for what she did. I think Olivia, as much as she has grew up and moved on, still li ea and wants to be with Caleb! I cannot wait to see how the series ends and to get Caleb’s POV!

Lea December 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Oh man, I just finished this and am left with a couple questions that I hope will be answered in the next book. Is there going to be a forum to discuss this one? lol It was so good, though.
I still do not like Leah, but I definitely have pity for her. Basically, her parents created a monster.
I also feel bad for Caleb. We know where his heart lies, and we know what he has done. However, he is operating almost blindly, having no idea of most of the things that have transpired. I hope it all becomes clear in the next book.
As far as what was in the box….the penny, maybe?

Lea December 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Oh, and at least we know now why he walked away from her in Rome.

Maryse December 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

What was in the box? Hrmmmm oh I dunno…. the ice cream/finger? *smirk*

Sandra December 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM

OMG!!!! Maryse I love your blog I tell all my friends about your blog.. Everything you wrote is on point. I really dislike Leah! There is just no excuse for the horrible things she has done and the *Spoiler* OMG that is just wrong!!!!! Poor Caleb!!

Sandra December 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM

We have to add this to the reading order list!!

andrea December 23, 2012 at 3:40 AM

nooo we dont love leah:D…u said she loved him soo much…thats just bull…she doesnt even love herself…how else can u explain the first 15 % of the book or the fact that she accepted her faith so easily. she freakin knew…all the time…from day one that she will always be second and she accepted even tho there were sooo many signs even i blind could see. the man loves to desperation another woman and u go head over hills to keep him for what??? thats not love. not for caleb, not for her. and the first 15 % of the book made me gag. everything that happened afterwards didnt made me forgive her….so for me leah is and will always be the villain

andrea December 23, 2012 at 3:48 AM

nooo maryse…it cant be the ice cream finger in that booooxxxx:(((…that sound like closure like he is letting her go and im soo not ready for that. i want…no…i need caleb to be stubborn like always and to plan and scheme and fight for her.after all he has nothing more to loose…i feel like a rotten girl cuz i like noah so much:))…but…like olivia explained in the opportunist, she doesnt love him and he knows. just like leah. i bet it will be easier for him to let go…they must be together…:))im crazy…it s all i think about.olivia and caleb

Maryse December 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Hehe, I was just kidding about the ice cream/finger. ;) Thought I was being clever. Tee hee!

Jules December 23, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Great review Maryse! I absolutely loved The Opportunist and have been anxiously awaiting the continuation of the story of Caleb and Olivia. To be honest like the rest of you I didn’t want to go into Leah’s head because I didn’t want to like her and have my desire of a HEA for Caleb and Olivia destroyed. I can happily say after reading Dirty Red I loathe Leah even more. This woman is deeply disturbed and yeah she may have daddy and mommy issues that influenced her decisions, but isn’t that the same excuse that serial killers give? I am still captivated by this series as Tarryn Fisher knows how to tell a story. I thought Olivia had issues but Leah she is the true opportunist.

B Palmer December 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

When does Book 3 come out? I need it now!!!

Laura December 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Help!!!!!! Is Dirty Red only out on Amazon???? I have a Nook and can’t get it! I finished The Opportunist last night and am having major withdrawals!!!!!!!!

Janet December 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I just finished the book and I am so drained by the last chapter. I totally get what you mean about feeling empathy for Leah. She was a product of her environment but at the same time when you come from that usually a person tries to improve on future relationships (don’t want to say with who but you know who I’m talking about). And for that reason I couldn’t get past her spoiled and selfish self centered ways. Funny story, I was at 93% and my daughter burst in to my room to tell me how much she hates Leah and tells me the ending…. I screamed NOOOOOO I haven’t gotten to that part yet…ugh! So I guess I didn’t feel the whole impact of the cliffhanger. Can’t wait for the next one!

Maryse December 23, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Well, Janet… at least your daughter did. hehe. :)

Jules December 23, 2012 at 8:49 PM

After reading Dirty Red one question is nagging me….

It was my understanding that when Olivia follows Caleb to Italy she was under the impression that Leah was trying to get pregnant…then we go through the heart wrenching good bye between Olivia and Caleb… I’m a little confused because in Dirty Red following the trial Caleb left Leah and wanted a divorce until he finds she tried to kill herself and was pregnant… So the question remains where is the Italy scene in The Opportunist in the sequence of events? Was Leah already pregnant in Italy and that’s why Caleb let Olivia go?

