Saturday, November 16, 2019

Book Review: Zapata

I hope your weekend is going well! Ours has been fairly busy already. Today we did a breakfast with Santa and then a "Elf Training" thing at the mall which was just a bunch of crafts. I'll have pictures to show you next week but the kids had a good time. I only made it to one store in the mall (Barnes & Noble, of course) but I didn't even buy for myself, so that was good. I feel like so much money was spent this week alone so I feel torn between "buy more" and "hold the hell up- we have another month before Christmas". Anyways. Maybe you're at home trolling the internet for no reason and that's why you're here, so you may as well read about a good book, am I right?

Zapata - Harper McDavid

When engineer Avery McAndrews is offered the Zapata project, she readily accepts. Despite the fact the Texas border town has a dubious reputation, she’s used to pushing past all kinds of stereotypes. The assignment is a career maker.
Avery’s work is disrupted when a battle for control of the oil production facility puts her in the crossfire between warring drug cartels. All hope for a promotion is forgotten. Kidnapped and imprisoned in a Mexican brothel, Avery discovers that her captor, Javier Ramos, son of a cartel boss, is more than just a power-hungry drug lord. He’s crazy.
As lead attorney for the Ramos Cartel, Alejandro DeLeon’s unofficial responsibilities include managing Javier. Cartel operations are threatened by Javier’s kidnapping of Avery, presenting a nearly impossible situation for Alejandro. But it is Javier’s cruelty toward Avery, that leads Alejandro to risk everything to save her.
With Mexico’s underworld at their heels, Avery and Alejandro run. Danger escalates in every new town as Javier offers a reward for her capture. Though for Avery, the greatest struggle is not the perilous escape, but trusting Alejandro, a man of many secrets…

So right off the bat, this is going to be a solid 4 stars for me. A little bumpy in spots, but overall I thought this was interesting enough to keep me engaged, had enough suspense to keep me wondering what was going on, but also a pretty decent romance that made me feel this firmly fit into the romantic suspense genre. Though it did feel a little thriller to me as well so there's that, too.

I've read a few other books with the centered around a drug cartel and I feel like you aren't doing your job if you don't feel like you're making the reader feel like they are in it. It needs to feel gritty, you need to feel like you're always in some element of danger, and Harper McDavid did a really good job of that with this one. When Avery gets kidnapped the book really picks up and thank god because that first chunk of the book felt slow for me. I get having to lay out information and set the scene basically, but that was a little clunky. After she's kidnapped though, things do take off and I feel like the story picked up substantially.

Disclaimer: this book does have some violence in it and description of violence so if you are sensitive to that... just know that going in.

One thing I really liked, a trope I haven't read much of, is the supposed bad guy becoming a good guy. Alejandro is the lawyer for the cartel that kidnaps Avery but once he finds out what exactly they are doing to her, he can't do nothing... so he does something. That something is probably my favorite part of the book and some of the revelations sets a good pace for book two, which I'm excited for. It's pretty bad to say this felt like it was realistic but let's be honest, this stuff probably does happen, and the author does a really good job at giving us a real heroine, not someone who does ridiculously stupid things to save her ass or in the name of love. That's the WORST, and this book does not have that, so for that reason alone it's worth reading to know it can be done.

Overall? A very good read. I would be all in for reading book two because there are some characters I'd like to know what happens long term. We got an epilogue in this one but still.... a little more wouldn't hurt. I think you're going to like this one.

A big thanks to Harper McDavid for sending me a copy of her book and TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour. All thoughts are my own and this post contains affiliate links. 

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