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REVIEW: “The Flesh Cartel #17: Boxed In” by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau



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.


***Note: The last reviews for this series will be brief. There is so much in this last season that cannot be talked about without spoiling and I refuse to do that. Just know, for me, this journey with Mat and Dougie – as hard as it was at times and yes including the ones where I thought I wouldn’t make it – were worth it. It was all worth it.
These titles! They kill me. Boxed In? Yeah boys you are. Ugh. This episode was all about Mat, Dougie and Nate. Now, I know I said I don’t do spoilers, and I don’t but having come this far along with the series, folks are usually curious about it or have read it already. Either way I have to get this out to even review this episode and the ones that follow; the boys are free. They are no longer with Nikolai and with the help Nate and a couple boys I adored seeing pop up in this series, no longer on the island and away from Allen. But where do they go from here?
Dougie, you are so confused and I hurt for you though I wanted to again, smack you a few times. How can you say the things you do to your brother who risked everything to save you because he gave you his word? After what he lost with Nate? I get it, you are still Douglas but this was almost harder to read than your transformation into a Petrovic.

He wasn’t Nikolai’s boy anymore. That world was gone, and Douglas with it. He wanted Mat to leave him alone to his misery, leave him like everyone else had, like he surely would eventually when he figured out he was good for nothing anymore. He wanted Mat to just get it the fuck over with.

He wanted Mat to never leave again.

Poor lost Dougie. You thought you found love. You thought you found the place where you belonged and it was awful. Such terrible things were done to you and I… I don’t know what you will do. *sigh*

So the cartel is being dealt with by the proper authorities and the boys are free, well free is a relative word. The boys are not prisoners anymore, but they can’t be out and about and are taken to a group home with the rest of the slaves and oh boy. Dougie has become Doug and is making new “friends” the only way he knows how while Mat is trying to keep it together and Nate is trying to figure out what he is supposed to do after that deal at Allen’s?

Once the boys are out and in Witness Protection, they have to figure out how to become brothers again, a new type of brothers, but how do you hug your little brother after he raped you? Regardless of why it was done, it was done. I want so badly for Mat and Dougie to just be okay. That has been the chant in my heart through this series, the want for them to be okay. I can’t let that hope die. I just hope that this can be put in the past and they can get over it and find new lives and a new way to be half of what they were.

Now, let me take a moment to profess my forever love and devotion for all that is Agent Nate Johnson. Yeah, the end of this one had me sobbing in the fetal position in my bed. This time it was out of pure and hopeless romantic emotion. Yes, you read that right. There are these raw moments between Mat and Nate that make everything; from the cleaning up of bowls full of one’s own release, the release being milked out of a boy, the rapes, the torture, the lives lost and just the horrific things that were done in this series – so damn worth it. The raw, intimate and intense moments between Nate and Mat made me hug my Nook and know that I made the right decision to never give up on these boys.

Now my Nate is the ultimate of everything that a man can be. To know his crush on Mat, to know what he did before their house was taken while they were “missing,” to know what he gave up and gave to Mat and know what he gives to him at the end of this episode? Nate, I am in love with you and I know you don’t like girls that way but I don’t care. I love you.

Have I mentioned how good this series is? I never expected that I would get to episode 17 and end up in love. Some may find that odd to hear, but this has been such a ride and through the darkness there was always a glimmer of light and hope that everything would be okay for the Carmichael boys. It had to be okay. It has to be okay, right? There are only two episodes left. How do they end this and make everyone even, semi okay? Ugh. Please let them be okay.




FC5E17_BoxedIn_500x750Title: The Flesh Cartel, #17: Boxed In
Author: Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages: 58
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Purchase Links: Riptide, B&N, Amazon

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2014 by in Dark & Twisted, Reviewer: Sara and tagged , , , , .

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