*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review
Let me be honest, I hated Javier in The Artist Trilogy. When I found out Karina was writing Javier's story I thought to myself how the hell was I going to read a book about a character that I hated so much. But if you know me, you know I'm a HUGE Karina Halle fan (maybe even a tad obsessed...) so of course I was going to read it anyways because I knew she was going to change my mind about Javier; I may have been a little scared about that. Let me tell you, she absolutely did! I fell fast, deeply, and irrevocably in love with Javier.
The thing is, he's still the Javier that I saw in TAT, ruthless, twisted, mean, sexy, and with a dirty mouth. Oh, his dirty, dirty mouth. As I was reading Dirty Angels, I kept asking myself Cam who? Why hadn't I seen Javier before. The man is almost perfect (in a cartel boss type of way, of coourse)!!! I will stop gushing about how much I loved Javier and how amizingly twisted he is because I could go on and on and ON about how much I loved him, but you have to see for yourselves. If you were like me and hated him in TAT, don't write this book off just yet, READ IT! Trust me, you will fall for him no matter how hard you will try not to.
The female main character of this book was one that I absolutely loved and admired. Luisa's family is very poor. Do the circumstances her family faces, she is forced to keep a job with a boss that she detests. So you can't blame the girl to say yes when the opportunity to marry a drug lord falls into her lap, not like she had a choice anyways. So this beauty queen marries one of the most disgusting characters that I had the pleasure (or is it displeasure?) of reading. The things Luisa faces at the hands of her new husband are repulsive and horrifying. He breaks her, but not completely. She is still strong, feisty, and doesn't back down from anyone (even Javier!). I seriously loved her.
The chemistry between Luisa and Javier is electrifying and a little twisted, but in a beautiful way if that makes any sense. They're perfect for each other. Luisa is the queen a king needs alongside him to rule his drug empire. Their relationship is not perfect and definitely not filled with chocolates and flowers. The circumstances in which they meet are not ideal and you would think Luisa would never fall for the fierce Javier.
I applaud Karina Halle for writing such an interesting, beautiful, and unique story full of hotness, and twists and turns. Not only do I absolutely love her writing, but I loved where she took the story. Javier is who he is, take him or leave him, he's not going to change his ways and I love that. Ok, so maybe he did soften up a little but it was mostly (like 99.9%) towards Luisa.
Thank you Karina for once again writing such an amazing story that will be hard to forget. And like always, I cannot wait to read what's next.....
“I have a lot of respect for beautiful things, you know. They are usually the most dangerous.”
The last time I read about Javier was in the The Artists Trilogy and I thought I loved him then. I was wrong, SO wrong. I love him more than I thought I would, he fits into this story so remarkably well, and he is everything that his character needs him to be if that makes any sense at all… This is such a sexy, dirty, filthy story filled with intrigue, danger, lust and some really hot dark stuff that normally would make me cringe, but instead I found myself captivated by the odd beauty behind it. I love every part of this book, and could not put it down!
This story grabbed me from the very beginning, Luisa is in a very precarious and dangerous situation and wants more than anything to be able to feel love and have a shot at a normal life and her loyalty to her parents and her desire to take care of them is the most important thing in her life. She is truly an unselfish person and makes her choices based on need rather than want. I was drawn to her character the whole time and truly pulled for her to evolve throughout the story, it was the most tragic and beautiful thing to see unfold throughout the pages and I was addicted.
When Luisa and Javier’s worlds come together it is such an unorthodox relationship and experience. Javier needs certain things from Luisa in order to keep his job and life afloat, and even though Luisa is still living under the scrutiny of her kept life she needs certain things from Javier. These two have some of the most unique and sexy chemistry that I’ve ever read. The way that Javier is so ruthless and evil at times doesn’t take away from the fact that he is hot as hell. His mouth is dirty and filthy and I just loved the way he spoke, not only Luisa but everyone. He held command in his voice and it was so deviously sexy you wouldn’t know rather to run to him or run to the hills.
This story has some crazy twist and turns that I didn’t see coming, and to be honest writing a non-spoiler review is normally easy for me! But not today, there is so much wickedly good stuff that goes on in this book and I’m just dying to vomit my words all over this page, but I won’t. I will say this; Javier did some things both good and bad that just blew my mind! He is hands down one of my favorite book people. So awesome.
Karina’s writing is stellar, and witty and smart and left me glued to each page, and her character development and growth are beyond wonderful. There are some side characters that I love as well. Not because they are some great lovely people, but because I actually found myself changing my mind about them which doesn’t happen very often. In the end this was an AMAZING read that I would recommend to everyone just based on the fact that it was so beautifully different. I know I keep saying how sexy it is, and I hate to repeat myself but HOLY CRAP it’s seriously one of the sexiest books out there, and that’s not just from the sex! Words are sexy, hands are sexy, items are sexy! I’m not sure how one turns violence, crime, guns, drugs, and some despicable characters into a hot sexy, deviant, and romantic thriller all at one time but Karina did it WELL, and by the time I reached the last page, I actually said WOW out loud to myself. I won’t forget this one for a while.
“I was reacting to the fact that I would never win. No matter what I did. I was reacting to the unfairness of it all, of my very existence.”
“You’re a very dirty man.”
“Filthy,” he corrected me. He smacked my ass lightly, causing me to jump. “Oh, that’s just fucking beautiful.”
He did it again and again, not enough to hurt but enough to sting. Each time, he licked the place where his handprint would have been. Then, with one hand he gently pried my ass cheeks open. I couldn’t help but cringe.
“You need to relax,” he whispered. “This won’t hurt. And I’m sure you took a bath this morning, didn’t you?” I murmured yes in response. “Then you’re clean and you have nothing to worry about. As for me, I’d take you anyway I can. It’s all exquisite to me.”
He was right. He was filthy.
“Relax, Luisa,” he said again. “Relax.”
And so I tried.
The first contact from his tongue made me shudder. The sensation was so entirely new to me, but what wasn’t at this point. Yet his mouth, lips, tongue, were all warm and wet and gentle and I found my body immediately relaxing into the steady motion. I pushed aside all thoughts about how impure this was. Purity had done nothing for me, anyway. It was better to be dirty. It was better to take what you could. It was better to embrace your lustful, needful, animalistic side because that was the side that lived.
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term "Hybrid Author." Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she's a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA...whenever possible.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.
Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.
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