Dirty Red (Love me with Lies #2) by Tarryn Fisher

Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn’t. Her marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.
 
 
“Maybe the guy loves a good bitch – but you’re treading a thin line between attractively bitchy and psycho.”
Tarryn Fisher, Dirty Red

My Review of Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher
 
In this second installment of the Love me with Lies series we get a good look at Leah Smith.  This book is written where each chapter is either in the Present or the Past.  I had just read The Opportunist about a week ago so all the details are still fresh in my head in the story of Caleb, Leah and Olivia.  If you haven’t read that book you will need to read it first to understand these characters.  We got a good look at Leah in the first book, but this book is dedicated to her.
 
At the end of The Opportunist we find out just how far Leah is willing to go to hold onto Caleb.  In Dirty Red we find out just how crazed she is to make sure that Caleb remains with her.  Leah is messed up, she is selfish, cunning and manipulative beyond compare.  I thought that Olivia did some unscrupulous things in the first book but after reading Leah’s story, I feel like Olivia is “almost” the saint in this saga. She did after all save Leah from prison right? 
 
As Leah’s story is revealed we find out the secrets in her past that haunt her and made her childhood difficult.  Always feeling like she was unwanted and a family outcast.  Her family didn’t help in her insecurity as a child and she was pretty much raised by a Nanny. Her perfect sister Courtney got all the attention and appraisal from her parents, which left Leah feeling bitter and unloved.  She and Courtney were close but you could tell that Leah seemed jealous of the affection that their mother and father showed toward her. 
When she found Caleb and he rejected her she made it her mission to make him love her.  She sought and needed acceptance in her life and Caleb was going to give it to her, she would make him forget Olivia and love her at any and all costs.  
 
Being raised herself by a nanny most of the time it was only fitting that she hire a Nanny to take care of Estella.  When Caleb tells her in no way will a Nanny raise their child, things quickly turn for the worst in their relationship. 
 
There were a few things in the book that struck a bad cord with me where Estella is concerned.  It was hard to watch her turn away from her child the way she did, it felt like a lot of the time she was really using the excuse of her upbringing as a reason that she couldn’t attach the baby.  Some people are not cut out to be mothers and Leah certainly fits that bill.  It was quickly apparent that she believed that having this baby would keep Caleb bonded to her.  In this book we find out just how far she is willing to go to make sure that she continues to win.
 
“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.” ― Tarryn Fisher, Dirty Red

 
I really liked the introduction of Sam who ends up being the “manny” that is hired by Caleb to take care of Estella in his absence because Leah is obviously not trust worthy where the baby is concerned.  It was truly interesting that the woman that he calls that happens to run the Nanny agency is none other then Olivia’s best friend Cammie.  Sam also just happens to be Cammie’s cousin.  Sam and Leah have such witty banter back and forth and I almost feel like she has met someone that is her match, calling her out in a way that only Leah could tolerate. 
 
“Leah: ‘How do I get him to come home?’
Sam: ‘Get a new personality and learn to shut the fuck up.”
Tarryn Fisher, Dirty Red
 
 I feel like Sam might play a bigger role in the future of this series guess I’ll have to wait and see on this one…
 
In the end the lies catch up with both of them and as they unravel truths and hurt each other one truth is revealed that I never saw coming!  The last sentence of the book still has me speechless after finishing it!  I keep reading that line over and over… SAY WHAT!!!! REALLY!!!! I flipped the page figuring I’d find just a little more to my surprise the cliffhanger ending left me stunned…
 
Leah is one of those characters that we all either love her or hate her.  I am not sure I feel either at this point.  I think after the revelation of her past I softened slightly toward her, but kept feeling like she is still a smart woman who truly knows RIGHT from WRONG or VERY WRONG in the case of the things Leah has been capable of. 
 
I am giving Dirty Red a solid 4 stars. I am really looking forward to see what happens in the next book!