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Dubious

The Loan Shark Duet, Book 1
Written by: Charmaine Pauls
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary

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Publisher's Summary

A dark mafia romance 

I'm a loan shark. Breaking people is in my blood. The Haynes were supposed to be a straightforward job. Go in and pull the trigger twice. One bullet for Charlie, one for his sister. But when I saw Valentina, I wanted her. Only, in our world, those who owe us don't get second chances. No way in hell will my mother let her live. So I devised a plan to keep her. 

It's depraved.
It's immoral.
It's dubious. 

It's perfect.
Just like her. 

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Charmaine Pauls (P)2019 Charmaine Pauls

Critic Reviews

"Perversely hot, gritty, and richly textured, Valentina and Gabriel's story is one of the best dark romances I've read." (Anna Zaires, New York Times best-selling author of Twist Me)

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What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D2niteowl
  • 26-09-19

Loved This Book

Charmaine is now one of my new faves. I've read now 2 of her books due to a suggestion of one my favorite authors Anna Zaires. How right she was. AMAZING!!!! This book had so many levels of wow I couldn't contain it. It keeps getting deeper and deeper and before you know it 8 hours have past and the book ends. Ugh I want more. Good thing for me it's a duet. Thank you for selecting great narrators. They were completely appropriate and brought the book to life. I am now off to the next book in the series! If you don't read/listen to this book, you are missing out!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cathy Alexander
  • 31-07-19

Dark and Delisious!

Not a book to listen to in the car on the way to work, best to stay home....This book is dark, steamy, and has all the good stuff. Ready for book 2.

3 people found this helpful

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  • V from Kansas
  • 21-10-19

I’m sure glad I live in the USA!

First, let me start by admitting that, if this an accurate description of South Africa, I admit I have been ignorant. South Africa sounds like Hell on earth. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am blissfully happy to be a blissfully ignorant American.

Part one of this book is very good. Yes, it is very Dark but, you can see the goodness, beneath the surface, of the Hero. The poor Heroine can’t catch a break. This book is suspenseful and touching. I admit I shed tears more than once. Unfortunately, book two was a let down, after experiencing book one. Book two just didn’t touch me like book one and it let me down. With that being said, you have to buy book two to learn the answers to the questions that arise in book one. Book one is included in the Escape Package but, book two is not. Therefore, one credit for a story this long, isn’t a bad buy!
-V from Kansas

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lily
  • 22-09-19

I want more Valentina and Gabriel!!!!

This is my third time reading/listening to this book, I fall in love with them each time, and I never wanted their story to end. I absolutely loved both narrators' voices, they were the perfect Gabriel and Valentina for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • leah
  • 15-07-19

WORTH THE CREDIT

I am only upset it's a cliff hanger... which means I will forget how good it was by the time the second half comes around. So toss the hands in the air and forget about it and make you your own happy ever after.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 4The❤️OfBooks
  • 25-09-19

Great Story!

This was a great story. I liked the love Valentina has for her brother Charlie and the length she is willing to go to protect and keep him safe. Valentina was forced to take care of her brother at a young age. It was a little unbelievable that a loan shark would let a disabled person rack of an outrageous amount in debt. This ends with a OMG cliff-hanger and I'm on pins and needles needing to know what's going to happen next. Narrators did a good job.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tayboobear
  • 26-09-19

This book is racist.

Shit. I was kind of enjoying this book until the racist undertones couldn’t be ignored or excused anymore and became racial overtones.

Good hardworking white girl who’s mommy and daddy bought their flat outright before all the evil darkies moved into the neighborhood and riddled it with their crime disease.

The scales of good to evil are measured by skin tones: the heroine being the lightest skinned, the Hero is slightly tanned.. the rapists and street scum are black.

I just.. can’t. I don’t see why the author needed to do this. She ruined what would have otherwise been an enjoyable read. Instead! No more Charmaine for me #boycott

Brooooo she even sat at the front of the bussss to avoid the black people 🤦‍♀️

The female narrator.. It’s like I can hear the saliva in her mouth and it makes me uncomfortable but I could power through.

The male? Ugh. I don’t even have the energy to comment on his fully. One word of advice would be that; you don’t have to alter your voice so much for dialogue when it’s a first person POV. Your narration is already supposed to be that voice!

10 people found this helpful

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  • sherri hein
  • 11-02-20

A dark romance.

you have to ok with spankings and rough sex. Submissive and dominant relationship. It was a bit hard for me to take at times. But somehow it just kept me hooked. Not my normal read at all. BUUTTT......All in all it was a very good book

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  • LoAnn
  • 27-12-19

ORIGINALLY CAPTIVE-ATING!!!!

Holy. Forking. Shirt!!!!

This is such a captivating Mafia story!
I'm so entraweld in their individual dilemmas and drama!
Everything about this story is original.
LOVING IT!!!

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  • Mary Hobbie
  • 20-12-19

The male narration .......

The narration for the main character Gabrial was just horrible, in my opinion. When it was in Valentina's voice, it was ridiculous, unpleasing, no emotion. When it was Gabriel speaking directly he sounded like a wooden statue trying to read. But when we heard Gabriel's thoughts or inner emotions, he was so much more human like. I know you are probably thinking he needed to be portrayed like that to make his character seem real, but it isn't work for me. "Hello beautiful" might have been saying "hello cement".

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  • jo bro
  • 11-07-19

just wow

I have read the book and absolutely loved it but listening to this bought it to life like I never imagined.
At first i was not sure of the south african accent,I expected it to be stronger but in fact I loved it. It is surprising what your mind expects but can get used to.
The story, Valentina is struggling to make ends meet,to maintain her studies and to keep herself and her brother safe.
Her brother owes money to the local loan shark and she becomes property.
What follows is a blend of Stockholm syndrome, survival and lust with the consequences of not achieving this threatening the lives of Valentina and her brother.
Beware there is a cliff hanger but I can't wait for the next book

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  • Amanda panda
  • 24-09-19

Excellent story

Excellent story and narrators. You could really sense the hopelessness, and then sheer determination of the characters. It was a cliff hanger, but I was very thankful that I had only just discovered the series and book 2 was available!
Can’t wait to read more!