Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
New York City Detective Gabriel Ashby’s life was turned upside down the first time he saw Angelo Pagan – leader of one of Brooklyn’s most notorious gangs, Los Pescadores. First, Gabe finds himself inexplicably attracted to a man, which has never happened before. The attraction to Angelo is undeniable. And second, during a raid on one of the gang’s warehouses, Gabe ends up shot by none other than Angelo. And even after being wounded by the gang leader, Gabe can’t seem to get the man out of his head. But nothing could ever happen between them because he is a cop and Angelo is a criminal of the worst sort.
Angelo Pagan knows that his attraction to the handsome cop can only end in disaster, but even after shooting the man, Angelo can’t seem to stay away from Gabe. Sneaking into Gabe’s house to catch him off guard is the first step in letting his attraction to the cop be known. Stealing that first kiss is almost unavoidable. Entering into a forbidden relationship with Gabe may seem like suicide from the outside looking in, but for Angelo it’s inevitable. Angelo’s responsibility lies with keeping his family and his streets safe, and the darker sides of his life start to bleed into the lighter side, his relationship with Gabe.
When the NYPD sets out to make an example of Angelo and Los Pescadores, stress weighs heavily on Angelo and Gabe’s fragile relationship – a relationship built upon secrets, lies, deception, and different codes of morality. And as secrets and deceptions are unraveled, Gabe has to decide if love is enough.
Ladies and gentlemen this book is H-O-T. There are times when a relationship sizzles on the pages, and this is one of those times. Seriously, I was fanning myself trying to cool down at the very first kiss. And what a kiss it was. While there is a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sex in this book, there is an actual story and plot to go along with it. It’s an all-around good deal.
A cop and a criminal, a forbidden romance. It’s a common theme amongst law enforcement stories, but this book is not your common “criminal is not really a criminal” scenario. Angelo is an all-out bad guy. He’s dirty, devious, hard, and scary. But with Gabe, he’s safe. He can be himself – tender and caring. And Gabe brings that out in him. Gabe is conflicted and afraid. He’s attracted to a bad boy, and as we’ve all heard, the bad boys will break you. Gabe’s morals tell him to arrest Angelo or to run from him, but his heart won’t let him. For Gabe, the relationship is a battle of what’s right and what feels right, a line that is blurred by love. They are both so well written and likable, even Angelo’s dark side is forgivable.
The story itself is captivating. The romance is forbidden and sexy. The crime drama is heart pounding and enthralling. From the very beginning, I was engrossed within a world of gangs, violence, and crime – the underworld of gun-running and drugs. I would like to make a side note here. Los Pescadores, Angelo’s gang, actually means the fishermen, which makes me giggle a little. The Spanish translation sounds much more badass. Continuing on, like I said earlier, this isn’t your typical cop/criminal love story. It’s gritty and dirty. There is gang violence portrayed, so be warned if that’s something that is a no-no in your book. But I could hardly put the book down once I picked it up.
So on to the quibbles. My biggest lies with the relationship between Gabe and Angelo, it was so…mushy, for lack of a better word, at times. Some of the dialogue, especially when they discussed their feelings, was so saccharine sweet it was unrealistic to imagine a New York City detective and a hardened criminal saying those things to one another. And quibble two; there was a lot of sex. The story itself could have done without so much, but truly it was super sexy and very intense, so it’s hard to complain too much.
In the end, Love the Sinner is a highly entertaining read that is angsty and sexy and wonderful. Even occasional dialogue that is a little too mushy and a few too many sex scenes don’t detract too terribly much from this story. It is an entertaining read from start to finish, and I look forward to continuing the Brooklyn Sinners series.
Cover: This cover by Fiona Jayde is dark and sexy, and I like it.