Jayhjay's Reviews > Dark Soul Vol. 1

Dark Soul Vol. 1 by Aleksandr Voinov
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Nov 13, 11

Read on October 19, 2011

This review was originally published on my blog Joyfully Jay

Dark Soul is broken into two short stories, Dark Soul and Dark Secret. In the first, Stefano Marino, a west coast Mafia boss, has traveled to the East Coast to hold vigil at the death bed of a family patriarch. While there he meets Silvio "the Barracuda" Spadaro, a cold-blooded killer and heir to Gianbattista Falchi, a retired senior member of the family. Silvio seems to live outside the rules, protected by his connection to Falchi and his cold-blooded reputation.

Stefano is instantly attracted to the young man, drawn to his hypersexuality and lithe body. Although he has been attracted to men before, Stefano has never acted on it, hiding his bisexuality in his marriage to the wife he loves. Being gay in the mafia world can get him killed and he knows better than to reveal his attraction for Silvio. Yet he is irresistibly drawn to the man.

Stefano's attempts at control are further challenged when Silvio breaks into his room in the middle of the night, attacking Stefano's body guard Vince. Stefano's desire for the man, along with his need to establish his dominance, send Stefano to the edge as he pushes Silvio for answers about the break in. This leads to a violent sexual scene (involving dubious consent and gun play) that turns both men on, but doesn't provide any answers to Silvio's motivation.

In Dark Secret, Stefano has traveled to Italy to meet with Falchi himself, seeking help with problems he is having with the Russian mob infringing on his territory. Afraid to involve other currently active family members, he comes to Falchi even knowing there will be debts to pay for his help. During the visit, Stefano struggles with his continued attraction to Silvio, knowing it would be dangerous to act on any feelings. At the same time, he learns more about Silvio and Falchi's relationship and the dynamic between the men.

While the stories are told from Stefano's point of view, the focus is on Silvio. He is magnetic, alluring, and appears soulless, yet he totally captivates Stefano with his mixture of cold strength and sexual compliance. He is the lure that Stefano can't help but follow.

I really enjoyed Dark Soul and was intrigued at this first glimpse into this world. The story was hard for me in places, specifically the violence. These men definitely are cold and calculating in a ruthless business and death is commonplace for them. Yet I was still drawn into the story, wanting to learn more about Silvio and what was is going on behind those soulless eyes. Voinov does a great job showing Stefano's inner turmoil, faced for the first time with a man he can not ignore and feelings that he can't push aside. The story kept me captivated throughout and I am eagerly looking forward to the future volumes.
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10/19/2011
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by L-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

L-D Sounds interesting. Adding it to my TBR.


Jayhjay The second one is coming out soon. Can't wait. It is pretty dark and intense but I loved Silvio.


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