Hmm, who would have thought that a ride with a sadist and a masochist was exactly what I needed right now. The story of Nick and Spencer left a pleasuHmm, who would have thought that a ride with a sadist and a masochist was exactly what I needed right now. The story of Nick and Spencer left a pleasurable throb in its wake.
Thank you again, Voinov and Witt. I'm off to read the next one... :-)...more
Quid Pro Quo is a very short and hot story about two rent boys working at Market Garden, a club in London. This was my first L.A. Witt story, but AlekQuid Pro Quo is a very short and hot story about two rent boys working at Market Garden, a club in London. This was my first L.A. Witt story, but Aleksandr Voinov is one of the authors whose work I love dearly. It seems to me that these two obviously make a good team together.
Although I enjoyed the glimpse of Jared and Tristan together, I would have enjoyed it even more if I'd known them better. That would have made the tension and the sex even hotter and more satisfying. Now it all seemed a bit impersonal... a tone that no doubt fit very well in the story about two rent boys at work, but still... maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic for wanting something more. :)
If I've understood correctly there is going to be a series of Market Garden stories. I do hope that Jared and Tristan are going to be staring in the following stories, because both characters are very intriguing, very promising. I would love to get to know them, too see more glimpses of them.
Thank you Voinov and Witt for the preview. Like the client in Quid Pro Quo I'm ready to pay more to see Jared and Tristan working together in the future. ;)
I was supposed to do some (a lot actually) working during the weekend, but instead I ended up reading about two gorgeous guys, Nikolai and Henri, swifI was supposed to do some (a lot actually) working during the weekend, but instead I ended up reading about two gorgeous guys, Nikolai and Henri, swiftly falling for each other and having incredibly hot sex — again and again. I might just hire Mr. Voinov for my personal relaxation guru, because... Man, this is so working for me! :) And I couldn't have cared less about my work (what work?!) that was left undone.
I enjoyed the way the whole world seemed to be the setting for this story. And I enjoyed the comparison between the corporate war in which Nikolai was fighting and the actual wars Nikolai's father Vadim had been in. Vadim was definitely one of the brightest stars of this story — not quite healed, but wise and strong altogether. The interaction between the two generations, Nikolai and Vadim, was interesting to observe.
The thing is that I like to be surprised while reading a story. Henri and Nikolai certainly managed to surprise me frequently! Henri with his words and Nikolai with his actions. And this is exactly why I find Aleksandr Voinov's work so refreshing and intriguing: I never know what he's going to write next.
There were some truly memorable and shockingly straight (or should I say gay?) lines said by Henri in this book. Those are definitely the pages I'll revisit soon again. But for some reason, this random thought of Nikolai's stuck with me after finishing the story: Why was it that all cities were the same at night? I can't explain why, but this sounds extremely comforting to me.
I indeed own you a sincere Thank you, Aleksandr Voinov. Not just for the lovely reading experience, but also for the unexpected weekend off.
I was touched by this story about brave men in the extreme circumstances. I couldn’t even start writing this review right after I finished reading, beI was touched by this story about brave men in the extreme circumstances. I couldn’t even start writing this review right after I finished reading, because the powerful, yet subtle story left me pondering on the characters and actions of Felix and Baldur. I loved the names the author had chosen to these men. Merely those two words describe them so accurately: the other one really is the lucky one while the other means bold, brave and good.
I think that the word love isn’t mentioned in this story at all, but the presence of love is strongly there. It’s in the will to die for someone and in the desire for "friendship as deep as destiny". Felix was willing to do anything for Baldur. And he was willing to have Baldur to do anything to him. Is there bigger love and devotion than that? I was also left quite wordless at Wischinsky’s fate and decisions. No doubt Wischinsky’s character is going to haunt me for a long time.
In this story the actions of men speak louder than words. The most precious moments were the moments when not much was said between these two men. When they match their stride while walking side by side for the first time: "It’s almost like a conversation, walking together to the barracks." And when Baldur is gently brushing the keys of his piano: "Unplayed sound is like unspoken words." The lenient silence speaks for itself.
