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Empire (Cartel Trilogy, 03) Paperback – May 30, 2017
The breathtaking finale to the USA Today bestselling Cartel trilogy.
People aren't born monsters.
They're made that way.
They're created, fuelled by one singular moment in time when their universe shatters.
I'd been with Dornan Ross for the better part of a decade. Slept in his bed, sewn up his wounds, tasted his blood, seen inside his soul.
But even I wasn't prepared for what he did.
I should have known it would always come down to this, from the very moment I laid eyes on him in that motel.
I should have known his salvation was too good to be true.
Because it's all gone now, the impossible love I had for him bleeding away in the darkness that came afterward.
Now there's only hate.
Now I just want to escape.
Even if it means I have to kill him to be free.
Before the Gypsy Brothers series there was the Cartel - from USA Today bestselling author Lili St Germain.
Praise for the Cartel trilogy:
' I have been on a crazy and wild ride with this trilogy and I hate saying goodbye. Empire was a PERFECT conclusion' Betul, Goodreads
'Empire was the perfect ending for this thrilling trilogy' Dee, Goodreads
'Awesome job Lili ... I am ready to hop on the back of a bike and join the club!' LiteraryGossip.com
'I can't believe it took me this long to finally pick up this author ... sign me up for more of the Gypsy Brothers!' Jasmine, Goodreads
'Sensational, shocking, compelling and totally addictive ... the best when it comes to dark, brooding and bloody romance' Kelly, Perusing Princesses
About the Author
- Publisher : HarperCollins (May 30, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1460750063
- ISBN-13 : 978-1460750063
- Item Weight : 14 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.02 x 0.94 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #266,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2017
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Top reviews from the United States
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Emilio, the King of the cartel, the mastermind, and evil personified is still ruling everyone. Dornan is being controlled by his father, as Emilio has put some doubts in Dornan’s mind about Mariana. Is she really loyal to Dornan and is she trustworthy with all she knows? With the FBI breathing down their necks, Emilio gives Dornan his blessing to tie Mariana to family permanently. John and Mariana are planning to run, everything is lining up, until Dornan takes Mariana to Vegas. Here we see Dornan go from loving to evil. He seems a bit psychotic and starts to become a bit unhinged. Mariana stands up to him and takes the beatings. Special agent Lindsey from the FBI has pieced it all together and seems to be a step ahead of everyone. When the final domino falls for Dornan, he allows his true villain to come out. He becomes dark and depraved. Can Mariana ever get over the evils that she has witnessed? Can she ever forgive Dornan or has he gone too far? Will death be an easier option for her? All I can say is Wow. This series blew me away. Dornan was an intriguing character and while he was deranged, I could understand him. His father used him to do the dirty work and blackmailed him. He was pushed at every turn and in “Kingpin”, we observe him, as he starts to unravel. In “Empire” we see how Dornan acquiesces to his darkness. The consequences of the betrayal unleashed his sadistic vengeance. He crossed a line into madness for which there is no coming back from. He himself knows, he has become the monster. Mariana still makes him question his conscience and by doing so, we see a small glimpse of humanity, which in actual fact plays a huge part in the outcome of Mariana’s life. Overall I was blown away by this series, and credit needs to be given to the author who wrote this series after The Gypsy Brothers Series, allowing us to see what caused Dornan Ross to be the villain he is. Mariana was such a strong characters, she lost everybody who she ever loved at the hands of Emilio, Dornan and his crew. Her secret was the only strength that encouraged her to go on. While part of her loved Dornan, she hated the sadistic monster he had become. This book was raw and so tragic. While I knew there was no HEA I was still devastated by the outcome. Ms Germain has penned a story that is disturbingly dark, gory and yet so brilliant. She has not held back, she has delivered and shown us how a monster came to be. Please be warned this is not for the feint at heart. However if you can handle it, be prepared to be blown away.
Reviewed for Hot books and Sassy Girls book blog
After finishing 'The Gypsy Brothers' series, I was not ready to let go of the characters that I had grown to love or those that I had grown to hate. I wanted more. I needed answers.
