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The Game Maker #1

The Professional

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The highly anticipated complete novel of The Professional—the first installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole's scorching Game Maker series, an erotica collection that has readers asking: How hot is too hot? Get lost in the sultry world of the Game Maker series with The Master, book two, and The Player, book three!

Meet the Professional.

Mafiya enforcer Aleksandr “The Siberian” Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss's long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Aleksandr will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.

He makes the rules.

Grad student Natalie Porter has barely recovered from her first encounter with the dark and breathtaking Siberian when he whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures.

In the game of obsession, two players are better than one.

Yet all is not as it seems. To remove Natalie from an enemy’s reach, Aleksandr spirits her into hiding. From an opulent palace in Russia to the decadent playgrounds of the mega-rich in Paris, the two lovers tempt each other’s boundaries to discover whether their darkest—and most forbidden—fantasies really can come true...

Previously released as The Professional—Parts 1, 2, and 3 as ebook exclusives.

390 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 6, 2014

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About the author

Kresley Cole

84 books25.6k followers
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings.
Her IAD books have been translated into 23 foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, a RWA Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family. Learn more about Kresley at: www.kresleycole.com & www.thearcanachronicles.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,909 reviews
Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,131 reviews1,434 followers
June 11, 2017
Holy Fucking Hell. This Russian Enforcer is a
Panty Soaking Machine!!!


Alexandr Sevastyan (pronounced Sebastian with a v) is a Russian Mafia Enforcer.
He's also a dirty talking Alpha. Sex on a stick!!


Alexander lives a life of extremes. Extreme violence, loyalty, and vigilance. Sevastyan is sent to Nebraska to locate and protect his boss' daughter but he is not prepared for what he feels upon seeing her. He becomes obsessed with possessing her and making her his. But he knows such a move would be disloyal to his boss and adoptive father.

"Was I just a job to you, Savastyan?"
He gazed to the right of me as he answered, "That's all you can be."
"Do you wish you'd never been sent to America for me?" He faced me fully.
"Every second of the day,"


The Russian mob has it's own secret code. Where every tattoo has a meaning. Sevastyan is covered in ink. Eight sided stars on each knees symbolizing that he kneels to no one. Stars on his chest, and tattoos on his fingers. His body is a delicious road map of ink and muscle. This man does not apologize for who he is and what he does.


Natalie Porter is a hard working grad student in Nebraska. She has been trying to locate her biological parents for some time by working her ass off in order to pay for investigators.


Natalie is also a sexy redhead with a body that turns heads. She's feisty and forward thinking, so when she spots the "hot as sin" Russian in her locale bar, she makes a move. Dressed in expensive threads, with tattoos peeking out from under his crisp shirt, Alexandr is an puzzle that Natalie must solve. The immediate chemistry between these two is off the charts.


Sevastyan has sworn to protect Natalie with his life. But who will protect her from his dark desire to own, possess, and collar her.

"This need I have for you…it should unsettle you."


"What do you want from me?"
I gasped when he fisted the collar of my dampened shirt. "I want what's mine." He tore the material from me with one rip, stripping me.

Sebastyan desires Natalie sexually. But can he give her more than just physical pleasure. I mean eventually, even multiple orgasms get old and women start looking for emotional security and late night pillow talks. Unfortunately, Sabastyan has lived a graphically violent life, devoid of love and affection. He has had to fight for everything he owns, and has never dated let alone been in a relationship. Oh the angst, as Natalie attempts to chip away at the rough exterior of a man who claims he can not live without her. She only wants him to open up to her.

"He curled his finger under my chin, all tenderness, even as he said, "How could I close you out when I never let you in?"

Oh.My.Gah!!! Who is he trying to fool? His heart belonged to her at first site. I loved experiencing these two falling in love. They were inevitable! Cosmic! Epic!

The Professional is a fast paced, erotic adventure that travels the globe from the corn fields of Nebraska to Russia. Introducing the reader to the violent underworld of the Russian Mafia. The cars, jets, palaces, and wealth are obscene. Manipulation and deceit run rampant and no one can be trusted as a turf war ensues. I loved the characters and the world building. As soon as I finished reading this book, I found myself back on page one doing an immediate re-read. Crazy right?!!! Crazy Good is what this book is. The Epilogue was a sweet tease.

Oh, and I am IN LOVE with Savastyan's brother, Maksimilain, and I only met him once. I hope he is the star of book two, which I am already jonesing to read!!!

ARC received from Netgalley.

Follow my reviews at www.readinghaven.me
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,703 followers
September 9, 2017
DNF at 60%.

I've gone back to this book half a dozen times at least in the last week (or two?), and I just can't make it any farther.

THE PROFESSIONAL by Kresley Cole is utterly ridiculous.

The characters are unbelievable . . . and that's about it for me, completely unbelievable characters:

Natalie/Natalya: A graduate student, VIRGIN *rolls eyes* who comes equipped with a "manalyzer"--her powers of observation and psychoanalysis are such that a mere glance at a man can tell her everything she needs to know about him, unless of course the "ability" would actually help her (rather than just being used as a party trick). If it could actually help her, it goes on the fritz, leaving her as much in the dark as a normal person . . . so what . . . is the bloody point . . . of this talent?

Sevastyan: A mafia enforcer with a heart of gold and a dark past <-----this character is becoming so common that he's practically stock.

Paxan: A Mafya Vor who just wants to tinker with clocks. No really. He didn't want to become a crime lord, but it was either that or keep watching his neighbors get ripped-off by the less considerate crime lords. So he's only doing what he has to do to protect the people he cares about, and he's got a heart of gold too.

Cousin whose name I can't remember: Well, I can't tell you what's ridiculous and unbelievable about this guy without spoilers, so you're just going to have to take my word for it.

