While I’m not traditionally drawn to erotica, I’ve found Kresley Cole’s earlier books fun sexytime adventures. Initially stumbled into her with the MacCarrick brothers trilogy which hold up as saucy historical romances featuring strong men with a healthy Irish brogue. Her Immortals After Dark series of paranormal romance has recently gone off the rails, but the first few were enjoyable.
Then I got this damnable kindle which makes buying books so easy. Only $1.99? Well sure. So it’s entirely technology’s fault that without reading a review or even synopsis I picked up The Professional. Based on the cover art & title I assumed it was some sort of sexy spy thriller.
I was wrong.
Spoilers ahoy. Which is OK because if you’re paying attention you’ll spend your $1.99 on a tall cup of joe instead.
Natalie is a spunky virginal grad student. While the book goes to great length to point out her virginity, she is the most sexual virgin imaginable – her bedroom full of vibrators and academic tomes on sex. The only reason she’s still a virgin is that the ham-handed college boys at her disposal are just so unappealing. But one night she spots Sevastyan at a local bar, large, dark, and covered in tattoos, and her interest is piqued to such a degree that she offers to buy him a drink. Unfortunately Sevastyan spurs her, almost angrily so. As though he is repulsed by her ample bosom and thick red hair.
So she goes home to masturbate enthusiastically about him in the bathtub only to find him standing in the doorway, watching her. AWKWARD!
Some people might be reaching for a tazer at this point but Natalie is almost flattered by his presence there. She wasn’t spurned at all, he was so attracted to her that he followed her home. Hazzah!
Nope. It turns out that Natalie is the long lost daughter of Russian billionaire, Sevastyan has been secretly guarding her for weeks, and they must leave for Russia immediately because Natalie is in imminent danger. Which she does because, OMG Sevastyan is so hot. I know that when a stalker appears uninvited in my home and suggests we fly abroad in a plane he’s got stashed in a nearby cornfield I would totally go. As long as the stalker was super hot. Bonus points for a cool accent.
We won’t discuss the “cornfield scene” because the fact that it occurs in a cornfield is enough to remove any plausibility it might have had should it have occurred anywhere other than a cornfield.
Anyway Natalie gets on the plane in the cornfield because, honestly, why wouldn’t you? The plane is apparently just like Airforce One because it has a luxury bedroom in it. Natalie goes to sleep in there after asking Sevastyan far fewer questions than I would have were I in her situation. Sevastyan, unable to get the image of her athletic masturbation out of his head, comes in to pursue matters. Of course he can’t because he’s her Russian Mob Dad’s second in command and it would be unethical to defile his daughter with his nasty dirty sex interests.
But OMG she’s SOOO hot he just HAS to.
I don’t even know what is happening in this scene because clearly, sexually, I haven’t explored various options well enough to understand. But what I gather is that if you are a super hot Russian dude and you man-handle a woman’s breasts correctly her nipples will not only get hard, they’ll swell to unheard of proportions. As in triple in size.
Please don’t be curious enough about the tumescent nipple encounter to read this book. I promise you there are no good clues as to how or why one would want this to happen. Also it’s not really as titillating a scene as it might sound because the entire time he’s blowing her mind with his mad-nipple skills, he’s also threatening her physically and acting physically repulsed by what they are doing. He storms out the second it’s done but Natalie doesn’t mind because OMG it was SOOOO AWESOME GUYS!
What transpires next could best be described as a combination of Pretty Woman meets 50 Shades. Which seems like it has the potential for some fun but it doesn’t hang together on multiple fronts:
1) Sevastyan isn’t particularly kind to Natalie. I won’t fault him for enjoying rough controlling sex because clearly Natalie does also. But as soon as they’re finished he’s so disgusted with himself (and her) that he bolts. And outside of their encounters he generally avoids her. We’re supposed to believe he secretly adores her but his behavior towards her is pretty reprehensible.
2) They never spend any time together because Sevastyan is so revolted by his attraction to her that he spends all his time avoiding her. Or being rude. One of those things.
3) Natalie is ridiculously turned on by Sevastyan. From the moment he observers her in the bathtub she’s literally incapacitated with lust. So much so that she effectively ceases to make any reasonable decisions but continues to make herself available to him to get more mind-blowing encounters.
4) Unlike most Kresley Cole books, there is no adventure here. There is some vague back story about assassins coming after Natalie but essentially the book takes place on an airplane or Russian castle where Natalie has little to do but sit around swooning over how unbelievably hot Sevastyan is. So the story reads like this: filler, filler, filler, SEX, filler, SEX, filler, filler, SEX.
5) Kresley Cole is known for saucy sex scenes. This is a whole different creature. Very BDSM. Other reviewers call it her version of 50 Shades. I read 50 Shades and this is far more demeaning. And from what I gather from other reviewers, it gets worse in the next 2 editions. Which is frankly difficult to imagine.
6) There are hints that Sevastyan has a “tortured hero” backstory but he’s also really given nothing to do but provide mind-blowing orgasms and brood. Natalie has some fun dialogue but mostly she’s a passive actor in the story. So if the sex isn’t working for you there isn’t much else going on in terms of plot or character development.
It’s not often that I get to say this in conversation but, if you’re into BDSM go get 50 Shades of Grey because that is better than this book.