I also treasured the small, wonderful details related to birds and flying: How Baldur’s eyebrows looked like wings to Felix and how in the the basket of food were ”some eggs with the occasional feather still clinging to them”. And when Felix was afraid for Baldur, his heart was "rattling like a badly maintained engine".
In the Edda Baldr’s death lead to the destruction of gods. I the Skybound Baldur’s death would mean the end of the world for Felix. I keep thinking about the bullet that Baldur so nearly escaped in the beginning of the story and which Felix later pulled from his seat. It reminds me of the invincible Baldur in ”In the Days of Giants” by Abbie Farwell Brown: "Each arrow overshot his head". This one bullet in the palm of Felix’s hand was a gift, a treasure for him. It was everything he feared the most and at the same time it was a symbol of a second chance. In a way it was the new beginning for both of them. The beginning of their story.
Circumstances around these two men might have been complicated, but their feelings and longing for each other were very simple. I was moved by the fact that so little was more than enough for them: just the knowledge that the other one knew your name, a stolen glance, a hand against neck, a gentle kiss. It makes me think about the things that really are important in life, the things we so easily forget when the life goes on, hurrieldy day after day, and when nothing very dramatic makes it halt.
In the end Felix really got to live the adventure story he liked so much as a boy. There definitely were heros and heroic deeds in Skybound, but I like to think that the true adventure was ahead of him. Adventure filled with freedom and love — and maybe Paris…
I would not have liked this story to be longer. And I would not have removed a word from it. It is a perfect story as it is. I recommend it wholeheartedly. ...more
First of all, I thought that the title Country Mouse fitted perfectly for the story that was kind of a sweet, modern faifytail. A fairytail with someFirst of all, I thought that the title Country Mouse fitted perfectly for the story that was kind of a sweet, modern faifytail. A fairytail with some spanking in it - which was surprisingly sweet, too. :)
The story begins with a healthy amount of tension between the two men, when an arrogant city cat picks up a nice and innocent country mouse from a filthy pub in London. But quite soon we learn that Malcolm and Owen are ful of surpises and everything is not what it seemed to be in the beginning.
I enjoyed meeting these two together (both the authors and the characters). There are never enough well written romantic stories with a touch of magic out there - not at least in my bookshelf. And I'd welcome gladly more stories like this one from these wonderful authors, who seem to be ful of surprises themselves. :)...more
This book has a very intimate and unique tone to it. It was like a quilt I was able to wrap around myself. A quilt that smells like strength, loyalty,This book has a very intimate and unique tone to it. It was like a quilt I was able to wrap around myself. A quilt that smells like strength, loyalty, pride and perseverance - but also doubt and failure. A quilt that has such beautiful, detailed embroidery of love, loss and comradeship on it. A quilt I would love to share with someone who’d feel the same about it and who’d know exactly what I mean. Because the thing is that while I read Aleksandr Voinov’s writing, I already miss his sentences. With Scorpion it felt almost unbearable that someone can write so beautifully about war and warriors. The narration of the story is extremely sensuous and lovely.
And what a relief that this particular fantacy novel didn’t start by listing names and things about numerous families and their kin! I’ve always found it aversive to first read hundreds of (or at least dozens of) pages family history before little something starts to happen with the storyline. I also hugely enjoyed the tempo of the story. It correlated nicely with the healing process of Kendras’s injured leg. And it correlated with the facts that Kendras found the remaining Scorpions, found out that Adrastes was possibly alive and regained some feel of hope with those discoveries. The author wasn’t afraid to sometimes hold the pace and other times to leap into action. The rhythm of the story reminded me of the beat of a battle. And as for myself, I would have wanted to linger among all the fascinating characters for the longest time, but I didn’t seem to be able to put the book down after I started reading it!
