Series: The Game Maker, Book 1, Part 1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Erotica
Buy it here: Audible | iTunes
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...
As a fan of Kresley Cole’s paranormal Immortals After Dark series, I was eager to see this talented author tackle contemporary erotica. The Professional: Part 1 shows promise, though ultimately it’s not as imaginative or sexy as I’d hoped given the author (to clarify: the scenes are more explicit, but to this reader they were less sexy than what can be found in other books of Ms. Cole’s). The beginning of The Professional: Part 1 falls victim to post-Fifty Shades of Grey erotica commonalities: the post-grad virgin BDSM novice, the suited, wealthy, mysterious Dom, the push-pull relationship because “he’s not for her,” and more. That being said, the story picked up about halfway through and stays strong until its abrupt end (it’s not really a cliffhanger so much as a chopping point for this serial).
What worked for me in The Professional: Part 1 was Natalie and Sevastyan’s developing chemistry. Natalie is a sass-master who gets under Sevastyan’s skin, but giving in to their desire for one another isn’t a simple matter given Sevastyan’s role in Natalie’s father’s organization. How Natalie and Sevastyan will handle this is something that remains to be seen, but I’m intrigued. A bigger question mark is Sevastyan himself. Much of what we learn about his personality is dependent on what Natalie overhears him muttering, so I hope more layers are peeled back as we go on.
On its own, The Professional: Part 1 is a bit of hit and miss for me. I’ve come to expect a certain degree of originality from Ms. Cole which wasn’t really there in this book. However, as this is only the first part of The Professional, I’ll keep reading in the hopes that the story continues to improve.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.