He makes the rules . . .
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, Sevastyan will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.
In this third serial installment, the sexual and emotional dynamic between Natalie and Sevastyan is a dizzying volley of dominance and submission, openness and secrets, generosity and brutality.
Natalie and Sevastyan are in hiding now that her father has been killed and all hell has broken loose in the Russian Mafiya turf wars. On the relationship front, things are just as volatile: Now that Natalie and Sevastyan have consummated their relationship, it is expected that she belongs to him and him alone. But can she be satisfied with one man? And will that one man accept her true sexually adventurous nature?
In the opening scene, he puts her sexuality to the test by taking her to the voyeuristic sex club Le Libertin. “We’d had two hurdles – sexual frustration and lack of emotional intimacy. Tonight we would dismantle the first, paving the way toward fixing the second.”
She enjoys the edgy, intensely erotic scenes playing out before her, described in glorious detail. Natalie thanks him for bringing her to witness the orgy, and he says “You thank me? What does my taking you here say about me? To win a woman, I am willing to defile her?” And defile her he does: Watching quickly turns into doing when he straps her down and puts on a graphic, edgy sex scene for the other club-goers to witness. Natalie is in control of drawing the curtain to make their action private, but she feels she is being put to a test, and she does not back down. He is amazed by her resolve: “You know your own mind. I’d forgotten that along the way.” He tells her, “Tonight, I realized that I can torment you and treasure you. For you, it can be one and the same.”
Their sexual relationship now explicitly moves into BDSM territory. He lays down the ground rules: “You’re not to come at all until you ask for – and receive – permission from me.” And, “Don’t ever look at another man with lust, unless you want him dead.”
While their sexual intimacy grows, during the day, he is just as private and closed off as ever before. This frustrates her. She is also tired of being on the run. The great sex is not enough to compensate for the fact that her life is on hold, and he doesn’t treat her as a true partner. At one point, it seems that discussing her father, and grieving over him, will bring them emotionally closer. But still, the chasm is not bridged. When she finds that he has lied to her about his own family, it’s the final straw. She leaves him. While at the airport, she gets a text from him: Get your ass back here or I will whip it raw.
(This sets the scene for what will be an intense, aggressive, some might say morally questionable sex scene.) Sevastyan finds her at the airport and drags her home. What ensues is an elaborate sexual encounter complete with bondage and a type of sex that, while technically consensual, is pushing the boundaries. It results in her ecstasy, but brings them no closer to resolving their larger issues of intimacy and honesty. She tells him that if they’d started out as a normal couple maybe they’d have a chance. But they didn’t and so, “our dynamic was ruined from day one.” She is so utterly convinced that they have no chance together, no matter how extreme they push each other sexually, he is forced to finally be equally as extreme with his emotional intimacy. Finally, the floodgates open, and for the first time she is able to see her lover for who he really is. Only now can she truly begin to love him.
In the end, it is clear they are going to make a life together. As a reader, this gives me mixed feelings. I always saw Sevastyan as the bridge between her past and her future, but not as her future. Some adventures are best experienced, and then left behind.