Review: Dirty Angels by Karina Halle

Posted August 8th, 2016 in book review / 9 comments

Review: Dirty Angels by Karina HalleDirty Angels by Karina Halle
Series: Dirty Angels #1
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books on June 15, 2014
Genres: Romance, Dark, Suspense, Adult
Pages: 309
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars
Heat: four-half-flames

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.

***WARNING*** This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains...well, they're even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, PLEASE DO NOT READ IT. This ain't no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book. If you are even a bit squeamish about violence, brutality and rape, this is your warning to stay away from a book that you certainly will not like (and why read books that you know you won't like?)***

***While this is a spin-off of The Artists Trilogy, prior knowledge of the books is not needed. DIRTY ANGELS is the first in a trilogy, however each book can standalone and follows or introduces different characters***

I've been a bad bird. This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years old due to its use of sexual content, substance use, and/or violence. Come be a bad bird with me!

At A Glance

What the actual fuck?

The Good

Okay, calm down Jennifer. First things first, this is a spin-off series of The Artists Trilogy. You don’t need to read the first series to understand this one, but it’s nice to know more about the character’s backstories. Also, I included the author’s warning about this book in the blurb area. This is a rough one, people. It deals with things that can trigger certain people, so read at your own risk

Lot’s of cussing ahead:

Sooo, yeah, that was a mind-fuck of grand proportions since the dawn of mind-fuckery. Lusia is fucked. When a Mexican cartel leader is interested in you, you don’t say no. When that cartel leader does horrible things to you, you don’t say no. When a rival cartel leader kidnaps you, tortures you, and seduces you, you say yessss as you orgasm. Bwhahaha! Yeah, it’s all messed up.

Luisa was great. She’s both strong and fragile. She toughs through a lot and her will to survive is solid. She is dealt a really crappy hand and she does the best she can with what she has. Her transition into accepting her life and all it entails was fascinating to me. But Javier stole the show. We last saw him heartbroken and in a not so great position at the end of The Artists Trilogy. He’s back running his cartel and he’s looking to grow his enterprise, by any means necessary…or unnecessary. He often jokes about not having a soul and I have to be honest, he might be right. He does things in this book that is the stuff of nightmares. I couldn’t even picture him getting close to Luisa, but Luisa has something about her.

Javier is one of the most complex characters I know. He’s fucked up, that’s for sure. His emotions are all off kilter so he’s perfect as a killer but he has this odd moral code amongst the monsters. I seriously want to live in his head for a day. I know I would never be the same.

The suspense was amazing and the drama was plenty. The characters make this book amazing and wrong but in such a yummy way. I can’t wait to continue this series. The next book focuses on Javier’s sister. Yay!

The Bad

There are many things that disturbed me about Dirty Angels. There were a lot of decisions I didn’t agree with but it was all part of the experience so I was good with it all in the end, even as I cringed through half the book.

The Snuggly

So much rape. OMG, it was hard to read about. When Luisa is not being raped, tortured, or abused in other ways, she is having scary/confusing sex. Does Luisa really want sex or is this Stockholm Syndrome at its finest? And I have to be honest, I didn’t care because I loved reading about Luisa struggling with her emotions and feelings. And then the sex started getting hot with only a side of disturbed. It worked for the story. This is borderline erotica and BDSM but I wouldn’t full on label this book that way. It’s more of a dark romance in the end.

Final Thoughts

I loved it! I loved how raw it was. I loved that the hero was really a villain with a little soul peeking through. I loved seeing the power struggle between the cartels. And I loved how flawed everyone was and how that only made things more interesting. Very, highly recommended, if you can handle this sort of stuff.


“You must feel your soul is dirty then.” He gave me a wry smile. “Oh, my darling. No,” he said, opening the French doors for me. “I don’t even have a soul.”  

“Rubbing a clit to completion and sawing off someone’s foot seemed to use all the same muscles.”  

“The saying goes, if you love something, let it go. I always though it was better to just shoot the damn thing so it’d never go anywhere.”  

“Luisa was on her knees on the bed, naked, my 9mm in her hands and aimed right at me. I automatically had my gun pointed back at her. The sexiest Mexican standoff I’d ever been involved in. “What are you doing?” I asked, taking a cautious step toward her, not lowering my gun for a second. “Leaving,” she answered, her eyes hard. She was distracting as all hell, her tits and pussy and that gun. I don’t think I’d ever been so turned on so quick and in such an untimely situation. “It doesn’t look like it.” “I’m going to ask you nicely to let me leave, and if you don’t, I’ll shoot you.” A grin broke out across my face. My god, she couldn’t be more perfect. “If you shot me, you’d kill me,” I said, taking another step. “Then who would make you come all the time?”  


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