Tuesday, January 27

***Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway*** Cartel by Lili Saint Germain

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Title: Cartel (Cartel series #1)
Author: Lili Saint Germain
Genre: Dark Romance
Publication Date: January 27th 2015
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase Links:  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  B&N  /  Kobo


Synopsis 
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 wasn't part of the plan ...

My Review
Cartel is the first instalment in the prequel Cartel series by Lili Saint Germain. This is set before the Gypsy Brothers series, back in 1998. While I did somewhat enjoy reading this story, I can't say it held my attention the entire time. It fell flat for me and I think it's because I had such high hopes for it. It's not that it wasn't written well, because it certainly was. The story unfolded well and progressed nicely, the character development was great, I just could not fully get into it. I guess being another Lili Saint Germain book in the dark romance genre, I expected a darker, grittier story with more turmoil and brutality. And also, characters that were a little more 'f**ked up, for the lack of a better word.

You're not a college student anymore, cholita. You're not somebody's daughter. You're not somebody's girlfriend. You're somebody's possession. You're nothing. You're mine. -Emilio

Cartel is told in three point of views. Those being, Emilio's, Dornan's and Mariana's. This first book is based mainly around Mariana and Dornan and the strange relationship that builds between them. One thing I did really like is that Lili didn't magically make Dornan suddenly redeemable for readers after his evil and callous ways in the Gypsy Brothers series. Yes, Dornan Ross has a heart, and we are lucky enough to get a glimpse of the man he was before he became the man we are already acquainted with. He may still be a a twisted prick, but seeing another side to him is really what kept me going with this book.

It didn't make sense. She didn't belong in this world. She was much too beautiful, and beautiful things always ended up broken with him. But here, alone, nobody knew. Nobody saw. It was just them. - Dornan

While I didn't love this book, I still think the writing from the author was up to her usual standards, the story and characters just didn't have that wow factor for me. It wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. Hopefully book two brings in more excitement and action!

★★☆ 3.5 Stars ☆★★
Reviewed by Bel Burgess

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Excerpt
‘This isn’t a fairytale,’ Dornan said wryly, as he watched her bring the soup-soaked bread to her mouth.
She paused with the bread in her hand, looking around the room in mock surprise. ‘You mean, we’re not Beauty and the fucking Beast?’
He laughed.
‘Well, you’re certainly beautiful,’ he said.
‘And you’re definitely a beast,’ she countered, pushing her empty bowl away and resting back on the bed.
‘But there’s no happy ever after for you,’ Dornan added, his eyes trailing over the chains to reach the cuffs that were now permanent bracelets on her wrists.

‘No,’ she said evenly, matching his intense gaze. ‘Not for any of us. Not in this world.’ 
Read Chapter One HERE

The Cartel Trilogy Reading Order
Cartel #1
Barnes & Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1z0Cois
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1s4mdOH
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1s4mbGw

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER 
Kingpin #2 (June 1st)
Empire #3 (October 1st)

Teasers



About the Author
Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.
She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.



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