I can’t wait until we get deep in the mind of Caleb in the third book. Tarryn Fisher probably saved the most twisted and tortured point of view until the last. Keeping that ice cream in the freezer for two years just shows that he’s just obsessed as the rest of the women in his lives!!!

ktiu December 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I still hate Leah. While reading, I could not help but wish that she would screw up and that Caleb would see how deceitful and spiteful she is so that Caleb and Olivia would be together already.

I could hardly wait for Caleb POV to come out. I actually also feel that Caleb betrayed Olivia by staying married with Leah.

Leslie December 24, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Birthday present: deed to house? penny?

Gracious I love this series!

Athena December 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Just finished Dirty Red and yes there is empathy for the “little” girl Leah was, but hey you are a “big” girl now so instead of spa days maybe some good psychoanalysis would do the trick!! I am so upset with this instalment more questions, more anger and when oh when is book number 3 coming out!! It is December 24th and I have not finished shopping, wrapping or cooking and my kids will be disappointed because this book has exhausted me!! Thanks for suggesting this book Maryse I will forward all comments from my family to you!!LOL. Happy holidays!

Lisa K December 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

@Jules…I was trying to figure out the same thing! I think she was already pregnant. I also think she lied to Caleb about when she got pregnant because there were a couple of mentions in the book about Estella being premature. I ABSOLUTELY cannot wait for Caleb’s book!!!! I sadly did not love this one the way I LOVED The Opportunist. I could not get into Leah’s story. I was super addicted to the book, but not for Leah, but because I couldn’t wait to find out what bits of Olivia and Caleb’s past relationship I could learn about, and if there would be any present-day Olivia interactions. Man alive, I can’t wait for the next book!!!!!!

Maryse December 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

LOL Athena!!!

Soooorrrrryyyyyyy ;) *giggle*

andrea December 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

the question remains…whos the daddy?? i hope she was smart enough to do an artificial insemination or something and NOT do the most awfull and cold thing ever(which is to shove in Calebs arms his brothers baby)…that would make me hate her beyond reason. i can take a little bit of plotting and some cruel lies but Seth’s baby would be to much even for Leah

ashley December 24, 2012 at 3:21 PM

i figured the baby wasnt calebs by 50 % or less…her mom tells her that she thought the baby would have dark hair just loke charles the grandfather…but since the grandfather is not leahs real dad how can the kid get the dark hair and all…unless:))) tam ta ta ta…and ay one point Leah said something about leaving caleb and taking care of the girl alone…or…and then she said to her self she cant possibly think about that…and i knew…rite there. the ending wasnt much of a cliffhanger at all.

Leslie December 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Ok, I’m slightly obsessed. I’ve had time to process the book and re-read some parts (since finishing last night at 1am!). Here’s why I like this book: it is so atypical. So different. You’re not SUPPOSED to like the main character. When does that happen? Even though I love LOVE the typical contemporary romance almost all of them are the exact same formula. Hot but she doesn’t know/believe it relatively good girl meets handsome (sometimes bad/sometimes alpha) male. Relationship ensues that we all fight for. There are differences in all books but the vast majority end in a HEA which I like. However, with this series, I love that it’s not like that. I loved Avoiding Commitment series for the same reason. It’s so refreshing to read from someone’s POV who is a complete biotch and who you’re rooting against. It makes the whole act of devouring the book different. You’re waiting for different shoes to drop. I really really liked it.

I do have some questions though – same with the trip to Rome as Jules. Dirty Red says they dont talk for three months and then after the lunch with his mother she wants to start a family. He moves out immediately then the suicide attempt. TO has her going from March to May and then breaking in to his house/leaving for Rome. And something else but of course now I can’t remember it! I’m sure I’ll be back!

Oh! I remember. Caleb’s explanation of the cheating. He didn’t? Huh?

Dena December 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I really liked this book but could only give it 4 stars as I really HATE Leah. I know it isn’t the authors fault (or maybe it is as she made her so real and evil) but I just couldn’t get past that the whole book. No matter how many oh gosh I feel sorry for her moments I about jumped up and down at the end …… until well you know. Then I was thinking it had something to do with that brother of his…..or she could just be lying again. Like that isn’t the first time she has pulled the wool over his eyes. I am shocked that now Olivia is married and now two marriages will be wrecked ‘cuz I know they will be together (at least that is what my heart is telling me). Love this book overall with the new characters and the writing was perfect. Made me feel like I was there, as with the last one. I was surprised that the teaser didn’t have more to do with the main story. Of course….what was in the box??? “papers” or deed to a house…..hmmmm. Guess we have to wait for the answers to our many questions for the next book. Hope it is released early like this one was. =) Merry Christmas!

