I read about authors Ashley and JaQuavis from Amazon and from patrons at the library and decided to try out some of their books. I picked up The Cartel series at work and spent my weekend emerged in the books.
The Cartel follows the Diamond family, as the patriarch, Carter Diamond, is murdered. At his funeral, Carter Diamond’s illegitimate son, Carter Jones, emerges, shocking the three younger Diamond children. Young Carter didn’t know about his father or the family’s business. Young Carter, a hustler in his own right, is convinced by Polo, his father’s right hand man, that the Diamond family needs his protection and guidance. Carter decides to stay in Miami and start a new life with his new family and lead the business.
With Big Carter gone, the Diamond family has many obstacles. For one, the children have to adjust to Young Carter. Despite never knowing about their older brother, he is an exact replica of their father. Another obstacle is Mecca Diamond. Mecca is a loose cannon who shoots first and asks questions later. His spontaneous actions affect his family and leads to several problems Carter cannot fix. One problem Mecca creates forces the Murder Mamas, a group of four contract killing women, to seek revenge against The Cartel and Mecca. However, Miamor, a member of the Murder Mamas, falls in love with Carter, and unbeknownst to her, he is a member of The Cartel and is Mecca’s brother. Is Miamor’s love for Carter stronger than her hate for Mecca?
The Cartel is full of unexpected twists and lots of drama that kept me interested and entertained. I enjoyed it so much that I went back to work on my off day to pick up books 2 and 3.
In book 2, Miamor is in the basement clinging on to life. She reflects on her personal history and the history of the Murder Mamas. Also, Carter, Mecca, and Zyir find Breeze and the truth about Miamour is revealed. Supposedly. Despite enjoying the book, I didn’t like how it ended. I felt a bit tricked after reading it.
Book 3 picks up where we left off with the Diamond family, and again, offers a few surprises. Carter is leading the family’s business and gains a new connect while in prison. Young Carter’s protegé, Zyir, mixes business with pleasure, which results in another war The Cartel cannot win.
Book 3 was rather sad and depressing and left me asking how much is a person supposed to endure? I also didn’t think certain characters or storylines were relevant, and I skipped many of their scenes. The unnecessary characters didn’t add to the story.
In short, The Cartel series is highly entertaining with its many twists and surprising revelations. Book 1 is the best in the series, but the others are likable, as well. There are many editing and spelling errors. I am awaiting the release of The Cartel book 4 in October to see what will happen with the Diamond family and The Cartel.