Category Archives: Aleksandr Voinov

City Mouse (Country Mouse #2) by Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov

city mouse

SYNOPSIS

A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?

Wrong.

When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.

One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.

Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.

Purchase COUNTRY MOUSE BOOK ONE  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Purchase CITY MOUSE BOOK TWO :: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

3.5 Stars

Aleksandr Voinov and Amy Lane can’t do much wrong in our eyes; they gave us a great emotional sequel that had angst, passion, love and hope.

We first met Malcolm and Owen in Country Mouse which we loved. This unlikely relationship is still going strong in City Mouse. Well kind of. What with Malcolm’s snobbish attitude, work ethics and slight case of relationship OCD it’s no wonder laid back Owen with his big cuddly heart feels as if their relationship is a fighting battle at times. Not only has Owen left his home country to take a chance on love, he also has to be the one that keeps this relationship alive.

Malcolm still struggles to get to grips with the love he has for Owen as well as their relationship. His intentions are good, deep down…they really are but he has got his priorities all wrong. His heart though is in the right place, he just does not know how to let go and just feel. His trust and his confidence being the two main culprits; hindering him in this relationship where frankly he comes across neurotic and scared. Malcolm drove us crazy at times in this story!

Now Owen, big strong cuddly and patient Owen is worried with where their relationship is going and wondering but also hoping that they can get past the hurdle that can make or break a relationship. If it wasn’t for Owen’s persistence, faith and love their relationship would have fallen at the wayside.

Despite the fact that we loved this sequel we can’t say we were fully satisfied at the end. Our hearts were still aching, we still felt issues were unresolved and we felt it wasn’t enough. We still worry for our Malcolm and Owen!

Thank you to Riptide Publishing and NetGalley for providing us with an ARC for an honest opinion

 

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Amy Lane, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Country Mouse (Country Mouse #1) by Aleksandr Voinov & Amy Lane

country mouseSYNOPSIS

Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition-even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing’s too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

Purchase COUNTRY MOUSE BOOK ONE  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Purchase CITY MOUSE BOOK TWO :: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

4 Stars

 Gitte:  Sigh…where do I start Jenny?! I really did enjoy this story.  It’s co-written by one of my favourite Authors so I was really looking forward to jumping in. I have to say though that despite it not being one of my favourites I really liked it. It was short, it was fun, it wasn’t too intense or emotional and it hit the spot!

Jenny:  I’m siging right there with you.  Where to start?  Of course….I’ve always said that Aleksandr Voinov could rewrite the phone book and I’d read it, so yes this became a must read for me and the synopsis sounded really good.  Whilst, I agree that it’s not my favourite of his, I have to say that I absolutely did enjoy every minute of it. It was such a fun story to escape into for a while.

Gitte:  It amazes me when Authors co-write Jenny because in this case the story is so seamless and fluid and prior to starting I was sure I’d recognise the Authors’ different writing styles, but I didn’t, I read it in one sitting and at no point did I hit a stumbling block or find that there were more than one voice involved. Owen and Malcolm came across solid, intense yet playful and oh so lovable.  This was a class act! What did you think Jenny?

Jenny:  I agree wholeheartedly G.  I read this in one sitting and never once did I skim nor falter in this wonderful story.  I loved both these characters.  I loved seeing Owen bring out the playful, caring side of Malcolm and I loved seeing Owen care for Malcolm and even manage to bring out a side in Malcolm, that even took Malcolm himself by surprise.

“Kindness is not weakness, Malcolm”

 Gitte:  I loved Owen and Malcolm Jenny. They were very night and day on the outside, portrayed somewhat deceptively. I felt like it was a bit of a ruse, with them starting off as one, me having them pegged down in my head…then as I read on, they almost did a 360 as they showed more of their true selves and shed the façade. From the start, unbeknownst to them, I believe they fit perfectly as each evened the other out, brought them out of , the slot they were occupying in life and emotionally; they needed that; they were ready for that.

Jenny:    Seeing them together was like seeing that last piece of the jigsaw being placed…..they fit so perfectly but neither of them were aware that they were missing that final piece, each other,  until the met one another.  I have no idea how authors co-write a book but seeing these two provide the fluidity of writing that, whilst they are both very different in their writing styles, it works so perfectly, so effortlessly that I look forward to more collaborations from these two authors.