So yeah. Our brilliant and observant heroine is anything but, and allows herself to fall into hideous situation after hideous situation, but DAMN Sevastyan's sexy, so who the hell cares? Not Natalie, that's for damn sure. Paxan is just the bestest Papa a little girl could ever want, and Sevastyan is HOT with his prison tattoos and shit.

This is hugely disappointing for me b/c I LOVE Cole's IMMORTALS AFTER DARK series. IAD is in fact my favorite PNR series, and even as OTT as it can get sometimes, THE PROFESSIONAL blows IAD out of the frickin' water.

Think about that for a minute--a paranormal romance series about werewolves, vampires, demons, valkyrie, etc. is MORE realistic than a contemporary romance with mafia types (insofar as accepted behaviors go).

I just can't . . .
Profile Image for Pam.
1,093 reviews1,015 followers
August 9, 2016
5+++ dangerously erotic stars
“Ty sozdana dlya menya .” You were made for me.”

I read this book when it was initially offered in three parts, and as much as I was jonesing for the next part I didn't have to wait long as there was only a months' lag between the books. I listed the links to my three separate reviews below along with a favorite quote and pic :))

The Professional: Part 1 review:
“Understand me, girl, I will eliminate any threat to you, pitilessly.”

The Professional: Part 2 review:
“If you became mine, I wouldn’t let you go.” His words were clipped, as if he was biting back frenzy. “Understand me, if I’m your first lover— I will be your last.” The ringing tone of finality chilled me. “And I would kill any man who thought to touch what was mine.”

The Professional: Part III review:
“I’ll consider myself lucky, my elusive girl, once you consider yourself taken. Every man has a weakness; you are mine. I’ve accepted that. Now you must accept me.”

The Professional was a perfect world wind romance, nothing traditional about their story, but there was something real and raw about it that completely sucked me in. Both totally out of their element, wanting each other with so passion, they are at a loss as to how to deal with it all. It was an erotically intense ride that kept me on my toes. I wish it was longer, I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them at all. This is the first series I read from the author and as soon as I finished, I went to check what else she has in her arsenal and so far I am not disappointed.
Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews426 followers
October 5, 2014
I was ambivalent about reading this but since I got my ARC from NetGalley I'll be trying it this week!

****************25/04/2014 UPDATE****************

I'm a huge fan of the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole so when I saw this book in NetGalley I decided to give it a shot. That was a mistake.

Plotwise the book is very similar to many of her IAD books. Sadly I can't forgive as many things in Contemporary Romance as I do in Paranormal.

The heroine has displayed zero sense so far in the book. She has some kind of weird mojo that tells her which guys aren't worth the time of the day but when she actually meets a bad guy her mojo has a malfunction and all she feels is breathless.

Sevastyan showed up in her house while she was having a bath and instead of screaming her head off and calling the police she just gets all tingly and contemplates to follow him to Russia. The guy finally has the answers to her questions about her biological parents, how could she not follow a stranger who seems dangerous if she is about to get answers? Right?

When she doesn't decide fast enough on whether she will go with him and Sevastyan kidnaps her, what do you think our esteemed heroine does? After a half-assed attempt to escape him(after she finds out that her father is a mobster and Sevastyan is his enforcer/pet assassin) she is ready to give it up to him right there in the middle of the field he run her down from her attempt. And guess what... After the whole haze is gone she doesn't regret doing it. She just feels disappointed he didn't take her up to her offer.

Later on she just goes ahead and has some sexy, BDSM-ish time with him on the plane to Russia. All this just about 5 hours after she first meets him and despite the fact that he is not a good man by any measure(and she knows it). In fact the moment she learns that the guy has gone to jail not once but twice she only gets more intrigued by him instead of scared as any logical person would.

I can accept this shit in Paranormal Romance because there is usually an excuse for them, no matter how inadequate it is. The guys are thousand years old cavemen, there is some fated shit involved, there are animal instincts, etc... I can swallow it there, hell, I mostly enjoy it. I can't accept this bullshit from a 21st century woman who is supposed to be smart.

Sevastyan was like every other Alpha male we see in books. He had nothing special about him as far as I read and he just wasn't interesting enough to keep me reading. I've read much better written similar characters.

Still I stuck with the book some more because the plot outside the romance seemed interesting enough. But 30% in the book absolutely nothing has happened and the heroine kept falling in my estimation with her stupid decisions.

Don't even get me started on the fact that her Dear Mobster Daddy is deep down a nice, old man who only wishes to be able to play with his clocks all day instead of having to run a Mafia Ring against his will. He only does it to keep his friends safe by ripping them off instead of letting other badder Mafia leaders rip them off.

Thanks but no, thanks. Not even for an author I love as much as Kresley Cole.

If you enjoy cavemen, badly written BDSM and you don't mind TSTL heroines, this is your book.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
February 29, 2016
I was looking for something hot and steamy, but with an engaging plot, I definitely found it in The Professional. This is my first Kresley Cole book, but I have been wanting to read them for months. If you are like me take my advise and jump in, you won’t regret it.

Natalie Porter is graduate student and lives her simple, safe life. She is an observer, she makes her observations but rarely takes a chance. Her life completely changes when her biological father finds her after years of her searching for him. He isn’t your typical father, he is in the Russian Mafia. Sevastyan is her father’s enforcer and sent to pick up Natalie. From the very beginning there is chemistry between them, but she is off limits.

This story is so freaking hot, Cole delivers some of the hottest scenes I have ever read. They are so descriptive, but not over the top. It’s hard to explain until you read them. I also loved how the plot pulled me and kept me engaged. This books is one of the hottest I have ever read, but still a real story. I loved seeing Natalie get to know her dad and see her new life unfold. I also enjoyed the suspense and plot twist.

I cannot wait to continue this series and see what happens next.

Teaser created by me with stock images purchased from depositphotos.

Profile Image for P .
687 reviews320 followers
December 11, 2016
“I’ll consider myself lucky, my elusive girl, once you consider yourself taken. Every man has a weakness; you are mine. I’ve accepted that. Now you must accept me.”