I liked the fact that Adrastes’s spirit and his instructions to the young Scorpion were with Kendras throughout the story tying it all together in a very effective way, and never letting Kendras to give up. In fact I can’t stop wondering how someone’s presence can be written in a story in such a solid and overwhelming way - although that person is not physically around the main character until later in the book. Because long before we meet Adrastes with the ocean priests, we already know him and we already admire him. And we desperately long to be with him. And when these two men are finally together everything else vanishes. The chemistry between them is downright intoxicating and intense. I found myself blushing several times just because I felt like an intruder in the middle of the most special moments between to persons who simply belong to each other.
Scorpion has so many wonderful, skillfully written characters in it that it would be a shame if we didn’t hear more about these proud men in the future. I do admire the uncompromising and insightful way Aleksandr Voinov writes his characters. The men in this book were intriguing mixture of rough and sweet, brutal and tender. I loved to get a glimpse of Widow, Steel, the medic, Selvan… And now when I’ve read the very last page and the very last word I already crave for a new dose of Scorpions and Adrastes of Fetin.
I feared the day this series would end, but now when I've read the last words, I feel oddly satisfied with it. Not with it ending, buI. Am. Satisfied.
I feared the day this series would end, but now when I've read the last words, I feel oddly satisfied with it. Not with it ending, but the ending itself. Although I'm planning to start rereading the series first thing tomorrow morning. I want to make this journey again - as soon as possible - and catch all the nuances from it. Maybe at some point during the rereading I might even be able to think like Stefano: "Sometimes, he even fooled himself into believing he might know what Silvio would do next." And now, that was not true, Stefano, was it? The nice twist in the very end of the story proved your ability to foresee Silvio's actions still quite lacking. ;)
Aleksandr Voinov's writing keeps me constantly on my toes. I guess he is a bit like Silvio himself - you never know what kind of twist and turn his story is going to take next. He regularly surprises me, shocks me, delights me. But I never ever get bored while reading his books. Just like in Dark Soul series, Voinov's stories might have some dark shades in them, but they are always told so beautifully and skillfully that they steal your heart before you know it. There are some unforgettable scenes in this book - scenes so dramatic and lovely - that I know I'll want to visit them many times later on.
And by the way, how can one not to give five stars for a boyishly grinning, way-too-cute-for-a-killer with a fluffy and wiggly, finger-eating puppy on his lap? Not that this story is all about Silvio (or the puppy). But in a way, I guess, to me the whole series was mostly about him (Silvio, not the puppy). *grin* He fascinates me to no end: His soul is so beautiful and dark at the same time. He is an old soul, no doubt about it. So much older than twenty-five. And this is going to sound extremely stupid, but I already miss him terribly.
Now, when Mr. Voinov has kindly put me through his mangel of torture (several times), I feel surprisingly smooth and soft and fresh. Satisfied. ...more
I just finished reading Dark Soul Vol. 4 and I'm still enjoying the euphoria the book left me with. I truly, siWARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I just finished reading Dark Soul Vol. 4 and I'm still enjoying the euphoria the book left me with. I truly, sincerely loved it. Aleksandr Voinov's writing is wonderful to read: the way he uses his words beautifully and the way he leaves just enough of the story to be found between the lines. It all makes me so happy - even when the things happening in the story are cruel. Weird, huh?!
It was fascinating to witness Stefano's struggle with his feelings towards his wife, Silvio and even Franco - not to mention his mixed feelings about himself and his regret about the things he had done or left undone. I was touched with the scene with Stefano and Franco talking in the kitchen after Silvio had stormed out. Franco's character still remains kind of a mystery to me, but it seems that there is a beautiful person beneath that troubled, stoic man. It was moving how he advised Stefano "always let Silvio go when he's like that" and how he told Stefano about Silvio's birthday. It's strange, how just a few simple words can be so haunting: "Silvio wants to belong. Make him." And after that, how devastating it was to see how lost and miserable Silvio felt, when Franco left him.