Gitte:  Owen – “the country mouse”, did you not think Jenny that the description makes him come across as a bit meek….and also like this is a guy with no depth? I thought this was so misleading. This guy is amazing. So confident and sure of himself, who he is; what he wants. He is funny and enjoys life and isn’t scared to take a chance on this blood- minded guy he meets in a dingy pub.

Jenny:  Yes GG! I was I was expecting Owen to be meek, reserved and well yes, lacking depth but  nothing could be further from the truth.  Owen was a wonderful open, expressive character and so caring and yet so sexual, I loved how he brought Malcolm out of himself.

“Look at me” Owen whispered.  “Look at me until you can’t anymore”   

Gitte: Then we have Malcolm. I felt immediately that here is a guy who once put up a shield to protect his vulnerable self yet over time it has become so weather worn it’s almost welded itself to him making the true Malcolm blocked and stifled underneath this irritating cocky “pretend” dominant.  There were times in the beginning that rays of his true self shone out through the cracks in this shield which Owen obviously caught sensing the fake pretence and illusion. It took me a little while to warm up to Malcolm, Jenny.

Jenny:   Hmmm Malcolm, what a contradiction this man was.  I loved seeing his defences come down and those defences eventually shatter with Owen.  What an absolutely beautiful fit these two were and watching them bring out the absolute best in each other was mesmerising.

Gitte: I really thought the banter between these guys was fab, taking holiday sex and romance to a new level. It was fun, yummy and intense at times. A perfect balance of a quick swoon worthy and hard-hitting read. I loved how as a reader I started off on one path then taking a sharp turn onto another, I love surprises!! And yeah it being set in London made it all kinds of special too.

Jenny:  Loved everything about this book.  The banter was engaging, funny and and felt so real.  The sex was steamy, the intensity of the story and characters was spot on and it kept me entertained and had me devouring this fun story from start to finish.  I have to say the last scene in the book made me well up.   What an absolutely perfect ending to such an enjoyable story.  Captivating!

“Kiss me like a man Malcolm”

Gitte read and reviewed as an ARC for Netgalley

Jenny read and reviewed purchased copy

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Amy Lane, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Special Forces , Mercenaries and Veterans by Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate

SYNOPSIS

Special Forces is the story of a Scottish SAS soldier and a Soviet spetsnaz soldier. Two enemies who meet in the line of duty during the early days of the Soviet Union’s last war in Afghanistan. Behind enemy lines respect and finally love grow … but that’s only the official version. This epic spans across over twenty-five years of their lives. It’s harsh and violent, but life is cruel and they just do what they need to survive.

Special Forces – Soldiers is the first cycle of the Special Forces epic, which consists of three cycles and is about a million words. The second cycle is Mercenaries and the third one is Veterans.

This print version is the original version of Special Forces (1st edition), as it was edited by the authors of the time of first publication on Marquesate’s website. The Soldiers cycle was published between July 2006 and March 2007. This is the only version that is authorised by Marquesate.

The ebook version is available for free download, and the original chapters remain as a free read on Marquesate’s website below:

This print version of Special Forces is strictly non-profit and print cost only. The paperback of this original version is available from Lulu.


5 plus amazing stars!!

(This review encompasses all the books in the Special Forces series.)

When I first sat down to try and write how I felt after reading this series, no words came.  I knew I had just read something amazing. I often say that if a book makes me experience extreme emotions I know I have read the best there is. Well until I read book one in this series I never knew that I was capable of a book to affect me as much as this one did; as the whole series did.

I knew I had read something genius something I will probably never experience again. I hold my hand up honestly  and say that this series goes beyond everything I have ever read in my 37 years of life and I hesitate to say that I doubt I will ever feel as strongly about a story and 2 characters like I do now.

This series has affected me like no other and it has changed me forever. As I write this I actually feel the emotions as strongly about this story as I felt when reading it weeks ago.

So believe me when I say, I don’t think I am going to be able to write any kind of adequate or eloquent review that does this book any justice, it’s the honest truth.

My fan girl love affair with the brilliant Mr. Voinov continues no matter how much this genius of a man tries to test me, my sanity and my feelings.

This series is the EPIC 25 year journey of Vadim Krasnorada and Dan McFadyen; two enemies who meet in the line of duty during war in Afghanistan. Their lives crossing paths spanning years. Their story consumed me to the point life ceased to exist. I could not let them go.

To quote and use the words of Mr. Voinov:

They eat you up, swallow you whole, digest and churn you around until their loneliness spits you back out again.”