I expected nothing from this book, so I ended up liking it so much. Sevastyan has been stalking Natalie for days or so, he wants to find something about her that I didn't know then. The tension was abundant there I wanted to swoon over. Sevastyan brings Natalie to his world of blood, guns and ummm pleasures. I loved the chemistry and the way Sevastyan thinks of Natalie in the first place, he knows nothing about love because he was a street rat once and raised by his boss who is very important to Natalie. He can't deal with this new feeling that makes him do many wrong things to her.

The vanilla sex in this book has potential, but I didn't quite like those BDSM parts; it's pretty awkward and empty for me, the feelings just disappeared that I felt nothing whenever they commit this kind of play. All in all, Sevastyan's emotion in the last few chapters is very intense, he learns from his mistakes and wholeheartedly wants to make amends to the only one he loves.

“A body like that was good for two things that started with f. And fighting was the other one.”

Although this is not Kresley Cole's best book in this series, but I think it's exceedingly good for her first erotica because she managed to woven these characters altogether very well.

Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,473 reviews450 followers
September 1, 2018
I liked this one better the second time around. I read more depth into it than I assessed the first time.

Not my favorite of the bunch but definitely still a compliment to the series.
Profile Image for Shurrn.
559 reviews838 followers
July 27, 2016
Maybe it was just me?
Were my expectations too high?
I'd never been in a situation like this.
A sexual situation I didn't control. I was embroiled in dangerous circumstances with a mysterious stranger, but I felt no fear. I felt... anticipation. And I suspected the lack of control was fueling it. Was danger turning me on?
This is a 3.5 Star read for me... But I'm hoping that Kresley Cole will continue the series. I think that if I could have a second book (with a bit more character development) then I would be perfectly happy with the series. As it stands, however, I was entertained but not amazed...

What DOES amaze me is how polarizing this book seems to be...
Personally, I didn't LOVE it or HATE it...
But after I finished, everything seemed a little flat for my liking.

I wanted to love this, but the more I reflect on my experience with the book, the less impressed I am.

Great Erotica...
Interesting Plot...
Laugh out loud humor...

But something was off with Sevastyan & Natalie...

Aleksei Sevastyan
"...You think I can't tell when a woman wants me burried deep inside her?"
He is a combination of over the top alpha-male hotness and complete emotional unavailability.
Quite simply: He is not Book Boyfriend Material...
He is, however, absurdly gifted between the sheets...

Erotica will always be better when there is an emotional connection. Sevastyan was so ridiculously stereotypical "broken alpha-male" that I lost all interest in him. He had all the personality and usefulness of a dildo.

Natalie Porter
I, Natalie Porter, had gotten my rocks off while being spanked. And I was going to roll with it.
At times, Natalie was just another stereotypical "quirky, virgin, college student" who discovers her taste for submission. But in the moments where she asserts herself, she redeems the entire book...
Quite simply: She is a naive twenty-something ripe for sexual corruption.

The truly interesting thing about Natalie is that she went from being a Nebraska Farm girl to a Mafia Princess overnight. So, why was that adjustment process kind of glossed over? That was a missed opportunity.

I never really felt the love between these two... Even their sexual chemistry was stunted by Sevastyan's absurd behavior. Generally speaking, when I'm faced with the "virginal college girl is seduced by older man with a taste for BDSM" trope, I find myself liking the mysterious male more than the female MC... The opposite was true of this book.

I should also point out that Natalie's (equally stereotypical) sex-crazed best friend Jess had all of the best dialogue in the book.

Side Note of Confusion:
Why on earth have people on GoodReads classified this book as paranormal? There are zero vampires in this book. none.

UPDATE MAY 10, 2014:
I had the opportunity to say hello to Kresley Cole in Memphis while she was traveling with the Belles on Wheels Book Tour. I had an awkward photo op and asked a few questions about the Professional Series.

I wanted to know if Sevastyan & Natalie's story will continue in a second book... The answer was "no." Apparently Sevastyan's brothers are going to get their own books, but we've seen all the character development we're going to get out of these two...

***I was granted an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,268 followers
January 14, 2021
BDSM. A Russian mafia princess. A broody hero.

The plot is trite and an insult to the reader's intelligence.

Please save your time and money
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,453 followers
February 25, 2019
Every man has a weakness; you are mine. I’ve accepted that. Now you must accept me.

I believe that every romance writer should take a few useful pointers on how to write Alpha males romance novels by reading Kresley Cole’ s books. Especially in her Game Maker series, she describes three top notch Alpha males who
1. They do everything for their female
2. They know their female the second they lay eyes on her
3. They never let her go
4. They make her feel absolutely unique and special
5. They provide her with everything she needs
6. They put her above money and power
7. They protect her even from her own self

And at the same time they are
1. Sexy
2. Dangerous
3. Powerful
4. Over the top goodlooking
5. Clever
6. Witty
7. Filthy rich
8. Athletic
9. Focused

If you combine these characteristics with
1. funny dialogues
2. steamy sex scenes
3. a nice adventure with bad guys who don't know with whom they are messing with
4. a very strong heroine. (Seriously the romance novels usually suffer from underwhelming, disappointing heroines and every time I find a good, strong one I cheer)

...then you have the Sevastyan brothers’ novels as a result!

The first novel is about Aleksei “The Siberian” Sevastyan (an enforcer in Russia mafia) and Grad student Natalie Porter (who discovers that her father is a boss in Russia mafia).

If you are skittish about BDSM descriptions, I have to warn you that there are plenty. And there are a few voyeurism and exhibitionism scenes.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,167 reviews98.2k followers
April 23, 2018
“A trusted right-hand man and a treasured daughter?”

I'm not going write up a big, long review for this, but I still want to put some of my thoughts down for you all. But mostly I just want to say: this book was exactly what I needed! It was so hot, so steamy, so sexy, and it was 100% what I was in the mood for.

