Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: Cartel (Cartel #1) by Lili ST. Germain


Cartel #1

By: Lili St. Germain

January 27, 2015

Harper Collins

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eARC from publisher for a honest review

GR's Summary:

The first full length Gypsy Brothers novel from the smash hit author Lili St. Germain.

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...

Cartel Series:
Add this Series to Goodreads Here

My Thoughts:

Cartel is the first book that I've read by Lili ST. Germain.  It is a dark and twisted story that focuses on a powerful and  unscrupulous King Pin of a drug cartel, his son, the VP of a Dominant Motorcycle Club, and the woman who is given to them, in exchange for her family's lives.  I was drawn to this story after I read the synopsis, and saw the book cover.  I believe this story would be a good fit for fans of The Artist Trilogy by Karina Halle.

In Cartel, we meet Mariana (Ana), the daughter of an alcoholic, gambler, and drug mule for the I1 Sangue Cartel.  He messed up an important drug run, when the DEA snatched up a large batch of cocaine.  Emilio Ross, the twisted and sadistic head of the cartel, brings his men to kill Ana's father, and the rest of her family.  She barter's with Emilio, and offers herself, in exchange for the lives of her father, mother, sister, and brother.

Dornan is the V.P. of The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club.  Unfortunately, he is under the thumb of his father due to large and necessary favors that he and his best friend, John, President of the Motorcycle Club, accepted.  When Emilio asks Dornan to watch Ana, he is not too keen on babysitting her.  He knows what happens to woman in his father's hold, and how he isn't able to help them.  However, when he meets Ana, he is attracted to her beauty, strength, and fiery attitude.  Pretty soon Ana begins to fall for her captor, and Dornan doesn't want to let her go.  However, Ana is not Dornan's, she belongs to Emilio.  Can love survive, when their world is filled with danger?

Cartel was a very dark story.  It was explicit concerning certain violet and sexual acts.  This story is not for everyone.  However, for those intrigued by the workings of the cartel, drug mules, crooked cops, human trafficking, and motorcycle clubs; you might like Cartel.  I thought it was interesting, and the plot line was entertaining.  While I was intrigued by the main characters, I had trouble connecting to them at times.  The story was fast paced in the beginning, dragged a bit in the middle, and fast-paced at the end.  We are left with a to be continued ending, and you will be happy to know that there wasn't a cliffhanger. 

My Rating:

I give, Cartel, by Lili St. Germain 3.5 Dark, Twisted, and Sinister Stars!  Welcome to a world were the corrupt and powerful rule, and once your life is in their hands, you must play by their rules in order to survive!  

Book Teasers:

About Lili St. Germain:

Lili writes dark, disturbing romance. Her #1 bestselling Gypsy Brothers series was created in a serial format – quick, intense episodes released frequently with some wicked cliffhangers. The Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released in 2015 by HarperCollins. 

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.


  1. Thanks for the review. I have also never read this author before. I don't usually love stories that are so dark (or that have very explicit violent acts. But the premise does sound intriguing.

  2. I read this after I read the Gypsy Brothers serial series, and I loved it so much. I think seeing Dornan all bitter in that series had me keen to see what he was like before... Glad you gave it a go though!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  3. I haven't read many of the darker stories before, but I do really like the sound of this one. I like the mafia, drug lord, human trafficking, etc that you've laid out - one summer when I was in high school, I read through court documents for a trial of a Russian spy from the FBI. It's a world I'll never be a part of and be able to truly understand, but having it written up in a piece of fiction where you can follow the main character(s) helps you learn about it. And it's doing so without a true story - those can be hard to handle.

    I'm trying to figure out from the excerpt if Ana is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or if Dornan is actually a better guy than you'd think. Can't really tell, but either way should make for an interesting read!


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