I am out of my depth. Yesterday I was just a CIA languages geek, safe behind a desk. I thought I wanted a taste of the action. Then I met him: Luka, an arms dealer in the Russian Mafia. A man who'll kill to get what he wants. And he wants me. Now I'm on a plane to Moscow with orders to "accidentally" run into Luka again. Seduce him. Sleep with him. I can't control myself when I'm near him. And if he finds out who I really am, I'm dead.
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In a market flooded with all types of Russian Mob Boss Romances, you have one chance to impress. The man on the cover—totally believable. Beginning of the story was plausible and believable. The little tidbits Arianna offers to the reader by indicating how the CIA nudges “common man” made me laugh and was smartly written. Getting into the story was not a problem. I was intrigued by the main characters—Arianna & Luca.
Yet, as time wove on, I began to wonder. The story became implausible as the story continued. There were no more little notes to the reader about how the CIA operates. There was only angst (really whining) about how she is a bad person for lying to the admitted Russian Mobster. She was supposed to have a telegraphic memory, yet admitted that she couldn’t remember things--like how to fight with handguns. She decides that it is better to have control over illegal gun movement into the US than some other guy for ethical reasons.
If I am invested, that means I want the story. Don’t dress this story up to be a mobster with a heart of gold. Illegal Activity is immoral and either she is okay with it or she isn’t. Arianna lied to Luca, a who is supposed to be the meanest of people, yet, he takes her back because she was “doing her job”.
In the beginning of the story, I didn’t mind that she was into a mobster. I could go with it and wondered how it turned out. I just have an issue with the author trying to make this story into some kind of feel good HEA story where Arianna is eventually right and still holistic. The constant whining about being a liar got old pretty quickly. Their role-play was trite and ill-conceived. I was not turned on by the CIA Agent/ Mobster boss sex play. If you are going to do this, bring in your “A” Game—the one is this book is trite and cheap--"C" worthy. I actually started laughing when he mentioned he found a “code book” in her clothing as one his arguments for punishing her in the scene.
Helen Newberry can write and I would give her another try. I don’t think this ending is the one she really wanted to tell. The narrator was really good too. I like it hot and good. This was lukewarm and ok. I may try the next in the series, but I am not wasting a credit on a book that I found poorly carried out.
Poor frustrated Arianna has been fantasizing about a sexy Russian's voice for quite a while now as it's part of her job within the CIA to listen in to all of his conversations - including the hot n heavy ones to his constant string of girlfriends which makes Arianna swoon, drool and dream. Luka is second in command of Moscow's Mafia, a criminal, a cold-hearted mastermind and a womanizer so when Arianna is offered the job of a lifetime, one that'll get her out of her boring office and lifestyle, she cautiously accepts it. However, when she comes face to face with the powerful, handsome and tattooed man behind the sexy voice, Arianna is very quick to realise that, not only is she out of her depth, but also the heated sexual energy she feels when their eyes lock might just land her in trouble. And when she's asked to go on a mission to Moscow to get information by getting closer to Luka all of Arianna's fantasies suddenly become realities.
But there was a lot she wasn't prepared for..... the violence, the heart pounding fear, the guilt over her lies and what she has to do, meeting the head of the Mafia (Luka's Father), to see behind Luka's bad-ass façade and to fall in love with Luka who proved to be a sensitive, caring, protective and trusting Crime Lord as well as a very Alpha lover. There was a lot of other things that Arianna wasn't prepared for but that would give away spoilers.
I really enjoyed this listen, there was suspense, danger, twists, edge of your seat tension, heartache, betrayal, hot and sexy role playing, sizzling chemistry you could almost feel, tender words and touches, a loveable hero and heroine, various other interesting characters and a HEA ending (so no dreaded cliffhanger). Told entirely from Arianna's POV (would have liked dual but hey ho) with A LOT of internal debating over her actions, reactions, choices and some debilitating memories of a tragic accident that left her feeling isolated and alone.
Worth a credit? He wanted salvation and she was his Angel but in turn, he saved her.... from her memories, from a stagnant life and from a wolf in sheep's clothing who had his own agenda which included trashing her career, her life and her entire existence. A drama filled, enjoyable, sweet, hot, entertaining and YES creditworthy listen.