EL MALO by K Webster
A woman set on revenge and "The Baddie" for whom she may give up everything, including her life.
A mafia romance with a dark underbelly and a lot of steam. I've read several books by this author, with My Torin still standing out as one of the best books I've read this year. There was no way I could resist a K Webster book with a mafia hero in it.
I go into any book that describes itself as 'dark' with an open mind. The level of dark in this, for me, was more of a mid-grey, most of it is no worse than any other gritty mafia romance. There is ONE brief non-con scene involving a main character. Virtually all the other 'dark' stuff happens to sleazy bad guys with whom I felt no connection and for me this lessens the impact of the darkness. Despite this not feeling as dark as similar books (Imperfect Monster by Jennifer Bene being one example) it IS still a really well written and enjoyable story with plenty of peril and suspense to add to the mix.
Rosa witnesses her mother's murder by a mexican cartel, innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. She decides to dedicate her life to bringing down similar men and is working undercover to do so. A series of events brings her to the eye of her boss, and mafia jefe, Javier Estrada. Soon Rosa is spiralling down into a rabbit hole of lust and deceit that can only end in one of their deaths.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. It could have been a 5 star read BUT for a few issues that I will address now. I didn't 100% believe in Rosa, I could understand her wanting to bring to justice the men involved in her mother's murder, or the cartels as a whole. She had dedicated her whole life to it, but one dimple from the bad guy and she was shedding her panties like a Christmas tree sheds its needles. I also didn't like how weak she was with Michael, it made her appear to have no self-respect. Perhaps it was meant to portray her disturbed psychological state but instead she just came across as desperate. Also just how well trained was Rosa? No updates on how the case was progressing? No instructions or plans being made? I heard warning bells during her first "conversation" (aka quick shag and dismissal) with Michael that something was wrong but Rosa had no such issues.
Once Rosa became close to Javier I felt that her character improved and she appeared to be far less naive and gullible. The chemistry between the pair was off the charts and be prepared for some very steamy, exhibitionist scenes. Personally I also hated how happily Rosa took drugs. For me it really didn't fit with the girl she was meant to be. I would have liked to have seen her inner turmoil and unwillingness even if she took them in order to 'fit in' and not raise suspicion etc.
I did buy into the majority of the story, despite how negative the above seems. I virtually read the book in one sitting with no skimming of pages. The plot is gripping, with quite the unexpected twist upon twist at the end. I felt the connection between Javier and Rosa and firmly believed in their chemistry. Whilst at times, to me, their love seemed less love and more obsession, it fitted the darker aspect of the story well.
The contents and general feel of this book make it only suitable for 18+ years. It's quite a good book if your new to the dark genre of if you don't like your romance too dark. If you love a good mafia romance/romantic suspense and don't mind it being quite gritty then I'd also recommend this to you. It's also pretty much guaranteed that if you are already a K Webster fan that you'll love this book.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2r3Qpf9
Amazon CAN: https://amzn.to/2vPsO7E
Amazon AUS: https://amzn.to/2r2MQWu
Javier Estrada is the king of Mexico.
Evil. Twisted. Psychopathic.
A cruel madman with a killer smile.
And he is my boss.
My duty is to blend in, clean his home, and not make a peep.
I’ve done my job well for years.
Imbedded myself so deep in his world, he’s never going to get me out.
But I am this king’s worst nightmare.
Bad men like him took everything away from me.
I will never forget.
He will pay for the sins of many.
I’ll just bide my time—watching, waiting, calculating—until the time is right.
When I strike, he won’t know what hit him.
The monster who rules Mexico with an iron fist may not bow to anyone…
But I’m not just anyone.
He will bow to me.
About the Author
K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.
Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.