Hate Me: A mafia romance (Collateral Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Bones Don't Lie" by Melinda Leigh
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Hate Me is a raw and gritty cartel story that is hauntingly beautiful. While it does run parallel in the same world in Kill Me and Kiss Me, it can be read as a standalone.
At the age of thirteen, Anna was sold as a slave. Just like her sister was three years prior. She's been sold multiple times and has had some very sick and twisted owners over the years. While she may use drugs to get through all of the horrific things that happens to her and she may seem pliant, there's still a bit of fight in her. She just hasn't shown it yet. That is until Rafael comes into her life.
Rafael is the boss of the Juarez cartel. He runs the city and shows no sign of weakness. When Nero, an Italian mafia boss calls in for a favor, Rafael finds himself on a quest to locate Anna. He has no idea what Nero wants with her and quite frankly doesn't care. He just wants to settle his debt and move on. But there's something about Anna that speaks to him. He gravitates towards her and he finds himself conflicted on what he wants and what he should do.
"She's this perfect balance of pure innocence and the most deprived darkness, drawing me in. I want to both cure her of the taint on her soul and corrupt it."
Only Rafael sees just how broken and strong Anna is. Which in turn is why Anna feels so safe with him. He's dark and dangerous and continues to show Anna the way of his world but no matter what, he makes her feel safe. Eventually he has to hand her over to Nero, right? So this dark dance they are doing needs to stop.
"So broken, so strong. She's like a shattered mirror, cracks rippling over a distorted reflection. Her pieces are so desperately fragile, and yet unbreakable."
Hate Me has a bit different tone than the Kiss of Death Series. Yes, we have a cartel with drugs, violence and the story of Anna being sold as a slave. What makes this one a bit different is that this one focuses more on the mental relationship between Anna and Rafael. In their own ways, they are healing each other. Both have their own set of issues and will never be full healed but the other makes it better.
The only thing that held me back a bit and the reason why this wasn't a five star read was because the slow burn between Anna and Rafael was so slow for me that it took me a really long time to connect to them. Sure, I liked them but I wanted to feel their emotions with them and I didn't start doing that until closer to the end.
Hate Me leaves us on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one. I think that slow burn I talked about is going to be explosive in the next one. If you are looking for a raw and gritty cartel book that is heartbreaking but has the potential to be healing, then you should pick up Hate Me now!
Hate Me is the first book in LP Lovell’s Collateral series. This series is a spinoff of her Kiss of Death series, though you do not have to read that series before this book. Honestly, I didn’t know this book had ties to anything else until I read a review outlining the connection. I did find this book interesting enough that I would love to go and read that series when I’m done with this one. Hate Me is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Anna & Raphael.
Hate Me is a glimpse behind the filthy curtain of drug cartels. It oozed violence and hatred. It was rife with the ugliest side of the law. It never shied away from exposing readers to the worst parts of humanity. Each moment of violence walked a fine line between being grotesque and cathartic. I found myself questioning my own moral compass in some moments, as I never questioned the necessity of the punishments bestowed on the offenders.
Anna was tragic. Her history. Her present. Her reality. Raphael was terrifying. His life. His world. His influence. Together they balanced each other extremes. She should have been too broken for him. He should have been too callous for her. She needed someone to push her beyond what she’d come to expect from men. He needed someone to see him as more than a stone-cold cartel boss. The push and pull they had was exactly what they both needed and allowed them to build a relationship built on more than attraction and chemistry.
The only wish I have for this book, and it’s really not even fair to ask for it until I read the next book, would be to get more of Raphael’s backstory. We have the broad strokes, but I have a feeling there is so much more to the man than we’ve even begun to see.
LP Lovell is a new to me author. If this book is indicative of her writing style and story building, I am sold. There was a rawness to her writing that felt perfect for the characters and the world they lived in. I will definitely be reading the subsequent novels in this series and checking out her backlist when I have the time.
***Slight spoilers ahead***
This is my first read by this author and it was truly wonderful. It is the definition of slow burn and nds without any formal relationship, sex, or commitment having been made between the two main characters. The beautiful darkness of thus story is what kept me reading. I was so absorbed by the relationship that I completely checked out from the real world.
I will be reading the next in this series as I NEED to know what happens next. I love the characters and the world they live in. I would say that is book is the slow development of what is bound to be a hot and action packed story. Thus was all the emotion and I hope book two has that plus action. Well done, amazing story. Loved it.
Most recent customer reviews
Anna was sold as a young girl and has endured depravity first hand, what she has lived through gave me shivers.Read more
Hate Me was So Very Good!Read more