“Hanging out in a sensual sauna, naked, with an off-limits enforcer who happened to make my mouth water: what could possibly go wrong?”

Like, exactly what I needed. The Professional stars a girl who at the very start is questioning her parentage, because she was adopted. And she soon finds out that she is the daughter of a very powerful man in Russia who is involved with the mafia/mafiya. And she also finds out that he has sent his right-hand man to be a bodyguard to look after her for a while now, without her knowing.

The girl and her bodyguard rush off to Russia after her life has been compromised, and she gets to finally meet her biological father, while also getting to know the man that has been keeping an eye on her. And, like… lots of sexy times ensues. A whole lot of sexy times.

But let me emphasize, the male protagonist is very much the epitome of what adult romance considers an “alpha male”. And this girl is forced to leave the life she has always known and is put into a foreign country and a foreign home and has to adapt. I could write an entire review on the power imbalance between these two love interests. So, please never think I’m ignoring this. I just rate erotic books differently than other books! I know many of the relationships are toxic and problematic and I completely understand that they wouldn’t be the healthiest and/or most ideal of starts for people in real life, but I love steamy reads and I rate them purely off my enjoyment. But I’m never making excuses for any of the content in this book.

Content Warnings: loss of a loved one, death, murder, torture, abandonment, talk of past child abuse, possessiveness, stalking, kidnapping, talk of war, and the most alpha man in all of literature.

Overall, I really needed a book like this after all the romance novels I was reading that weren’t scratching a particular itch I was fiending to read. This book also heavily talks about BDSM lifestyles, needs, wants, clubs, aftercare, everything really, and I loved it. Do I think this book is for everyone? Hell no. Was this book exactly what I needed? Oh my gosh, Yes! And I won’t stop thinking about it anytime soon, I promise. This was an amazing erotic read, and I’m forever thankful for Paloma, her friendship, and her perfect recommendation.

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Profile Image for SamJ ★Needs a HEA★.
609 reviews861 followers
August 30, 2015
★Book Basics★

Genre : - Cont Romance
Series : - Book 1 in the series.
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Would I read more by this author/or in this series? - Yes
Rating - 4 stars.


I actually read this in the 3 separate parts, but one after the other, as on Amazon at the time, it was cheaper to buy it in 3 separate bits as opposed to 1 entire book. But since I cbb to review each individual bit, I shall just review it as a whole. (I assume the story remains the same, although I am not 100% if there were any changes at all when it was published as a complete book)

I really enjoyed this book. Loved both main characters, really liked Natalie's friend.

I enjoyed their story. Aleksei's past being hinted at throughout, and giving tiny glimpses into why he is as shut down as he is.

And Natalie needed more out of the relationship, and did not want to sit back and just accept the admittedly amazing sexual connection, while being kept at arms length emotionally from Aleksei. It was clear how much Natalie meant to him, she is his air, his life, and when he talked about his past it is truly heartbreaking.

As I say, I really did enjoy it, so why not a 5?

Well, for me Natalie seemed to forget about her adoptive parents/family very quickly, especially her adoptive Dad who had died a few years before. I can understand her need to know he birth family - but she seemed to adjust to the role of Mafia princess very quickly almost forgetting the life she had had before.

But all in, a great hot read, that kept me interested in the characters and in wanting to continue the series.
Profile Image for Kirsten.
382 reviews169 followers
June 6, 2015
3.5-4 stars!

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The Professional was quite unexpected. I think because of the mafia influence, I was thinking it would be a thrilling ride with violent implements. I was surprised that that this took a back seat, and was a more about the realistic growth of two individuals, their relationship, and sexual proclivities.

Twenty-four year old, Natalie Porter has spent the last six years in search of her biological parents. When she can't come in contact with the investigator that was helping her, she gives up.

She also has a special talent. Her friends refer to her as a manalyzer, and she can read men's hang-ups just by looking at them. That is until an unreadable man stalks into the bar that she and her girlfriends are at. Natalie is not the type to approach guys. She is too busy with school and doesn't want the added stress of a relationship.

But this man is different. Against her M.O., she decides to engage in the sexy stranger.

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Walking into the bar that night was no coincidence for Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan. The thirty-one year old enforcer ,has been watching and researching the beautiful redhead for the past month. He has come all the way from Russia to Nebraska to get some intel on the woman that is his boss's daughter. He needs to find out everything about her, as she is the heir to the Russkaya Mafiya throne.

He never expected her to single him out at the bar.

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Against her will, he takes her to Russia to meet her father.

The chemistry is high and both party's want to give into the lust that is bubbling between them.

However Sevastyan is making it quite difficult for Natalie. Even though he wants her, he can't have her...yet.

When a tragedy happens, the two must flee to Paris to escape dangers to Natalie.
With the two of them alone, Savastyan will find that Natalie likes the rougher side of sex, just like him.

There is a catch. If Natalie gives herself to him, they are plighted, and must remain together forever. With Sevastyan's secrets and unforthcoming personality, Natalie believes they are doomed.

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Even though this book took me by surprise, I really enjoyed reading it. There were some elements that occurred that were really refreshing and realistic to read about.

The first thing that caught my attention, was the fact that Natalie pursued Sevastyan. I liked reading about a woman who knows what she wants, and goes after it. I thought this was handled well, and maybe even a little comical. It was very nice to read about the heroine being the aggressor.

The second element I really liked was Natalie was hell-bent to have a real and everlasting relationship with Sevastyan. She wanted a true connection, and to not have it be about just sex. She worked on that so badly that it almost broke them.

I also really loved her friend Jess. She had me chuckling with some of the things she said. Her advice and words were perfectly timed when other things seemed to be so serious.

"He tackled you in a cornfield, dick-glamoured you, and you still somehow resisted."
"Put down the Kool-aid and get some perspective, doll."
"ABC, baby! Always be crazier."

