Dmitry's Closet by Latrivia S. Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Note to the author:
Ms. Nelson, I am in awe. How did you know I wanted to read a book like this? Maybe we are on the same wavelength here. You see, I have a thing for Russian guys. It developed slowly over time, and this book has not helped me get over my fixation. Now, I think I will be much, much worse. But the thing is, how many books after this one will have a hero like Dmitry Medlov?
I don't care that he's seven foot tall. He didn't need to be a giant to be larger than life in my mind. It was the sheer force of his personality, the many textures to him. He is an utterly ruthless crime boss, but he is a gentle, adoring lover and friend to Royal. How did you conceive of this man? Well, you did such a great job here.
This book: It was so many things. I love a book that gives me a seven course dinner in one story. This was a beautiful love story, and an intricate crime drama. And I don't even like crime dramas! I love how it started out as a glittering fairy tale. A girl meets her prince who saves her and sweeps her off her feet. Their love is perfect and pure. And then, the pages turn, and you see the other side. You see how Dmitry is a man that is feared by many, and for good reason. I was riveted to the page. I couldn't believe how well Ms. Nelson integrated these two. Her portrayal of this Russian mafia gang was so intricate, I completely believed what I was reading.
I do have to admit, I couldn't understand how Royal didn't see what Dmitry was. But, as my sister suggested (when I was gushing about the book to her), and as it is soon revealed, she trusted Dmitry implicitly. She loved him with all the power of her innocent heart. She didn't believe he could ever hide such a thing from her. Yet, even though Dmitry kept such a massive secret from Royal, he never lost my sympathy. You see, Dmitry was who he was. He wanted to be a different man for Royal, and he was. He was the sweetest guy to her, a dream lover. He didn't lie to her or do her wrong. He just didn't tell her everything.
I'm not into all the bling and the designer clothes. There's a lot of that in this book. Dmitry pulls out all the stops. I mean, he showers Royal with all the material things her heart could desire. Reading Ms. JR Ward really helped me to be somewhat immune to designer name-dropping, and it was part of the scenery here, so it wasn't terribly off-putting. Royal had a queen's equivalent of jewels and ice, and all the fancy clothes she could want. She liked that, but what she really loved was Dmitry. He was her family, her home, her present, and her future.
This book really made me think about shades of gray. If someone told me Dmitry was a bad man, I couldn't argue with that. But, at the same time, I would attest that he is a good man. What makes a person good? What makes a person bad? It's hard to say, and we would all have different answers. It was interesting how Dmitry saw Royal as a sweet innocent, even though she told him her deepest, darkest secret, which is not so innocent. Dmitry loved Royal so much, cared for her so well, that I couldn't see him as a bad man. He protected his men and made sacrifices to see that they could have good lives. He was a good father to his son. And he had limits about what he'd do to make money. For me, that made him a better person than some men who have less shady jobs than his. It's a dicey thing to hold others in judgment. This book gave me some food for thought when it comes to that. I firmly believe in the scripture that says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." And, as I read this book, I could see a lot of people making choices that could easily be judged, but I had to look at why they did what they did, and not that they did it. Because, in the end, we are all just humans. Some of us do more bad deeds than others. But, we're all human beings, with all the accompanying failings.
As for Royal and Dmitry, I could really believe in their love. Even when things started coming down around them. The scene where she confronts Dmitry was very powerful. I felt like the world was ending. I didn't want to believe that anything could come between these two lovers. My heart stopped at the thought. And things just get worse. But, Ms. Nelson doesn't let me down. The fairy tale essence of this story holds true. And here's the thing about fairy tales: the young maiden always suffers. She has to be strong and persevere to get her happy ending. She might lose a lot along the way, but her love with her handsome prince will stand the test of time. That's what I believe about Royal and Dmitry.
My heart is still stuttering as I have just read the first chapter for the next book, Dmitry’s Royal Flush: Rise of the Queen. Of course, I will have to read this sequel, holding my breath the hold time, most likely. Until then, I can only hope that the future holds much joy for this couple. I think they have earned it.
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