This was a cut and clear mafia romance novel. It had all the basics, including rules, punishments and illegal activities. I assume those elements are for those who have yet to read a novel of this genre. I wasn't a fan of the parts used to explain the Bratva, but I guess it was a necessary evil for clarification. It just came off robotic.
I liked the characters, story line and development. The characters were each unique and not the set your frequently see in a mob romance; There were two worlds that rarely crossed and I loved the individuality each world possess. Everyone has their issues and other character's problems were highlighted while we wait for the big reveals.
This story hit the ground running and had me interested and hanging on to every word, which is hard, with the amount of grammatical and spelling errors in my copy. It lost momentum occasionally, but for the most part, it was on track and fluid. Time moved and with it, interest, decisions and feelings. Change came with each chapter.
I can't see Mishca as a Bratva Captain. He came off as a regular business man looking for love and I appreciate that there was no insta-love and dirty talk, as they took the time to know each other and slowly acclimate to each other's worlds. Mishca was fierce, loyal, witty and quite the romantic when given the chance. I could ask for more from the semi-sex scenes, but otherwise, it good in a familiar sense. They came off as a married couple of 10 years and I hope they get that.
Even abiding by the rules of the Vory v Zakone, this story had some rules of it's own, so don't expect the heroine to fall in love with the bad guy and forsake all others. Lauren has a head on her shoulders and quite the support system, plus revenge runs thick in this girl blood. She's fierce and I love that she doesn't cower and throw fits, she stands up for what she believes and want and isn't afraid to investigate if necessary. Turn a blind eye is not this one!
The criminal aspects of this novel weren't highlighted in detail like most, time was spent fighting within the family over matters blood than they did guns, drugs or women. Don't be mistaken though, there was still death, as well as, respect, hierarchy and a whole lot of Maury drama! Even if it was October 2013, I wouldn't say I hate the cliffhanger ending, but it's April 2014 and I already have book two queued up :)
The ending of this novel sets you up for a storm of possibilities. I like Alex and I hate that she had to get hurt in the crossfire, but I love that it didn't deter Lauren in her revenge.
It's not flashy or as heavy as I expected. This is a romance story about two strangers meeting in a coffee shop with ties from their past that bind them in ways that are bound to cost unrest. Filled with the basics of a Russian mob romance, it adds it's own flair and take you on a crazy ride. Get your Google translate out and give this novel a try. It won't have you at the end of your seat, but it's another comfort read for a rainy, romantic, mystery filled afternoon.