Book Review and Giveaway: Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

DANGEROUS BEAUTY
by
MELISSA KOSLIN
Fiction / Christian / Romance / Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 352 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
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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.

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Liliana Vela is no fragile flower. She may have been seized and taken against her will, with her family left dead behind her, but she isn’t just going to bemoan the unfairness of it all. She finds a way to break free of her captors and run, but they’re closing in on her. A fortuitous encounter at a truck stop sees her rescued, her captors in custody, and Meric Toledan asking her to trust him and marry him so he can keep her safe. Meric happened to be in the right place at the right time, and he didn’t hesitate to do the right thing. But is this just a marriage of convenience, or can Liliana and Meric work through their pasts to find something more?

Melissa Koslin grabbed my attention with this story from the get-go. The tension started on page one and remained nearly constant, with moments where it ramped up big time. Even when she was doing something seemingly simple like leaving the apartment to get a bite to eat, the tension is still lurking. I felt like I was always on the edge of my seat, just waiting for that other shoe to drop, waiting for the bad guys to jump out and grab Liliana.

Liliana is so much stronger than Meric believes at first, and it frustrates her that he seems almost to shy away from her or shut her out. She doesn’t know, though, that he’s battling his own demons. He fears that if he lets his emotions show, he’ll lose control, like the father he never knew  but who hurt his mother so badly. Yet even as he resists his attraction to her, he does his best to keep her safe, to protect her from the wealthy buyer who’s determined not to let the prize – Liliana – escape. When Liliana volunteers to go in and try to help rescue other trafficked women, Meric is beside himself. But I love that she’s willing to put herself back in harm’s way for the good of others, and I love that Meric is willing to let her do it, but still does his best to protect her without blowing her cover. They are both such good, decent, likable characters, I couldn’t help but cheer for them.

Koslin does an excellent job of drawing out the suspense, and the big reveal near the end of the book was quite a surprise to me! I knew something was not quite right with the characters that turned out to be the Big Bad, but I couldn’t put my finger on it before all came to light.

Dangerous Beauty deals in human trafficking, and it’s a timely and difficult topic. Here in my part of the world, Interstate 10 is a major trafficking corridor. I’m glad there are people who are trying to make a difference and shut it down. I think Koslin addresses it in a way that is as sensitive as it can be while still painting an accurate picture of the ugliness of the situation.

Content matters to be aware of: there are some violent scenes that are part of the story, because the traffickers are violent men, and sometimes the good guys have to fight fire with fire. I didn’t feel like any of the violence was gratuitous or overly graphic, though. The romance is clean and doesn’t go beyond some steamy kisses. There are mentions of faith, and Liliana trusts in God and asks for His help.

Overall, Dangerous Beauty was a timely and thoroughly engrossing book. The story is well constructed, the good guys are good (if conflicted sometimes), the bad guys are obviously bad (and some worse than others), and good wins the day. It was tough to put down, and I lost sleep over it.

If you want a clean, compelling read with characters you can cheer for, I highly recommend Dangerous Beauty. Five stars for keeping me up past my bedtime.


Want to win a copy? Keep scrolling and enter the giveaway! Good books are awesome. Good books that you get for free are awesomer. (Yes, I know “awesomer” is not a word.)

PRAISE FOR DANGEROUS BEAUTY:

“Do not start this book until you have the time to read it in one gulp. This is a really fresh twist on a marriage of convenience with the potential for pages of suspense. The hero and heroine are each hugely compelling, and I just wanted to protect them both. It’s also a sweet story of the healing power of hope. Highly recommend this novel for those who adore romantic suspense with a fresh twist.” —Cara Putman, award-winning author of Flight Risk and Lethal Intent

“Koslin brings the underworld of human trafficking to life in a gripping yet redemptive plot.” Booklist

Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. The author of Never Miss, Melissa lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Corey.
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TWO WINNERS:
Each receives copies of Dangerous Beauty and Never Miss
+ $25 gift card to Bookshop.org.
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 9/24/22.)

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5 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

  1. Isn’t it sad that this is such a timely topic? Your review definitely has my curiosity piqued — sounds like an excellent & engaging escape for a weekend read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • If only it weren’t so pertinent a topic to the world we live in. Koslin does a good job telling the story in a way that gets the urgency across, but is respectful of the experiences of those who may have been impacted by trafficking. She doesn’t throw in gory details for shock value, if that makes sense.

  2. Enjoyed your review! I also loved this book and thought the author did a perfect job describing terrible situations without it being too much. She still somehow managed to make me “feel” along with the characters. 🙂

  3. Glad you enjoyed this one too! Great review! 🙂

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