Series: The Game Maker #1.3
Published by Pocket Star on January 20, 2014
Genres: Bdsm, Erotic Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley
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…
The second part left us hanging off a small cliff, but we think Natalie is finally hitting a turning point with Sevastyn. But not so. If anything, Sevastyn has become even more closed off. During the day, that is. At night, they burn up the bedsheets, but Natalie is feeling more and more like a doll he plays with, but wants her put back into the box to await his next whim. That’s a hard truth for such a strong character. Natalie realizes she’s losing her “Natalie-ness,” the essence of who she is.
At some point I wanted her to say, “Just because I like you dominating me in bed, doesn’t mean I want it outside the bed.” The best line of the whole serial was where Sevastyn told her that he should have trusted her to know her own mind. Because it was close to the beginning of this installment, I really thought he’d change, at least a teeny bit. But nope.
I love KC, and her writing is amazing, which is the only reason I was really able to enjoy this at all. I liked Natalie, and I’m glad she tried to leave. I really am-Sevastyn needed that wake up call, yet it wasn’t until she cried that he realized how she felt, and that no matter how much her body wanted him, that it didn’t matter if he couldn’t be honest.
I wish Natalie hadn’t been a virgin because it felt that he’d trained her body to respond, but since she’d never been with anyone else, I felt like it almost wasn’t fair to her. Oh she totally recongnized and knew her own desires, I’m not knocking that. The BDSM aspect was handled well, but I didn’t like how she felt like she had to prove to him that she could take whatever he could dish.
Oh, and FYI, this gets pretty hardcore and intense. There is everything from bondage, discipline, voyeurism and exhibitionism. I was A-OK with everything until the end. Natalie leaves, but when he fetches her back, he disciplines her, and she takes it, because even though he offers her an “out,” it’s an all or nothing kind of out clause. If she’s out, he never touches her again. I hated that.
I love how there was no shame, though. I hate when an author has shame involved. It ruins it for me. this was handled perfectly. My issues come from their “outside of the bedroom “ interactions.
FWIW Natalie is able to give as good as she gets in that she stands up to him, he doesn’t just bulldoze over her. But even after understanding his issues and his life, I still didn’t like him. KC has given us tortuted and nearly unlikeable heroes before, yet always been able to turn it around. I think that has to do with getting multiple viewpoints. Once again, the first person point of view doesn’t work for me here.
I heavily suggest buying the book rather than the serials. It wasn’t a well-done serial (see the Kraken King by Meljean Brook, or Ilona Andrews’ The Innkeeper Chronicals).
I can see that Maksim is the next hero. I’ll read it, because frankly I’ll read anything by KC, her snarky heroines and alpha heroes almost always work for me. But if he’s as big a dick as his brother, I may skip the next one and finally turn down a Kresley Cole book. And I won’t be reading it in serial format, it’s not one of her strong suits.
Final verdict? I still think Sevastyn was a dick.
***ARC courtesy of Pocket Star