There is no way any words from me can do justice to this stonkingly enjoyable novel. I like this author’s voice so much. I don’t care that many less fawning readers might say that the hero and heroine from each book are completely interchangeable. It’s the nuances of difference that matter to me. Like. I loved the driving-ability thread in this story. And happily. The suspense in each novel is so completely unique.
If I was a son or daughter of that proud nation of Russia I’d be just a tad annoyed that a man with the sheer determination, guts, willpower, talent and class of Vassily Worontzoff is aired out by an alpha male dimbo and his dumb blonde bunny girlfriend. Sheesh. I’m not Russian though. And I liked the message the author gave out. That there is no excuse for soft or hard terrorism where innocent people die. Not even if you have suffered gut-wrenching heartache and awful physical deprivation as did Vassily. I personally. Would have liked to witness Vassily do something baaad. He is built up as this evil evil guy. But doesn’t really display any behaviour that justifies this rep. He is very menacing though. And is killed far too quickly.
This time the hero and heroine are Nick and Charity. And yes. She’s as dumb as her name suggests. However. Being dumb is not a crime. So I’m not ashamed to say I liked Charity. Even though she gets married to a guy she’s known for a week only. And then totally forgives him for lying his head off to her. There is a great chapter in the story that illustrates exactly why Charity falls for Nick. It totally worked for me too.
What didn’t work in the novel was why Nick let Charity go to Vassily’s house for the meet. It’s not exactly unknown for terrorists to have the same scanning technology as black ops guys. So really. Nick should have expected the mike to be detected. A big weakness is that Nick does not save Charity. Vassily does. Nick just blusters. That’s the tragedy of Vassily. Hope he and Katya are reunited in the afterlife. Also I completely felt Arkady’s love for his Vor.
Hey! What was the point of Jake? I suppose he was needed to convert Nick into a rich guy. Except that billionaire Jake making a million for Nick, the guy who saved his ass countless times in the orphanage came across as slightly mean. Jake should have made at least $50 million for Nick.
There’s a lot of reader teasing in the romance scenes. Sometimes the reader is shut out of the bedroom. Other times the reader is allowed to see the hot visualisations in Nick’s head. Hmm. There are no hot scenes after the marriage. The plot took over. But overall the story certainly did qualify as erotica. It is streets ahead of 99% of the e-book romantica trash I have recently read.
You know what. I knew I would like this story even while I read the prologue. I actually considered calling in sick to work for the day. And sitting in a Starbucks all day to read the book. I was so tempted. In the end though, like Nick and Charity, I did my duty and fulfilled my obligations to my employer.
That stupid word. Gelid. Makes a couple of appearances in the book. Sign the online petition to ban it from all further Rice novels.
A very very special mention needs to be made about Chapter 22. It contains some of the corniest scenes, images and dialogue that I have ever read in all my life. My eyes practically bugged out as it's outrageousness unfolded before me.
Lets start at the beginning of Chapter 22. Oooo! Watch Nick and John wave their shiney DHS badges under Charity's nose. As if badges were a proof of anything. Then there's the bit where Charity asserts she's made of steel and agrees to spy on Vassily because she's a true patriot. To say nothing of the paragraph where Nick throws the test-tube, bolt and CD in front of Charity and proceeds to explain how they are proof of Vassily's evil mafia network. That dumb bunny Charity laps up every word Nick spills from his lying mouth. But oh, she believes that when he went to bed with her his body told her the truth. Jeez. That poor girl. I expect Consuela believed in Nick's body too. Hur hur. And it goes on. At the end of the chapter Nick weeps all over Charity. Oh brother. Like I said. The whole of Chapter 22 belongs in the twilight zone. It was like Charity was being inducted into some fringe cult group.
But none of the above stopped me totally loving the experience of working my way through this fabulous (small-town) novel.