I am a fan of Kresly Cole's Immortals After Dark series and I was looking forward to reading The Professional, but as often happens when you get your hopes up too high, reality did not live up to the dream. The story set up was really enjoyable, the base story could have been one that was intriguing and captivating, but it just didn't keep me once I got further in. The sexual attraction between Natalie and Sevastyan seemed to be the main focus of the story after about the 40% mark. There seemed to be a sudden shift from what lead up to Natalie and Sevastyan leaving the safety of the compound, to Natalie being consumed with pushing Sevastyn to participate in more and more BDSM practices. Her main concern was making sure that he didn't give in to the "Madonna or whore" complex. This should really have been secondary to figuring out what the hell she needed to do next in relation to everything else that was going on. I don't mind all of the erotic sex scenes if they are part of a good story, but when the salaciousness plays a more important role than the actual story I lose interest.
Undoubtedly the biggest problem for me with The Professional, is the fact that Natalie felt flat to me and I couldn't muster anything but apathy for her. I understood her need to get closer to Sevastyan and get him to open up to her, but I just didn't find myself rooting for her. I wanted to have more of the intrigue behind what was happening in the mafiya and her assets, but none of that was presented. Everything that was happening, and the reader knows that there must be a lot of things going on in the background, was glossed over in favor of steamy love scenes that did nothing to satisfy the need for a good story.
I am curious to find out what happens between Sevastyan, his family, and the mafiya so I will consider reading the next installment of this series before calling it quits. I will just have to keep my expectations a bit lower for book 2.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley/Gallery Books.
This story was previously released as 3 separate books, but has now been combined into one volume and will be available May 6th.
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…