Author: Lili St. Germain
Age group: Mature Adult
Genre: Dark Romance
Release date: 27th January 2014
How much is a life worth?
Mariana Rodriguez is the eldest daughter of a Colombian drug lord. Growing up in Villanueva, Colombia, she has never wanted for anything. Private schools, a lavish lifestyle, and the safety of the Cartel that her father works for.
At nineteen, she’s got her entire life mapped out, and what a good life it’s going to be: graduate from college, move to America with the love of her life, and finally be free from the stifling grip of the Cartel.
Only, her father messes up. A shipment of cocaine – a very large, very valuable shipment – is seized by the authorities whilst under his care and he becomes liable for the debt. Half a million dollars’ worth of cocaine.
Half a million dollars he does not have.
But he has a daughter, a very smart one, a daughter who would give up her very existence and offer herself as payment for her father’s sins, to ensure her family survives.
But falling in love with the man who owned her isn’t part of the plan …
‘This isn’t a fairytale,’ Dornan said wryly, as he watched her bring the soup-soaked bread to her mouth.
She paused with the bread in her hand, looking around the room in mock surprise. ‘You mean, we’re not Beauty and the fucking Beast?’
‘Well, you’re certainly beautiful,’ he said.
‘And you’re definitely a beast,’ she countered, pushing her empty bowl away and resting back on the bed.
‘But there’s no happy ever after for you,’ Dornan added, his eyes trailing over the chains to reach the cuffs that were now permanent bracelets on her wrists.
My name is Mariana Rodriguez.
I used to be just like you – a regular girl, with a regular life.
But it was all a lie.
Nothing about my life was normal.
It was all make believe.
It was good, while it lasted.
Reality’s caught up to my family.
It was always just a matter of time.
KFF’s FOUR STAR REVIEW
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall on behalf of Kindle Friends Forever.
I found the author’s style of writing interesting. The chapters not telling the main protagonist’s story are narrated in third person; the first putting us in the picture. From there on in, chapters telling the heroine’s story are in first person and alternated. It sounds confusing but I can assure you that it isn’t.
Again, we meet up with the Gypsy Brothers. Even though this heinous gang of bikers are well-known for their unorthodox ways in the author’s last series, in Cartel, Dornan is still a relatively young vice president of the motorcycle club. His best friend, John Portand, is president with little or no say in illegal matters and affairs carried out in the club. Why? Because Dornan’s Italian Mafioso father, Emilio Ross, has them by the short and curlies! He might be in the background, but he controls on the sidelines. What he says goes; and if not, there’s always someone to pay with their life. It is clear to see where Dornan inherited his strong streak of sadism from. However, the author has thrown a different light on him here which I’m not sure I cared for.
Quote: “Are you all right? he asked, and I heard genuine concern in his voice. Odd.”
Mariana Rodriguez, better known as Ana, thought she had it all. Young, beautiful and sassy, she gives what she gets with a touch of sarcasm. She’s also well aware that her father is up to no good and his stifling debts could come back to bite him. She never envisaged she would be the one on the receiving end of her father’s carelessness regarding a drug shipment belonging to the Colombian cartel, Il Sangue. The boss, Emilio, wants blood! Who is going to bear the cost? Ana! She will pay the price for saving her family from imminent death by forfeiting her freedom and quite possibly, her life too.
Quote: “I can’t promise you that you won’t beg me to kill you anyway.”
Ana drove me up the wall! One minute she’s courageously battling on and the next minute I could have asked her to stop shilly-shallying around. At the beginning of the story, she comes across as strong and wilful, so when she breaks down and openly confesses her innermost feelings to her captor, I thought, “What the heck!”
Quote: “Her words ran through his head, over and over again, filling him with fear, with wild rage.”
I’m sure it’s a classic case of Stockholm syndrome. All said and done, Dornan has told her it’s going to be a rough ride and what better way to survive than make friends with your enemy. Especially when both of them have something in common.
Quote: “Blood and pain, it was what had brought them together. What would keep them together. And he liked it.”
There is no doubt that this strapping man’s got a screw loose. So when he admits the unimaginable to Ana, I was flabbergasted! I’m not going to spill the beans but I will say that this bad guy cum attentive lover just fell off the pedestal I’d put him on. I felt the author had given up developing his aggressive and vengeful traits that shone in Gypsy Brothers halfway. In fact, not only did I feel a little short-changed, but I will also go as far as saying that there were moments when I quite liked him! And I didn’t want to! Emilio’s character comes over so much better as the baddie. He’s got the whole caboodle tied up very nicely, including a Federal Air Marshal, Murphy. Now here’s a mean machine if ever there was one. Bent as a nine bob note, conniving and makes the word unscrupulous look like a compliment.
Quote: “I would have been so much nicer to you than them.”
All in all, I enjoyed this fairly fast-moving up plot. Although it slowed down a tad in the middle, my attention wasn’t lost and I read it in one sitting. What I shouldn’t have done is the dastardly deed of comparing Cartel with Gypsy Brothers. People change and I think it’s going to be a while before we see Dornan show his true colours. I’m lacking in all the descriptive negative adjectives I love to use to describe dark genre; nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll be able to use them when Kingpin, the second novel in this trilogy is published in July. Bravo Ms. St. Germain for a job well done!
About the Author:
Lili Saint Germain
Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.
She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest
BARNES & NOBLE
ADDITIONAL BOOKS INCLUDING THESE CHARACTERS
Gypsy Brothers Series by Lili Saint Germain
Seven Sons (Gypsy Brothers, Book One) FREE
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1t6zQIy
Six Brothers (Gypsy Brother, Book Two) ONLY $0.99
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1pQjAOq
Five Miles (Gypsy Brothers, Book Three) ONLY $0.99
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1oKwLu1
Four Score (Gypsy Brothers, Four) ONLY $0.99
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1o447oe
Three Years (Gypsy Brothers, Book Five) ONLY $0.99
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1rbbD1z
Two Roads (Gypsy Brothers, Book Six) ONLY $0.99
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1uo8AEd
One Love (Gypsy Brothers, Book Seven)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/14QT925
B & N: http://bit.ly/1utEZPg