Dornan, especially, was intriguing. How did he get to be such a sadistic, deranged killer? What happens to a person to turn them into that kind of monster? Lili St. Germain did a spectacular job of providing brief glimpses of Dornan's conscience, hinting at some underlying humanity, while not taking away from the fact that he was a really bad guy. Despite the fact that he was a brutal murderer, there was something about him that called to me.
Beginning the 'Cartel' series, I tried to distance myself from Mariana and John. After all, I knew how things were going to work out in the end. That was a given, if you read 'The Gypsy Brothers' first.
This is not a story with a happy ending. It is tragic. It is raw. It is absolutely heartbreaking. I knew this at the onset, but I couldn't help but be devastated when it all came to pass, just as I knew it would.
The final book in the 'Cartel' series, 'Empire' illustrates Dornan's descent into madness. While we were introduced to Dornan's dark side in 'Kingpin', this book submerses us in his darkness. There is no coming back for him and Mariana must face the fact that the man she loves doesn't exist any longer.
Even knowing how things would end, I found myself wanted Dornan to redeem himself. I wanted something...anything...to make it alright. I was devastated as I watched him literally transform into the cold, depraved killer that I knew from 'The Gypsy Brothers'. It was inevitable, but it still crushed me.
After everything, I was still taken aback by Dornan's vulnerability. Although he became a monster, embracing his darkness at the expense of his humanity, there was still a small part of him that was tender and loving. I was mesmerized by his thoughts and contradictory actions. He definitely had more than his fair share of daddy issues and his desire to please his father ruined his world.
If you're a fan of dark romance/erotica, then I highly recommend that your read 'The Gypsy Brothers' series, followed by the 'Cartel' series. These books are not for everyone, as they contain plentiful and graphic accounts of abuse of every variety. However, if you like raw, gritty, dark stories then you can't go wrong with these series. I am blown away by the disturbing, twisted content that Lili St. Germain produces. Take the disclaimers seriously...and buckle up! This story will rip your heart out and leave you rocking yourself in a corner.
Now, I'm going to go back and read the Gypsy series so that everything happens in chronological order.
Prepare yourself because this ending stung A LOT.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the prequel to the famous Gypsy Brothers series starting with Cartel, then Kingpin and then Empire. This is all about Mariane, Dornan and John and how the whole sordid wonderful story came about. We get to see just how Dornan got to be the evil dark monster he turns into to, but against all odds I can't help but love this man sometimes when I should really be hating his guts.
If you like dark then you'll love this because it delivers on all levels. Violence, murder, abuse, blood and gore, lust, hate, sex and love. I didn't expect the ending we got, didn't see it coming at all - but what an ending it was !!
If anyone says what is the point of reading this series because it's a prequel to the Gypsy Brothers, please please don't listen to them. It is a MUST read series just like the Gypsy Brothers is, and we get all the answers as to why Dornan turns out the way he did - and what a journey it is.
NOT TO BE MISSED !!!!!!!
This read definitely gave me feels but not the usual emotional feels, there are definitely no fluffy clouds, rainbows and unicorns in this book. If you like the darker side of reading from time to time or all the time, then I CAN NOT recommend Lili Saint Germain's books enough.
I saw someone say that they had read The Gypsy Brothers series so they knew what happened and they wondered what was the point of reading this series seen as it's set before the other. I will say there is EVERY point of reading this series it's fantastic, dark, twisted, wrong, right, totally messed up, heart aching, gut wrenching, nerve wrecking 5 + star read. It's even more than I expected it to be. I really want to carry on and read the G. B series again now!
A Book Lover's Emporium
I don't even know how to cope with this book and how it has all ended - I just didn't expect it all and, dare I say NEED to have one more book to try and make me feel better, hahahahaha
This series has been BRILLIANT - loved everything about it (well ..... almost everything - being a total romantic maybe not so much the bit I cant talk about for fear of giving it all away) and what happened to said family members.
Great writing, editing, characters and unexpected storyline - will defo recommend to everyone and read more from this author in the future.