Overall this was tough to put down, had likable characters, a decent plot, wonderful writing, and hotter than shit sex scenes. I would recommend this if you want a shmexy, yet slightly unconventional BDSM read. I thoroughly enjoyed and will no doubt be continuing with the series.
Profile Image for Violina N.
196 reviews324 followers
March 30, 2016
4 "The Siberian" stars

“A body like that was good for two things that started with F. And fighting was the other one.”

This book was quite the ride! I have it on my Kindle for ever and it took me to see one awesome review to make me read it - and I do not regret a thing!

Mafia, guns, romance, lust, sex, family, action - all was packed in this book! I was hooked from the first page to the last!

Each chapter makes you want to continue reading and not to stop till you are finish with it! The writing was amazing, the words were floating to me! So easy to connect with the heroine - which I loved very much! The hero was hell of a sexy man with crazy hot accent! The story develops till the last page and the characters as well. You can feel and see their growing up as people and how they open their hearts and minds for more. Both of them had their own struggles but in the end they realise that love will always be stronger than anything.

This book was also erotic. VERY KINKY KIND OF EROTIC!

So much sexual tension, so much steamy and off the charts kinky sexy scenes. It was a longggg time coming since I've read such a kinky book but it was worth it because nothing felt too much or not written good enough. So in one word: HOT!

Aleksandr Sevastyan.. this man was an enigma! Strong alpha male, loyal to the core, hard (PUN intended), broody, moody, smart, even funny on occasion, sexy as hell! He had his shadows hunting him but he was a also a man that knows how to keep a woman. He was possessive and domineering but also tender with killer instincts to protect his love ones. He was irritating at times but that did not stop me nor stopped Natalie to fall for him.. hard! He was a man who knows how to give pleasure like no other. The things he can will leave you panting, hot and bothered! I loved that he revealed himself and he was willing to change in order to be with the woman he so strongly loves!

“When a woman singles me out”—he leaned down to murmur at my ear—“it’s because she wants to get fucked. She looks at the scars and tattoos and knows she’ll get fucked hard.”

Natalie..she was THE TITS! One of the best heroines! Fierce, independent, witty and sassy but also smart and lovely. She found a part of herself when she met Sevastyan. A part that was hidden away but he awake the beast in her, the woman who loves to submit and to feel pleasure with no shame. What I loved about her was that she stood her ground even when it was hard.

“I wasn’t a big fan of women trying to fix men, to change them. I always figured there were guys enough out there, so I should look for a total package that was already fully Ikea-assembled—or go without.”

She knew that without fighting nothing will come easy! She was a person who always gets what she wantes one way or another, same as Sevastyan, yet another thing that they have in similarity. She and Sevastyan were born to each other. The struggles she felt, the confusion of what is happening to her was so realistic. Her only wish was to find her birth parents and suddenly she was thrown in the mafia world, the Russian mafia world! A place that is full with dangerous, violent and ruthless people. Every normal person would be overwhelmed with these new things but she managed to stay sane and to not get blind by the money and the power. The attitude of hers made me laugh and smile, she was funny and refreshing of all these heroines who do not know what they want.

“I’ll consider myself lucky, my elusive girl, once you consider yourself taken. Every man has a weakness; you are mine. I’ve accepted that. Now you must accept me.”

The whole book was a journey about two people who have this amazing sexual connection and yet they had struggles with the emotional part. They both learn new things from each other. Patience and honesty are the things that keep a relationship steady. These things are the main ones that drive how your new relationship would progress. These characters prove that love means to want to understand eachother not to fix or change!
I love when books teach me new thing and this one definitely did teach me some very interesting things!
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,813 followers
March 15, 2017
Review posted: 15.04.2016 (edited 10.05.2016)

“How could I close you out when I never let you in?”

I'm a bit undecided on the rating...simply because I actually liked the book in the beginning. I mean, it started out really good, with Aleksei Sevastyan being awesome. In fact, he was hot, but as the story went on...well, he turned out, in my head, weak? He was insecure and so...unsure of himself. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those who are that, I am that myself, but when he started out so different, so sure and confident, sexy and commanding? You know what I mean or am I just babbling here?
“When a woman singles me out”—he leaned down to murmur at my ear—“it’s because she wants to get fucked. She looks at the scars and tattoos and knows she’ll get fucked hard.”

Anyway, the story, again, started out so good, but it wasn't long before it went downhill from there either. Here the thing, Aleksei might have 'kidnapped' Natalie Porter, but we all know she would have gone with him either way. He should've just been patient with her, but we all know he lacks that.
“I’ll consider myself lucky, my elusive girl, once you consider yourself taken. Every man has a weakness; you are mine. I’ve accepted that. Now you must accept me.”

Moving fast forward to getting to her father's place in Russia. There Natalie meets her father, who's adorable, and not at all as a mafia. I can't picture him as a mafia at all. So that was just...wrong. I was Incredible sad though, when I was shocked, I hadn't really expected that.
A body like that was good for two things that started with f. And fighting was the other one.

Other than that, nothing did really happen. Exept Aleksei and Natalie's relationship. Which wasn't all that. I wasn't Natalie's biggest fan, you see. Why, I cannot remember, but I just remember not liking her all that much... But the book did have its moments, so it wasn't the worst I've read, but not the best either. I will not continue with this series though.
We’ve established that you’re hot-blooded—and you know your own mind. Yet you were a virgin?”
When he moved to my other breast, my lids slid shut. “I had some bad experiences.”
Dropping his hands, he tensed around me, gritting out one word: “Names.”
My eyes went wide. “No, no, not like that! I had some unfortunate, clumsy experiences, I should say.”

