Author: Melissa Koslin
Release Date: September 6, 2022
What is the price of freedom?
Liliana Vela hates the term victim. She's not a victim, she's a fighter. Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, she's determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers. But she can't stay safely in America--unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.
Meric Toledan was just stopping at a service station for a bottle of water. Instead, he becomes the key to Liliana's rescue. If he can keep his secrets hidden, his wealth and position afford him many resources to help her. But the mysterious buyer who funded her capture will not sit idly by while his prize is stolen from him.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
This story was so good. I thought about it whenever I wasn't reading it and couldn't wait to pick it back up again when I had to put it down.
We start off with a bang as Liliana runs from her captors. She is from Mexico and was brought into the USA as part of a human trafficking ring, or so it seems. She is rescued by an eccentric and curious man, Meric Toledan, who offers her an unbelievable offer. Marry him, and he will protect her. So, this is also a marriage of convenience story for the modern generation. That is my favorite trope, so when an author writes this for the contemporary, I get super excited to see their take. This was very good.
We are told Liliana is of exceptional beauty, possibly why she may have been targeted. Her backstory is heartbreaking, and she has much to overcome. Not only does she need to get better at the English language, but she is also trying to get stronger and trying to figure out the enigma who is her husband. Her growth, what she overcomes, and her strength shine through this story.
Meric, what can I say. He is a knight in shining armor. He is moody, secretive, super rich, and hiding so many secrets. His weakness is his wife, Liliana. Yet he does not feel he deserves her. His backstory is also heartbreaking, and he is fighting his many demons. But he is such a great protector, and his love and desire for Liliana are deep.
So many secrets were unraveled. The danger to Meric and Liliana was always bubbling under the surface. And the story took many directions I was not expecting. This story does deal with the horror that is human trafficking. This is the second novel I have read by author Koslin. Her stories are a unique addition to the romantic suspense category.
I received a copy of this novel from Revell Publishing through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review. All views are my own.
Reviewer: Raechel Kelly
Five-star read all the way. From page one, I was drawn into the story, and it rarely left my mind even while I was not reading.
The characters were absolutely marvelous. Just...wow. They were what really made this novel a hit for me. Liliana escaped a human trafficking ring with unexpected help from well-known and wealthy Meric Toledan. Human trafficking has long been a fight that I'm passionate about, and it's encouraging to find books that show the reality of it in a grace-filled way.
"Dangerous Beauty" is a marriage-of-convenience story, with the hard-hero-who-is-only-soft-for-one-person trope, and oh be still my heart. Those are two of my favorite tropes. And it was done so well here. Liliana was such an incredible and three-dimensional character - so was Meric.
I related to so many aspects of Liliana, and I loved seeing how she grew and healed throughout the book. And I loved how Meric did the same for himself - their relationship was delightful to watch, even though they had many struggles. They worked through them, and I loved how they complimented each other on their different strengths and weaknesses. The plot was well written too, and kept you guessing.
I don't know how to do this book justice in a review because it was just that good to me. Finding characters that are that relatable is often rare, so it's always special to have another one to tuck away on the favorites shelf.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews and Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Charity Henico
Wow. This book is intense. From the very first page, my heart was pounding. I wanted to know what on earth was going to happen. And a word to the wise: don't try to read it before bed, because you won't be getting any sleep!
Melissa Koslin is a new author to me, and her writing style had me immersed in the story. I was right there when it all was going down. My heart was racing during all the action. I couldn't concentrate on anything except this book while reading it. I was in the story.
There were times the book got so intense that I had to take a break. But where I would normally pick up a book in a different genre and read a chapter, I couldn't do that with this one. This book was in my head, and I couldn't escape it. I had to finish it.
Whew! What a ride.
I received a review copy from Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
This was such a beautiful story of trust and friendship.
Liliana was not living the life she dreamed of. Everything in her life went berserk after her abduction. Meric seemed to be her only choice at safety, except she did not know him either. She had to learn to trust again and realize that not everyone was out to hurt her like her abductors. It was so nice to watch her grow to trust people again and grow to love Meric.
Meric. Oh, man. There were so many times I just wanted to slap him over the head. The way his character was, in the beginning, annoyed me in so many ways, and if others feel this way, let me just say, “keep reading.” It gets better. But even though I felt this way, I really loved and understood his character once he started opening up. So Meric had to learn to be honest no matter the outcome. He also had to learn to trust himself. I will not spoil it, but once he opens up about himself, you will understand why he also had to learn to trust.
This story was so powerful. Many young women face this every day, and we can be so oblivious to that fact. This is a real eye-opener, which I hope will lead many people to pray for young women in these situations.
This was a clean read. There were talks about characters being molested, but it was briefly discussed. There were never any details of how it happened or what exactly took place. There was also a scene of a woman being attacked, detailing what the woman did to defend herself.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Juanita Varela
This was such an amazing novel with a powerful story. The book was easy to understand, with a fluent dialogue between the characters. The characters were believable, and they each had a very noticeable personality. I will miss them.
This novel fits its genre. Anyone who loves romance and a good mystery will love this book. Although I have to say, since it is a novel dealing with human trafficking, there are things mentioned that pertain to that sort of thing. But it is completely clean from any sex and nudity. It is implied or merely stated. It is never stated in any graphic detail what happens to these women. So that being said, this book is perfect for readers who love romance and mystery but are also mature enough to know about these topics.
I liked how we saw the characters' journey with their walk with the Lord. Like everyone, there was a struggle with things of the Lord, but it was overcome in the end. It was a perfect happy ending all the way around. It was such an amazing book. You won’t regret reading it.
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
When Meric Toledan stopped at a service station for water, he didn't expect to rescue a woman from men who were going to hurt her. Neither did he expect to ask the woman to marry him. But he did. Now, what is he supposed to do? Liliana Vela was glad to be rid of the guys who abducted her. She's not sure about living with the guy who saved her from a future that was sure to be devastating. Not sure about her future, she has no choice but to follow along with what her new husband has planned.
I am always so touched by stories of human trafficking because it really happens, and probably much more than we know. And my heart goes out to the children and teens pulled into this tragic lifestyle. Liliana and Meric were such good characters, and though they both had baggage in their past, it was a unique situation. I have no idea if I would have handled things as they did.
I like Meric's kind heart, especially when helping people. Thus, marriage is the safest way to ensure Liliana is safe. He does seem to have some dark secrets he can't expose, which makes Liliana wonder what he does.
I really like Liliana as well. She's feisty, determined, and independent and will do whatever it takes to stop the people who abducted her. There are so many twists and turns in this book and many secrets, but I do like the way Koslin pulls it together in the end. The ending brings a few surprises and a comfortable ending that you will enjoy. If you enjoy a good suspense thriller that will keep you awake for many hours, this is one you need to try. Melissa Koslin is a fairly new author, and I encourage you to give her a try.
A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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