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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Wheels Up by Jeanine Kitchel promises to deliver an adventure about drugs, cartels and survival – and it does. It does not mention on the cover, and is left to the curious and immediately hooked reader to discover that it also comes embellished with compelling and interesting characters – prominent of which is Layla, the new female head of a dominant Mexican cartel, a headstrong, independent, and strangely principled young woman – and a wonderful array of exotic and mostly Yucatan-based locales, with enough adventure packed into its fast-moving pages to satisfy the most ravenous armchair thrill-seeker. The book begins with a drug-loaded airplane crash into the jungle and never relinquishes its momentum after that.
Layla Navarro, the Latina heroine (ironic word) of Jeanine Kitchel’s intensely engaging, drug-based escapade, Wheels Up, is a uniquely likable if questionable example of a powerfully ambitious woman determined to take her rightful place at the top of a very dangerous food chain. She is equally intimidating and attractive to the men conscripted to protect her, and to those most determined to liquidate her with supreme prejudice. Goaded to the limits of her already rather compromised ethics through the discovery of human trafficking by her so-called business partners, Layla seeks vengeance for the deaths of her beloved bodyguard and the young Mexican girl she meant to save. This is where the fun, or rather the race for survival, begins. Ms. Kitchel gives the avid reader no further chance to breathe as she narrows her exciting plot down to its final, deadly confrontation. No spoilers here. Get your own self hooked.