Claimed and cherished by Houston’s most ruthless mob boss, artist Vivian Kalasnikov embraces her new position as Nikolai’s wife and the lonely, dangerous role as queen of Houston’s underworld. But Nikolai is keeping secrets from her, and the whispers of a coming street war leave her terrified for the man she so passionately loves—and the tiny life growing inside her.
Nikolai finally has everything he’s ever wanted—power, wealth and a family with Vivian, the beautiful sun who lights up his dark life. But as his young wife prepares for her debut on the international art stage, he finds himself drawn into a bloody conflict that threatens the quiet life he’s painstakingly built. He can feel the promise of his future happiness slipping through his fingers like grains of sand.
One wrong move, and he’ll lose Vivian and his child forever. One wrong move, and he won’t see another sunrise.
The sins of their fathers have come back to haunt Vivian and Nikolai. To protect his beloved wife and his heir, he’ll do absolutely anything. The brutal gangster who violently conquered the streets of Moscow and Houston is about to be unleashed—and Houston’s underworld will never be the same again.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
I am literally in love with Roxie Rivera’s HER RUSSIAN PROTECTOR books, which have fast become one of my favourite series. In this installment the focus is back on Nikolai, the Russian mobster, and his new wife, Vivian. They are both dealing with the aftermath of the previous books with rival gangs vying for control in Houston, as well as a new baby on the way. Nikolai is really worried about Vivian’s safety in the midst of rising tension and is extra vigilant, especially in the escalating danger of an all out gang war exploding. Nikolai finds himself inadvertently pushing Vivian away, who is starting to fear that their relationship may be damaged by his distance.
Things really come to a head with this entry to the series with a lot of previous plot threads tied up along with several new ones created. I loved how Roxie Rivera has created an intricate ongoing plot that really revs up the action as well as the ongoing story arc. The evolution of the romance between Vivian and Nikolai’s also heats up and deepens despite the fact that they’re facing obstacles. I loved that even though they had problems, and Nikolai made a few mistakes, they learned to overcome their issues, which made them a stronger couple and a compelling force. This was an important book which shakes things up in the underworld as well as setting up a new direction, which I eagerly await to see in what happens next. I also loved the new characters who were introduced such as Ten, and revisiting old favourites. But I highly recommend you start from the first book, Ivan, and continue on because this is a series that gets better and better. Rivera has a great gift in incorporating intertwining plot threads and fantastic romances that sucks you in.
I give Nikolai, Volume 2 a B+
***New Adult Dark Erotic Novel***
Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.
I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.
Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.
My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.
WARNING: This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Like the blurb says, this is a capture fantasy romance and it is pretty dark. I don’t usually go for this type of book because I am not a huge fan of forced seduction and dark romance, although I do love my anti-heroes. Nonetheless, because I really enjoyed Anna Zaires’ Krinar trilogy, I was curious on how she would tackle this trope which is usually a huge miss for me. But overall I enjoyed it which surprised me because it reminded me of old skool romances with heroes who become obsessed with their heroines, and that is the crack factor for me for an entertaining book.
Julian spies Nora at a bar and from that point becomes obsessed with her. And soon after her high school graduation, he then abducts her after a date with her crush because Julian can’t bear the thought of anyone being with Nora. Julian is also an arms dealer and has a secret island paradise where he keeps her imprisoned. Nora, despite her fear and reluctance, is drawn to Julian even though she knows what is happening is wrong.
Anna Zaires made this element work for me and I usually am leery about any kind of forced or dubious consent in a romance. It really felt like reading an old skool romance with the way things were set up and maybe that is why I felt this worked compared to other books with the same vein. I also enjoyed the crackaclious components with the dark and obsessive hero, and the innocent heroine trope. I liked that Nora was smart and she did fight back in her own way, even though she was engulfed with her feelings towards Julian at the end of the book and it was hard to break out of his hold. But I found myself hoping they could find a way to make things work and that is to the strength of Zaires’ writing. Overall, this may not be a book for everyone but if you love dark anti-heroes with an obsessive edge and a dark undertone this is definitely a book for you!
I give TWIST ME a B!