Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Dirty Angels is a massive mindf*ck, but in a good way. Fans of the Artists trilogy know what type of story they would read with Dirty Angels. For those who want to read Dirty Angels, although it is a standalone, I urge you to read the Artists trilogy books first to get a good idea of what Karina's writing style is and her characters and their motivations.
Dirty Angels is much more raw, dirty, insane and off the hook amped up sex wise than anything else I've read from her. Dirty Angels is not for the weak of heart and this isn't your traditional romance. The seductive psycho villain we all love to hate rides off in the sunset here. That psycho is Javier Bernal, the one who got his just desserts at at the end Bold Tricks. But Javier is like the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Javier is on a mission to take down the world in Dirty Angels, but wants the Queen he has always desired by his side while he does it. That queen just might be the wife of the biggest Mexican cartel leader, the woman Javier kidnaps and might end up killing as payback.
Dirty Angels begins a few months after Bold Tricks ends. Javier is out of jail and moving on with his life (without Ellie, the woman he once loved when he was younger, and who he thought completed him). He's still power hungry and very much in control. In order to gain more power, he has to take down Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel. Javier kidnaps Luisa, Reyes wife of two months. He will hold her for a week until Reyes gives into his demands, and then get rid of Luisa. But Luisa is a fighter and won't cower before Javier, even when he does something so horrible that I gasped in shock (he doesn't consort to rape, but puts his mark, his own personal tattoo on Luisa that made me outraged). Luisa doesn't want to go back to Reyes, because Reyes is evil and has abused her horribly. But she takes the abuse to protect her parents. She figures Javier will snuff her out, but she refuses to spend her remaining days fearful of this man with the smart suits and the polite manners. He calls her "darling" and wants her to eat and be comfortable. Slowly the prisoner and the captor come to an understanding, which causes Javier to doubt his plans for Luisa, which could get him killed.
Dark Angels is very dark and brutal at times. Karina writes a no holds barred story featuring amoral characters. I have a love/hate relationship with Javier. He makes you like him, as well as despise him. But he's a product of his environment and he knows it. He doesn't make any excuses for his behavior and what he has to do to survive. He's one cock SOB also. We see some flashes of his vulnerability when it comes to his family, and even what he lost with Ellie, who rejected him because of his brutal, predator nature.. Luisa is able to sneak inside his walls and learns to understand the man Javier is. Javier sees Luisa as a beckon of hope because he sees her innocence and pure heart. He also sees that Luisa is a fighter and can give as good as she gets. Watching these two form a bond and then act on their attraction for one another is the ultimate payoff. Karina makes it work for Javier and Luisa with surprising results. You know Javier will always remember Ellie as his first love, but Luisa comes along and takes over his heart like a freight train.
Love doesn't make Javier a weak man. He's still cruel and violent when it's called for, but Luisa accepts him and all his faults. She knows it won't be easy being with him, but he gives her a glimmer of hope for her future, unlike the one with the sadistic Reyes, who comes across as a too one-dimensional and mustache twirling villainous. Maybe that's why I was fine with Javier and Luise riding off into the sunset together. Javier is so rich with personality and oozes that sensuality in a way that I would gladly walk on the wild side beside him and ask for him to rule over me as my king.
Dirty Angels won't be the type of book for everyone, but it's edgy, in your face action with some moments of, "oh no she didn't just write that!". Sex burns from these pages in the form of Javier who consumes Luisa with a fiery passion.
Karina Halle is one of the few authors who can bring forth that shock in awe in her books. If you ever wanted to take a chance on a book, first read the Artists Trilogy and introduce yourself to Javier. The read Dirty Angels.
I enjoyed getting down and dirty with Javier and Luisa in Dirty Angels. This was a rip roaring, rowdy one heck of a book.