Review: The Player

Review: The PlayerThe Player (The Game Maker, #3) by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #3
on April 12, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 334

“When you’ve been in the dark as long as I have, moy angel, there is no mistaking the light.”

FINAL DECISION:  Oh, how I ended up loving this book. The book was good until the last portion of the book which made me rethink the entire book.  I then found the book to be amazing because I was surprised and completely satisfied.  Plus, the book is really hot and sweet!

THE STORY: Victoria “Vice” Valentine comes from a long line of con-artists.  Desperate to help her family satisfy a deadly debt, Vice approaches the reclusive billionaire Dimitri Sevastyan. She intends on bilking him out of the money her family needs.  But there is something about the sexy Russian that tempts the “cold as ice” Vice to burn in ways she never suspected. Soon she is pulled between her loyalty to her family and the sweet man who seems to want only her and claims love at first sight.

OPINION:  This book didn’t end up where i expected.  I really appreciate a book that can surprise me in a good way.  This book was a 4.25 or 4.5 until the ending.  That pushed the book to a definite 5 for me!

Dimitri was a hero that I really liked.  Damaged and secretive, sexy and domineering but completely dedicated to doing anything for Vice, I loved him more than the either of the other men of the series (and they weren’t slouches). I loved how his painful past slowly was revealed. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a man who will do anything for you?  Vice, despite her best intentions, just can’t help herself.

Vice is a heroine who is herself imperfect and in fact might be more shady than the hero.  She is a con artist from a family legacy of the same. Even more, she is not repentant about her actions or those of her family.  Surprisingly, as a reader, I was rooting for these “bad guys”.  Her conscience begins to bother he as she realizes that Dimitri is a damaged but kind and caring man.  Her feelings for him begin to threaten her loyalty to her family.  The tension and conflict there works very well in this story.

Indeed, this book has beautiful pacing.  The relationship between Vice and Dimitri plays out in a winding and revealing manner.  Vice believes that she has the secrets, but Dimitri has a past filled with secrets.  As the story goes on, Dimitri’s secrets are slowly revealed to Vice and to the readers (although readers of the series will know some of the story).  I especially liked how the structure of the book reveals Dimitri’s secrets while forcing Vice to feel that she cannot reveal her own without risking the joy she is finding with Dimitri.  When the end of the book arrives, I was shocked and thrilled with the entire book.

And, oh this book is hot, hot, hot!  Vice and Dimitri just sizzle off the pages.  There is plenty of sex, but even better, it is all intertwined with deep emotional intensity which makes the book even sexier in my estimation.

This book ended up being my favorite of the series and definitely made me want to read the entire series over again.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Don’t read the spoilers for this book!  The payoff is amazing when read in context.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE PLAYER is the third book in the Game Maker series.  It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.


Review: The Master

Review: The MasterThe Master (The Game Maker, #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #2
Published by Gallery Books on February 17th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 448

Wow! A Hot Book With a Hot Russian

“Never, never, never trust another man.”

THE STORY: Catarina Marin is desperate. She has been on the run for years from her murderous husband. She needs to flee Miami and needs money to do it. She decides to agree to be a substitute escort for one night in order to make enough money to leave. Her client is Maksim Sevastyan. Maksim is a rich Russian politician and also Mafiya. Cat is nothing like the woman that Maksim ordered but she is appealing to him in ways he doesn’t expect. Their experience is more explosive than either expects and both are drawn to one another in ways that two solitary people never expected.

OPINION: I loved this book. It is hot and full of angst. Cat is a great heroine who takes control of her own life even while it is a mess. Maksim is sexy and filled with his painful past. Cat and Maksim are wonderful together as these two people who have no trust to give one anyone find something special together. This book works so well together. This book is definite erotica, but even though sex is an important and central part of this book, the relationship is never overshadowed by the graphic sexual depictions. This book worked much better as a whole than the first in the series. After finishing this book, the reader is left with the strong characters as the focus rather than the erotica. The book was filled with witty conversations and sweet emotions for two people who don’t expect it. This was a book that grabbed me from the beginning and I loved just about everything about it.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of THE PROFESSIONAL will get to attend the wedding of Aleks and Natalie.

FINAL DECISION: I loved this book and found Cat and Maksim to be a great match in every way. There was enough drama and angst and hot sex to keep the story interesting without overwhelming the romance.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE MASTER is the second book in The Game Maker series. It can be read as a standalone although characters from the first book make significant appearances here.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.



Review: The Professional

Review: The ProfessionalThe Professional (The Game Maker, #1) by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #1
Published by Simon & Schuster UK on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400

Conflicted About This One

THE STORY: Natalie Porter is a grad student in Nebraska when the search for her birth parents leads her to discover that she is the long lost daughter of a Russian Mafia leader. She discovers this when her father”s enforcer, Aleksandr Sevastyan drags her out of her ordinary life and forces her on a plane to Russia. Natalie and Sevastyan are immediately combustible together in every way. Sevastyan was sent to protect Natalie but becomes obsessed with her while fighting his attraction to her. The two are quickly engaged in a sexual BDSM relationship while Sevastyan fights the emotional connection.

OPINION: I am conflicted about this book. I wonder if the original format (being split into three ebooks) interfered somewhat with the development of the story. I loved portions of this book. The beginning was incredibly strong. I am a complete sucker for the emotionally damaged alpha hero, but the continued conflict between Natalie and Sevastyan just went on too long in a too repetitive manner for me to find this a great book. It was on the edge of that, but at about the two-thirds mark, I found myself saying “not again!” The couple would have a break through and then her hero would back away once again — over and over again. I think the story could have been pared back somewhat. At the same time, I did love the rough alpha hero who doesn’t completely reform at the end and I liked how the heroine demands to be treated as a woman with her own sexual desires and wants even when the hero wants to treat her as fragile.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is erotic romance with extensive and explicit sexual exploits including public sex so readers should be warned.

FINAL DECISION: Parts of this book I really loved and some of it was just okay for me. I ultimately recommend it because I think it is interesting.

CONNECTED BOOKS: This is the first book of the Game Maker series. The second book will feature the brother of the hero of this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.