I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This erotic romance that was published by Simon and Schuster on May 6, 2014 and has 400 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author include If You Dare, The Captain of All Pleasures, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, Dark Needs at Night's Edge
First in the Game Maker erotic romantic suspense series. The couple focus is on Natalie Porter and Aleksandr Sevastyan.
This is the entire story for this installment.
Cole started with a metaphysical bang as she introduced Natalie Porter and her reputation for accurately sizing up men with a look. It’s Natalie’s desire to find her biological parents that sets this off. Only it leads to a lot more than Natalie could have ever expected.
While Natalie’s reluctance (!) was quite realistic in the “kidnap” scene, I would have liked to have seen more conflict, more protesting warring against her desire. And I’d like to know why Sevastyan doesn’t take a few minutes out to explain the danger? I mean, hullo, it would have to have been faster than battling with her! Then again, I suppose this is more dramatic for the story. I did enjoy how forceful Sevastyan is, lol. I also enjoyed that escape attempt…*more laughter*…
Mmm, I do like Nat’s analytical mind and her contemporary responses! She certainly makes some interesting discoveries about herself in this sexual battle between them. For a skeptical virgin, Natalie is well-informed and not shy…with a lot of sexual desire.
I did like Nat’s dad when we meet. For ahttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22471007-the-master mafiya boss, he seems…scrupulous, loyal, and absolutely charming. I’m in love with him myself. And I do love the description of this former tsar’s palace — gold chains and white tigers notwithstanding. The relationship Nat has with her dad will make you cry for joy. He’s so thrilled to have found his daughter, and she’s so happy to meet him, get to know him.
I love that line about Sevastyan being excited about gaining a “sister” but then he saw her…and he’s so honorable. Then you learn what his childhood was like…heartbreaking. And later we learn even more which will make you fall completely apart.
“Shame is more painful than blows” sums up Sevastyan’s approach to life.
A sad history of extortion for protection. I never thought of it as a type of insurance before, at least the way Cole presents it. Or as Koralev explains it.
Sevastyan is a primitive and secretive man with a horrible past. It’s impressive the man he’s turned out to be. That bruise thing though, he’s never seen a bruise as a result of his desires??
Naturally, there are problems with being part of a mafiya family as Nat learns when her father explains the “plighting” part of their culture. It certainly throws a nasty twist in, and any American woman would have issues with that. Nor do I get why it’s so important to force Natalie. What is with these guys who expect a woman to know all their customs within a few weeks?!? Argh! And Nat has excellent reasons for being careful! Jerks! Although, I must confess, I do enjoy the boot being on the other foot, lol, since Nat’s only in it for the sex…*grin*…
Events in this will arouse you and make you laugh and cry. You’ll cry so hard…that last line in Kovalev’s letter…just makes you cry even more. More cry-worthy scenes include the moment Nat realizes Sevastyan isn’t going to change, and she won’t accept his shutting her out in this classic miscommunication. It adds a nice bit of tension which I enjoyed. And it’s all this fierce determination of loyalty, love, and respect.
Oh wow, oh wow, I love this! Guys, READ this. Think about it. Take it to heart. This is what women want!
“Because you listened to me. … You’re trying, and it gives me hope about our future.”
Cole overwhelms me with these sweet insights…the bit when Natalie realizes how concerned this big tough guy is with getting it right. The first time Paxán calls him Son. The back history we learn about Sevastyan including his introduction to his kink…and his interpretation of what he sees makes it so very sad. Then there are the realistic insights as when Nat realizes he expects her to do all the adjusting, doesn’t let her in, her need to be an equal partner, I can (and can’t) believe that Sevastyan would do this. That he’d help Nat out of her father’s business but still pull her into it. Without even talking to her!
The despair she feels that they only connect via sex, which seems a little hypocritical since she was the one who set the initial boundaries.
Some of my niggles include Sevastyan’s reasoning about Mom’s or Jess’ safety. What would it matter where Nat was? Then there’s Sevastyan insisting that Maksim wants him to suffer. If he did, then why is he helping him with Kovalev’s business?
Yeah, they’re minor complaints, and I am looking forward to The Master. Should be very interesting, and I’m betting it will focus on not-enough-men-on-this-earth Jess…
An orphan, Natalie’s reputation for analyzing men comes to an abrupt halt when she casts her eye on the dangerous looking man who just came in the bar. Jess’ encouragement to take that first step seems to spark events when he kidnaps her out of her bathtub.
Natalie Porter is a hardworking virgin with a hobby as a manalyst. She’s pursuing her history PhD while she looks for her biological parents. She started after her adoptive father, Bill Porter, died. Her widowed mom has recently remarried and, well, friction exists. Jessica is a self-professed slut from a wealthy family, and she’ll crack you up with her approach to life. She’s also Nat’s best friend, and they share the Bunghole together — a cottage Jess’ parents bought for her. Polly is one of their friends.
Aleksandr Sevastyan, a.k.a., the Siberian, is Nat’s father’s second-in-command, his enforcer, and Natalie’s assigned bodyguard.
Pavel Kovalev, a.k.a., the Clockmaker, is Nat’s biological father; seems clockmaking was the family business before he had to jump into the protection racket. He’s part of the Bratva and is a Russian vor v zakome. Elena Petrovna Andropova was Nat’s mother. Filip Liukin is Nat’s cousin. And Sevastyan hates him. Yuri, Boris, Kirill, Caleb, and Gleb are some of her father’s brigadiers. Olga and Inya are a couple of long-term girlfriends.
Ivan Travkin is Koralev’s rival, trying to move in on his territory. Maksim is Roman Sevastyan‘s younger brother, a politician, while Dimitri, the youngest brother, is CEO of some company. Zirnoff is an unscrupulous investigator.
Paxán translates out as a blend of Godfather and old man. Jess’ ABC plan — Always Be Crazier — has some good points to it.
The Cover and Title
The cover sums it up with a cocky looking Sevastyan kicking back in an easy chair, a drink in his hand.
The title is all Sevastyan, because he is The Professional in every way.