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Cartel: Book 1 (Cartel Trilogy) Paperback – May 12, 2015
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About the Author
Lili St Germain is a phenomenon. The first of her seven serialised dark romance novellas, SEVEN SONS, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series released in quick succession and selling hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and is loving every minute of it. Her other loves include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee and Tarantino movies. She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am going to preface this review with a statement, and try as I may, I’m trying to not have it affect my rating. I was drawn into the book quickly, yet I can’t help feeling bittersweet. To me, reading Cartel is like reading the last book in a long-standing series first (Gypsy Brothers), and then going back to read the prequel (Cartel). It doesn’t matter how well-written the story is, you already know the final outcome. With this series, the outcome is as final as it could possibly be, with no room for interpretation and absolutely nowhere to go.
So, with an open mind, I read Cartel, pretending I didn’t know the finite outcome, and tried to become emotionally invested without feeling heartbroken. I’d always wanted to know more about Marianna, and I’ve always been a HUGE Dornan fan. I basically pretended this was a new story, one I was eager to read.
How best to describe Cartel? Fast-paced. Thrilling. Violent. Dark. Raw. Ruthless. As frustrating as it is gripping. From the first page, I was sucked in and engrossed with this brutal book, even with the fact that I knew what was coming. I felt empowered reading Marianna, as she used strength and intelligence to endure, instead of lying down and acting pitiful. The heroine has a strong constitution, written in a way that shows a depth of emotion, making her lifelike to the readers. Loyal, she sacrificed herself even knowing what it meant, and I appreciated Marianna’s thoughts on her father as a result.
Even with the villains in this story, the reader can empathize, understand what makes them tick and why they react as they do, even when it’s with horrific consequences. Each ‘villainous’ character is written as a legacy, their actions evolve from their parents, and worsen over time as they pass these same traits onto their children, until it infects all those around them.
I will admit, I speed-read Cartel in one sitting, unable to put it down, so I’ve yet to fully digest it.
The only negatives I can state at this time- as I didn’t allow the book to marinate in my mind before writing this review –are the things that yanked me from the story as I read. Cartel needs a good polish with the editing. Not just with grammar and mistakes, but with colloquialisms and regional spellings. For me, the narration should reflect the narrator. When a character is from a specific area, their slang and the spelling of their words should reflect them. I expect the Columbians, the Italians, and the Americans to think and speak in their native tongue. I’m not suggesting foreign languages, just keep to the character’s roots.
Would I recommend Cartel? Absolutely, especially to those who love a well-written Mafia/MC series that is fast-paced, violent, and brutal. If you haven’t read the Gypsy Brothers yet, I suggest waiting and reading Cartel and its subsequent books first. I believe the feel of the series and the emotions it elicits would have been dramatically different if I’d read them in reverse. For me, even though I didn't know the minute details, it was like 'watching' a painful rerun.
The story in revolving around in circles. It's become stagnant and not moving forward as if they are stalling. Dornan's obsession with Mariana is a distraction to the original story line of Emilio.
It's a long and arduous story. I'm not convinced by the use of words chosen for this story. It's not compelling. The characters have confused emotions.
I feel the author was trashing women unnecessarily throughout this story yet trying to set Mariana apart from these other women because she was Columbian. Why is she so set on degrading women?
Does Dornan think drugs make him feel powerful or using women? The author is over doing the tough guy act with Dornan. Not sure why she chose to tell Dornan's POV from the third person. It's weird considering Mariana's POV is her own thoughts. Dornan taints and teases Mariana trying to break her, but it's unclear why.
Stockholm syndrome is the term constantly thrust in your face to describe the feelings of confusion Mariana has for Dornan. It did not work for me. I love taboo dark stories, but this one was a stretch.
I was completely mesmerized by this story and didn’t want to put it down. I was not wanting it to end!! This book was a epic ride and holy crap I am still on edge!!
This is not a hearts and flowers romance! It’s dark, cruel, intense and totally captivating. Not to mention freaking HOT! This story weaves the Il Sangue Cartel and Gypsy Brothers MC in a crazy and intense ride! I haven’t read her Gypsy Brothers series, so have no fear of not understanding what is going on. Its a complete standalone series...a prequel to Gypsy Brothers.
Ana is beautiful, feisty and has been through so much in her 19 years. Her father is a drug lord, so she has seen plenty. She’s lived the life of wealth, but soon things take a drastic change. She’s has been taken to fulfill a debt. Emilio Ross, the head of the Cartel has decided to claim her as his until he sees fit. Ana is thrown into a life she is not suited for, or is she. When Dornan, VP of the Gypsy Brothers decides to step in and take control of her...is he the angel she needs or the devil in disguise? I can't say too much or I'll give things away....AHHHHH
This book is dark, its gritty, it freaking everything! If you have never read Lil St. Germain...do it now!! This book hooked me right from the prologue and it suck its teeth in. I will definitely be checking out Kingpin! I need more!! 5 Phenomenal Stars!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I grew up in Columbia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord.Read more
I found this story strangely fascinating. It was dark and violent. The romance was not really present.Read more