Carrie: When I heard that Kresley Cole was writing a serial, I quickly dismissed it, despite the fact that Cole is one of my favorite authors, because I am not a good reader of the short form. A few months later, when early advance copies began to come out, it was noted that this would be an erotic romantic suspense. Then, when I heard it featured a Russian assassin, I threw up my hands and downloaded the copy. Buckle your seatbelts and prepare to suspend disbelief, this story will satisfy and leave you begging for more.
The story opens with the heroine, Natalie, emailing a person in Russia she’s paid to find her biological parents. Shrugging off the worry that she’s been had, Natalie heads to the bar with her friends to engage in her favorite pastime of profiling the male audience in attendance. Just when she is about to retire for the night after another round of lackluster men fail to meet her interest, a dark and dangerous looking man appears at the bar. Natalie is immediately drawn to this man who is unlike any of the ridiculous regular frat boys. She screws up her courage and approaches the sexy devil only to be rebuffed.
This is the point at which, in order to enjoy the story, you just have to give up and go along with the ride.
The sexy devil, Alexi Sevastyan, breaks into her house to inform her he is there to whisk her away to Russia to meet her biological father who is a king in the Russian mafia. Natalie, basically, takes this all in stride and gets on the plane with very little pressure from Sevastyan. (Yes, I raised my eye brows too, but it’s fiction). Sparks are flying back and forth between the two, but Sevastyan feels he must stay away from Natalie because she is the Daughter and although he has a very good relationship with her father, Sevastyan is still, technically, an employee. Also, Natalie is a virgin and Sevastyan’s tastes run “dark”.
Jen: When I saw Natalie was a virgin, I immediately rolled my eyes. She is 24. She is attractive; she’s fun; and she’s not waiting for any particular reason. As I read on, it bothered me less, but it still felt contrived, because she is really a sensual woman. As everyone knows, I am not a big BDSM fan, so Sevastyan’s “dark tendencies” were also an eye roller for me. And, like you Carrie, I was highly skeptical of how easily Natalie went along with him off the top.
While all that may make it sound like I didn’t enjoy it, I actually did. There is so much great sexual tension between Natalie and Sevastyan. I love how hard he fights his attraction toward her. I love how deliciously they get each other off. I loved how slowly pieces of his past are revealed. I loved watching his jealousy flare and his self-restraint fall apart. It was so hot. And just as we are barreling through the story… it just stops!
Carrie: I am anxiously awaiting the next part, as the ending of Part 1 was a hell of a stopping point. Cold shower anyone?
Jen: Yes! (*fans self*) I did mention that it’s hot, right?
Carrie: This book is not going to be for everyone. The story is definitely erotica and is more explicit than any of Cole’s other works. I believe that fans of Cole’s who already appreciate her sarcastic dialog and racy writing in her IAD series will get the most enjoyment out of the series.
Jen: I agree. I love the signature Cole snark. It’s in full effect. But this is definitely a step beyond the IAD sex-factor. I just wish I would have waited, so I could read all three installments back-to-back! (At least the wait will be short.)
Carrie’s Rating: B+
Jen’s Rating: B
*ARC Provided by Pocket Star
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Professional: Part 1
by Kresley Cole
Release Date: December 16, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Star