Reviewed by JustJen
Title: The Flesh Cartel 19: Promise
Author: Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau
Series: The Flesh Cartel #19
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 56 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 4, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: In the exciting final season of the Flesh Cartel . . .
With the help of the FBI, Mat Carmichael has let himself be re-taken by the Flesh Cartel. Objective? Rescue his brother, exact revenge, and destroy the entire organization from the inside.
FBI Special Agent Nate Johnson will be playing backup, of course, but to get Dougie out alive, Mat will need to make sure his brother is out of Allen’s clutches before calling in the troops. Now that Mat’s back in bondage, though, there’s no way he can do it alone. He’ll have to ask for help from the only man within the Cartel who cares about Dougie’s welfare: Nikolai. And even knowing it will destroy him, Nikolai delivers.
Bringing down the Cartel should have been the hardest part, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the real challenge has only just begun. Dougie doesn’t know how to be free anymore, and Mat is forced to admit that he may no longer be strong enough to help himself, let alone his brother. But with loved ones in their corner and their love for each other banked but not extinguished, Mat and Dougie learn that you can come home again, no matter how desperate the circumstances you’ve left behind.
Review: This has been a long, exciting road, especially if you’ve read this series in pieces, as I have. Every installment leading up to the sting operation that freed Doug and took down a chunk of the Cartel has been extremely intense. Then there was the recovery period where the boys had to try to acclimate back into normal lives, followed by the closure of the trial and what appear to be a new direction and beginnings for the guys.
One of the things I loved in this segment was seeing that Doug is not miraculously healed. He understands his issues better now and sees them for what they are. He comes to the understanding that he may not be gay even after his experiences but leaves that door of possibility open. He also addresses his need/desires for being dominated resulting from his experiences. This was my favorite therapy session by far.
As for Mat, he seems to have grown by leaps and bounds, especially where Doug is concerned. He and Nate are in a better place and seem perfect for each other. Being with someone who has first-hand knowledge/understanding of what he went through is monumental in helping him overcome his issues, and Nate has the patience and desire to see him through.
So, I’m sad to see the end of these guys but am really happy they made it to this point as well as they have. It was nice to see the possibility for happiness in each of the characters.
I must mention Nikolai, the man I love to hate and hate that I love. Right to the end, I wanted to kill him yet wanted to see more. Sounds like he may be back in action some day so perhaps we will get to see him doing what he believes he does best.
It has been difficult to rate this series in segments, as some just had that extra umph that wasn’t present in others, but that is to be expected given the content. However, overall, I’m giving this series 5 stars for taking us full circle. Is everything all sweet and rosy at the end? No. After what they went through, especially Doug, that is not only understandable but expected. They do seem to be on the right path now that they’ve moved beyond the trial and are actually able to move forward with their lives. Kudos for a fabulous wrap up on this. I’m glad I was along for the ride.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*