The Flesh Cartel #16: To the Victor by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau ~ Review by Christine

The thrilling final season continues in this episode as the sting operation to take down The Cartel and rescue Dougie commences!

Flesh Cartel 16

Title: The Flesh Cartel

Author: Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

My Rating: 4.75 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

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.


My View

With Mat posing as a slave “recaptured,” the FBI closes in on The Cartel through an elaborate sting operation with undercover agents posing as slaves. Mat is determined to rescue his brother, and he and Nate will endure any abuse necessary in order to make the mission a success.

This episode revolves entirely around the FBI raid on Allen’s island compound. Mat and Nate continue to tiptoe around even the remotest possibility for a relationship, yet they know that the impact of the inevitable violations to come will threaten any tenuous connections they have made. The fragile threads are surely to be severed once they are in the throes of the raid, suffering at the hands of the evil Allen in an effort to reach their final goal. Though the end justifies the means, there are bound to be consequences for them both.  In my opinion, this conflict is realistic and well-done, focusing on the potential trauma suffered by victims of torture and abuse, despite the voluntary nature of the situation.  I was left hoping beyond hope that there can be some sort of future for these two beautiful men, despite the horrors of Mat’s experience and Nate’s guilty desire to love the tortured soul that remains.

With the sting operation in progress, Allen and Dougie are also back on-page, along with Allen’s sadistic violence. Though it is difficult to handle for many, those readers who have been following this serial may be surprised by the change in Dougie’s response to Allen’s torment. Although I wish to be careful not to reveal very much, I can say that I was very pleased to see the authors create this shift that had my eyebrows lifting and my heart surging.

To The Victor is exciting, suspenseful, and tragic. With its intriguing focus on the infiltration of The Cartel, the sexual tension between Nate and Mat, and a beautifully executed cliffhanger at the end, it is an excellent continuation of the series that left me breathless in anticipation to begin the next episode!

Buy Links:

Riptide Publishing
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I would like to thank Riptide Publishing for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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