This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
[Tour Review] Aj Elmore : Cadillac Payback

Cadillac Payback by A.J. Elmore

eBook, English, 220 pages
Debut: July 30, 2015
@ Goodreads
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Crime, Dark / Violance / Angst
Heat Level : three-half-flames | Overall Rating: four-half-stars

An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him.

Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…

Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader come more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?

Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…

Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.

It might just be her last.

Snuck from: InkSlinger PR -- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rogue Chronicles Entry

This is not your usual story. If you want out of the box, something that's both hot and cold, bloody and wrong, beautifully written but mostly unresolved, then you should let Cadillac Payback take you for a ride.

Again, this is a very unusual story. It's set in a crime world, all about revenge, and about a woman's complicated relationships to her three "knights", and what motivates each of those three very different men to stay by her side. Each has something they hide from the others, a mask they show the harsh world they live in. You get a glimpse behind to what they are really thinking and feeling, and how they regard the others. But she has a mask, too. And because Joshua, Isaiah, and Frederick are so different, they each see through that mask to a different part of her, and love her for different reasons, and each in their own way. In return, Maria needs all three of them, both professionally and personally.

Joshua is the one who had it easiest, I dare say, thus he's the one who's always being nagged for being too kind. He sees the good in people, that's why he's the diplomat, yet his easy manner is also a mask, and there's quite more to him than the others think, but Marie knows. His general goodness and ability to still dream of better things in their dark world is also why Maria needs him in her life. He keeps her from being consumed by her own darkness, because a part of her wants to be worthy of his good heart, and his pure love.

Isaiah is the brains, the teacher, and the oldest of the three. Maria doesn't look up to him, but is intruiged by him. His mask is certainly the hardest to crack, and because she's not intimidated by his demeanor, but tries to read him and get him to come out of his shell and tell her business, she turns him on against his better judgement. Marie values his calculating mind, but he's also her ultimate test of power. If she is brave and smart enough to handle him, she can handle anyone.

Frederick is Maria's bodyguard, and the most broken of the lot. Maria and him see eye to eye when it comes to bloody vengeance, which makes him her executioner, the hand who willingly does all her dirty work. He doesn't judge her like the others, he doesn't question her orders. Furthermore, they are closer connected to one another, not so much via Charlie, which makes Freddy the most loyal to her. He's grateful to her for seeing him for his present, not his past, and loves her for it, although he knows they can never be equals.

But this isn't a love story, far from it. Maria isn't chosing one of them to be her first knight in the end, no. Her mind's on vengeance first, business second. There is no room for romance right now, yet she's using each of them in turn as a stress relief. I understood Freddy's chavalier attitude about it, Joshua's determination to belong, but Izzy certainly didn't have to come through. Maria couldn't afford losing either of them, yet she risked it anyway, and a not insignificant part of her didn't even care. Generally, I think she was a good mix off all four males, her brother and those three, but she had one mayor fault: a damn-the-consequences attitude. That she's not the type to idle, not afraid to act, makes her a good mob leader, because it inspires fear in others, but she's too impulsive for her own good. She was really lucky that all her boys stood with her, and she certainly could do with some patience so she doesn't fidget under pressure. Then she would be just as scary as her Abuela.

In addition to the unique concept and set of characters, I really admired the writing style. It's rare you find a story that lets you really feel the scenery, but damn did I feel the pressing swamp heat -- and not just because I'm currently getting baked by the summer sun, too. That in combination with emotions running high, and a good portion of it between the lines, makes this story a fine piece of art.

Area Scan
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3.5 / 5
Overall: 4.2 / 5

Discovered: 4+ Hoods


Sights: Teasers

About the Author

Aj is a beach migrant, and part-time muse. She enjoys the exploration of genres vast, and the search for untold worlds. A writer-for-fun since childhood, she has also been known to be a super hero, a gun slinger, and occasionally, a waitress. She lives on an island, has a bachelor's degree in journalism and some tattoos. She is most easily found at the water's edge.

Aj Elmore on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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