LucyLou December 24, 2012 at 6:45 PM

WOW, just finished “Dirty Red” and rereading “The Opportunist” and am recovering from emotional abuse..he he he. :) Absolutely LOVED IT!!! These books are amazing, definately one of my favorite series!! Good job Tarryn and thanks for finding it for us Maryse!!! As always, you picked another winner!! :) Can’t wait for Caleb’s story!!!

Nikki December 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Okay, I haven’t read this yet, but I just finished reading Book 1, and frankly, I’m heartbroken. How could Caleb and Olivia NOT end up together? And how can I read a book that has that psycho as the heroine? Help! :(

Yani December 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Awesome review Maryse! I really felt for her, I get where she comes from, you cannot give what you never had. I don’t like her, but I don’t hate her. I’m still not convinced she’s ‘the villian’, Caleb and Olivia have done pretty shitty things too, he’s been stringing her all along and that’s not cool.

LucyLou December 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Read it Nikki, read it….. :) Remember this series has at least 3 books. The story continues after “The Opportunist” and a lot is revealed in “Dirty Red”. 50 Shades wasn’t HEA at the end of the first book either.

Emilia December 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM

@rebecca Espinoza- it’s funny that u mentioned Leah reminded u of scarlet o’hara bc I think I read somewhere that one of Tarryn fishers favorite book was gone with the wind. Maybe she got some inspiration from there

danielle December 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Does anyone know when dirty red is going to be available on the nook??? I’m dying over here. Idk how much longer I can wait!!

June December 28, 2012 at 1:49 PM

The title of book #3 Thief – does not bode well for a happy ending (Caleb & Olivia) that we are all hoping for. And I’m not sure if I am happy or sad at that prospect.

Olivia is wedded and bedded in a healthy relationship moving from obsesion to love (loving Caleb enough to let him go)

Leah was beginning to develop into a human being until the end were she reverts back to (obsessed) dirty red. Her growth will come from the only person who sees her for who she is, gives her shivers and happens to be her bady’s daddy.

I think Caleb sent a *spoiler* to Olivia as the birthday present

JenP December 30, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I REALLY hope book three will bring us more Caleb and Olivia!!!!

Ana January 3, 2013 at 11:11 AM

OMG!! What a roller coaster!!! I agree, these books are so original and you never know when the twist and turns are coming! Tarryn, you are brilliant! Did I hate Red? I didn’t think I could hate her more but there were times that I wanted to shake her & slap her more than usual! I did get to feel how damaged she is, Tarryn is a master at conveying the emotions the character is going through. Red is broken, delusional and had built a hard shell to protect herself and justify her horrible actions, she admitted at the end she would never change, she will always be in attack and deceive mode, it’s the only way she knows how to survive. Not defending her, but I also got to experience “being her”, so busy trying to win what she thinks is hers that she fails to see that she never had him, right from the start. I also want Olivia and Caleb to be together, because although Olivia enraged me at times in TO, I truly believe she loves him more because she let him go, putting his perceived happiness before hers, Red won’t do that! Can’t wait what happens next and read Caleb’s POV! Thank you Maryse!!! Is the forum up so we can vent with spoilers??? I need to discuss!!! Even though I read this book in less than 24 hrs and I’m sleep deprived!!!

Kim Cheeseman January 5, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I thought Thoughtless and Effortless gave my emotions a run for their money, but OMG…Opportunist & Dirty Red(especially Dirty Red) has left me utterly speechless…my emotions were soooo strung out by the time the last few things unwound in Dirty Red – I am just not sure if any other book is going to stand up to the suspense, the love, the hate, the angst, the secrets…what a story and what a way to end it…Tarryn is an AMAZING author that has made me feel like I truly know Caleb, Olivia, Leah, & Courtney, Seth & the Manny…I had to read a couple of reviews before really starting Dirty Red because I DID NOT want to read a story about LEAH…BUT the book is totally about her, BUT soooo much more too…If you liked the Opportunist…YOU MUST read Dirty Red…so much is revealed and unraveled..You will NOT be disappointed & I was afraid the book was going to try to make me like Leah & it didn’t – it just told the story with many many many more things that just cannot be said or I will give it away….Cannot wait until the 3rd book!!!!

