Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Stockholm syndrome or Love?
When you want someone completely wrong for you…
Luke Whitford has always dreamed of meeting Mr. Right. A hopeless romantic at heart, he dreams of falling in love with a nice man, getting married, and having a bunch of adorable babies. The problem is, Luke has the propensity for being attracted to men who are anything but nice.
Roman Demidov, a homophobic, cynical billionaire who has a grudge against Luke’s father, is certainly not Mr. Right. Cold, manipulative, and ruthless, he’s not a nice man and he doesn’t pretend to be.
Luke is fully aware that Roman is all wrong for him. His attraction to the guy is just some sort of Stockholm syndrome; it must be. If life were a fairy tale, Roman would be the main villain, not the hero. But even villains can fall in love. Or can they?
The story of a boy who dreamed of Prince Charming and ended up falling for the Beast.
Can I start by saying up front that I absolutely love this series. It’s one of the few that when a new book comes out, I absolutely must read it right away. Like the first day if possible. I was especially looking forward to this book after the teaser leading into it at the end of book five. And enjoyed this story. I really did. But I was also disappointed for several reasons.
The set up for from the last book had seemed to promise something dark, and as I began to read I could see so much potential here to be that dark and angsty read I’d been hoping for–but it really didn’t go that way. In fact, it was rather fluffy and sweet. That disappointed me–I’d been looking forward to going a bit dark. Also disappointing was that it seemed to lack that raw, hot sexual tension that the series usually delivers for me.
I believe both are related to the way some key elements are glossed over and just “told” rather than actually being seen on page. For example, when Luke is first kidnapped, he is beaten and mistreated by Roman’s people… but we don’t get to see that. He simply tells us after. Why!? Living through that with him could have made the story so much more raw, visceral, and lent that hint of darkness that I’d been expecting, and thus longed for!
As for the characters, I liked Luke from the other stories, and enjoyed how he finally discovered who he was and became the person he’d suppressed. Roman was interesting and a good match to him. However, I felt like there could have been more development. For instance, Luke tells us he acts very submissive in order to pull Roman from dark moods, but I wanted to see that rather than have him tell me. And we are told repeatedly that Roman is a bad guy, but yet we are never really shown that by his actions (nor is it really explained in a concrete manner).
There are many sections in this story where I felt like I should have felt angst from the guys, but just didn’t.
Roman’s past hurt, the death of someone close to him at the hands of Luke’s father, is a driving force behind the plot since it’s the reason that he kidnapped Luke in the first place. Yet Roman’s angst over the event didn’t come through for me. And the revenge aspect itself is played down, which confused me being it was one of the MC’s motivating force.
Luke’s had suspected his Dad wasn’t all above board, but when he discovers some truths about what his father actually did, it just doesn’t seem to affect him much. That should be a bit of an angsty thing, right? To find out that your father has done some truly awful things? But that felt glossed over as well.
Even regarding the relationship, Roman had very little angst over his attraction to a guy even though it’s said that is not something he’d ever done or felt before and that in his country it is not very accepted.
We are given just a tiny taste of daddy kink from Luke, but it’s not developed beyond that one bite! Considering that Luke said he didn’t love his own father, I’d really liked to have explored that some.
So this story had the potential to be awesome. But I felt like all the stuff that was told but not fleshed out resulted in the relationship lacking the vital intensity of the others of the series.
I wanted more detail, more dark, more angst, more development of plot and character. Just overall more of every thing… except one. I could have done with less POVs. There are five (the two MC, plus three other brief step-ons). Each of these rather threw me, and I actually didn’t feel like they were necessary for the story.
Okay, so all that might make it sound like I didn’t enjoy the story, but as I said at the beginning of the review, I did really. It just had so much potential and I wanted MORE of so many things that it left me disappointed in the end.
There is another interesting set up for the next story, Dominick and his rescued homeless boy Sammy, which as usual I will be snapping up as soon as it comes out.
The cover is sexy as hell. Two thumbs up.
Sales Links: Amazon
Book Details: 208 pages
Published June 1, 2016 by Alessandra Hazard