Series: Dirty Angels #1
Publication Date: June 15th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Also in this series: Dirty Promises
Also by this author: Darkhouse, Red Fox, The Benson, Dead Sky Morning, Lying Season
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Pawn: The weakest piece on the chessboard, yet the only piece that has the ability to become stronger. It is dangerous and versatile.
Luisa is a good girl surrounded by evil men. Selfless, compassionate, gentle; the qualities that strengthen her character are the ones that weaken her once she finds herself immersed in the world of cartel leader, Salvador Reyes. Salvador approaches Luisa with an offer of marriage; an offer she cannot refuse. Sacrificing a life of normalcy and happiness in order to secure the very same for her parents, Luisa becomes a pawn to the sadistic Salvador in a game full drugs, violence and rape. Despite the frailty of her situation, Luisa soon finds herself in a position of power when she becomes the possession of rival cartel leader Javier Bernal.
King: The most important chess piece of the game. No material equivalency can be applied to the King because his “loss” means the end of the game, therefore he is considered “invaluable”
Javier is a man of many faces: The merciless villain, the gorgeous Lothario, the cruel gentleman. He is Sinner and Saint. Heaven and Hell. Quite simply, Javier is a King amid subjects and a God among men. What started as a seductive prelude to Javier in The Artist’s Trilogy has now turned into a delicious continuation with Dirty Angels. Javier is back with a vengeance and he is taking hostage of a woman strong enough to break him: Luisa Reyes.
En Prise: A French term meaning “in a position to be taken”.
When Javier captures Luisa, she is a means to an end: a sacrifice for his organizations greater good. But Javier’s motivations are slightly selfish once he sees the fire and fight she refuses to tame. The relationship that develops between them quickly blurs the lines of captor and captive. Javier’s charming wit, sexual prowess and undeniable appeal awakens something in Luisa that she doesn’t understand yet cannot fight. But Javier is lesser of all evils in the game that is rapidly evolving.
Smothered Mate: A form of checkmate where the King is unable to escape check because his own friendly pieces prevent him from moving.
With Javier’s henchmen Este, Franco, and The Doctor inflicting their swift brand of torture and retaliation upon whomever they please, Luisa is constantly in danger. To them, she is expendable but to Javier she is an enigma that threatens his own moral code as well as his own notions about love. As the sexual tension between them reaches fever pitch, the ultimate power struggle ensues that elevates Luisa from a pawn into a Queen.
Queening the Pawn: In all cases of queening, a pawn is “queened” once it has reached the opposite end of the board.
Dirty Angels is a story about power vs. weakness, good vs. evil, strategy vs. threat. All in all, it’s like a game of chess with the addition of scorching hot sex. Now the subject matter may scare some people off but the themes present in this story are worth the sometimes-violent journey. Luisa is one hell of a heroine. She is strong and brave and compliments Javier in a way that makes this larger-than-life villain human.
Queen: The strongest piece on the chessboard.
But don’t worry, Javier is still the same ruthless, cunning, and deceitful man we all love to silently (or loudly) root for. He is one of the most fascinating characters I have had the pleasure of reading and every word out of his mouth is pure gold. This is one of my favorite books of 2014 and I am eagerly anticipating Dirty Deeds.
Endgame: The part of the game where the King should come out and fight.