— BLURB —
Come to the United States, they said.
Freedom and endless opportunities for all, they said.
So we did—made the ninety-mile trek overseas from Havana to Key West.
What they didn’t tell us was how hard these supposed opportunities would be to obtain when you’re an illegal alien. A fact that forced both my brother and I onto a dark path in an effort to help our family.
The difference between Tommy and I?
He didn’t get caught.
Now, I’m paying the price, rotting away at the hands of the judicial system, facing possible deportation after serving my time. Can’t get worse, right?
Enter Andrés Bala—the new C.O. at the Annex who fits the tall, dark, and handsome
stereotype to the T. It’s clear the man wants me and I don’t understand why.
I’m a criminal, he strives for justice, and after a sneaky, whirlwind affair, he vows to wait for me.
What he doesn’t understand?
I’m la Jefa, and once I’m freed from my cage, I’m coming back for one thing and one thing only… Retribution.
The Upper Echelon may belong to the illusive, faceless Arcángel, but he seems to have
forgotten I’m not a pendeja.
He can run, he can hide, but his blood will be mine—even if it gets me locked up for life
after it’s all said and done.
— MY REVIEW —
Ooh boy. This was one wild ride! And all I can say now is… I needs me the second book, asap!! 🙏🙏🙏 This, chicos and chicas is how world-building, character growth, build-up and overall story development is done! *mic drop*🎤
Right off the bat, it read like I was reading a script for a brand spanking new, completely bad-ass mafia drama show. I kid you not — the way Dee Garcia has written this story I could instantly picture it like it was happening right in front of me.
Hey, TV execs, where you at?
This is my first book ever from Dee Garcia, but I am kicking myself for not having read any of her books previous to this one. But hey… if you’re like me who hasn’t read anything of hers, then Birdy is not a bad place to start! 😉
I’ve read a handful of five star rated books this year, but there’s something so uniquely quintessential about this one that’s making it stand out just a smidge more from the rest.
Maybe, like I said earlier that it read like it was made for screen and it’s so visually appealing.
Maybe it’s because Birdy (aka Benni) is someone I effortlessly related with instantly in the sense of family dynamics, that strong family bond and upbringing. Oh and then there’s her attitude to boot!
Or maybe the fact that it oozes such strong culture due to Birdy’s Cuban heritage, and the Spanish that organically flows out midst thoughts and conversations throughout the entire book. I’m not Cuban. I’m Filipina, who has.. who knows how much Spanish in her blood (probably 0.001%) but nevertheless grew up with a similar background and dynamics, and seeing how Birdy was with her family was just something that I could totally relate with.
Whatever the reason, all I know is I connected, I was hooked, and I was 100% invested in her story.
“My mama didn’t raise no pendeja, and if they think I’m going to be an easy target as fresh meat, they’re in for one hell of a rude awakening. I’ll run that fucking block like I ran those goddamn streets.
La Jefa bows to no one.”
Birdy is probably one of the most fiercest female fictional characters I’ve ever encountered in a contemporary setting, albeit dark, but still very much present day setting. She first comes onto the scene seemingly confident, sure of herself and stubborn as hell. But as the story develops you see a lot more of her vulnerability and emotion that she tries so hard to hide from others in order to protect herself. There’s such a likability about her despite the things she does in this book that clearly goes against one’s good moral compass.
Call me just a little evil, but I love characters who go through struggles, grow from their experiences and come through to the other side having some kind of progression in their lives and their character. But I also love those characters who have certain traits that never change no matter what they’ve gone through in their lives. In Birdy’s case, it was her sass. She was sassy before everything went down, and she stayed hella sassy all throughout her years in prison.
That sass also added some lightheartedness into an otherwise dank and bleary atmosphere that most of Birdy’s story dwells in. Add in some colourful secondary characters with attitudes and unique personalities of their own and you can call this a telenovela meets Prisonbreak: Bitch Edition. And I’m saying this all from love! 😜 The ladies that’s imprisoned along with Birdy are craaaay (not doubt about that) but just as easily relatable, just as lovable, and just as resilient. They all have their stories and they’re trying to survive each day in that concrete box.