Rate: 2.5/3-2 stars.
July 20, 2017
* PART 1 - 5 stars

“Heading off to a Russian gangsterland.
With a twisted enforcer who’s hotter than the sun.
What could possibly go wrong?”
- Natalie Marie Porter

* * *
“Shame is more painful than blows.”
- Aleksandr Sevastyan "The Siberian"

* PART 2 - 4.5 stars

“In a dim part of my brain, I recognized that he’d set me up to be punished, that it was always going to fall to this—because he played games.
Was he playing for higher stakes than I could afford to lose?”
(Natalie Marie Porter)

* * *
“You and I are inevitable.”
- Aleksandr Sevastyan "TheSiberian"

* PART 3 - 4 stars

“There’s a need in me—to destroy them for desiring what’s mine. Never forget that.”
- Sevastyan

* * *
“You knew everything about me, and I knew nothing about you. Nothing except lies. Our dynamic was ruined from day one.”
- Natalie
Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
686 reviews13.5k followers
January 6, 2021
EDIT** Just did a re-read of this and HOLY MOLY! I forgot how freaking SCORCHING hot this story was! It’s next level STEAMY! Definitely still loved it. A great read.


FIRST TIME READING: To say it was brilliant is putting it mildly. I just loved it!
Profile Image for Janie.
870 reviews70 followers
June 3, 2017
I can't believe how late I am to this party!! I'm not going to rehash what the book is about as the blurb and many other reviews do a great job of that.

As I was reading i was thinking that Aleksandr was just cold and closed off and I didn't see any major changes. Then about halfway through I realized that wasn't really the case. Those were the things he portrayed on the outside but even without his pov I realized he was showing his feelings for Natalie through actions that she was having a hard time seeing because she was also closed off. I loved them together and their chemistry was hot. These two people truly needed one another.

The ending was great although i wanted more but as this is a series of standalones, I know we will get more of this couple throughout. Jumping into book 2 immediately.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,180 followers
January 29, 2022
I could have enjoyed this book in a guilt pleasure kind of way, but the douchebag male lead really destroyed things for me.

I mean, I'm alright with books which are aimed to help their readers to jerk off and fantasize about hitting it off with hot guys...there's no shame in it, and as usual Kresley Cole delivered one smoking hot sex scene/BDSM scene after another, however, the relationship between the male and female leads just has to suck major ass so whatever fantasy I could have enjoyed now lays in waste.

(1) the male lead is very likely the biggest douchebag in the history of romance novels. Even the heroine wonders why can't she fall for a guy who doesn't need to be fixed.

and seriously................I think it's stupid to try to 'fix' any guy with your true love, especially when you are not a psychiatrist...I mean, even when you actually are a psychiatrist, the idea of 'fixing' people still doesn't sit well with me.

(2) the male lead keeps ways too many things from the heroine (he doesn't bother to tell her he has two brothers), he also lives her life for her (woman making her own decision? No way!) and won't take no for an answer.

(3) the male lead threats to kill other men whenever they come close to the heroine. (a lot of wife-abusers do that kind of shit damn it!)

(4) the heroine is pissed by the male lead's behaviors *at the beginning*, even trying to leave him, but all that changes after *rolls eyes*

(5) around page 200, the heroine's father , but then the next thing we know, these two are fucking each other's brain out even before .

I know, people react strangely when they are grieving, I know some people turn to sex for comfort, but...a detailed description of how the heroine lost her virginity right after ? Please spare me that!

(6) of course, the heroine has to be a virgin and the guy has tons and tons of sexual experience under his belt. *rolls eyes*

(7) last but not least, I found it really annoying and silly for the male lead to keep saying endearments in Russian to the heroine and how he changes the heroine's name into Russian form *at the heat of passion*. I don't find any of these romantic or hot.

(8) surprisingly, despite my hatred toward this one, I read the third book in the series, The Player, and I love it!

I have a love-hate relationship with Cole's novels, but this time I feel Cole is trying too hard to ride the financial success of 50 Shades of Grey, and I'm not amused.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,650 reviews3,233 followers
February 5, 2018
3.5 There Has To Be A Beginning Of A Series Stars
* * * 1/2 Spoiler Free
I have this habit of seeing my friends' reviews float by and cause all sorts of curiosity about the books they just reviewed.

A. That means I have really talented friends who know how to write fantastic, teasing reviews.
B. These reviews make me want to read the books whether I have read the first one in a series...or not.
C. Sometimes, the reviews say the first installments are not needed in order to enjoy the book I am learning about...
So there is a fifty-fifty chance, I will just dive into the hot book I was panting for...

Which brings me to The Master (The Game Maker, #2).
I read that and loved every single minute of it.

Yes, it was a second book.
Yes, there were parts which referenced this book.
And most importantly, it was amazing.

I loved it so much, I decided to read this book, the first installment, to learn all of the back story... and see what I missed. Although it had its moments...it was not as strong for me as The Master.

Although the writing was excellent, for me ...it was a lot of sex and some outlining for things to come...more sex, then kinky sex, then wishing for the man to open up... finally does and then happy ever after sex. Yes, there was more... but that was the jest of it.

Which is fine....but more eh.... for me.
Why am I reviewing and saying all of this... Because I adored book 2 and pray book 3 will be as good or better.

Psssst.... They Are...Sooooo Good :DDDD

The Professional (The Game Maker, #1) by Kresley Cole The Professional (The Game Maker, #1)
The Master (The Game Maker, #2) by Kresley Cole The Master (The Game Maker, #2)
The Player (The Game Maker, #3) by Kresley Cole The Player (The Game Maker, #3)

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,898 reviews634 followers
August 14, 2022
The Professional is not exactly what I expected. I was expecting something dark mafia romance. Instead, Miss Cole disappoint me with lack of originality. The writing is choppy and immature. A lot of copy and paste.

The sex can not help the story either. Too much sex not enough character development. There is no in depth development with the story either.

2 stars
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,626 reviews148 followers
February 23, 2016
Oh I do enjoy a good alpha possessive billionaire tale. This billionaire ran the Russian mafia and was a true badass so it was Bob-on for my tastes.