Their story messed with my head and my heart like no other before; it is brutal & tender, ugly & beautiful, painful & hopeful.

I had intense feelings of despair, hatred, happiness, at times I felt sick to my stomach and forgot to breathe, other times I laughed in relief. My emotions were all over the place. I was so confused with how I felt. I have never cried through a whole book before. But at times I was sat reading with silent tears that just didn’t stop.

Dan & Vadim’s journey is filled with revenge and torture; the aggression and lust between two powerful men turning into so much more on a journey that I both hated and loved.

Such perseverance, beauty and compassion I fell in love, no matter how irrational that felt to me at times, with both Dan and Vadim. My heart felt like it was going to burst with how much I loved these characters; still does when I think of them.

No two men’s love has surely ever been tested as much as Dan & Vadim’s. They have had just about everything anyone could imagine thrown at them. The logic said they shouldn’t have been together in the first place so to battle like they did through the ugliness of war, the two sides of conflict, the near death, the obscure obstacles, I was turned inside out….they captured me completely and their hold on me will never let up.

Their journey is not pretty, it is raw, ugly and kicks you where it hurts and oh does it hurt, but it is a genius work of beautiful basic human emotional art. I was stripped of all superficial emotions right down to the raw and the pure, layer by layer as I moved through their story. I was slowly seduced by the awe-inspiring words that had me absorbed in the story to the point of being an emotional nervous wreck.

I could sit here and write and write about how amazing Special Forces is, but finding the right words is proving too difficult and I would be here forever, it needs to be experienced.

After “living” 25 years with Dan & Vadim where I went through: War, Rape, Torture, Killing, Lies & Deception along with the ultimate strength of Love and the true meaning of Home, I was exhausted, overwhelmed  but I was oh so satisfied at the end.  I felt like I had been in a nasty fall and was picked up and lovingly put back together.

I actually feel honoured to have been allowed on this journey written by Mr. Voinov and Marquesate.  A journey that will stay with me forever.  Vadim and Dan changed my life and they took a huge part of my heart, that will always be theirs.

“You’re my home. I will find you.”

I will… find you. If it’s the last thing I’ll do, I’ll come back. Nothing will stop me.”

“If I touched you, that’d be it.” Dan shook his head, “Damn, how the fuck am I going to make you understand?” Pleading, almost. “You are everything, don’t you get it? You are the Afghan mountains, the damned red dust, the endless sky. You were my home, and more often than not, also my reason. You are unlike all the others, unlike anyone I shag, because when I touch you, it’s not just a touch, it’s eleven years of heaven and hell.”

 “You made me human. I stand by that. You made me into somebody I would have wanted to become, if I’d ever thought about what I wanted to be that wasn’t about a record or power or a rank or some…delusion I was chasing. If all that was gone and stripped away, the man I am, I am because of what you did, what you made me feel all those years.”

0-0

Now, for those of you who feel strong enough to go on this journey you are able to download it free, yes I am shaking my head as I type free, from Aleks website:

http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com/special-forces.html

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Filed under 5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte

Gold Digger (Special Forces Spin-Off) by Aleksandr Voinov

gold-diggerSYNOPSIS

Not all that glitters is gold.

Nikolai Krasnorada leads the life of a corporate nomad. Working for a gold explorations company, he’s never put down roots, and he likes it that way. Roots can be dangerous, as everyone from his “man-hating” sister to his manipulative mother to his war-traumatized father has proven.

But when his CEO sends him to Toronto to strike a deal with LeBeau Mining, Nikolai meets Henri LeBeau, crown prince to the resources conglomerate and inveterate flirt. Sparks fly immediately, despite the business deal that threatens to go sour and Nikolai’s own reluctance to give Henri false hope about him being Mr. Right. He’s barely come to terms with his bisexuality, and getting involved with Henri would get messy.

When LeBeau Mining launches a hostile takeover bid, Nikolai and Henri find themselves on opposite sides of the negotiating table. But fortunately—or perhaps unfortunately—for Nikolai, Henri’s not nearly as interested in his company as he is in his heart.

Available to purchase below:

purchase link small      purchase link small

✲✲✲✲

Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny

“Once you know what you want, you can make the rest happen”

Gitte:   My love affair with Mr. Voinov continues in Gold Digger.  I do believe wholeheartedly that this man is a genius, his writing completely flawless where each word is diligently written and shown to be important. He is one of the few Authors where I do not feel as if I am reading about the characters with me looking in from the outside, rather I am immersed so completely to the extent of voyeurism. Yes, Mr. Voinov, you have made me into a voyeur.  But I like it…..in fact I love it!

