The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau ~ Book Review by Christine

It’s the final episode of Mat and Doug’s story as their journey comes to an end with a promise.

Flesh Cartel 19 Title: The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise

Author: Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide

Cover Artist: Imaliea

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars


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:

I have been with Mat and Dougie Carmichael since the beginning of The Flesh Cartel series:  from the initial kidnapping, through all the brutalities, violence, and dehumanization of slavery, and finally to their fight for freedom. It has been harrowing, torturous, suspenseful, and hopeful. Their fear was mine. Their torment was mine. Their battle to maintain their emotional and physical stability was mine. I felt their agonies surely as if I was in captivity with them.   It wasn’t easy reading, surely. The savagery I witnessed within the pages of this series was truly cringe-worthy, and most definitely not for the faint of heart. So why did I stick with it through 19 episodes? Why didn’t I stop when I realized what kinds of atrocities I was going to have to endure if I kept reading? Why? I was enthralled with the intensity of the story, yes. It grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let me go from that first episode. I had to see what happened next and tore into each new installment. I had to….because of Mat and Doug and the promise of hope.

I stuck with this series for this final episode of Mat and Doug’s story, which reads like the satisfying epilogue of a gripping novel. It is the calm after the chaos, like that quiet moment after a sudden storm has struck. It is the opportunity to sit quietly and look at these characters and to see them for who they are now as they try to trust, to reclaim, and to love. I appreciated that I got the different points of view of all the most important characters one final time. Mat, Doug, Nate, and even Nikolai get the chance to reveal where they are emotionally and what they feel the future may hold. It is all about, for lack of a better word, closure.

I love how the authors pulled me into this series and wouldn’t let me go. I have been completely captivated by this psychological thriller and every single character and event.   The authors made me care deeply for Mat and Doug, and I will never forget these two beautiful men and their incredible, horrifying experience. Do I recommend The Flesh Cartel? Yes, with the caveat that the reader is aware of the graphic content and heeds warnings provided by the publisher. It is not for everyone, as I have said numerous times in my previous reviews. Keeping that in mind, it is a compelling, intense story that holds the reader in a relentless grasp.  At some point – not yet, but at some point – I will read this series again from beginning to conclusion. Kudos to the authors for keeping me riveted, for writing characters that I couldn’t help loving, and for this last “Promise.”

Buy Links


I would like to thank the publisher 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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