ARC Review: Dubious

Title: Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet #1)

Author: Charmaine Pauls

Publisher: Charmaine Pauls

Release Date: October 10th 2017

Pages: 305

Synopsis from Goodreads:

How far will a man go to get the woman he wants?

I’m a loan shark. Breaking people runs in my blood. The Haynes’ 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.

It’s depraved.
It’s immoral.
It’s dubious.

It’s perfect.
Just like her.

Book 1 & 2 in the LOAN SHARK DUET will be released back-to-back.
DUBIOUS: 10 October 2017
CONSENT: 14 November 2017

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5 stars

*ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

“Her fear excites me. Her courage intrigues me.” 


“Property is more untouchable than a wife.” 

Fucking fantastic. It’s dark, unexpected, and straight out sexy. I can’t remember how many times I cussed because of this book. I am sure this book made me cuss the most, even its after effects on me kept me cussing with everything I do. I didn’t think I’d make a fuss with this book, especially when it’s related to mafias and gangs but after I finished it last night, I found myself unable to stop myself from talking about it to my friends. I cannot stop thinking about this book and it’s preventing me from falling asleep at night. There’s something about lust at first sight when it comes to books. I find that appealing to me, in literature form only of course.

P L O T 

I can’t say it’s fast paced, but it is in it’s own pace. Charmaine takes us one day at a time. I can’t say the same for the problems and issues that just come one after another. Even if you remove all the sex scenes in this book it’s still quite interesting. However, the characters wouldn’t seem very normal since human beings have sex as their basic need.

C H A R A C T E R S 

“I’m not a made monster. I was born one.” 

That line right there is not an original, but it has never sounded so true. I always hate this character design where the guy thinks he’s not worthy to be loved, but Gabriel Louwe has many reasons to feel that way. Physically and emotionally. Valentina also has every reason to be designed as proud, she has taken care of her older brother for many years all on her own despite being broken a lot of times and bearing scars almost as ugly as Gabriel’s. I love each character no matter how dark they may be, I love how I hate them too.

W R I T I N G 

“His eyes run over my body as if he’s looking for sins in my soul.” 

I love how every named character is involved in some way and they’re not just bystanders in the story. They have lines to say and roles to play.

I find writing erotic books very, very challenging. It has a lot of sex scenes and you need to make sure they don’t sound the same and they need to keep the interest of the reader. There’s only so much you could do with the human body during that lustful, private moment and how you describe it could be how another author does too and you need to find that unique voice to stand out. I highly respect authors of this genre for having their way with words.

O V E R A L L 

Together we’re invincible. As long as he’s with me, no one else can touch me. 

I don’t know what else to say but ‘You have to read this book’. This is my first mafia/gang themed book and I am not disappointed. I don’t think it’s overly done, nothing sounds exaggerated. I cannot express more how I loved this book so much and I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading broken families, broken souls, mafia/gang theme and of course erotic books.

I’ve already been approved by NetGalley for the second book and I’ll start it after a different book because I have deadlines to meet.

Read my review for book 2: Consent here



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