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Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1) by Karina Halle

Dirty Angels Book Cover Dirty Angels
Dirty Angels Series #1
Karina Halle
Fiction, Dark Romance, Erotic Romance
June 15th 2014

**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***

show all books in this series

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Dirty Angel #1
Can Standalone
30263090
Dirty Angel #2
Can Standalone
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Dirty Angel #3
Part of a Series

ARIANNA’s Review

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Karina Halle delivered a very intriguing first installment in this series that kept me from the start on the edge of my seat for one reason or another. ‘Dirty Angels’ was dark, gritty, suspenseful and so very thrilling. Needless to say I was hooked from the prologue!

“Good or bad, there is great power in knowing who you are and owning it.”

Luisa Chavez has always been a good daughter all her life caring for her parents who are both disabled. Luisa is used to live in poverty and she’s used to hard working. Being the only provider for her family, she is struggling with everything, so when a well-known, dangerous drug cartel leader, Salvador Reyes, makes her an offer – to be his wife in exchange for money and respect-, she reluctantly accepts. Soon after she finds out how cruel and sadistic Salvador can be, her live becoming slowly a living hell. She wants to be free again, she wants to escape and she tries, but she doesn’t succeed because she is kidnapped by Javier Bernal.

“There is so much power and influence in money and drugs that it makes me wonder why anyone would bother going straight.”

Javier Bernal is a dangerous man, a powerful cartel leader who wants to build his empire. He wants power, he loves power and he will do anything to have it. Anything! Javier wants to hurt Luisa, to make her cry and bleed, he wants to destroy her, but Luisa is strong willing to do anything to show Javier that she’s not afraid, wanting to beat him at his own twisted game.

“She needed to appreciate the art of violence, the beauty in fear, the fragility of her own life.”

As time passes, Javier becomes more and more intrigued by his captive. Her attitude astounds him, being captivated not only by her strong character, but also by her beauty.

“Why do you want to break me so badly?” (…)
“Because I want to destroy beautiful things before they can destroy me.”

I really enjoyed this one! It was for sure my kind of read! The plot was well developed, intriguing and like I mentioned above it kept me at the edge of my seat right up to the end…What I really liked was its unpredictability. I didn’t know what to expect, what Javier will do, how he will react and so on…

Both Luisa and Javier were well portrayed. Luisa was that kind of heroine I love to read about in these kind of books. She was strong and despite everything she endured she never broke. She speaks her mind and I loved the fact that she wasn’t that naïve heroine you usually meet in a dark read. She was smart and in some way manipulative at times and also mature which I really liked. Javier was cunning and manipulative, cruel and sadistic at times, but not too much to be hated. I have to be a little crazy, but I really liked how he follows his own set of rules. He was a very charming anti-hero that many readers will love to hate. The way the Luisa and Javier fond safety in each other, later as the story unfolded saving each other in some insane, twisted way was fantastically done. However, to be honest I would have liked their relationship to be a little more developed.

I enjoyed the fact the story is told in dual POV. To be honest for some crazy reason I enjoyed Javier’s POV more. Trust me when I say he was a fascinating character. The story is fast-paced, action packed, intense and filled with suspense and also steam and I can totally say it blew my mind. Keep in mind there are many graphic scenes in the story, not really disturbing, but unpleasant to say the least.

Overall, a fantastic, delightful read!

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