She's an all-American farm girl who stumbles into a world of incredible wealth and violence when she goes searching for her roots. He takes one look at her and he's growling at her in Russian and glowering at anyone else with his steely gaze.

Naturally enough he's into bdsm and she's a virgin so while that made for some delicious tension and scorching smut, I could've done without all of the endlessly complicated paraphernalia that's needed for a bdsm scene - by the time I've figured out what body parts are attached to that chain and what's hanging over the edge of that wooden contraption, my eyes are glazing over.

I managed to read this and the next in the series, The Master, out of sequence, but each book deals with a different couple and can be read as a standalone complete story. Recommended.
Profile Image for Snow.
2,211 reviews650 followers
December 17, 2015
5 "It-was-pre-destined-for-us-to-meet" stars

This was so good, I had to unexpectedly drop my other BR for which I apologise and promise to make up for...I'm a weak lusty woman compelled to indulge into her own carnal desires by re-living vicariously through MCs in scorching hot, sexy stories and then yes, that's how much those stories affect me...

and so did this one...following the storyline of a young woman in search of her biological parents, who ends up finding out the inevitable, pre-destined alteration - the ultimate change in emotional, physical and sexual way that she couldn't even grasp at and that went beyond her power of comprehension - only led her to the notion of her own discovery while growing close in every possible, vulnerable and known way, to the last man she could never be prepared to...he was the danger, the unknown, the fear BUT he was made for her as much as she was made for him and they were drawn to each other by never knowing it! This was a scorching hot story with BDSM elements that thrive to extend your own comodity but not in a way that would make you close your eyes in shame BUT to see it as a possibility to see deep inside your own sexual self.

but it was also a story of deliverance, of liberating your inner self and awknoledging your fears, scars, wounds and putting them infront of you baring your body, mind and soul to become ONE with another soul, putting your walls and guard down, giving a chance to develop in the most vulnerable notion one person can give to other - TRUST...

and all this time it was as if they were with the one you were meant to be...

the emotions, the raw sensuality and undeniable passion between the two MCs gradually grows expanding firstly from denial, backing away but thinking the getting it out of the system would be enough - over the almost painful craving while fighting and resisiting - and then finally yielding and giving in...into the pleasurable acceptance...of belonging, of knowing

“Then I will pleasure you as I need to, as you need me to.”

“How can you change me so much?” I whispered against his ear.
“How?” At one point I’d thought I would lose my mind.
“I haven’t. I’ve just shown you a different facet of yourself.”

“I won’t leave you like this.”
“Why? You don’t give a fuck about me. Not beyond what I can do for you.”
Did he mean beyond pleasure? Beyond his protection? I remembered his parting words after our fight: Beyond sex, anything with me doesn’t appeal to you. “You’re so wrong, Sevastyan.”

“What do you want from me, Natalie?”
How to articulate it? I want to kiss you until you forget your pain for a time, want to hold you tight against me because I can’t seem to get my body close enough to yours. In other words . . .
“I want you to make love to me.”

“You belong against me”—he grazed his teeth down my neck—“around me. Connected to me.”
His fingers made a cage over my throat. “You belong to me.”

I need to control you, command you, punish you. In order to madden you.

“A good man would reason that you were confused last night, traumatized, and couldn’t be held accountable for your actions. A good man would release you back to your old life, now that everything has changed.”
“But you don’t consider yourself a good man?”
He faced me, enunciating the words: “Not in the least, pet.”

“You want me to confide in you because you think it will fix things in me, heal me. It won’t!” Voice rising with each word, he said, “I will always have these shadows inside me!”
I yelled back, “Damn it, Sevastyan, I never wanted the shadows to disappear—I wanted them to be our shadows!”
His lips parted, eyes filled with bafflement.

“I wanted to know you; not fix you.”

Profile Image for Amanda.
1,376 reviews316 followers
May 5, 2015
Woah! The foreplay and the sex in this one is freaking off the chart HOT! I love the BDSM element that was added in here and the approach they have on this topic itself. We have a heroine who is fascinated with the first taste she got in this lifestyle, and a hero who was in dilemma whether he should indulge in it or not. Although we have the Russian mob as the background story, this is very much a character driven romance, so there isn't much suspense or detail into the mobster work.

Natalie Porter, a student in Nebraska had been searching for her biological parent for years. Until one day, a sexy Russian broke into her home and kidnap her to Moscow to meet her biological father. She had this insta-attraction towards Sevastyan, but was having a hard time coping with her current situation. Her father is a Russian mobster, someone wish her harm and she was whisked away from her life in Nebraska! Holy shit!

Sevastyan is Natalie's father most trusted enforcer and he was to bring back his boss long lost daughter and keep her safe. What he didn't expect is to bewitch by her and wish to possess her for his own darkest desire.

Just so you know, Sevastyan was into BDSM and it was seriously some hot stuff going on there. Their foreplay was goddamn hot. However, he was holding back because of who Natalie is. So basically he was being hot and cold and giving off all these mixed signals.

"I am an enforcer, a contract killer, and I pity you for piquing the lusts of a man like me."

Considering things the things that's happening, uprooting her life and all, Natalie still manage to take everything in stride and trying to get to know her father. Meanwhile, her desire for Sevastyan grew, despite his intention in avoiding her. She was cock-blocked by some twisted kind of mafiya logic because he didn't want to ruin his boss daughter. Urg! But this woman is relentless and believes she can wear him out anytime soon. I just love her being so sexually confident and so accepting towards his brand of sex.

Things changed when they were forced to flee together and only had each other to depend on. Now they were under pressure to make a workable relationship to stay together, but with Sevastyan always closing up on himself, Natalie was getting frustrated and wondering can she really be with a man that she didn't really know. The worst thing is his reluctance to indulge into BDSM anymore with Natalie because of more of his twisted logic. Aww... sometimes he can be so stubborn and sweet at the same time. So despite having lots of sex, they were both sexually frustrated.

"I'm a flesh-and-blood woman, a hot-blooded woman - not some porcelain doll."

