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Friday Mini Reviews #96: Karina Halle, Madelynne Ellis & J.D. Robb

Dirty Angels by Karina Halle (Dirty Angels #1)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
**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***
Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

This was one of my attempts to clear my kindle, and I'm sure I had this book on it for a few years. Wow, folks, this was a dark romance, which is nowhere near my comfort zone, and yet, the writing was so strong I felt compelled to finish. A brutal Stokholm syndrome; a love, raw and masterfully written. Recommended to fans of Narcos and Breaking Bad. And obviously to the fans of the genre itself.
* * *
Это была одна из моих попыток подчистить полки на киндле, и я уверена, что Грязные Ангелы лежала у меня на полке уже несколько лет... Вау, ребята! Вы знаете, что тёмный роман - совсем не комфортабельный для меня жанр, однако книга зацепила своим магнетизмом и силой авторского таланта. Это история любви с с тяжёлым Стокгольским синдромом. Оторваться невозможно до самого конца. Рекомендую поклонникам жанра, а также шоу Нарки и Во Все Тяжкие.
Anything But Ordinary (Anything But... #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
The long awaited sequel to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Madelynne Ellis' Amazon bestseller, Anything But Vanilla.

Their 'no strings' affair is about to get complicated.

One disastrous marriage was all it took for Ric Liddell to give up on commitment, so when his 'no strings' arrangement with Zach Blackwater and Kara North hits the rocks due to a plague of interfering busybodies, he retreats to what feels safe -- sex, filthy sex, and even more filthy sex, in no particular order.

Zach wants Ric, and not just for their connection in the sack. When his lover hurts him, he's willing to look elsewhere for the stability he craves -- and he doesn't have to look far, because Kara's right there.

The guys are hot, and the sex is dirty, but for Kara, caught in the middle of Zach and Ric's emotional absurdity, it's painfully clear their threesome just can't last. Unless -- they can somehow set their fears aside and accept they need one another to be whole.

Amazon kindle US/UK

I think, while I loved Anything But Vanilla, its sequel was a bit disappointing. Primarily, because one of the main characters behaved like a total jerk, and it pissed me off to no end. Basically, his temper tantrums put the livelihood of his loved ones at risk, and it was tres not cool.
* * *
Я думаю, что хоть и люблю я " Всё Кроме Ванили", продолжение этой истории меня разочаровало, потому что Рик, один из главных героев, своими идиотскими истериками поставил под угрозу благополучие своих любовников, что было совершенно не клёво. Прям детский сад какой-то!

 Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death #38)

borrowed on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately—and by the time she’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force’s new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.

Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

 A heartbreaking story like anything involving children and opening  Eve and Roarke's own wounds. The identity of the killer was pretty obvious so there wasn't much investigation here, but it was a good read.
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История, щемящая сердце, так как она затрагивает детей  открывает душевные раны самих Ив и Роарка. Как такового расследования здесь нет, так как убийца очевиден, однако книга была всё-равно хороша. 
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