✭Book Review✭ Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle

“He’s fearless and ruthless. Soulless.”
As a flight attendant, Alana Bernal has had her share of suitors. She’s also had more than her fair share of tragedy within her messed-up family. But what she hasn’t had is love. Real, rip-your-heart-out, tear-your-clothes-off, all-consuming love.
At least that was the case until she met an American tourist, Derek Conway, a ripped ex-soldier with steely eyes and a commanding presence.

What started as a chance encounter between the two in Puerto Vallarta, a weekend full of hot sex and mindless passion, has led to something more.

Something deadly.

Because Derek isn’t the type of man to fall in love. He’s not a man who sticks around.

And he’s definitely not in Mexico on vacation.

Derek is a mercenary, a killer-for-hire, a man who does the ugly jobs for the highest bidder.

Unfortunately for Alana and Derek, the highest bidder has the power to destroy whatever worlds they have created for themselves.

The highest bidder can destroy everything.
This is a romantic suspense book, #2 in the Dirty Angels trilogy but can be read as a standalone novel*
I live and breathe Karina Halle books. I never even bother to read the synopses anymore because her writing triggers instant gratification straight away. however, I’m sad to say I felt a bit let down with this book.

The first half of this book was a just a tad too slow. I struggled from the get go with the validity of Derek’s emotions. He started of as this emotionless, yet highly-skilled mercenary and with one look at Alana, transformed into the complete opposite. It was so far-fetched for him to switch his emotions on and suddenly feel so strongly for this stranger. Perhaps that part was catering to the likes of “love at first sight” enthusiasts? I would have liked to have seen more of a struggle and inner turmoil on Derek’s behalf or at least some sort of major trigger to offset his newfound protectiveness towards Alana. I would have liked that struggle to be drawn out more.

Individually, I thought the main characters were decent, but the fiery chemistry I was hoping for was seriously lacking. I think a lot of that stemmed from the abrupt change from Derek at the start of the novel. I really wasn’t even betting on them living happily ever after. Which I was okay with. Their romance 

After finding a semblance of like towards Javier Bernal in the previous book, I went back to hating him in this book. Which tends to happen when talking about this particular drug lord. Yet, in this case it was due to his character being so bland and superficial. 

There was this ominous build up as to who had set this grand scheme up and hired to Derek to kill Alana. As the reveal got closer, I had a feeling as to who it was and when I was proven right, I had neither a shocking or disappointed reaction. It was what it was. End of story.
Speaking of the end of the story… What!? I’m obviously not about to give away the finale of the book, but I will say it left me unsettled despite the HEA.

It took a while for the story to pick up in chemistry and plot, but it eventually got there. I started flipping pages a lot faster about halfway through. 

Overall, I did like the book, it just didn’t meet my usual Karina Halle expectations. Fair warning, this story is pretty tame in both sexual content and violence. It is not a dark story. If you’re wanting to read this, don’t go in expecting an intensely 
dark—and at times disturbing—like the first book in the trilogy. Instead dive in thinking this is simply a romantic suspense.

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
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.
Some men were born to create empires, some women were meant
to be queen.
**Dirty Angels is the first standalone novel in the Dirty
Angels Trilogy, in which all books feature or involve different characters. The
character of Javier Bernal is from The Artists Trilogy, and while reading TAT
is recommended if you want additional insight into this twisted character, it
is not required.**

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.