But you gotta love the extreme "oh shit" feeling that makes your stomach in knots, when it's followed by such a strong "oh yes!" feeling! I loved the way Stefano went after Silvio to fetch him from the bar and how he acted like a jealous boyfriend in front of those cops! And the final scene at the hotel - dear God! Talking about strong emotions - shared with both men and yours truly. It was so interesting to try to figure out which one of the men were playing mind games with other.
And when I say mind games, it doesn't come out quite right, because at the same time both Stefano and Silvio are raw with emotions. No doubt that there is some manipulation and fury going on in that hotel room, but there are also extremely vulnerable, sweet moments between them in the Dark Temptation. Moments that make you ponder over them afterwards. Moments that make you think what are the words that were left unsaid. Moments that make your heart swell, and remind you why you actually love words and stories and reading so much. One of the best parts about Aleksandr Voinov's stories is that they are never ever two-dimensional! Scenes like this make Dark Soul books such great rereads!
Despite all the disturbing and disconcerting stuff going on in Stefano's life, it was important to me that the book ended the way it did with a feeling of hope. Aleksandr can torture me any time with his words as long as he leaves me with a hint of hope - and an image of naked Silvio sprawled on the bed like a kitten! What more can a reader ask, really? Thank you for making me happy, Aleksandr. I can't wait for the final Dark Soul!
Er... did I already mention that I highly recommend this series?! ;)...more
Oh Silvio, Silvio, Silvio... How can you be so reckless and focused at the same time? So violent and tender? So divine and so very human? I just can'tOh Silvio, Silvio, Silvio... How can you be so reckless and focused at the same time? So violent and tender? So divine and so very human? I just can't figure you out... At times you come across as a magical, fairylike being to whom everything is possible, but the next moment you make me want to hold you and pet you to make it all better. You are so adorable, too unpredictable, ridiculously sexy, surprisingly wise, delightfully shocking... intense. A wild child. And damn, you make me worry a lot because of all the hazard things you do!
And Aleks... Please, pleeease, don't you hurt him in the end!!! Whatever it is that he is looking for - please let him have it....more
I'm totally blown away with this story about power, mind games and craving, but also vulnerability and love. It's dramatic, hot, sad and delicate at tI'm totally blown away with this story about power, mind games and craving, but also vulnerability and love. It's dramatic, hot, sad and delicate at the same time. I absolutely LOVE the way Voinov tells the story straightforward - taking no easy road. He really keeps me on the edge all the time and yet he manages to surprise me with the turns of events! This second Dark Soul book also reveals further details about the events of Dark Soul # 1 in a delicious way...
The best part is that we get to know Silvio a little bit better. The further the story proceeds the more intriguing his character gets. I'm beginning to think that this particular Dark Soul is actually a quite Beautiful Soul.
And from now on if somebody mentions the name Silvio I won't be thinking about Berlusconi! ;)...more
What a great story! Who would have thought that I'd like a book about boxing? Although the story is about much more than that: power, spirit, survivalWhat a great story! Who would have thought that I'd like a book about boxing? Although the story is about much more than that: power, spirit, survival, commitment... and hope. I was charmed by Brooklyn from the very beginning. He was like Voinov's writing: frank and fascinating.
I HATE watching boxing on the television... but the fight scenes in Counterpunch were hypnotic. And the world building - wow. Slavery as a theme really gives you something to chew over for a looooong time afterwards... I thank you, Aleksandr Voinov!
I read the Special Forces: Soldiers, Director’s Cut, Parts 1 and 2 edited together (chapters 1-19) version. My review is posted under the Special ForcI read the Special Forces: Soldiers, Director’s Cut, Parts 1 and 2 edited together (chapters 1-19) version. My review is posted under the Special Forces: Soldiers Part II -Director's Cut.
