Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle

As a flight attendant, Alana Bernal has had her share of suitors. She's also had more than her fair share of tragedy within her messed-up family. But what she hasn't had is love. Real, rip-your-heart-out, tear-your-clothes-off, all-consuming love.

At least that was the case until she met an American tourist, Derek Conway, a ripped ex-soldier with steely eyes and a commanding presence.

What started as a chance encounter between the two in Puerto Vallarta, a weekend full of hot sex and mindless passion, has led to something more.

Something deadly.

Because Derek isn't the type of man to fall in love. He's not a man who sticks around.
And he's definitely not in Mexico on vacation.

Derek is a mercenary, a killer-for-hire, a man who does the ugly jobs for the highest bidder.

Unfortunately for Alana and Derek, the highest bidder has the power to destroy whatever worlds they have created for themselves.

The highest bidder can destroy everything.

This is a romantic suspense book, #2 in the Dirty Angels trilogy but can be read as a standalone novel*

Dirty Deeds accomplished things for me that I never expected, all while keeping me bouncing my leg in anticipation, holding my breath in fear and maybe clenching my thighs in sexual excitement at times.  

Alana lives a fairly normal life considering she's the sister of a powerful drug cartel leader, The King of Mexico himself, Javier.  You remember him from The Artist Trilogy, yes? Alana has escaped the attentions of rival cartels until now.  And now that the guns are trained on her, trusting in anyone is difficult, even the man saving her life. The man she's falling in love with.

Derek is militant and cold, for good reason. Seeing the only person you love gunned down just feet from you will do that to a person.  He sees a second chance in Alana, a chance at redemption. The chance to save someone...finally.  As long as lies don't get in the way, but in this life, they always do.

Here is what surprised me most about Dirty Deeds.  My complete change in feelings about these characters.  While you can absolutely read Dirty Deeds as a stand alone, I promise you really can, the characters have all popped up in other books.  So I went in with predetermined feelings on them.  

For instance, I loved Javier. Even when he was completely evil.  He disappointed me in DD though, maybe the first time he's ever done that.  Derek was someone I was fairly indifferent about before, but I ADORE him now.  There was another really large shift too but in the effort of keeping this non-spoilery, I will seal my lips on that.

I did not, however, have a formed opinion on Alana before reading DD.  Gotta say, I kinda dug her. She has spunk, she's brave but not completely stupid about it. She's in an impossible situation but seems eager to just try to live some life...even if it is to end soon.

Overall thoughts:  Dirty Deeds is a fast paced, exciting romp through part of the world I came to love in The Artist Trilogy. It isn't always sweet, it isn't always pleasant, it isn't always dark and dangerous.  But it is enough of all of those things to keep you reading to the end.

From the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English and The Artists Trilogy, comes a dark romance about a good girl and a very, very bad man. It’s a deliciously twisted take on forbidden love, set among the drug cartels of hot, steamy Mexico and is not for the faint of heart. It contains explicit sex, violence, abuse, drug use, bad language and sexy Mexicans. You have been warned…

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.
Some men were born to create empires, some women were meant to be queen.

**Dirty Angels is the first standalone novel in the Dirty Angels Trilogy, in which all books feature or involve different characters. The character of Javier Bernal is from The Artists Trilogy, and while reading TAT is recommended if you want additional insight into this twisted character, it is not required.**

Halle Headshot
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 fiancé and rescue pup.


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