ARC-Book Review! A Blogging Reader’s Review after reading ‘Cadillac Payback’ by A. J. Elmore.
(This review will also be posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com)
Title: CADILLAC PAYBACK
Author: A. J. Elmore
Publishing date: July 30th, 2015
(Review based on an ARC-early copy)
(Click the Cover below to order a copy of ‘Cadillac Payback’ Now)
An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him. The Cadillac leads them down a swamp road lined with ghosts, consequence and the tangled web of business and pleasure, into the underbelly of New Orleans crime as she fights for vengeance for her brother.
Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…
Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader come more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?
Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…
Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.
It might just be her last.
My ‘Blogging Reader’s ARC-Review’ after reading ‘CADILLAC PAYBACK by A. J. Elmore:
This is the debut novel for new Indie-author A. J. Elmore and the book is titled “Cadillac Payback.” This novel is a romantic-suspense story with a blend of violence, suspense, sexual moments as well as a tinge of romance. Cadillac Payback is written from four main character’s P.O.V.’s(point of views), Maria, Joshua, Frederick “Freddy”, and Isaiah “Izzy.”
The story begins right at the turning point that effects every main character’s life in one way or another. When Charlie, the leader they followed, respected, learned from and loved- is murdered, their world tailspins into a cyclone of seeking revenge while also feeling left with muddled emotions. Charlie’s sister, Maria, has taken on the reigns as the one who will lead the fight. She’s earned her next-in-line position but with revenge as her main focus, she may be leading their closest, most-trusted allies into something that can quickly go terribly wrong. To top it off, Maria is not afraid of letting those allies, Joshua, Frederick and Isaiah, know just how much they each mean to her in their own way and to their alliance.
Joshua is the pretty-boy, who was Charlie’s best friend, has always had strong feelings for Maria, and who always seems to feel like he has to prove himself to the others who feel he doesn’t belong in this lifestyle. Isaiah had the longest friendship and alliance in the seedy and violent life with Charlie. Since he’s a little more than a few years older than the rest, his opinion and view is respected because he’s the one who knew Charlie’s views in the dark lifestyle the best. Then, you have Frederick. His past is questionable because he doesn’t talk much about it. What Maria and the others know is that he used to run with bad people, learned from them but escaped their clutch when things went terribly wrong. He’s the most scarred, violent and the rage in him always seems to be right beneath the surface, waiting to come out. Frederick “Freddy” has always had some kind of strong connection with Maria but he had never perused it because of Charlie. Besides, his focus has always been handling the tough lifestyle they live with drugs, enemies, guns and violence.
The drug organization who is also their biggest enemy, The Reapers, have been fighting to come back up and isn’t afraid to destroy and kill anyone in their path. Maria’s grandmother is a whole different issue. She runs her own illegal businesses and plays everyone in her life in whatever way she must to keep her control and the fear in the hearts of anyone in their gritty world. Maria isn’t afraid to express herself or her sexual prowess as well as her strength and leadership in the dark illegal life she leads.
Maria drives her brother Charlie’s old Cadillac around as she plans and heads down the path of revenge and payback to those responsible for her brother’s death. Will Maria’s blind range cost her more than she expected? Will Joshua, Frederick, or Isaiah follow Maria or will they turn their back on her vengeful plan? Who is truly responsible for the events that led to Charlie’s death? And who really holds the strongest bond with Maria? This novel was definitely gritty, dark, full of raw emotion and tons of sexual drive. When violence is around, it always seems to heighten the need to bring on spur-of-the-moment sexual gratification and this story definitely delivers there. The storyline was at times very exciting and the build-up was there but I got a little anxious to see if revenge was served. This doesn’t happen until the last couple of chapters in the book finally. The ending leaves you knowing how things ended as far as Maria’s plans go but her strong connections with the male characters’ were all left pretty open-ended. Besides that, everything else played out well and enjoyably. Not a bad gritty story at all! Check it out if this sounds like something you’d find worth reading. 🙂
MY BLOGGING READER’S STAR RATING: ‘CADILLAC PAYBACK’ 4 out of 5 stars:
How I imagined the characters while reading ‘CADILLAC PAYBACK’:
★★★MEMORABLE QUOTES & LINES FROM ‘CADILLAC PAYBACK’★★★
Joshua’s thoughts: She hasn’t spoken since she left his lifeless shell in the floor, since she felt his blood on her hands. Yeah, if I didn’t know her, but I do. I know she feels my eyes on her occasionally. She may not care that I haven’t tried to stop her. I know she can’t be stopped, it’s not my place to try. At least I can provide some cover. There’s a good chance we will both die tonight.
Maria says and Isaiah’s thoughts: “If any of you want out, I understand.”
She’s treating us like we’re strangers. Maybe she’s pretending that we are. None of us will play that game, though. Surely, she can’t believe we are the type of men who would leave her side now. Does she feel obligated to turn us loose, and can she really think that we’ll go? Fuck.
Does she not realize we’re all in love with her in some way or another?
Frederick’s thoughts: Isaiah is too painfully detached, and too old for his age to be her friend. And Josh has only ever been a plaything to her. I hold her eyes so she knows I’m not shaken. She stubbornly denies me an answering expression, so we both look away, to Josh’s drama.
Maria and Joshua: “You’re too good for this life. You don’t belong with us, because you’re capable of so much more.”
At last, I gain the attention that he doesn’t want to give me. He looks directly into my eyes, and his gaze is so hard. He says, “Where else do I have to go? Back to my family that doesn’t give a shit about me? Out to some new life? You and Charlie are the only ones who’ve ever made me feel welcome. You’re the only person left who cares, in some fucked up way.”
He’s right of course, I do care, and it is in a fucked up way.
Maria’s thoughts: His kiss has been heavy on my mind, though, and the fire in his hands. I’ve always known there was a more primal side to him, a side he didn’t want to show me. Why he didn’t want to show me, that’s what I never could figure out. Sexual attraction is just science, right?
Frederick and Maria: “Doesn’t it bother you that she’s using you to fight a battle that you have nothing to do with?”
“That’s how it works, Freddy. I’m still in her debt,” I say, barely audible.
His brow furrows again, and he shakes his head fiercely. “That’s not how it works. This is what Derrik did to me, the same fucking thing. And I should have been dead for it.”
My breath catches in my throat, and the rage melts into grief. Is he right?
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