Friday, May 9, 2014

The Professional by Kresley Cole

The Basics:
The Professional by Kresley Cole
Gallery Books
Book One in the Game Maker series
Romance, Erotica
Published May 6 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

This book was originally eserialized and I was curious about the final product.


The highly anticipated complete novel of The Professional—the first installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s scorching Game Maker series, an erotica collection that has readers asking: How hot is too hot?

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…

My thoughts:

Full confession: The first time I read through this book, I skipped back and forth.


I read a review that remarked on the general awesomeness of the erotic scenes and I Had. To. Know.

I read completely out of order the first time through, skipping to the end, working my way backwards, then forwards, then going back to exactly halfway through the book and reading forward, and then skipping back to nearly the beginning and reading forward... Yeah, really convoluted. This happens to me every now and again - usually after I've finished reading a book that unsettled/frustrated/angered me. I need to know that the next book I'm reading is going to satisfy, I guess.

Or maybe I was just curious. :P

So the end product of this method of reading is that I agreed the sex was scorching hot. Very dominant male exerting control but also wringing every last drop of pleasure from His Woman.   But I was also left feeling uneasy and uncomfortable about the relationship. There's a scene late in the book when Sevastyan exerts his control over Natalie that just... made *me* feel trapped.

Not cool. But was it a product of how I read the book?

Determined to give The Professional a fair shake, I started to re-read from the beginning (or near it, at least), albeit skipping across sections that I wasn't interested in re-reading. And I still felt a little uneasy, but not nearly as much as the first time.

There is a *lot* to like about this book, and the most obvious thing are the scorching sex scenes. Sevastyan's hyper-focus on Natalie is, usually, incredibly sexy and her willingness to try anything once results in some wickedly hot sex. I loved the way that the dominant/submissive relationship was portrayed in that sense - Sevastyan's dominance is entirely about Natalie's pleasure rather than a question of control.

I also loved that every sex scene is key to developing their relationship. Skip anything, and you're going to miss an important step in their journey (as well some really hot material!).

As for the fact that The Professional was originally released in three parts - if I didn't know this, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell. Yes, there's an obvious climax mid-way through the book, but I have no idea where the second part would have ended (if my guess for the first part is even correct).

Bottom line:

Extremely well-written erotica with a slightly obsessive romantic component that made me a little antsy. I definitely recommend this and that you don't follow my example and try to skip around to the 'good stuff' - it's almost all good stuff, read it in order for the full effect!

4 stars
For fans of BDSM, contemporary erotica

1 comment:

  1. Your review has made me very curious about this book, now I have to go out and get it lol :) Great review!