Book 1, The Loan Shark Duet
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Repulsiveness personified, that’s me. I own a mirror, and I’m not afraid to look in it. What you see on the surface is a reflection of what runs under my skin. I’m a loan shark. Breaking people is in my blood. The Haynes’s were supposed to be a straightforward job. Go in and pull the trigger twice. One bullet for Charlie, one for his sister. But when I saw Valentina, I wanted her. Only, in our world, those who owe us don’t get second chances. No way in hell will my mother let her live. So I devised a plan to keep her.
Just like her.
(DUBIOUS is the first full-length novel in a two-part duet and ends on a cliffhanger. The second book, CONSENT, is available.)
Glued to the pages!
I was generously given an ARC for a honest review. I do not normally read dark romance but this book kept me glued to the pages! And I have the next book Consent ready on my Kindle. But before I get sucked into that book, I wanted to write this review because I enjoyed Dubious far more than I expected. Ms Pauls is a new author for me....I was introduced to her writing in the Kindle Worlds Krinar series. Her take on the Krinar series was fresh and interesting. This book is more like Anna Zaires Twist Me series, where the heroine is forced to be with the hero in the beginning. Gabriel is dark as they come....basically he is a killer. And Valentina's story is so very sad.....and Charlie is heartbreaking. The book is set in South Africa but it could be set in any urban city where drugs, crime, and human predators feed off the weak. I won't get into the plot of the story......there is darkness but there is also lightness where she slowly starts to affect Gabriel. There are times where it is very hard to like Gabriel because of his actions but considering his upbringing and current life its a wonder he can even love. The book ends on a cliffhanger but the 2nd book will come out very soon after Dubious is released.
You know, I read some glowing reviews before reading this. I read where this was an unexpected read and yet I’m still kind of shocked with how much this story affected me.
Valentina just breaks my heart. The unfairness of everything she has had to endure and still comes out fighting. Most people would have broken long before. But the biggest surprise? Gabriel. The fact that this author took an evil man who does unspeakable things to people and made me care about him just astounds me. The obsession. The need for love in such a bleak world. The good hidden behind the evil.
Even the side characters were a surprise. The author showed us a little glimpse into the brutality of these men and then gives us the humane side of them. How can people have such opposing sides is fascinating. The complexity to all the characters made for a fascinating read.
I was so wrapped up in this book, I completely ignored life. If you can handle dark or triggers such as rape and physical violence, you really should check this book out. It does end on a cliffhanger, but you won’t have to wait long for the next book. Personally, I can’t wait to see how such an impossible situation is going to turn out. ARC provided by NetGalley.
"It's depraved and immoral. It's dubious. It's perfect."
The start of the loan shark book is a little confusing because it is like a run down town in some parts. You quickly realize that the loan sharks have the power to make or break you however it is more the second half than not.
Valentina's brother racks up a huge debt but because he is mental handicap they don't care. Gabriel is with Valentina though. Every encounter he hold her like she is made of glass and always takes care of her. I think I fell in love with his hardcore exterior but even more so when he shows his caring side.
I can't decide if Valentina was brave or just plain stupid at the end! I can't give it away but it is unexpectedly shocking.