Title: Esteban (Dark Paradise)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type: Book 1.5 (standalone novella) from Dirty Angels series
POV: First Person – Female
Leilani (Lani) Morrison was an artist out of inspiration. She went to Hawaii to be re-inspired and to escape – in more than one way. Her stagnant career and an unhappy marriage was slowly pulling her under until she came across a stranger that brought her back to the surface.
Esteban Mendoza charmed his way into her life. As a member of a Mexican cartel, he never made his involvement a secret. Knowing they had limited time, he was determined to show her how life inspiration could come from unexpected places.
“It’s a good sign to be scared, hey,” he said. “When you stop feeling fear, that’s when it becomes dangerous. That’s when you die.”
I’ve always have a soft spot for Esteban in the Dirty Angels trilogy and this novella justified my interest in this villain. I love seeing a different side of him with how he was subtly caring and attentive.
I knew he was bad and yet I wanted him. I wanted the thrill, to know what it felt to be alive.
I was drawn to Lani by her struggles with the darkness within her. It was nice to see how she progressed in changing her outlook on life.
“No,” he said, his voice low , “but that is probably the hottest fucking thing I have ever heard. And I have heard a lot.”
I was getting impatient waiting for the sexy time but when it happened, it came with a bang and worth the wait :p The story had an easy pace and featured a lot of the beauty of Hawaii that made me feel like I was there with the characters.
“Sometimes people come into our lives for just a second, just long enough to let us know that hope exists. Will you let me be your hope, if not for just this night?”
Esteban (Dark Paradise) is a nice addition for Dirty Angels series fans to see the “non-business” side of this drug lord’s right hand man. This novella can be read as a standalone for those not familiar with the series.
This review is also available on Goodreads.