Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels, #1) by Karina Halle
For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.
When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.
Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.
As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.
That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.
Unless she ruins him first.
***While this is a spin-off of The Artists Trilogy, prior knowledge of the books is not needed. DIRTY ANGELS is the first in a trilogy, however each book can standalone and follows or introduces different characters***
Kelly - 4 Crowns
Suspenseful, hard-hitting and shocking with a heartfelt twist. - Kelly.
Marrying a ruthless and abusive Mexican drug cartel leader to keep her parents in a safe home and food on the table is what many would call selfless... Luisa Chavez calls it survival. In a land that is overrun by narcotics and violent crime, this beauty queen is willing to lay down with the devil; she just didn’t know how much of a monster Salvadore Reyes was until their wedding night.
Javier Bernal is a businessman who is looking to expand; a rival competitor in the Mexican drug cartel trade, he wants a bigger slice of the cake – the only problem is Salvador Reyes holds all the pieces.
Kidnapping his new and beautiful wife was easier than he could have possibly imagined, but what he didn’t bargain for was a strong woman whose quick tongue and inner fight would ignite a burning need within him. There is nothing stronger than a woman willing to die to keep a secret. Fight, Flight or Die Trying is Luisa's motto, and one that appeals to him greatly.
Javier keeps a distance from women, falling in love makes a man weak, but when he finds himself caring for the enemy’s wife… he knows nothing good could ever come out of that.
Or could it?
Whoa! If you enjoy the whole kidnap / held for ransom / stockholm syndrome theme, then Dirty Angels is a real suspenseful, action packed read that will have you flicking through the pages with relish.
Karina Halle has done an exceptional job in portraying a gritty and quite disturbing plot that focuses around the Mexican drug cartel. Dirty Angels isn’t my darkest read by a long shot, but one that is still thought provoking and a little gruesome in places, that just gets my heart pounding, my blood pumping and my book lovin’ soul buzzin!’
I haven’t read The Artists Trilogy and I was concerned that Javier would be more of an enigma to me then a fully formed character that I could connect with, but I shouldn’t have worried my little head, because I didn’t feel like I had missed out at all. Karina made it obvious from the beginning of Javier’s narcissistic and psychotic ways, and briefly touched base on a woman who had broken him. For me, that is all I needed because Javier and our main heroine, Luisa, told this story in joint first person POV that gave it both potency and substance.
Yes, there were a few moments when I started to question Luisa’s choices, her mind set and way of thinking came over a little unrealistic at times, but when you live with a monster and swap it for one a little less officious, I could see where her need for affection would arise. But what I will say about Luisa is she wasn’t sappy, immature or played the typical ‘damsel in distress’ card; she was incredibly strong and would have given her life to save the ones she loved, and that was what made her character shine.
Javier was scary as much as he was sexy and I can’t even justify that in my own head, it doesn’t even make sense to me but read this and you will know exactly what I mean. He is HOT, ladies! Well… in-between severing heads and sawing arms and legs off in his makeshift torture chamber.
All in all this was a satisfying, suspenseful read with grit that made a nice change from the contemporary norm.