Review – El Diablo, by M. Robinson

El Diablo (The Devil, #1)El Diablo by M. Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spanning decades, ‘El Diablo’ tells the story of Alejandro Martinez, a notorious cartel leader. Following him from his childhood, this book provides a front-row seat to the tragedy that was his life. He was born into the life and groomed from a young age to take over his father’s role as leader of the cartel. In so many ways, he never stood a chance at a normal life.

Surviving the loss of numerous loved ones, especially the women closest to him, he grows into a callous man. He shows no emotion or concern for others, afraid that his feelings are weaknesses that his enemies will exploit. He has earned his reputation as a ruthless crime lord, aptly called “El Diablo” on the streets.

Lexi grows up without the love of parents. She’s never known her real father and her other is emotionally absent on her best day. From a young age, she got used to taking care of herself. Being alone was the norm for her.

When Lexi’s circumstances go from bad to worse, she throws herself into her dance. Ballet was her only escape. Her only dream was to become a ballerina.

Together, Alejandro and Lexi have incredible chemistry. The sexual tension and anticipation was incredible between these two. They played a back and forth game, literally for years. Every time I thought they were getting somewhere, Alejandro would do something to push Lexi away again. He definitely gave me some serious whiplash with his push and pull routine.

In fact, I had a really hard time with Alejandro’s cruel and contradictory behaviors. He was a world-class a$$hole for the vast majority of the book. The few times when he wasn’t, were quickly followed-up by more reprehensible behavior on his part. I love an antihero, but Alejandro took the cake.

That being said, I have a weakness for jerks (fictional characters only). If you don’t, then you’ll probably hate this book. Be forewarned–Alejandro is an a$$hat of epic proportions. He flaunts other women I front of Lexi, demeans her and says awful things. He was outright cruel often times.

At the same time, I couldn’t hate him. He spent years protecting Lexi and providing for her financially. Despite his emotionally closed-off demeanor, it was apparent that he cared for her in his own screwed up way. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with Alejandro.

Even though this book did seem to go on for long periods of time without any remarkable events, I couldn’t pull myself away from it. Talk about a slow-burn. It took years for these two to make it to third base! It might have even been a full decade before they had sex! Yet, I was completely absorbed in this story.

There is a huge twist at the end, which will blow your mind. The big reveal was something that had crossed my mind early-on, but that I had dismissed as I got further into the story. Even though I had guessed part of the secret, I was still thrown for a loop and left shell-shocked when everything was finally aired. I was crushed.

This book gutted me. I wanted to yell, cry and smash things! From beginning to end, I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I was afraid to find out what would jump out around the next bend, but to curious to look away. I loved it!

Why then did I give it only 4 stars and not 5? I struggled with this one, but ultimately I decided to go with 4 stars because I thought that Lexi let Alejandro off easy. I expect my heroes to have to grovel and really work for forgiveness when they screw up…and Alejandro screwed up BIG on more than one occasion. Maybe it’s my sadistic tendencies, but my inner bitch demanded blood! I wanted him to pay for what he put Lexi through. An apology and an explanation in a few pages didn’t cover it after what he did. I wanted him to suffer some more.

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