Just for fun I'll post a few of my updates on Soldiers, Part 1 here:
"This is definitely going to be one rocky road (and I don't mean candy)." (6%)
"Just when I started to think that these two guys mix as well as gun oil and water... they show some progress by bringing out the best in each other. And then it's dasvidanyia again." (18%)
"So many conflicted emotions we are struggling with: Vadim, Dan and me. No doubt that this will make a wonderful re-read." (29%)
"Rukiver ruski soldat... Dan is keeping things interesting all right... For Vadim and me both." (32%, page 207)
"Now THAT was beyond hot, like über hot or something... Dan saying nicely "Please." and Vadim playing along. This chapter was pretty much perfect." (41%, Chapter 8, page 278) ...more
I read the Special Forces: Soldiers, Director’s Cut, Parts 1 and 2 edited together (chapters 1-19) and since there is no such version to be find hereI read the Special Forces: Soldiers, Director’s Cut, Parts 1 and 2 edited together (chapters 1-19) and since there is no such version to be find here in Goodreads, I hope that this is the right place to post this review on. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on chapters 1-19.
I’ve come across some books that I find extremely hard to write a review of — this one is one of them. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, quite the contrary, but I feel short of words and I feel at lost from where to start. But most of all I feel that I’m not worthy to say anything about it. That’s how very humble the impressive writing and the magnitude of the story made me feel.
Special Forces: Soldiers is a story (or actually the beginning of the story) of two equally strong men. Two enemies — but most of all two humans. It all starts when Vadim and Dan, Russian and British soldiers, collide in the worst possible way in the middle of the war in Afganistan. From the very beginning we are shown that these men are not nice, not likable, and at times it even seems that they have very little humanity left in them. Dispite of all the cruelty in Vadim’s and Dan’s behavior the authors make the reader slowly but surely fall in love with the characters.
In fact the reader falls for them probably a few hundred pages before the two men themselves recognize and acknowledge their love for each other. And before that sweet moment we watch how they struggle to survive, at first fighting each other and later on becoming each others safe harbours. It is fascinating to see how these uncompromising men start to bend for one another, start to make sacrifices and to take care of one another. Even the strongest men fall sometimes — and when these two do fall, both in turn, the other is there to catch the tumble. And those just might be the sweetest moments in the storyline. Overall I found all the small details and gestures extremely touching: when Dan kept bringing Vadim those peanut butter protein bars and how Vadim started to use Dan’s ”aye” expression.
After only one read I have a hard time analyzing which were the aspects in this story that affected me the most. Maybe the fact that I got to see how the understanding, respect and love began to grow between two men who came from two totally different worlds? Or maybe the way they used sex to express themselves to each other when the words felt too difficult to be spoken aloud, and when the only thing they wanted to have was to be able to feel something and not to be completely numb? Or maybe the peaceful, funny moments in the shelter of the uncountable safe houses they shared? Or how about Dan arranging a surprise for Vadim — a room with the pools in Kabul? And Vadim bying the prayer beads for both Dan and Katya? And what about all the not-so-common pet names they called each other? This book will make a wonderful re-read!
I enjoyed the powerful way the story was written. The situation in Afganistan and its rough, but captivating landscape and weather is descriped effectively, even lyrically. The intense fighting scenes, even the most horrific ones, are written beautifully — not glorifying the war, killing and mutilating, but to make it tangible. When there are rapes, torture, mass graves and snipers shooting children and women, it sure doesn’t sound like a traditional love story. Nevertheless, words ”amor vincit omnia” came to my mind more than once while reading this book. Because even though Vadim and Dan are surrounded with all the destruction, violence and death, their journey together is not without hope. I truly wish that love conquers all for these two proud men in the end.
While reading I highlighted so many lines, that there is no way I could include them in this review. But if I’d have to pick just one, it might as well be this one by Dan: ”You’re as close to a fucking home as I get.” (Chapter 14, page 442). That must be the highest compliment anyone can say to another. Such a simple phrase, but somehow it captures the whole arc of the 19 chapters in a nut shell. I’ll never forget this story about two strangers, enemies, who proved that home can be a person, not a place. ...more