Title: Kingpin Author: Lili St. Germain Series: Cartel Trilogy Genre: Adult, Crime/Thriller Rating: Four Stars
WARNING – THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS SOZ GUYS.
I just need to vent my frustrations out on this one.
Okay so if you read my first review on Book One Cartel you’ll be aware how much I liked Dornan. If you haven’t read my review of book one, do so now. Anyway, I gave the book a three stars. I kind of feel like I should have given that book more because I enjoyed the characters more in that book but it just didn’t have enough story line for me to justify a fourth star as much as it kills me. This book I can honestly say I disliked this book even more for many reasons which I am about to go into now BUT I have to admit to myself, despite my personal preferences, Kingpin just had a better plot than Cartel. There was just more drama, more risk and danger and a more realistic portrayal of cartel life.
With that said, that is practically the only reason this book gets the fourth star compared to book one. Now please don’t kill me because I know a lot of you love this series and Germain as an author but I’m totally going to just come out and say everything that I felt was wrong with this book and I’m sorry but there I loved.
Yes I know that is weird considering I gave the book a four but my rating is not based on personal preference its based on plot, description, suspense, character growth or purposeful lack there of in this case and of course the very realistic portrayal of how screwed up the cartel is.
OKAY. Here we go. My number one issue with this book is that we ended Cartel, book one, on such a sweet note. Dornan and Mariana were in love and full of passion and lust and everything else. Kingpin picks up TEN FREAKING YEARS LATER. I have a real issue with this, some of you may not, if you don’t please tell me why so I might try to overcome this issue which has been plaguing my dreams for a week. Because Germain for some crazy unknown reason decided to pick the story up ten years later we’ve miss Dornan and Mariana’s whole honeymoon stage. I was expecting more love and lust and passion and steamy sex scene’s with emotion in them in this book but NO. She’d been practically held prisoner for ten years while he came and went from his own private brothel whenever he pleased. WHAT THE HECK?
I haven’t done much research on this book so sorry if there was a legitimate reasoning for this decision but I just sat there on my lounge with the book in my hands and was like, what on earth just happened? Why is the story picking up from ten years later instead of right where we left off? You cannot seriously tell me that in ten years nothing happened that was worth mentioning in the second book? Yes, I know there were brief mentions throughout the book of things that occurred during those ten years but I feel it would have been more effective to have the second book be about Dornan and Mariana and how they avoided his father’s watchful eye and how she learnt to deal with her dramatic life changes and what the cartel did on a daily basis. Instead I was thrown a major curve ball that I was just not prepared for.
Okay, I liked his character in Cartel but I didn’t like it enough for me to want him to be her love interest. I was still drooling all over Dornan when I picked up this book so it was a sure slap in the face to read how Dornan was hardly ever around and only came and went when he wanted sex. Because the book took place ten years after I’d left off reading I also found that we did’t effectively get to see/read Dornan and Mariana’s gradual demise, their drifting apart. This could have been executed differently, over four books even so that this change was felt and conveyed better to the reader. It would have been so much better to show Mariana and Dornan slowly grow apart as he took on more in the cartel and she longed for the life that was stolen from her. Instead we were just told of how she/he felt and had to just accept the fact. This made the novel feel very disjointed to me as a reader and the change in situation was so sudden and jolting. Yes it was communicated effectively and defiantly came across realistic but because of the gap in time we just didn’t get to feel it as much as I would have liked.
I will admit that it was great that we saw Mariana get some of her fire back. We were told how feisty she was in book one but watched as she was quickly and quietly tamed by Emilio and Dornan. I was glad to see she was taking charge a little more, sneakily planning an escape and stealing money.
The scene with Murphy was so freaking crazy and sooooo screwed up that I was flicking the pages on autopilot completely aghast. That was when I realized this book was not going to go the way I thought it would. From that scene onwards I knew we were leaving the erotica behind and taking on the crime, drugs and murder full time. Don’t get me wrong there was still plenty of sex but the story line took over this book unlike book one which I felt was more about lust and sex than anything else. That dear followers is why this book gets a four stars. Yes I don’t actually like it so much but I was actually reading a story this time with a proper plot not just erotica that was trying to catch on to a Fifty Shades of Grey craze and failing badly.
I think my favorite scene throughout this whole book would have to be when Mariana had called John asking for his help in getting rid of Murphy. When he helped her clean up the mess, dispose of the body and held her in the shower fully clothed while she broke down. That was an intense scene and the only scene that made me go, oh I love John. I need him in my life. It was real and raw and disturbing but mostly it was touching. The way she was in so much shock she couldn’t get her body to do what she wanted and how John had to carefully undress her. His lust despite the disturbing situation and and her reaction, it all just came across natural, to want to find solace in each other. I loved this scene so much and way more than any normal person should. For goodness sake, she had the blood of a dead man on her and a corpse in her bedroom right behind them.
I do believe this was a good book, its not a great book and not a series I would recommend to someone who was wanting a love story like I was. I begun this series thinking it was a love story, with erotica and danger but love trumping all. I was so shocked to find it otherwise and I think that may be another reason this series hasn’t rested well with me. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for what was to come and perhaps that was naive of me, I was reading a book about the cartel for goodness sake!
As normal I really could go on with more issues and more things that I love/hated but I think I’ve dragged on enough.
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Thank you for reading!
Till next time,