January 28, 2014

Book Review: The Professional

The Professional part 1 The Professional part 2
The Professional part 3I have been obsessed with the mob for as long as I can remember. I can recite every line from The Godfather from start to finish. Goodfellas, Casino, you name it–I love it. (I know, the brutality of such movies is in stark contrast to the happily ever after romance novels I usually review here…I’m just full of contradictions…) That’s why when I heard about The Professional, I got very excited and for good reason. It’s a romance novel about a couple in the Russian mob–nice twist right? The author, Kresley Cole, released the book in 3 parts over a series of several weeks. The complete book will be published in May–but who could wait that long?!?!

The Professional, part 1:
In the first novella we meet Natalie. She’s a 24-year old, mid-western, hard working, graduate student who’s on a mission. While she loves her adoptive parents she yearns to know who her biological mother and father are and why they gave her up. Oh, and she’s a virgin. I know, I know…we’ve heard it all before, trust me, this time it’s different–honest. She gets the shock of her life when she’s essentially kidnapped–by Sevastyan–and transported via private jet to meet her Russian mobster father. And what a plane ride it is…

The Professional, part 2:
In part 2, the intensity between Natalie and Sevastyan–who by the way is Natalie’s father’s right hand man and top enforcer–heats up, a lot. But there’s also this guy Philip, who is vying for Natalie’s attention, though you have to wonder if his intentions are pure. Natalie gets to know her father, Kovalev, and learns about her mother. But being a Russian Mafia Princess sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

The Professional, part 3:
The conclusion keeps you on edge the entire time. Natalie and Sevastyan are on the run–and not because they’re two unrequited lovers who want to be together. They are learning more and more about each other and whether or not their ‘relationship’ can survive the world they’re immersed in.

Tara’s Take
I love this book, this story. Sevastyan was no joke–but then, as a mob enforcer, you kind of can’t be. He’s a Siberian mystery and at the same time he’s blunt, forthright, and has a take no prisoners attitude. Natalie is a lot of fun and she is no door mat. Her reactions to Sevastyan are actually quite normal. Attraction or not, if you try to kidnap someone the first reaction one might have is to, RUN! So she does.

Now that I’ve read each installment on its own, I’m planning to go back and read the book as one entity. While overall, I have nothing but praise for the book and no qualms about recommending it, I will say that Sevastyan in book 3 is a bit ‘over-the-top’ with his behavior towards the possibility of losing Natalie. Possessive, alpha male, enforcer–yeah, yeah, I get all that. However, his responses and actions may translate and flow a bit better when the book is read as 1 cohesive unit instead of individual pieces.

That said, Cole had me waiting on the edge of my seat waiting for each installment to be released. She did an awesome job of interweaving a complex story line with fun, sexiness, and danger. I’m in the process of turning my living room into a library and without a doubt, this will be one of the books on my shelves!

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