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Monday, December 23, 2013

REVIEW: "The Professional--Part One" by Kresley Cole

The Professional: Part 1 (The Game Maker, #1)
The Professional--Part One by Kresley Cole
For Ages 18+
Contemporary Romance -- Erotica
Pocket Star -- December 16, 2013
Ebook, 120 pages
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
First Person Narrative, Novella, Alpha Hero  

SUMMARY
He makes the rules . . .
Mafiya enforcer Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Sevastyan will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.

Rules are made to be broken . . .
PhD student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the breathtakingly gorgeous Sevastyan before the professional hit man whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures. With every day she spends under his protection, she falls 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…


FIRST LINE
"Mommy issues.  Serial cheater.  Humor void.  Two-pump chump."  With each guy who entered the campus bar, I ticked off my initial impressions to my drunken friends."

MY THOUGHTS
While I don't mind a little steam in my contemporary romance, erotica has never been a genre that I have sought out.  But, when I heard that Kresley Cole (of Immortals After Dark fame) was trying her hand at the genre, I knew I had to try it.  And, despite some issues, I enjoyed The Professional: Part One.  It had many things that I have come to associate with a Cole book such as an alpha hero with a damaged past, a strong-willed heroine who gives as much as she gets, and plenty of chemistry between the two.

The protagonist and narrator of this series is Natalie Porter, a graduate student who has been trying to find out the identity of her birth parents.  She had a decent childhood, but has always wanted to know more about her mother and father over in Russia.  Things get complicated when her search reveals that she is the daughter of a Russian mafiya boss and that her birth father has sent his loyal enforcer to help Natalie travel to Russia in safety for their first meeting.

I found Natalie to be a likable narrator, if a little too perfect at times.  She is very intelligent and sarcastic which makes for some entertaining side comments about the unique situation she has found herself in.  Speaking of the situation, I thought Ms. Cole did a decent job of showing how someone with Natalie's temperament would react to such news.  She did not automatically believe everything she was told which I thought was very refreshing and says a lot about her.  There were times where I wish Natalie had some darker parts of her personality, but that is a fairly minor quibble.

The male protagonist is enforcer, Aleksandr Sevastyan, who is extremely loyal to Natalie's father.  This loyalty is tested when he meets Natalie and begins falling for her.  Like many heroes in this genre, it is obvious that there is a lot of mystery associated with Sevastyan and most of the answers are not given in this first installment.  But, I did find him to be sexy, intelligent, and pretty sensitive to others' feelings and I look forward to learning more about him.

Because this is only the first part in a three-part book, there isn't a ton of relationship development between Natalie and Sevastyan beyond the initial lust.  They do spend some time talking to each other, but not much at this stage.  But, the physical scenes between them are scorching and very well-written.

All in all, I thought The Professional: Part One was a good introduction to what I think will be a suspenseful and sexy story.  It is short (in terms of page length), but there is quite a bit of substance present.  I am definitely going to check out the next installment when it is released.

I received a free e-copy of this book from Pocket Star through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



3.5 STARS

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