Hate Me by L.P. Lovell
Series: , #1
Published by Indie on February 26, 2018
Genres: Dark, Mafia, Romance
Buy on Amazon
I am a whore. A slave. A possession. I accepted my fate long ago, but fate is not done with me yet. Freedom is so close I can almost taste it, only to have it snatched away under the guise of protection. A guilded cage is still a cage. Friend or foe? Saviour or oppressor? Rafael D’Cruze is a bad man. I hate him, so why do I feel safe with him?
She’s a favour. Collateral. A pretty slave. I have no interest in her beyond keeping her alive for the man who now owns her. And yet…I’m fascinated by the little Russian. There is no room for weakness in my world, but it appears the delicate rose has steel petals. I’m willing to bleed for a willing touch, a trusting glance…
A broken little bird. The big bad wolf. A longing that could heal or destroy.
Hate me or hold me?
“I want your darkness, your fire, your sheer will to survive.”
Hate Me is a raw and gritty cartel story that is hauntingly beautiful. While it does run parallel in the same world in Kill Me and Kiss Me, it can be read as a standalone.
At the age of thirteen, Anna was sold as a slave. Just like her sister was three years prior. She’s been sold multiple times and has had some very sick and twisted owners over the years. While she may use drugs to get through all of the horrific things that happens to her and she may seem pliant, there’s still a bit of fight in her. She just hasn’t shown it yet. That is until Rafael comes into her life.
Rafael is the boss of the Juarez cartel. He runs the city and shows no sign of weakness. When Nero, an Italian mafia boss calls in for a favor, Rafael finds himself on a quest to locate Anna. He has no idea what Nero wants with her and quite frankly doesn’t care. He just wants to settle his debt and move on. But there’s something about Anna that speaks to him. He gravitates towards her and he finds himself conflicted on what he wants and what he should do.
“She’s this perfect balance of pure innocence and the most deprived darkness, drawing me in. I want to both cure her of the taint on her soul and corrupt it.”
Only Rafael sees just how broken and strong Anna is. Which in turn is why Anna feels so safe with him. He’s dark and dangerous and continues to show Anna the way of his world but no matter what, he makes her feel safe. Eventually he has to hand her over to Nero, right? So this dark dance they are doing needs to stop.
“So broken, so strong. She’s like a shattered mirror, cracks rippling over a distorted reflection. Her pieces are so desperately fragile, and yet unbreakable.”
Hate Me has a bit different tone than the Kiss of Death Series. Yes, we have a cartel with drugs, violence and the story of Anna being sold as a slave. What makes this one a bit different is that this one focuses more on the mental relationship between Anna and Rafael. In their own ways, they are healing each other. Both have their own set of issues and will never be full healed but the other makes it better.
The only thing that held me back a bit and the reason why this wasn’t a five star read was because the slow burn between Anna and Rafael was so slow for me that it took me a really long time to connect to them. Sure, I liked them but I wanted to feel their emotions with them and I didn’t start doing that until closer to the end.
Hate Me leaves us on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. I think that slow burn I talked about is going to be explosive in the next one. If you are looking for a raw and gritty cartel book that is heartbreaking but has the potential to be healing, then you should pick up Hate Me now!