Review | Cartel by Lili St. Germain

» 4 May, 2015 » Book Reviews » 4 comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review | Cartel by Lili St. GermainCartel by Lili St. Germain
Series: Cartel #1
Published by Harpercollins
Release date : January 27th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) Audible
Add to: Goodreads

How much is a life worth?

I grew up in Colombia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord. I lived a life of extravagance, until one day a drug run went horribly wrong and everything came crashing down around us.

I was given away. A payment for a debt. The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club became my new owners, and I did everything I could to survive.

But falling in love with the man who owned me wasn't part of the plan...

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Books that focus on organized crime, such as MCs and Cartels, have always been fascinating to me. I love getting a look into the inner circle, even if it IS fiction, and seeing the blurred lines that we see in these types of organizations. They live by their own code, and while I don’t always agree with their antics, I love em all the same.

Mariana (Ana) gives herself over to the head of one of the largest cartel’s in order to save her family. Since her Dad is the ultimate POS, I applaud her bravery and dedication to protecting her family. Not knowing that exactly what is in store for her – she anticipates the worst possible outcome. As did I.

I loved Ana’s character. She is fierce, loyal and loving. My heart just ached for her and her situation, even though there were times when I felt like she was a complete idiot. She also owns up to a lot of the things she does while in the hands of Emilio and Dornan. She knows it’s wrong, that it’s not right, but she OWNS it. I’ve it time and time again how much I love that in a character.

Dornan himself, is… complicated. He is not a nice man, admits to beating and killing countless people, even woman, but his fear of his father (it’s fear, whether he wants to admit it or not) has him turning a blind eye to the shit that Emilio does, ie human trafficking. This is one of the aspects that I love about these novels. Although the characters are bad people, they still have their own code. It’s just mind-boggling and fascinating. Anyway. He takes a liking to Ana, even going far enough to lie and “stretch the truth” about her in order to keep her alive, well and in his crutches.

While I wasn’t completely on board with the romance, it was hot. They have chemistry, and the sexual tension is thick. The added intensity that if they were found out, Ana would be killed – and that’s the nice version- adds more to their relationship. Dornan isn’t a good man, at all, but in his own sick and twisted way, he takes care of Ana.

Let’s just set aside that fact that Dornan is married, has kids and is now sleeping with Ana, has another mistress too, it was still hard for me to really buy into the IDEA of them together, save for their physical relationship. It reeks of Stockholm, and I wonder if/how their relationship would be different under different circumstances.

St. Germain does NOT hold back on the brutality of these characters and this world. These characters are NOTHING to swoon over, even root for, but the honest way their characters are portrayed makes me like them.  It’s really dark; and should not be read for the kind at heart. I am curious about the Gypsy Brothers books, because from what I gather, this is more a precursor for that series.

So, if you enjoy a good dark story, with brutal, honest characters, I highly recommend Cartel. It’s addicting and hard to put down.

Does this sound like something you’d enjoy? Why or why not?



Tonya is a 30 y/o mom, wife, avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger.

4 responses to “Review | Cartel by Lili St. Germain

    • tonyalee

      It really is! I am so curious about the rest of this series and the Gypsy Brothers series, too!

  1. Braine

    I love anti heroes too. It’s just that this genre is notorious for male chauvinism and I can’t get past that. So I get picky with my mC books, this series has a strong following though

    • tonyalee

      Is it – and there are many males in this one that I wanted to punch in the effin face.

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