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 triggers for some people, including those sensitive to explicit sex, violence, abuse, rape, drug use, torture, and bad language.
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.**
I've always liked Javier. If you didn't like Javier and just want to read this book because you think it's more about The Artist Trilogy, it's not and thus may not be for you. As written in the author's message with the blurb and at the in the front of the book, it contains dark elements. It isn't terribly graphic but does hint at unprotected sex, rape, torture, death, blood, etc.
Louisa has always been poor, forever struggling just to make it. She works in a tourist restaurant bar, envious of the vacationing co-eds and dealing with a sexually harassing jerk of a boss. The only bright spot in her life is her parents, a father loosing the battle with Alzheimer's and a blind mother. She once was a beauty queen with opportunities, but now she's just another floundering laborer trying to support her family. One day the biggest drug lord in Mexico, Salvador Reyes, comes into her workplace with his sites set on her. She knows that if she refuses him, she'll probably be killed anyway. And by marrying him, she can afford to take care of her parents and stop working. Next thing you know, she's married and living in [...] being beaten, raped and tortured regularly. Her only solace is knowing her parents are being cared for.
I closed my eyes and imagined, just for one moment, what it would be like not to live in fear. To actually feel happiness and love from a man. My heart practically shuddered from the realization that I'd never, ever have that for as long as Salvador Reyes lived.
Javier's goal has always been to climb the leadership ladder in the world of narcotics. In the other series, we saw him rise from 2nd in command to leading a Mexican drug cartel. In this book, we find out that his cartel is not the most powerful so of course he wants to gain more control. He kidnaps Louisa in order to make a trade for jurisdiction over certain drug pipelines.
The wife of the jackal is the greatest card you can play in this game.
Javier's intentions toward Louisa become more hazy as time goes on.
"Why do you want to break me so badly?" she asked quietly, just as my hand went to the doorknob.
I paused and thought about the truth. Without looking back at her I said, "Because I want to destroy beautiful things before they can destroy me."
Although he is not a good man, he is one of the few in his line of work that still lives by a certain honor code.
This is a new Mexico. There is no code among men because there are no men anymore. Only monsters who sit behind their desks and give orders."
Javier has loved before, in his way, but he's never loved anyone equal to his desire to rule the drug trade. He has never found a woman for whom he would want to change nor a woman who would never ask him to change. Is it possible?
The morning light was streaming in through the window, illuminating her like an angel, but a dirty one.
I think this story is amazing, very well written. It's exciting, sexy, dangerous, dirty. I've been waiting on the edge of my seat for more Javier as soon as I heard this book was coming. Dirty Angles is one of my top reads for 2014, and I will definitely read the rest of the series.
Javier has got the biggest sex appeal of almost any character I can recall. The way he talks during a sexy scene so gets to me. Mmmmmm.
An in depth look inside the mind of a monster.
Female character: trapped as a slave wife to drug cartel lord. She is Courageous, brave, and feisty. She is stubborn and out spoken and defiant. She Makes sacrifices for her family at the expense of her own happiness. Javier Kidnapped her to seek revenge against Salvador's cartel. She has Suffered pain, torture, rape, and abuse. She is valuable. Her beauty is her curse. Luisa is just a piece of property used by the cartel. She is an object and not treated as a human being. She is determined to not be broken by Javier. She is selfless.
Storyline:two men pining for Luisa's attention. Salvador marries her but she escapes only to be caught by another who wants her more. Luisa trades her life of prison for another life of prison. While she thought she was not happy being poor and taking care of her parents she certainly did not expect to be this unhappy with Salvador. She thought money and power could bring her happiness. Be careful what you wish for because the grass is not always greener on the other side.
The story is told from Luisa's POV and Javier's POV.
Salvador is a drug lord with power, but blinded by his lust for Luisa. There is always someone more powerful than the other who can take what is yours. Javier is another drug lord who wants dictatorship over Mexico. Javier already killed one drug lord and is going to break Salvador by damaging his Luisa. He is a ruthless man. He is a pig. He uses women. He has no respect for human beings.
Javier is feeling flustered. He is a compassionate man. He is a fair man. He is a monster. He is confident. He is conflicted and torn about the torture he is supposed to inflict upon Luisa. He does not want her face or even her body beaten. He only wants to deface her back with his name engraved in her skin to humiliate Salvador. He is cunning, manipulative, and prideful. He is intelligent. He has charm and good looks. Luisa is his weakness. Yet, he is a coward. A man willing to sacrifice a life he worked hard to achieve for a woman he is in love with.