Andrea January 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Ok, I just finished this and had to rush he and finally read your review. Your psychoanalysis of Leah is spot on, but I still can’t get myself to like her. I’m fuming from the last line (before the epilogue). Ugh. I just want to hit something.

Rocio January 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Loved,loved,loved The Oppurtunist!! Had to reread it to make sure it was locked in. Just purchased Dirty Red but have no desire to read about this awful woman! All I can think about is Olivia & Caleb. And I just couldn’t help myself,went to the end of the book(I never do that) to read the few pages…What. The. @&!#!!!!!

Kim L January 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

OK Wow. wow wow. I still can’t stand Leah but as Maryse says she understands her. However, many of the problems Leah has is her own making. I was wondering how Leah’s story was going to play out and I think it needed to be told. The back story and all. Even though I HATE Leah I love this book.
Funny’s part about this is when Cammie calls her Dirty Red. That kind of lets me know that that’s what her and Olivia call her haha. Everyone saying they wished their was more Olivia in here and I do too.
Maryse I see the girl crush thing!!! :) Overall LOVED it. There are some chocking thing I need to discuss so off to the Spoiler Forum :D

Twilla January 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Ok I dont know whether to hate Leah or love her. No I hate her. Hehe, but I’m calling bullshit how are you going to end the book with a big bomb!!! awww! This book has now become one of my favorites. Caleb in still in the love hate catergory! Sorry but he’s a little weak!

Twilla January 14, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Ok, I’m back I love Caleb I was just mad at the ending I just finished the book and was acting like a crazy “Red Head”. LOL smh.

Tara January 18, 2013 at 12:40 AM

The writing is really good. I just couldn’t help but feel that I was stuck hanging out with a really unlikable person for waaaaay too long. Not enough of the good stuff for me. As the mother of a young baby I think the timing may have been off for me to read this. Great review Maryse

Lauren January 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM

OMG!!! I read both both books from your recommendation and HOLY COW!! I was starting to sway towards the end and then the bomb dropped! Leah hater right here!! I can’t help it!! I can totally understand how timing plays such a HUGE role in both novels but Im still hoping Olivia and Caleb find their way back!

Patty January 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Omg…All I need to know is when is book three coming out.

Do I like Leah…no but she is alone and desperate…desperate people go to desperate measures.

The epilogue for opportunist and big red are a little confusing on what’s to come. any idea when?

Bella January 22, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I just read both books in under 24 hrs. I’m tired and emotionally drained. I loved it! I did end up feeling nothing for Leah though. I felt some sympathy but not enought to really care or hope good things for her. I almost wish she was in the hospital with a straight jacket. Christian grey and Giddeon cross stand down, this trio is beyond 50 shades of f’d u!

barbara April 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Although I enjoyed reading this book I still don’t like Leah. I can understand, somewhat, why she is so messed up I can not allow my heart to excuse her or feel sorry for her. She is one warped woman. Caleb deserves so much better but I do see Leah with Seth or Sam. I think either could handle her and possibly put her on the path of redemtion. I can’t get these books out of my head and can not wait for Thief, hoping it will end well with Olivia and Caleb together at last, without breaking Noah’s heart.

Patrice McKinney May 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Oh Maryse what did you get me into with these books. Anti-romance is just the tip of the iceberg. Leah is a hot mess. Yes I felt for her past and not feeling loved as a child. But she made her decisions. She is now a big girl who is the most selfish character I have ever read. Yes I feel sorry for her love all aimed at Caleb that is not given back to her but she is not a child anymore. I was completely sucked in and I can’t wait for Caleb’s POV

Jean July 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Okay Maryse, I don’t know whether to hug you or kill you! Finished The Opportunist last night (in one day)…could not put it down! I now understand the major book hangover you had from it and how it really creeps up on you throughout the following day! When I finally finished last night, I just stared at the ceiling for hours replaying it all in my head….wow! This morning, got up and started Dirty Red (was not expecting it from Leah’s POV)……was 1 hour late for work because I just COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN!! Okay, I would rather hug you because you have taken me out of my major book slump and I don’t know what I would do without you!! You Rock!!!!

Leave a Comment


Notify me of followup comments to this post via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: