Dirty Headlines by L.J. Shen Book Review

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Dirty Headlines

by L.J. Shen

Published by LJ Shen

Stand Alone Book

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.


Steamy Romance Hot

Oh boy. I don't really know what to say. Dirty Headlines is a stand alone novel from L.J. Shen. It's bounces back between the two protagonist, Jude and Celian. Celian is the heir to a media empire, with a very complicated personal life, and a huge chip on his shoulder. Jude is struggling financially, due to her fathers mounting medical bills, and personally, about to lose the only parent she has, and just broke up with her boyfriend after walking in on him cheating on her. Dirty Headlines was on my goodreads suggested list, and I took a chance.

I hate that I liked this book. Truly. I hate it.

Lets start with that main characters, shall we? Jude is ... well ... likable compared everyone else, I suppose. Her weird obsession with chucks gets on my nerves though. And hey, I love a good pair of chucks. But who the heck wears them with business attire and in the newsroom of all places. Other than being a little odd, she is kind and caring, standing up for herself and others, and caring for her ailing father any way she can. It bothers me that she stole Celian's money after their one night stand. I know he is rich ... and their one night stand was not romantic at all ... but it's super gross to me that she slips out of his bed, steals his cash and wallet, and leaves. That being said, Celian isn't an angel. Even knowing about his family, his fake engagement to a woman he caught with his dad, and the trauma from his sisters death right in front of him, it's hard to like the guy. He is a dick. I mean, at least he is self-aware of it, but still ... I am left questioning, other than the dirtier than sin sex, and the fact that he helps Jude financially, in secret, what does Jude see in him?

The only characters that are decent in this book, is her father, and her new friends at the office, but are hardly interesting enough for me to remember their names. The rest of the characters are just terrible. Like, gross to epic proportions. The man he believes to be his father is the definition of a sleezy boss. Shitty father. Hates Celian with a passion (and come to find out, it's because he knows he isn't his biological son), and actively tries to ruin his life. His mother is hardly decent, and tends to let things happen so she can concentrate on her boy toys. And his fiancee ... ick. Downright crazy, and just ... vile. I get why he stayed engaged to her, even after catching her with his "father". I know it's because he wanted her share in the company, and that it was an arrangement, and not a relationship, but every encounter with her was just gross. And it went a long way to explain Celian's shitty personality, but it doesn't excuse it.

Despite characters that are hardly worth liking, the story was interesting, bordering on great. I was interested in the newsroom aspect of the story, the plotting family members, and despite there being nothing romantic in this "love story", there was something about these two characters growing infatuation with one another that drew me in. The things Celian says, while some of it ... okay, most of it being absolutely dirty, it made me laugh. Sometimes in horror to what I was reading, but I cant deny that I was sucked in. Let's just say if you like sex in your novels ... Dirty Headlines will not disappoint. It is not your typical romance. L.J. Shen does not shy away from anything, and doesn't romanticize it, which is pretty unique in this genre to be honest.

Dirty Headlines is ... interesting to say the least. I wish the characters were better. The story itself is great though, and while I knew Jude and Celian would end up together in the end, it didn't end at all how I thought it would. Many twists make this book interesting, and despite heavily