Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog's Reviews > Gold Digger

Gold Digger by Aleksandr Voinov
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Jan 15, 13

bookshelves: adult, m-m-romance, voinov
Recommended for: m/m, m/m romance, gay romance, humans, lovers, readers, special forces voinov, jet set,
Read from September 15 to 16, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

~~~

A very fine stand-alone as well as a must-read for established Special Forces fans. I would also nominate this as an excellent first male/male romance book.

Aleksandr Voinov's voice takes on a fresher, lighter tone yet remains sophisticated in this highly enjoyable romance. I've been anxiously awaiting this new look at the next generation of his Special Forces characters. While it's possible that this book was written purely to indulge his fan's wanton pleading, I honestly believe this project was something the author enjoyed pursuing.

For the past eight months I have been rereading, buddy reading, quoting and praising the epic Special Forces. It's kind of like that first rock album you really connected with and had to share it with everyone willing to listen, in an effort to keep it alive and valid. So, when I heard that Aleks would continue the story, I was thrilled. When I heard the story would be contemporary and revolve around Nikolai, Vadim's son, I was intrigued. When I found that it would be a "sweet romance", I was apprehensive. How could the tragic, physically invasive SF be turned into anything sweet? Duh, I've said this before; I trust Aleks writing and I trust his vision. What he created here was a new day, a new path, while simultaneously easing my soul and giving much needed comfort. Well done.


THE CHARACTERS

There's much better than me out there for you.


Nikolai Krasnorada - Strong, gorgeous, open-minded and introverted. Nikolai is a surprising character to develop from the madness that is Special Forces. He feels normal, average and yet leads a lifestyle many would envy. An explorer by nature or just seeking something he's never known, he works hard to keep a birds-eye-view of his family's, uh, unique quirks.

"The harmless one"


Henri LeBeau - Smooth, rich, flirtatious and the enemy. Wow, what's not to like there?

Vadim sat...back to the wall, seemingly playing with his smartphone -- or really plotting who to kill first...with nothing more than a coctail umbrella.


Vadim Krasnorada - I had instant concern for Vadim in this story. The god-like strength is subdued, vulnerable and he fears losing someone he loves deeply. His brilliance, cunning and protective nature are completely intact. I love him more than ever.

Anya - So like her mother. Competitive, manipulative, a bitch.

I have to say that it was quite interesting to watch Voinov work with the more "normal" characters of Nikolai and Henri. As a fan, I've seen him develop and present some fascinating, unique and complex characters, so seeing his ability with regular guys was enlightening.

THE STORY

It turns out, for me, this was the perfect contrast to Special Forces. A modern story reflecting a more progressive, yet far from perfect world. Opening within the exciting and fast-paced corporate world, Nikolai and Henri are in high-level discussions relating to corporate mergers and takeovers. The two men are both successful in business but have each forestalled their personal lives. The tentative attraction is acknowledged, but Nikolai is not one to be pinned down. His family has not given him much reason to seek anything long term.

There are glimpses of the parents and family who have worked to achieve certain levels so that their children can have a different type of life. For all that parents strive to make their children's lives easier, smoother, those children must still attain their own sense of self via pitfalls and success.

A strong and necessary undercurrent in the book revolves around Nikolai and Vadim's incomplete relationship. I found myself crying for Vadim. I think you will too.

The Anya twist is reminiscent and surprising. Voinov's genius was showing when he developed this plot line. I have to wonder how long he was sitting on that idea.


THE WRITING


The chemistry and the banter.


This is why I think Voinov found enjoyment in these characters. It was clear in the writing style that he liked both Nikolai and Henri and I found it delightful that he could interest me in such normal, warm and "real" guys.

The story was quick, lively and well written. Again, I would say this would also be an excellent introduction into male/male romance. The pace, tone and visuals are easy to sink into.

...you never know what kind of memory will keep you going when you need it.


~~~~

The longer I digest this book the more satisfaction I'm taking from it. If this is Aleks' attempt to appease his fans, fine. I say more power to his fans for causing this revisit.

