At my job, we have a type of project that is easy enough that I can listen to podcasts or audiobooks while I work on it. This time around, I chose to listen to this audiobook. It kept me riveted and engaged, but when things got hot in the book, I felt a little nervous listening to it in the office. Talk about some heat.
A sheltered young woman leaves her home to live on her own and becomes involved with a mysterious Ukrainian who has ties with a dangerous Russian mafia group. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
Though my first audiobook was fun but not magical, and I have to say…I loved this one. I loved that the readers used a Russian accent when reading from Nikolai’s point of view. I also enjoyed the fact that there were two people reading, one for each character’s point of view.
Living Under a Rock
Daisy is really naive. Really, really naive. But it works in this book because she’s been extremely sheltered and so is weirdly awkward. Her father has kept her under his thumb for years, having turned paranoid and agoraphobic after the murder of his wife. But Daisy wants more, and so after some sneaky planning, she manages to run away to live in an apartment with a roommate. Because I could understand why she had no social skills, her awkwardness and the fact that she was clueless about many things weren’t as annoying as they might have been otherwise.
Nikolai starts out a little creepy, but he’s so endearing that I didn’t actually care that he was peeping on Daisy. He’s an assassin and part of a Russian bratva, but he’s also damaged from his youth. So when he actually has feelings for Daisy, it’s classically trope-ish and really romantic. He wants to protect her, she wants her independence, and this brings some great conflict.
Of course Nikolai doesn’t tell her he’s a killer for hire, and his secrets start to get a little out of hand. But he tries to maintain normalcy by taking her out on dates and buying her nice things…things she doesn’t want him to buy because they cost so much, of course. But he does it anyway. He’s also there to rescue her in a few situations, so props for some damsel in distress situations that make sense considering Daisy’s lack of world experience.
Sex & Violence
This is a darker romance, dealing with mafia and murder and heroines in danger. I loved this blend and thought it was well balanced. There was suspense in the fact that I knew at some point Nikolai’s profession would get Daisy into trouble. It was just a matter of it actually happening. Then when it did, I got all worked up waiting for Nikolai to figure it out and go save her. There are some dark themes. While Daisy isn’t raped, another character is, and there is quite a bit of violence.
The Romance Factor
I got the same heart feels from this one that I get from a really great book I’ve read visually. Nikolai’s desire to protect Daisy is amazingly sweet, and Daisy’s worry that everything she says or does is wrong is kind of adorable. I know, it sounds like it could get really annoying, but it’s not. 5/5
The Steam Factor
While the sex doesn’t overpower the plot, the sexy times are definitely tantalizing. Daisy’s a virgin at the beginning, but it doesn’t seem to take long for her to jump on the dirty talk/dirty times train. 5/5
This was a great story with narrators that I really enjoyed. When it comes to audiobooks, the voices reading the story play a huge part in the experience. I’m going to listen to this whole series, including the book I’d already read (which I loved, so it won’t be a chore to enjoy it again). This one is written by 2 authors I like, and I feel that when they collaborate, romantic magic is made.