Blurred Red Lines Review!!
Blurred Red Lines by Cora Kenborn was a great read!! From start to finish I was very intrigued. I definitely think it'll take someone who is able to enjoy the dark and weird side of life to enjoy this book. There will be spoilers in the following review so beware!!
We have a strong female lead, Eden, who has been through a lot in her life. Unfortunately we don't get much on her background other than small snippets that she drops from time to time through the story. I wish there was more there about her parents and how it affected her growing up. We do though, get a little insight to the relationship that she has with her brother. He is the catalyst that actually propels most of this story.
We meet Eden as she's working at one of her two jobs at a cantina. She meets Val, thanks to her being an amazing bartender. She's the only one who is able to make his drink exactly the way he likes it. We also learn that she's a recent divorcee who was deeply scarred by the betrayal of not only her husband but also her best friend. From there she decided to distract herself with hook ups with no emotional commitment. She ends up having relations with her ex husband's frat brother, who just so happens to be the DA in the area. He's a bought man, who is owned by the local cartel. The local cartel that just so happens to be run by Val Carrera. We also learn that Edens' father is still alive but is a drug addict. Through this unfortunate series of events, things start to hit the fan for her.
Val is an under boss in the Carrera cartel. He's stateside running the operations here while the main portion of the cartel is back in Mexico being run by his father. There is definitely no love lost between these two. As we find out later, Val blamed his dad for the death of his mother, aunt and sister. He dragged Val into the dark cartel life at a very young age and as such Val grew to be a cold man who believed himself to be emotionless. Until one night he walked into a cantina and met a bartender who could make his drink perfectly.
Like I said before Edens father is a drug addict, hooked on cocaine that he'd been buying from the local cartel. Like most addicts he ended up getting in to deep and couldn't pay what he owed. Val, being the leader of said cartel orders the man to be tortured until he finds a way to pay up… except they pick up the wrong guy and end up getting Edens brother. Eden through a crazy circumstance ends up finding out that her boss is a member of the cartel when she sees him dragging in her brother for torture. While she hides under the bar she watches as her boss cuts his fingers off. When he boss leaves with his men because the torture is over a different set of men walk in and kill her brother right in front of her.
This triggers her to find her dad since she knows at this point this has something to do with him. Instead of being sad and doing what a father should be rid away. Vowing revenge, Eden goes back to the cantina and is almost captured by the same thugs she saw kill her brother. Instead she is saved by her boss who thinks she's an innocent bystander. Val learns that they have a case of mistaken identity and keeps Eden. She's shocked that the man she flirted with is the head of the snake she believes to have killed her brother. She later finds out it wasn't his men who killed her brother. She goes on the run with Val and his crew as they themselves become the target of multiple attacks not only on them but in their product.
As she gets to know him better, they become closer and eventually get it on. The dice in these scenes are great since these types of individuals tend to be very out of touch with their emotions but when they encounter someone who matches them so well, the sparks can be seen and felt by all. Cora did a great job of conveying this in this book.
After we learn more about Val and his hatred of his father, his father is murdered. All of these attacks and even the murder of his father had been done by a risk cartel called the Munoz cartel. Carrera and Munoz have bad blood going back to when Val was a child. Val watched the Munoz men kill his mother, sister and aunt while he escaped. After his fathers death Val returns to Mexico with Eden, who is determined to get revenge on her brothers killers. Val was afraid to do this because he realizes that Eden has become his weakness and of course in anything as savage as a cartel, weakness can mean death.
Val has a meeting with the subordinates that served his father to announce his take over only to find out that his father was betrayed by his second in command who then tried to kill him. Luckily Val is saved by his own second in command but not before he learns that the Munoz cartel has kidnapped Eden, who he'd stashed at his father's estate.
Val manages to track her down and she kills the oldest Munoz son. They learn that Manuel Munoz was actually not the head of the snake but rather an unknown daughter named Mariposa. She explained how she went to school to get smarter and allowed her brother to be the face of the cartel since men were more likely to respect a man and she had no taste for violence. She is able to get away before her brother is killed. During the commotion Val was shot in the stomach and ended up getting transported to the hospital. Once there and recovered from the necessary surgery to save him, Eden informs him that she leaving and going back to Texas because she didn't like the person she'd become. She also knew that she lived Val and didn't want to wait to her if his death since he led such a dangerous life. After being back in Texas for awhile she learns some disturbing information from her ex flame, the DA. She rushed back to Val in Mexico who she hadn't seen in weeks. She informs him that Mariposa is in fact the sister that he thought was dead all this time.
This book definitely was interesting to me. I think it'll take a doesn't kind of reader to be ok with the fact that the story ends with you essentially rooting for a criminal. There is more books in this series that follow others that we've met in this first book. I'm interested to see where the story goes. I have enjoyed the writing and the steam was very good. No fade to black and no idiotic word usage. I recommend to those who like the genre of books that's dark and deal with criminals!!