Book Review: DIRTY ANGELS by Karina Halle

Genre: NA, Romance

Pages: 309

Released on: June 2014

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Buy the Book:

Amazon (free right now on Kindle)

Goodreads Summary:

**warning: this book contains situations which might be triggers for some people. Please see the bottom of this description to see if this is the kind of book that you’ll love or piss you off**

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.

***WARNING*** This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains…well, they’re even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, PLEASE DO NOT READ IT. This ain’t no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book. If you are even a bit squeamish about violence, brutality and rape, this is your warning to stay away from a book that you certainly will not like (and why read books that you know you won’t like?)***

***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***

My Review:

So, as you can tell from the summary, this book is so not for the faint hearted. I read this because I recently saw Jay Crownover gushing about it and how Javi was as bad as bad could get. With someone who has bad boys living in The Point (also a great series you should check out by Jay), I had to see who combated her bad boys. And boy, oh boy. Jay was so right.

My favorite part of this book is how far these characters are willing to go. I’m so used to reading books where the characters are ‘bad’ but still have that heart in them that keeps them from completely crossing a line, you know? That is so not the case in this book. These characters cross that line AND THEN SOME.

And the book took me into a whole new world I hadn’t known I’d be interested in reading about. But that’s the thing with NA books, you have to be willing to try anything. Try something new, something that you never thought you’d enjoy reading. But obviously know your limits. If this book seems like it may be too much (because honestly, there are times when it can be), then don’t push yourself.

But for those who don’t mind the danger, the drugs, the violence, etc., then give this book a try! And in doing so, I can guarantee you’ll be surprised. I was!

I’m so used to ‘bad’ characters saying they’re bad but then it comes down to making a tough decision, they decided with their heart and all turns out moderately well. With DIRTY ANGELS, you have to learn to expect the unexpected. Because these characters continued to surprise me even down to the last few pages. It wasn’t that I couldn’t peg down the personalities or characteristics of these characters, it was more that I was still hoping for glimmers of goodness to seep out of them. So their actions continued to surprise me. But that was the best part of the book! I love when a book can keep you on your toes like that!

So if you are feeling adventurous and are seeking something different than the typical NA/romance novels out there, I would recommend this. I’ve been reading new adult for a little over two years now and this was a good book to get my feet wet in terms of different kinds of NA to read.

MY RATING: 4.5/5

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