If you like a bit of girl power in your reads, then you have it in spades with this one.
This book is told from multiple POVs, in a first person narrative. No matter which point of view you’re reading, you’ll not only see the story line develop further, but you get snippets into these protagonists’ inner workings. But the peculiar thing? As much as you read about these characters thoughts at the present time, you don’t actually get their motive in its entirety. Both Ángel and Andrés play prominent roles in Birdy’s life yet anything outside concerning Birdy is a mystery. I only hope that that will all change in the next book.
Now you’re probably wondering… You have Birdy. Then there’s Ángel. And then there’s Andrés. Are we sniffing a love triangle here??
Well, you’d be sniffing right! And like any good, juicy love triangle… there’s always one you’re gonna like a little more than the other. Problem in this case? Both Ángel and Andrés are just too damn addictive that depending on who’s POV you’re reading at the time, you’ll be swooning over that character. Ay! It’s tough. 😅 I tell ya, Birdy is one lucky chicky (excuse the pun).
Besides the crazy inmates with Birdy, Dee Garcia has also written her two leading men with such different auras, that there’s no way you’d be confusing one with the other. They’re written in almost as if they’re black and white. Good vs Evil. Angel vs Devil. You get my gist. They’re opposites. And the only thing they have in common is their want for Birdy.
You see the constant struggle Birdy goes through having fallen for these two and the consequences of it all. And having to juggle that with the problems she’s left behind before she went into imprisonment.
“I don’t trust him, either.
Not with my heart.
He has a piece of it already, and I didn’t even give it to him willingly. He took it like he takes everything else.”
I’m not big on love triangles in my romance reads. So why did I read this one? Because I completely missed the (very obvious) flashing neon sign mentioning of two different male leads when I read the blurb! 🤦♀️ I was too preoccupied with Birdy being La Jefa and getting caught to link her to two different men. LOL. But after having read this book, I’m not at all regretting having to read through a love triangle. The story, in opinion was so well executed that if I did find fault (which I didn’t), I still wouldn’t have rated it lower.
There was so much happening in this book, yet it was consistent in its plot development. The story gradually evolved, with a constant buildup and edge of your seat moments. The world Dee Garcia has created is full and rich with detail and ambiance. I can’t pinpoint just one highlight in this book because there were just so many good aspects.
- Her friendships with the ladies in prison. It’s strong and loyal, and everything you wish to have in any friend.
- Her family. I don’t want to say any spoilers but just know I teared up in one particular scene. Not gonna lie, at the time I was reading it I was a little miffed with Dee having wrote that scene in, but now I’ve had time to let it all sink in and just accept it. *mumbles* But why, Dee?! 🙈
- Then, there’s of course the swooniness.. *waggles eyebrows* So much fangirling, and squealing. This, chicas… is what will keep you reading all night. The romance. The desperation for contact. The feels.
I can on hope and pray this level of superior story telling continues well into the second book!
“We were risking too much for stolen moments that were never supposed to be.”
If you enjoy story lines that are on the heavy side of family, full of angst, suspense, some unpredictability, with romance dripped in drama, then you gotta get on board with Birdy. It doesn’t disappoint. This is full adult romance, sexual content and all! It is one part of a duet… so it does end on a cliffhanger. Although a fairly well-concluded ending where you’re not left with your hands in the air, screaming “Why, Dios, why!?” But it will leave you sighing — so bear that in mind!
Oh and I can’t forget… if you have a fondness for love triangles, and possibly getting second lead syndrome, then that’s another reason to read this one!
Thank you to Dee Garcia and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy! 💛
—ABOUT THE AUTHOR —
Self-published dark romance author Dee Garcia was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
A voracious fan of romance novels and long time lover of the written word, her mission is to craft unique, compelling, and deliciously dark stories that will give her readers a thrilling escape from the monotony of everyday reality. With fierce, headstrong heroines and sinful, possessive Alpha males weaved into her rousing tales, Dee hopes to leave her mark on the Indie world, one decadent plot twist at a time.
Follow her on her social media!
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Thank you for reading, guys! Hope you liked it 😊 Catch you in my next one! Xo