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Review: Dirty Situation

Dirty Situation by Layla Moon was self-published in eBook format on January 17, 2011. It is available from Smashwords in a variety of electronic formats.

Category: Contemporary Romance/Chick-Lit

Audience: Adult

Smashwords description:

Never has a case of mistaken identity gone so wrong!

Carly is taken on a whirlwind journey through trauma and tribulations. While none of it was easy, she wouldn’t go back in time and change anything.

Who would have guessed that one chance encounter had the power to alter her entire existence?

Cleaning houses may not be the most glamorous way to make money, but for Carly and her friend Stacy, running their business Dirty Situation was the perfect way to finance themselves through grad school.

But when Carly runs late one night cleaning the home of her well-to-do client Gregory Price she will learn that cleaning houses isn’t the only dirty situation she can find herself in.

***

Dirty Situation is a short self-published novel in the contemporary romance/chick-lit genre by author Layla Moon. It is the story of a young woman, Carly Wright, who runs a cleaning company with her friend Stacy to help pay their way through graduate school.

One night while dressed for a date, Carly has to step in for Stacy and clean the home of their elusive but wealthy client, Gregory Price, whom she has never previously met.

Little does she know that their very first meeting will be an event that will change the course of both their lives. A simple misunderstanding that will lead down a path that she could never have imagined.

Dirty Situation shows great promise although it would have read much better as a full-length novel. For such a short story there was a lot going on, that had there been that additional length the story would have had better flow.

The concept of the story, a girl who cleans houses gets caught in a case of mistaken identity and a series of unfortunate events follows, is a terrific idea. Even the play on the words with the name of the cleaning company, Dirty Situation, and the events that take place show the author’s irony and sense of humor.

While Dirty Situation initially had the light and flirty feel of a chick-lit novel it took a number of dark turns shortly into the story and made it read more like a contemporary romance, giving it a bit of an identity crisis. It would have been great to see some of that humor carried through the story to tie everything in with the beginning.

The author created an interesting and diverse set of characters that worked well together. Again, had the story been longer readers would have been able to get more background on them to get a better sense of their actions and motivations.

As with many self-published novels, this one needed just a few tweaks to give it a smoother finish and to correct some of the typographical and grammatical errors that tend to pull a reader out of the story.

For a first novel, the author shows great potential. She is someone whose stories I will keep an eye out for in the future.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=3]

On a personal note:

There were many moments in this story that I really enjoyed. Even a few that gave me that twisty knotted feeling I like when reading stories in this genre.

But for a shorter novel there was just so much going on. One thing on top of another without that space and time needed in between to make these events feel more naturally occurring.

While many of these situations were necessary to the plot, at least one could have been removed to give the characters some breathing room.

The author mentions in her bio that her focus is young adult urban fantasy and PNR and I’d like to see what she does in those genres.

With just a few changes I could easily see me going from a “like it” to a “love it.”

To read an excerpt from the author’s blog, click here.

***

I chose to read and review Dirty Situation for my Indie Author Spotlight feature here on the site. I received an eBook from Smashwords courtesy of the author, Layla Moon.

About the Author

Layla Moon lives with the safety of the Colorado Mountains at her back, far from the dangers of any ocean. She rests assured every night that Jaws will not find her.

Somewhere in between a full-time job, worrying about zombie invasions, plotting how to handle devious vampires, planning for 2012, being a good spouse and hopefully an even better mother, she finds time to write.

Her main focus is in young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance. However, she has a soft spot for straight up romance and chick lit, which explains Dirty Situation, her debut novel. Look for other works coming soon.

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