I totally blame Kele Moon for sending me through the depths of book funk hell with The Slayer. This book was raw, gritty, violent, brimming with passion and sensuality.
I simply loved it.
My love affair with this author’s work started with Crossing the Line from her Battered Hearts series, which stands as one of my favorite romances ever, and since then I have devoured her other books. The Slayer is the second book from her Untamed Hearts series which is a spin-off of Battered Hearts.
The Slayer and the Minister’s Daughter
We know Chuito Garcia as the gang banger who came to Garnet to train in the Cellar back in the Battered Hearts Series. Alaine was the minister’s daughter looking to break free of her tyrannical father. Their background couldn’t have been more different on the outside. But on the inside, it’s a different story altogether.
Theirs was a story of friendship first, one that is borne out of need. When Chuito moved in next door to the quiet Alaine, he never thought he would be dependent on her warmth and her acceptance. Most of all he never thought she would become his only salvation.
She felt like his salvation, like the angel he always thought of her as…
For Alaine, Chuito was her freedom. He became a world for her to get lost in and her very own love story. And despite Chuito not being able to give her what she wanted, she continued to believe in him.
Chuito has a lot of demons. His life as a gangster back in Miami has followed him to Garnet. He knows how hard that kind of life is and he doesn’t want Alaine near it, so he pushes her way. Begging her to find someone else…someone with less demons.
“I am not going to be your love story. I am your friend. I’ll be your friend until I die, but I am not going to give you a happily ever after.”
If it had been just any book, Chuito pushing Alaine away because of his demons would have annoyed me. But not here. Not in this book. Kele Moon did a phenomenal job of giving the reader a harsh picture of the underworld. When I say Chuito is an anti-hero, I really mean, he’s an anti-hero. The world of gangsters and the mafia that Kele depicted in this book is one that is full of violence, power and fear making The Slayer one of her darkest book in the series…so far. This is by far the most authentic gangster book I’ve read. The way the author took time to incorporate the language not only of Chuito’s native tongue but the gangster “speak” as well.
But despite its very dark themes, this book had a lot of lighthearted and funny moments courtesy of Tino and Nova. Make no mistake though, these side characters are more than just comic reliefs because their relationship to Chuito and Alaine added depth and complexity to the story.
This isn’t just about Alaine and Chuito’s journey to HEA. This book was also about Tino and his friendship with Chuito. It is also about Nova’s struggle for power. It is about loyalty, family, friendship and love. And I just enjoyed seeing all these elements come together as a whole. I was invested in these characters. I reveled in their triumphs and lamented in their despair.
His destiny always found him no matter how much he ran from it. As sure as Chuito knew the next breath would have to enter his lungs whether he wanted it to or not, he knew that Alaine couldn’t be his forever.
I loved Chuito. His love for Alaine was unquestionable. And even though he pushed her away saying he’s not good enough for her, his actions made a liar out of him. The things he did for Alaine was swoon-worthy. His loyalty to his friends and his family was undeniable. My heart broke for him at the end of The Viper. [The way he sacrificed himself just to get Marcos out had me bawling like a baby. (hide spoiler)] The length he went through for Wyatt, for Tino and for his mother showed his big heart. Seriously, you’d want this guy on your side in a fight. Not just because he’s a champion fighter but because he will always have your back no matter what. ALWAYS.
Because despite his flaws, his commitments, all the darkness and danger…this woman loved him enough to spend eternity with him.
Important Note: To get the most out of the series, it is best to read this series in order. While The Slayer is mainly about Chuito and Alaine, a lot of their back stories can be found in The Viper book 1), Star Crossed and Crossing The Line. (Book 2 & 3 of the Battered Hearts series.)
ARC provided Kele Moon in exchange for an honest review.