My rating: 4 of 5 stars
★★★★☆ 4.5 Stars!
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"My darling. You're going to be my undoing."
Well, *almost* perfect... KH (and Javier!) certainly did not disappoint!
Admittedly, I was one of those people who, despite being very intrigued by Javier's charming ways, still remained 100% Team Camden throughout The Artists Trilogy. Now though, after finally having caught of Javier Bernal's dirty mind, I might have to revise my opinion... Though, I have to say, Luisa is a much, much better match for him (view spoiler)[so it's probably best Ellie chose Camden (hide spoiler)] so eventually everything is as it should be and I'm really glad Karina decided to give Javier his own story with his own kick-ass leading lady.
Luisa Reyes is a 23 year old former beauty queen and the unfortunate wife of Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel. She's always held out hope for a better life, free of poverty and the constant struggle to survive. So when Reyes offered to provide her with all the money she and her parents could want or need in exchange for her body and obedience, it was an offer she couldn't refuse.
"Fantasies were for young girls who had no idea how the real world worked."
Leaving behind her waitressing job and her loving parents in Cabo San Lucas, she went to live with the vile but ultra-powerful Reyes. Little did she know, her worst nightmare was yet to come in the form of her husband's largest rival and enemy, Javier Bernal. Will being captivated by a man like him really be her worst nightmare or will it be her ultimate salvation?
Javier Bernal is the leading man of one of Mexico's most notorious, dangerous cartels. He's enigmatic, mysterious, powerful and charming when he wants to be. If you've read The Artists Trilogy, you know what happened to make him bitter when it comes to love. He's hesitant to let anyone get too close to him and even though he's intrigued by the beautiful fragile looking, yet fierce Luisa, he's determined to keep his distance from her.
"I have a lot of respect for beautiful things, you know. They are usually the most dangerous."
Like I said before, Javier has always piqued my interest, but it wasn't until now that I've read his story that I can fully appreciate the complexity of his character and the dangerously alluring edge he has to him. The fact that the story was written from dual POV also helped with understanding both characters and the evolution they went through throughout the story.
"I want to destroy beautiful things before they can destroy me."
Javier and Luisa's story is one with many bumps along the road; Karina does not spare us the gory details of what goes around in the world of a Mexican cartel leader. But that's exactly what I appreciate most about Karina Halle's work and the no-nonsense, realistic way she creates her characters and storyline. Once again, she's created a thrilling, suspenseful, original and sexy read that kept me hooked from start to finish! Already looking forward to the next part in the Dirty Angels series.
Can be read as a standalone - with no cliffhanger.
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