Jenny:  This book was my first introduction to Aleksandr Voinov (doesn’t he have the best name in author world?) and I am now on a mission to devour more from this very talented writer.  I was absolutely absorbed in this book and its characters and am totally in love with his writing style.

Gitte:   I thought Gold Digger was packed full of emotion and I felt every bit of it. It was extremely flirtatious sensual and romantic, in that intense and descriptive way Mr. Voinov so effortlessly conveys. The story also packed a powerful punch despite this one being one of the lighter books I have read of his. I almost want to call it sophisticated…can you call a book sophisticated without it sounding odd?

Jenny:  I didn’t know until I finished Gold Digger that it was a spin-off of The Special Forces series…guess what I’ll be reading very soon?  This author has such a way of describing a situation or a scene that has you there, in the moment.  Some of the poignant scenes between Henri and Nikolai had me believing I was witnessing their exchanges first hand, that I was there with them, watching them and not merely reading about them. He has beautiful writing style that I thoroughly enjoyed.  This was indeed a really sweet, romantic yet at times erotic and fast paced story that had me riveted from page one and pulled at my hearts strings more than once.  I loved the corporate setting and going through the world of mergers and takeovers.  This really added to the story for me and I don’t think I came up for air the whole time.

Gitte:
  Mr. Voinov’s characters never disappoint. They are pretty solid, fascinating and delicious.
The journey of Nikolai and Henri, both of whom I loved, was not only emotional and physical. It was intellectual and full of classic banter.
I have to say I loved the scene with them in the restaurant; I felt almost embarrassed to be watching and listening because it was so beautifully written, so detailed with such few words, a forte of this Author.  I was there; could even taste the food.

Jenny:   I loved the characters in this book. From the very loyal, intelligent and sexy Nikolai, the sweet, forthright and knowing Henri to all the supporting characters in this book, every one of them was so wonderfully written and so engaging that I felt I knew them on another level.  Great feat in only 175 pages I have to say!   I loved the relationship between Henri and Nikolai. . As you say, both highly intelligent men whose banter was a delight to experience..  And yes…I did feel like a bit of a voyeur standing by and eavesdropping on these two because that’s how the author makes you feel.  He really does draw you into a scene so you are not simply reading words, you are experiencing a moment.

Gitte:    The story is read from Nikolai’s point-of-view; we got to hear his voice and understood the why’s and the how’s; his inspirations and his love. I immediately fell in love with him and not only that, I respected him. Which may sound odd, but I felt him fiercely. He was so strong, so gorgeous and so adorably introverted.

Jenny:  Nikolai was such a wonderful character. He is intelligent, fiercely loyal and extremely sexy with a touch of naivety that I found so endearing.  Both in how he interpreted Henri’s advances and how he viewed the business world. .  You warmed to him immediately.  From the opening scenes where he is to give a pitch on behalf of his company you feel a mixture of confidence and vulnerability from this man.

Gitte:   Henri was a man, who to me, came across as if he was at a cross roads in his life. Functioning and living on autopilot not feeling or living completely free of shadows and manipulation.  He craved Nikolai for so many reasons. He was almost desperate for him to ‘free’ him. However, he understood that this must ultimately come from himself. He was cocky, smooth and very flirtatious.

Jenny:  Henri is a playboy.  He is used to having emotionless entanglements and seems to be just going through the motions in business and his life.  He has an intense desire for Nikolai, knows what he wants and sets out to pursue it.  I loved his directness, his wit, his charm and all his flirtatious ways.  But I especially loved his interaction with Nikolai.  His feelings for him were palpable.  You felt it with every breath.

Gitte:  Nikolai and Henri meet in the process of corporate mergers and takeovers. Both men are successful in business but their personal lives are strained, complicated and they are a mess emotionally.
Henri is immediately attracted to Nikolai whose cautious approach is endearing. They complement each other in their differences. The tenderness with which Nikolai dealt with Henri was so touching…and then, well we have the sex, which Aleksandr Voinov ROCKS as per usual!!!

