Book: Dirty Angels
Author: Karina Halle
Series: Dirty Angels, #1
Genres: Dark/Abuse, Romance, Contemporary, Cartels
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 16th February 2015
My Rating: 🌕🌕🌜
Date Finished: 1st March 2020
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.
I bought this years ago, 2015 to be exact, and have put it off for a long time when my taste changed from New Adult to Young Adult and Urban Fantasy. I chose it as a challenge read for Romance Readers Reading Challenges A-Z reads on Goodreads so I would finally read it.
So this starts with a prologue. Luisa decides to run away from her abusive drug lord husband in the spur of the moment decision, only to be captured by the enemy. It then moves into Chapter One and we see how she came to be married to Salvador and how she came to be in Javier's captivity. Javier wants her as a hostage so he can negotiate for something Salvador has and the longer they spend around each other, the more they begin to understand each other and feelings emerge.
I'm not really into mafia/cartel books. I find them to be rather violent and prefer sweeter stories with some angst in them. There were some times in this when I just couldn't read all the description and just skipped entire paragraphs, especially the bit with Franco. I also skipped quite a bit towards the end just wanting that final showdown between Javier and Salvador.
I didn't really get their romance. I understand Luisa looking for any light in the blackness that she's living but I still thought Javi was a bit dark, though he did have some nice moments.
I won't be continuing the series.