”I thought I could fix you.”
“It had worked for me. Why not for you?”
This book rocked. I loved the characters. You should read it. The End.
…What? Not enough for you?
I seldom love characters quite as much as I loved Alexi and Cat. It seems like more often than not that even though I love a story the characters are softer than I prefer. They’re willing to forgive and forget long before I’m ready to or they’re just more emotional in nature than I’m looking for. I want the emotion in the story, but I also want the strength. I’m not looking for ‘good’ characters who don’t want to step on any toes. I’m looking for characters who will do what it takes to survive the situation they’re in—without tons of angsting about it. This is not always necessary for me, but it’s the type of character that I usually love the most.
I got that with Cat and Alexi and I worship the author for it. Cat and Alexi’s relationship is…complicated, to say the least. You can feel the tension running between them like raw nerves, but they don’t let it stop them from getting things done. They were both extremely cool, capable characters who were always looking for an edge up in the situation. Both of them were very aware of each other’s capabilities (unsurprising since Alexi trained Cat to be just like him) so their relationship was like an elegant dance between opponents. They were both so beautifully well matched. There’s no worry of a power imbalance when they’re both badasses, albeit in an undertoned way.
I love the way the characters’ pasts were set up. Cat’s backstory was more upfront than Alexi’s, but even that took a while reveal exactly what led Cat to hook up with Alexi and Mikhail. After learning about their initial deal it would have been so easy for me to dismiss it as wrong, but the author refused to let that happen. She made the characters and their motivations so layered that a typical Romance situation became atypical and complicated. There was so much more driving Alexi than the obvious that I couldn’t dislike what led to them spending time together.
It took a while for the author to reveal Alexi’s past to the reader, but the wait was so worth it. I have to say, I did not expect that backstory. Bravo to the author for surprising me like that and incorporating the time period so well. The details that lead to each of these characters becoming “Cat,” “Alexi,” and “Mikhail” are absolutely heartrending. I loved that although their pasts continued to define their characters and motivate their actions, it never consumed them. Even Cat, whose revenge arc we primarily follow, isn’t controlled by the anguish of the past to the extent I’m used to in Romance novels. In fact, there are parts of her past that I would expect to be the defining issue she needs to overcome, based on past experience with Romances, that wasn’t. It still impacted her, but it wasn’t the be all, end all of angst for her. It was kind of refreshing to have something else be the focus for her growth.
If you are in the mood to see two strong characters, who have risen from the ashes of their pasts to remake themselves, find love with each other, you need to run, not walk to get your hands on this book. I have absolutely no complaints about this book, except that I have to wait so long to get Ethan’s story. This will be one of my favorite reads of 2012, no question. It’s that good.
”How did you find me?” she asked.
“Moya krasacitsa,” he murmured into her hair. “I will always find you. You shine like a beacon in the darkness of my world.”
Cat blew out a derisive puff of air from her lips. Even Alexi laughed. “Where do you come up with this stuff?”