There are several plot lines that would be very interesting to pursue. In a very vain attempt to color Aleks' mind, I would love to see more of these characters.

~~~

Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:

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Reading Progress

09/15/2012
47.0% "I'm just savoring this. Very enjoyable...very!"

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Shirley Frances Yep...already have it in my tablet. Your review helped put it there you faster! Thanks!


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Thanks Shirley. I'll look forward to your review. I wonder what you'll think of the new vs. the old characters.

Enjoy!


Shirley Frances I loved Special Forces and I'm considering a re-read soon. I'm curious to read this. Voinov has not failed me yet, but I am wondering the same thing.


message 4: by Joy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joy Great review Lisa


Blacky *Romance Addict* Great review, and finally something by AV that's light, and that I'm not affraid to start reading lol


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Thanks Joy ;)

Right Blacky, have no fear of this one. Just enjoy!

Shirley, a SF re-read is always great but just so you know, it's not necessary. This will easily bring back memories from SF but I think Aleks does a great job of making it very readable for non-SF readers too.


Shirley Frances Don't worry, I wasn't planning a re-read just now. It would take too long!

I've been planning to re-read some of my favorites reads and this is one of them. I don't know if this has happened to you, but I find myself being more picky (or pickier? hmm...don't know which one to use) with my reading.

I don't plan to read all of them again, just the one's that I think are my favorites and some that I might have misjudged.

I think I gorged when I first started reading M/M and I might have dismissed some great reads or overblown some 'just okay' reads. My OCD tendencies just won't let it rest!!! lol!


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog I've been rereading some favorite "sweet" reads to help readjust after some of the heavier things I've read lately. So yeah, I get that. ;)


Ilhem I'll be back to comment tonight. Interesting review, Lisa


message 12: by Ilhem (last edited Sep 17, 2012 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ilhem "It's kind of like that first rock album you really connected with and had to share it with everyone willing to listen, in an effort to keep it alive and valid"
lol! It's absolutely like that! And the joy when someone new connects too!

The god-like strength is subdued, vulnerable and he fears losing someone he loves deeply. His brilliance, cunning and protective nature are completely intact. *sigh*

A strong and necessary undercurrent in the book revolves around Nikolai and Vadim's incomplete relationship.
It is the parallel story, Nikolai becoming Vadim's son and Vadim becoming Nicolai's dad. Those 2 words "Vadim? Dad?" threw me.
There is still something unachieved because Vadim is Nicolai's dad but Sascha is his father and he still has to mourn him. Aleksandr has written it, it is extremely difficult to mourn someone you didn't get to know. And yet, you have to.

I could go on forever, Lisa. Great, great review...

One last word : I'm not against some "fan's wanton pleading";)


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Oh, no doubt Ilhem, I'm not above pleading, groveling or begging when it comes to Aleks' writing.


I think Nikolai and Vadim gave each other a gift in this story. It was a beautiful moment and just really, really fill an empty Vadim space.

@Baba, thanks! Ditto :)


deirdre great review!!!
"Vadim sat...back to the wall, seemingly playing with his smartphone -- or really plotting who to kill first...with nothing more than a coctail umbrella. "

my favorite line in the entire book!!!


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Yeah, I think mine too deirdre. It just really put me in the room with him. The instant instinct that came about in that scene was just great to watch. Love him!


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Thanks Susan. You're a doll!
:)


Anna  (Bananas!) Yes, it's a pic from my visit to Lizzie Borden's home and gravesite, figured it was apt for Oct. I love Halloween.


Anna  (Bananas!) There are so many m/m books I want to read I wish I could download them to my brain. :)


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Me too Anna. My "to read" shelf is a mixed up mess but I'd love to get to it all.

I used to think "too many men, not enough time". Now it's the same, just with books. Uh, maybe it is still about the men, huh? Definitely safer this way...and my husband appreciates it too :)

Love the pic and the sentiment. Now I want an October image.


Anna  (Bananas!) Ha ha, same here. I think I will always have this particular man problem.


message 23: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary Would this be a good choice for a book club? In other words would there be a lot of thematic issues to discuss?


Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog Oooh Mary, I think it would be ideal. Let's see, themes, hmmmm:

Gay for you.
Business before relationship.
Unique family influences.
Not coming of age, but coming of identity???

I think the best reason to choose this for a book club read would be it's relatability. It's an easy going contemporary, with true-to-life characters that are easy to envision.

Added benefits if your readers have read Voinov's Special Forces. Not a problem if they haven't.

Let me know if you choose it, I'd be interested.

:)


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