Series: Dirty Money #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Hard Rules, Damage Control
Also by this author: Hard Rules, Damage Control
Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Bad Deeds, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.
Would you bleed for the one you love?
To save his family empire from the grip of the drug cartel, Shane is pushed to the edge of darkness, forced to make choices he might never make. His father is dying. His brother is desperate to rule the empire and this means war and all gloves are off. His brother only thought he knew what dirty meant. Shane is about to give it new meaning. There is another war brewing though, and that one, is inside him, his battle between right and wrong, light and dark, and in the heat of the night, it is Emily he turns to for escape. Driving her to new limits, pushing her to accept a part of him that even he cannot.
In every one of Shane's seductive demands, Emily can taste and feel, his torment, his struggle to save his family and not lose himself. But he is losing himself, and that is a problem just as dangerous as her secret, that still lurk in the shadows, a threat to the Brandon Family waiting to erupt. No matter where she and Shane have traveled, or will travel in the future, she can't just sit back and watch him become everything he hates, everything he never wanted to become, everything she tried to save him from when she tried to run. It could be their undoing, the end. His end.
This is war, blood will spill, and someone in the heart of the Brandon family will not survive....
Lisa Renee Jones brings us back to the world of Dirty Money in Bad Deeds. The story picks up exactly where book 2 ended and you jump right back into the family drama. A family dinner with the Brandons is more of a prequel to war than a meal and lots of bombs are loaded and aimed. Derek makes veiled threats, Mrs. Brandon tries to get everyone to the table, and Mr. Brandon mentions that he is planning to go to Germany for a treatment that will cure his incurable cancer. So, you know, normal family dinner.
Shane and Emily have a pretty rock solid relationship at this point. Shane is realizing how amazing Emily is and how much he loves her. Emily is strong and smart; her advice to Shane is always spot on and he would have already screwed up a few things without her guidance. Shane, however, doesn’t want Emily to be involved in his world and wants her to docilely leave the room and let him handle business. It was frustrating at times because Emily makes Shane better.
Shane was a bit wimpy for me in the beginning book. While it was sweet and romantic to hear his inner mooning over Emily, it started to come off as a bit saccharine after awhile. I wanted him to be more self confident and dominate. Not necessarily dominate over Emily at all, but be that dominate presence that he was in the courtroom. He just came off as less self assured in the first few chapters that it bothered me. However, then he would turn into a cold Dom type and it felt weird. His behavior throughout the story felt off to me frequently and it was strange. I am glad there are chapters from other POVs to help balance out the weird vibe I was getting from Shane. Sometimes the sex between Shane and Emily was uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure where Shane’s head was at and it made the interaction seem…just uncomfortable. I don’t know how to explain it really but it was just not quite the same as before.
Bad Deeds also gives us more insight into Derek. Parts of the story are told in Teresa’s POV so you get to see behind the curtain so to speak. Derek has been the villain throughout the story and I enjoyed getting a better insight into his possible end game. Derek also opens up more with Shane and you get to see further into his motivations. At this point in the story, no one is 100% good or clean (except maybe Emily) and the story keeps you on your toes guessing who get the dirtiest; will Derek remain the villain, will Shane make some dark decisions, will Mr. Brandon live on and continue to torture everyone? Honestly, at this point, not only is the state of the company up in the air, the villains are numerous and continuously coming, lines of good and bad are blurred into big grey blobs, and survival of anyone isn’t guaranteed. The plot keeps you guessing as to how everything will work out. Frankly, the end game keeps changing and you have to read carefully to keep up! There are so many players in the game and all of them have various motives.
My biggest struggle with the story is at times it felt we took a few steps backward. Book 2 was really engaging to me, and Bad Deeds felt like it regressed at time. I will also say that with the family dynamics growing deeper in this book, it was kind of like a soap opera (I think this is both good and bad-mostly good though because I love the drama!)
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: drug cartel, dysfunctional family
- Triggers: View Spoiler »spoiler « Hide Spoiler
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »BIG one. I think the biggest cliffhanger of the series « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »unknown until the end of book 4 « Hide Spoiler