Jenny:  I was dying to see how their relationship played out.  It seemed like it could have been doomed from the start with both on opposing sides of a hostile takeover bid.  I loved how Nikolai recognized his feelings and acted accordingly. The two had chemistry overload and whilst the physical scenes were as hot as hell, it was the intimacy between the pair that I loved.  Yes, I love me some man loving but I really did love the emotion we got to experience with these two – the tender, warm moments crept into my heart.   To make their relationship work they must show absolute trust and faith in one another both inside and outside the boardroom.
I do have to say that I loved that the relationship and interaction with Vadim and Nikolai – this part of the story had me spellbound.  This was a very special relationship and one that was so lovingly handled in this book. The whole story felt so real to me.

Gitte:   This book can be read as stand-alone despite the character of Vadim first being introduced in Special Forces.  I read Gold Digger first and immediately moved on to Special Forces because I fell in love with Vadim in this story.

After finishing the Special Forces series last night I immediately went back to Gold Digger as I needed to re-read it with the knowledge I now had and to say I love Vadim even more would be an understatement. His relationship with Nikolai in Gold Digger broke my heart and I actually cried the second time reading this story.

So I guess what I am saying is if you love the brilliant words of Mr. Voinov; having read Special Forces first will in my opinion enhance your reading experience of Gold Digger. However, it is not necessary.
Where Special Forces is a dark, disturbing and a physically emotional ride; Gold Digger is almost its contemporary counterpart.
I would love for more with these characters and the secondary characters as every single one has a story I would love to hear.

Jenny:  It is my mission to read Special Forces when I finish Dark Soul because my thirst for more of Mr Voinov’s writing needs to be quenched.  You can bet this is just the beginning for me!
I absolutely loved this book.  I found the characters engaging, warm and beautiful.  I found the story intelligent, interesting, heart-warming and the writing absolutely second to none.
Every character, every word was truly something special to me and I know that I have just found a very special author indeed.

4.5 Stars

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Dark Soul The Complete Collection 1-5 by Aleksandr Voinov

SYNOPSIS

Love lights even the darkest soul.

A killer’s moral compass rarely points true, and among made men, being gay is a capital crime. But Silvio Spadaro, deadly prodigy and heir to a Family fortune, is determined to find his own way–at the feet of the man he loves or by the barrel of a gun–no matter the dangers or costs.

Stefano Marino lives a comfortable–some might even say enviable–life. As a mob boss at the top of the food chain, he has it all: money, respect, a beautiful wife he loves as much now as the day they wed. But he also has a turf war on his hands, and far too soft a heart for this dark business.

When Silvio is sent to help Stefano with his turf war, sparks fly. Stefano loves his wife, but he wants Silvio. It’s a desire he hardly knows how to process, but Silvio, ever the patient predator, maneuvers Stefano closer and closer to his bed each day. Stefano resists; giving in to these dark desires means giving up on his marriage, and exposure would surely mean death. Yet there’s no denying Silvio’s magnetic pull, or the long-repressed urges inside himself. Yielding is inevitable, but he may yet find a way to hold on to everything–and everyone–he loves.

DARK SOUL THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is available to purchase below
Amazon US | Amazon UK


4.5 stars

I just finished vol 1 -5 and I would like to say it rendered me speechless, but quite the opposite, I have so much to say there is no way it’s going to come out eloquent or possibly make any sense by any stretch. Dark Soul is a scarily addictive; dark but delicious m/m mafia series.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. My heart pretty much sat in my throat whilst reading and it broke. Silvio broke it! He scared me yes, but I literally got so swept up by Mr. Voinov’s words, I wanted to pick Silvio out the story, touch him, and keep him safe. I wanted to fix him, heal his pain and teach him love and emotion. He had strength yet was vulnerable, he seemed emotionless but he felt. He was a killer. I fell in love with Stefano too and despite his violent criminal life as a Mafia boss, he was truly a decent man with a big heart despite this.

Now, I thought the writing was exceptional. Truly. So dark, powerful and raw. The brilliance of the words made me almost feel like I was there in the background watching this journey play out in front of me.

Aleksandr Voinov pushed every boundary I had making me almost uncomfortable with my feelings, questioning myself. He had me feel utter compassion for killers, accept adultery, understand extreme sexual needs and wants. Truly astounding! He kind of made the irrational rational. It truly is a brutal journey of beauty, violence, excitement, love, hate, sex, incest, life and death.

I have to say as I finished reading the last page I was emotionally exhausted to the point of crying when I read the last words. These characters will honestly stay with me. They took a piece of my heart!

Thank You to Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Caution: This is an extremely disturbing, dark and erotic m/m

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Filed under 5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte