Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ DIRTY DEEDS BY KARINA HALLE

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.

I picked up this book because of the amazing premise – a tough (anti) hero is sent to kill the heroine but instead, they fall in love while trying to escape the villain’s evil clutches? Yes please! But for me, this book was different from what I thought it would be, and in the beginning, I really struggled with it…even thought about setting it aside and moving on. In the end, however, I’m glad I rolled with it, because the pace did pick up and I enjoyed the story for what it was worth. I would advise potential readers to not expect a dark, twisted romance, but just an average romantic suspense storyline.

A war veteran turned hired assassin, Derek Conway is a man with nothing to lose. After serving in Afghanistan and then seeing his wife gunned down in front of him, he’s disillusioned with the world and emotionally distant from others, and for the past few years, has assassinated blindly based on whoever pays the highest price. But he’s about to meet his match…because his next assignment is to take out Alana Bernal, the sister of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord.

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.

I picked up this book because of the amazing premise – a tough (anti) hero is sent to kill the heroine but instead, they fall in love while trying to escape the villain’s evil clutches? Yes please! But for me, this book was different from what I thought it would be, and in the beginning, I really struggled with it…even thought about setting it aside and moving on. In the end, however, I’m glad I rolled with it, because the pace did pick up and I enjoyed the story for what it was worth. I would advise potential readers to not expect a dark, twisted romance, but just an average romantic suspense storyline.
A war veteran turned hired assassin, Derek Conway is a man with nothing to lose. After serving in Afghanistan and then seeing his wife gunned down in front of him, he’s disillusioned with the world and emotionally distant from others, and for the past few years, has assassinated blindly based on whoever pays the highest price. But he’s about to meet his match…because his next assignment is to take out Alana Bernal, the sister of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord.
For a relative of a drug lord, Alana has kept her identity under wraps and lived her life as a normal citizen. Despite her family background and upbringing, she’s pretty naïve and too trusting of others, and when she survives a seemingly random hit-and-run, she puts her faith in Derek to keep her safe while they go on a wild country run to evade her attackers.
While I did enjoy the suspenseful plot from the middle of the book and onwards, I could barely get into the first part of the book. For starters, I didn’t understand how Derek could go from emotionless killer to protective hero in the first 6% of the book I read. What makes these assassin storylines so appealing to me is that buildup and inner conflict, but sadly, that aspect was missing so Derek came off as a big softie rather than the soulless assassin he’s rumored to be. I also thought the romance was too sudden and didn’t feel that deep connection between Derek and Alana, and to be honest with you, I never felt it. I sure did like these characters individually though, and I understand that in a romantic suspense setting, straddling the line between life and death puts your priorities into a whole different perspective, but their relationship wasn’t one I was invested in. I was sort of like, if they’re together, great! If not, oh well.
Once I got used to those things, though, I started liking the plot itself because it did pick up, and the book had my full attention. And even though the reveal of the true villain was a letdown, I liked the buildup up to that point. There were also a few heart-to-heart scenes between Derek and Alana that I found touching, and I could feel Derek’s desperation and desire to keep her safe.