Dec 29, 2012

REVIEW: Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2) by Tarryn Fisher

4/5 stars
I think this book made me more angry than after I read "The Opportunist." Leah Smith is one complex ball of confusion and I tried. I really tried to be objective and see if I felt something other than disgust with her and I couldn't. Throughout the story she continued to add fuel to the fire that was her life and instead of making me feel for her, I just disliked her more for it.

It's not until the end that I started to feel something for her other than dislike. I felt great sympathy for her character. In "The Opportunist", I had a love/hate thing going with Olivia but I eventually liked her and rooted for her even. Leah on the other hand has so much going on that I  . . .
whew. She was freakin' unbelievable.

The story alternates between the past and the present; Leah's past and present. How she met Caleb and important things that happened in the past up until the trial. There was even a scene from Caleb's POV, I believe it was after he'd left Leah post-trial. It gave you a glimpse of his side. The side that really only stayed with Leah because she was unstable and pregnant at the time. 

To say Leah's messed up is an understatement. Girl needs psychological help I think. I read some spoiler free reviews before starting this and some reviewers 'got' her. Understood her. Throughout I wasn't seeing anyway to make sense of her actions until the end.

Leah is a manipulative, deceitful and determined woman desperate to hold on the her man and would do anything to keep him. And I mean ANYTHING! She reeks of desperation and insecurity. Her insecurity could be summed up in one word; "Olivia."


"What does this woman have that I don’t?"
Leah, Dirty Red

She asks herself this a couple of times and it doesn't matter that she had Caleb or that Olivia was married to "sexy Ghandi" as Leah put it. She would always compare herself to Olivia and deep down you knew that on some level she knew that to Caleb, Olivia would always be incomparable.


“When they're together, it's like putting a hurricane and a tornado in the same room - you can feel the tension. I didn't believe in the cliche of soul mates until I saw them together.” 
―Cammie, Dirty Red

Sam was a character that I really liked. He was blunt to the point of being rude. But he told Leah how he saw things unafraid to hurt her feelings. I think she appreciated his honesty even though she was taken aback by his bluntness.

“Caleb is a pretty nice guy."..."Why would he marry a girl like you?” 
― Sam, Dirty Red

Ultimately what it came down to was that Leah was always going to be that person. The person that was willing to fight till the death to get what she wanted. The only thing she wanted; Caleb. At points I questioned her so-called love for him. It was in the way she'd refer to him as if he were the prize in her war against Olivia. Saying that he was hers, that she'd won. It objectified Caleb as a prize to her, that she'd gotten what Olivia hadn't. It made me really question if she truly was in love with him. She loved him but it was such a desperate, obsessive set of feelings that I wasn't sure you could classify it as a true love.

“Maybe the guy loves a good bitch - but you're treading a thin line between attractively bitchy and psycho.” 
― Sam, Dirty Red

What I did come to realize in the end was that she didn't deserve it. She didn't deserve him and I mean that in the best way. She made herself different to be with him. She was never herself because who she really was, wasn't what he wanted. My opinion was that she was lacking that feeling of truly being loved stemming from her less than happy childhood. I felt very sorry for her even when I thought she was a hateful, selfish woman. She became this person because of all she'd gone through. It wasn't until her and Caleb's last scene that I saw that she didn't belong with him but with someone that could really love her. Love her like she wants to be loved. Caleb just wasn't that person.


“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.” 
― Leah, Dirty Red

A part of her always knew that she was second choice, that Olivia would always be in his heart. Everyone saw it. She saw it too at the beginning. She just thought that she'd be the one to make him forget her.

“Love is illogical. You fall into it like a manhole. Then you're just stuck. You die in love more than you live in love.” 
― Caleb, Dirty Red

But true to her roots, she's not going down without a fight. The epilogue read like; if I can't have him no one will. Leah isn't going to take Caleb's deception lightly, ironic really in the face of all she'd done.

"He thought Olivia could hurt him, I’ll hurt him worse."
― Leah, Dirty Red

So much lies, so much deception. Aah, I may not have liked Leah very much but this story was awesome. I am really looking forward to the third book in this truly EPIC series. The third book has a name and it's "Thief" and from Caleb's POV. Fitting this name really after reading this. It was what Leah said:

"He is a thief. He stole my life; he stole hers."
― Leah, Dirty Red




Terrific sequel! Amazing author! Looking forward to "Thief."

You can see my review for "The Opportunist" here

For more from Tarryn Fisher




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"I am obsessed with you, angel. Addicted to you. You're everything i've ever wanted or needed, everything i've dreamed of. You're everything. I live and breathe you. For you."— Sylvia Day