the master, by kresley cole

the-masterIn case you hadn’t noticed, the majority of the books I read are romance novels. Recently, I read that it’s the most popular genre in the country–not surprising to me. And while I’ve read some pretty risqué books in this favorite of America–DebtRaw… The Master is probably the closest to book porn I’ve ever read. The first third of the book is nothing but sex, so be warned.

This is the second book in Cole’s Game Maker series and I loved the inaugural novel, The Professional. Initially, I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like the heroine in this installment, Ana Lucia “Cat” Martinez–but I came around. I immediately loved Maksimilian “Maxim” Sevastyan–there’s just something about those Siberian mafiya brothers, I tell you.

31-year old Maxim, the billionaire politician and mafiya dom has hired Cat, the 22-year old community college student and house keeper by day to be his escort for one night. Only he’s not privy to this being her first foray into prostitution. Maxim breaks his, “never hire the same escort twice rule,” by actually holding Cat prisoner in Miami’s most swanky hotel penthouse suite and then ‘blackmailing’ her into attending his older brother’s wedding with him.

This “Pretty Woman-esque” story asked that we make quite a few suspensions of belief. Maxim openly discusses his mafiya dealings with Cat. (So much for the Michael Corleone motto of never discussing his business.That’s a Godfather reference for all those not in the know.) And while their love for one another develops quickly, for a politician and mobster, Maxim works a total of about 2 days throughout the whole book.

After the majority of the sex is out-of-the-way, the book takes off. There is some Dom/sub play going on but I wouldn’t bill this book as such. Cat being on the run, finding out about Maxim’s childhood, and ingratiating herself into his world is interesting. It just would’ve been nice if the steamier scenes had been woven in to the plot throughout, rather than front-loading them and then getting to heart of the story more than halfway through the book.

All of that said, it’s a quick read and the interactions between Cat and Maxim are quite often light-hearted and fun. There were some parts of the story that were not entirely clear, Cat’s mom’s death, the source of her money. However, you almost put those details out of your mind because you enjoy the character interactions so much, especially when you get to the wedding festivities of Alexandr and Natalie.

I assume there will be a 3rd book in this series, devoted to the youngest brother, Dimitri. Based on everything we’ve learned in the first two books, I can only imagine the intensity that book will have and I look forward to it. The Master, as the sophomore effort in  The Game Maker series bridges the gap for the next one on tap.

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