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Our Review

“I can’t fall in love, Célian. I’m broken.”
“Good. Let’s be broken together then.”

Not since Sparrow have we enjoyed an L J Shen book as much as we did Dirty Headlines! From the sassy, warm, sweet and strong-willed Judith ‘Jude’ Humphry to the cocky, gorgeous arsehole Célian Laurent, and all the witty, caustic banter, heat and swooniness in between, this book hit all right spots for us! L J Shen certainly has a formula and in Dirty Headlines, that formula worked to perfection and we loved it!

‘I’d never been taught how to show affection I was taught how to buy it.’

We meet twenty three year old Jude, when, in a moment of desperation she swipes a wallet full of cash belonging to the handsome stranger she bedded after a one night stand she instigated. This is all out of character for Jude, the guilt eats at her, and unbeknownst to Jude, things are about to get a lot worse.

Jobless, boyfriendless and drowning under a mountain of debt, and taking care of her ill father, Jude thinks her luck may have changed when she is offered a role as a junior reporter at Laurent Broadcasting Company. LBC is a leader in the media world, and its here, Jude is forced to confront her ‘victim‘ in the form of her new boss, the sexy, arrogant and powerful director of news, Célian Laurent.

“I’m going to wreck you,” he hissed

In his early thirties, Célian is successful and has a reputation for being an arsehole, and Jude is about to bear the brunt of his caustic personality. He’s not going to let her off easy! What Célian didn’t bank on was Jude standing up to him. This Chuck wearing tomboy was no pushover, challenging him at any opportunity standing toe to toe with him in snarky quips, and calling him out on his bullshit behaviour.

‘How had this guy not been assassinated yet? He was a walking, talking personal offense.’

Célian had never encountered someone with the nerve to question him, especially the pint-sized Jude, and much to his surprise, he begins to realise he actually enjoys matching wits, even respecting her for repeatedly standing up to him. Celian’s glacial stares and scary scowls weren’t going to intimidate the plucky Jude!

‘Damn him. He sounded like Harvey Specter on speed. Only crueler. And ten times handsomer. If Célian met chivalry in a dark alley, he would beat it to death.’

As the story unfolds we come to realise the reason why both Jude and Célian are hell-bent on guarding their hearts. She thought she couldn’t love, he thought he didn’t deserve love. Both very much did!

‘One girl disarmed me, the other fucked me up, and over. One girl was loyal, the other shallow and empty. One claimed she was mine, but it was the other I wanted to own.’

Often we fall in love with an arsehole hero, only to witness him lose the essence of who he once was as he begins to lose his heart to our heroine. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with Célian. L J Shen wrote the sexy, straight shooting Célian brilliantly!  Whilst his softening towards Jude, his playful flirting and his banal attempt at romance was swoony and sweet, he still retained the arrogance that amused us. He remained the Célian who captured Jude’s and our hearts, and we thank L J Shen for this! Oh Célian with your deep blue eyes, pouty lips and dirty mouth, you were a force to be reckoned with, as was the delightful Jude!

‘He put his hand on mine. My heart smiled at that.’

With the perfect balance of heat, alpha possessive arrogance, passion, humour, swoon and twists, Dirty Headline was the perfect read at the perfect time. If we had to pick a pair of Chucks to suit our reading mood, we’d have to go with a mixture of feel-good yellow, orange for happiness, with a huge helping of red for heat! Yep, L J Shen ticked so many romance boxes for us in her latest offering! Jude and Célian were both an absolute hit!

Synopsis

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new standalone, enemies-to-lovers romance.

Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
…And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory–namely, his wallet.
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I.
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

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