I just have to mention Natalie's bff, Jess. Although Jess was faraway in Nebraska, their constant phone conversations cracked me up. She was this ever supportive slutty friend, despite not giving any sound advice.

"I want my own membership to Cirque du Cock! Come on, you durrrty hussy, buy me one, huh, huh?"

Told completely from Natalie's POV, her inner thought was pretty hilarious and I love the humour that was injected in it. I find it hard understand Sevastyan most of the time because the man was really uncommunicative especially about his past and his feelings. But his elusiveness and mysteriousness is part of the charm and when every little titbits were revealed along the way, I craved for more. But don't worry, in the end I found that everything was revealed and explained well. Despite being a character driven book that usually bore me, I was fully engaged from beginning to end because the hero was simply too fascinating and make me want to know all about him. I just wish the story were longer. I want to see how they live their life together back in Russia. I wonder is the next book is about Sevastyan's brothers or we still got more of Sevastyan. But I will definitely mark my calendar for it.
Profile Image for ♡kitten♡.
208 reviews363 followers
July 12, 2015
Three words: Hot. As. Fuck.

Can I just say that I freaking love Kresley Cole? Author, you rock. I loved you in your MacCarrick Brothers series and you writing a contemporary book just proved how much of a great erotic writer you are. *bows down*

As for this book, I admit I'm a bit at loss for words. When I started reading this I had a brief feeling of certainty that it wouldn't hold my interest. But you know those books that started boring as hell but eventually kept getting better and better? Well, this was one of those books, I tell you.

As I read, the scenes were fast-becoming intense, until I found myself lost in this story that I just couldn't put it down to the point of not wanting it to end. Yes, it was that enthralling.

I really enjoyed the story and the MCs. Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan was a Russian Enforcer. A very hot Russian Mafia Enforcer who's an alpha male through and through and as intense as he could get. Physically, he was scarred. Emotionally, he was damaged. But to say that I loved his character would be an understatement. His kinky and dominant side made me love him all the more. His character had every aspect I look for in a hero: dominant, tortured, possessive, protective, jealous, obsessed, and the list goes on. I don't think I've ever read a book with a Russian Mafia hero hotter than Sevastyan. And the way he speaks in Russian just made my panties wet. *fans self*

On the other hand, I found Natalie likeable as well, though not as engaging as Sevastyan's character was. I admit I was annoyed with her during the first few chapters of the book. But later on I realized she wasn't as bad as I originally thought. Her character was strong and I enjoyed the witty banters between her and Jess.

Overall, this book didn't disappoint at all. Sevastyan's past was heartbreaking to read. But the scenes between him and Natalie left me speechless. The intense chemistry between them was beyond hot and explosive as hell that I was afraid my reader was going to burst into flames.

Kresley Cole is such a brilliant writer and this isn't the first time she stunned me with her incredible talent in writing. She isn't a stranger to me when it comes to the "erotic" aspect of the story and I definitely love her for it. This book, however, was a new side of Kresley Cole. How she managed from writing historical and paranormal romances to writing contemporary/suspense book really amazed me. If you love your book with a headstrong heroine and a hot as hell Russian Mafia hero who'll do anything to possess his woman, this is for you.

Rating: 4 stars.
POV: 1st person. Heroine's POV.
Series: 1st book in The Game Maker series. Can be read as standalone.
Cliffhanger: No.
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,038 followers
June 3, 2014
2 okay stars!

I had high hopes for this book and I was very excited that I finally got to read it.

Natalie was fun and her "manlyzer" was awesome. Plus, she had Jess, her BFF who knows her ABC (Always be Crazier) down to a tee.

Then there's Sevastyan.

The brooding, mysterious Russian who is sent by Natalie's biological father to protect her. He was an intriguing character plus the chemistry between Natalie and Sevastyan was smoking hot. I was ready for hot. Not to mention the fact that this book seems to promise spine-tingling suspense and non-stop action based on the blurb; she's a mafiya princess and he's the studly enforcer sent to protect her from the bad guys.

So I was kind of thinking like this: Damsel in distress + studly alpha male protector + bad guys = GREAT READ!!

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This book failed to deliver on the heart-pumping excitement that it promised. What it did deliver, though, was sex.

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Lots and lots of sex.

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It got annoying after a while. I have nothing against BDSM but must erotica always equal BDSM? Natalie was a "virgin" and Sevatyan was broken, so yeah, it follows that they practice BDSM.

I still enjoyed Jess and Natalie's banter though. But other than that, this book was a big disappointment.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Mandy.
1,510 reviews219 followers
February 19, 2016

Really enjoyed this one! Great story that was laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, a little bit sad other times and a whole LOT of hot and sexy! I'm not normally a fan of BDSM books but this one worked for me and I really loved it!
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,064 reviews395 followers
February 18, 2019
4.5 STARS!
"For a submissive, you can be extremely aggressive."
Lots of well-written, TRASHY fun! :D

There are about a million reviews for this one, so I'll spare you the plot recap and just head into why The Professional was such a winner for me:

✔ kick- ass, hilariously pragmatic heroine who was a total riot
I, Natalie Porter, had gotten my rocks off while being spanked. And I was going to roll with it.
✔dark, broody, manipulative hero who was a serious badass
His eyes darkened with possession. Deep. Brutal. Never-ending.
✔ hot kink galore that didn't devolve into violence
✔ mafia goodness
✔ so many funny moments (I love Kresley Cole's sense of humor!)
✔ a very strong ending

So why am I rounding down?

I love manipulative characters - they can make for some great plot twists. But in this case, I thought the author allowed the hero to get away with too much that went unanswered.

By the end of the story, I understood why, but that didn't lessen my frustration throughout the rest of the story. If the heroine had thrown a few more punches, this would have gone on my all-time favorites list.

Regardless, I seriously can't wait to read the rest of this series. Thank you, Anne! <3
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