Saturday, June 28, 2014

SUNNY - ARC BOOK REVIEW: "The Professional" by Kresley Cole

He makes the rules…
Mafiya enforcer Aleksei “The Siberian” Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss knows no bounds, until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter, a curvy, feisty redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Aleksei will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.

Rules are made to be broken…
Grad student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the dark and breathtaking Sevastyan before the professional enforcer whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures. Every day under his protection leads her deeper under his masterful spell.

Are you ready to play?
Yet all is not as it seems. To remove Natalie from an enemy’s reach, Sevastyan spirits her into hiding. From an opulent palace in Russia to the decadent playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, the two lovers will discover that even their darkest—and most forbidden—fantasies can come true…


Natalie Porter is a Nebraska graduate student in history (I already like her as I too was grad student in women’s history). She studies hard, works hard, and is as “normal” as can be. One night she meets a mysterious stranger in a local bar, one whose vibe screams “yummy” and “danger” at the same time.  Like a fine wine she “sens[es] top notes of European – along with strong undertones of dangerous!” She is soon being whisked away to Russia to meet her birthfather, a Russian mafia boss.

Yes, there is danger and yes, there is a bit of suspense, but this story is really about the relationship between Natalie and Sevastyan.  Natalie is looking to find some balance after being knocked over and completely overwhelmed by Sevastyan.  He is both irresistible and unattainable.  He opens up new worlds to her and keeps her in the dark.  He is a study in interpolarities.

The conflict and need Natalie experiences is provocative.  There is so much tension throughout this book, I found my jaw clenching as if I were driving down the 405 Freeway on a Friday afternoon (traffic in Southern California).  Sevastyan is an anti-hero, a professional henchman (and second in command) for Natalia’s father and her personal bodyguard.  He is cynical, proud, moody and very, very, damaged, but has a capacity to love as deep as the ocean. But can he love her in the way she needs to be loved? It would be easy to wonder if this question can sustain an entire book.  Yes!  It can and Kresley Cole does it very well. 

Kresley Cole writes with humor, focusing particularly between the relationship between Natalie and her best friend, Jessica. She writes with intensity, pages brimming with sexual tension: “As I gazed up at him and sucked his thumb, his eyes darkened with possession. Deep. Brutal. Never-ending.  He regarded me like I was a trapped thing, already his to enjoy.  Never-ending.  Never-ending. Never-ending. Dear god, what had I done?   Whew, take a breath.


“I thought pleasure was only rated on a scale of one to ten, and then this guy had seductively whispered, “Didn’t you know?  The upper scale is infinity.”  It was a pleasure to read this book.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a honest review. 

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