{Review} Cartel by Lili St. Germain

{Review} Cartel by Lili St. GermainCartel by Lili St. Germain
Series: Cartel #1
Published by HarperCollins on January 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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The first full length Gypsy Brothers novel from the smash hit author Lili St Germain. Now a USA today bestseller!

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, 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 ...

Kassiah: I haven’t read any other books by Lili St. Germain, and from what I understand, this series is a prequel to her Gypsy Brothers Series. If anyone has already read those books, I really have a question that I want answered after reading this book!

Nineteen year old Mariana (Ana) sacrifices herself in exchange for the lives of her family members when her father loses a shipment of drugs to the DEA. She agrees to do anything drug cartel leader Emilio Ross wants to save them.

“You are giving yourself to me, yes?” Emilio asked, clenching and unclenching the fist he’d just hurtled into my father’s face.

I nodded. Oh, fuck. What am I doing?

“Words, cholita. A nod means nothing in my world.”

“Yes,” I said defiantly, head high, chin stuck out stubbornly.

“For how long?” He was testing me.

The breath hitched in my throat. “For as long as you spare my family.”

Before she can be pulled into the world of sex slaves and drug cartels, Emilio’s son, Dornan Ross, takes an interest in her.

I like you. You’re fiesty. I think I might just keep you for myself.”

Obviously, Ana is terrified, but she tries to fake bravery. She clings to Dornan and the protection she feels that he offers. Dornan starts to develop feelings for her and tries to figure out a way for her not to be ruined by his father’s world. When it’s time to put her up on the auction block, will Dornan be able to save her from her worst nightmares? And if he does, what can that possibly mean for the two of them?

I am not a fan of Captor-captive stories, mainly because I don’t think the affection that grows is ever authentic. And so it’s the same with these two. Ana admits that she feels a connection to Dornan at first because he seems to protect her and then because she’s lonely. She’s sassy and not a doormat, so Dornan can’t help but feel something for her. I’m anxious to see how this all plays out in their world since Dornan isn’t actually the one calling the shots, either.

Ana had a lot of realistic reactions, especially the guilt she felt for betraying her true love by developing feelings for Dornan. I was happy to see that. As for Dornan, I don’t really understand him. He seems to be hot and cold, both with her and with the things he seems to take pleasure in.

I haven’t read very many motorcycle/gang stories, so I can’t really judge if this one is a good one for those who are looking for that. But I did find that this story had interesting characters and a compelling storyline that kept me at the edge of my seat. It’s worth a try!

Report Card
Overall: 3.5

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