The Power of Vasilii by Penny Jordan
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
I picked this one up immediately after finishing the companion book, The Most Coveted Prize, because I was very intrigued with Alena's older brother, Vasilii. My instincts about him were correct. He initially comes off as a cold, forbidding, all business type hero. But underneath there is a lot of untapped passions. Laura is the woman to open that door to the intense man that Vasilli keeps tightly leashed.
Sometimes I feel that romance novels just aren't romantic anymore. A sad realization for a die-hard romance novel fan. Like something is missing and the story is just painting by numbers. I don't feel that emotional connection that really makes a romance sing to me. I didn't feel that way with this novel. There was something intensely romantic about this book. I guess it was the fact that Laura and Vasilii seem so lonely and disconnected. You don't expect love to develop between people in their situations, especially together, but it does, so beautifully. The fact that they find each other and realize that they love each other deeply was very appealing.
That is not to say that Vasilii's actions are always ideal. He has the wrong idea about Laura early on, and refuses to change his mind. But slowly and surely, he sees her integrity and honor and the sweet heart of her, and he can't help but fall in love. And honestly, even though he doesn't respect her, he treats her well as an employee. Although he mismanages his sister's development in ways that lead to her situation with Kiryl in the first book, I loved that he was a man who believed in respecting and honoring women. I cheered for him when he refused to allow Laura to be a pawn in his business dealings. He showed how much integrity he had. Even outside of his developing feelings, I could see that he knew that wasn't right to use a woman that way regardless. And even though he pushed her away and hurt Laura when he realized he was falling for her, I could see that she was in his heart. Ultimately, Vasilii was kind of a sweet guy.
I really liked the fact that Laura was a likable, very intelligent, independent woman who was excellent at her job. She understood two difficult languages: Russian and Mandarin Chinese, but also understood the crucial cultural dynamics and facilitated Vasilii's delicate negotiations. I especially liked how she made a connection with the wife of the Chinese businessman, which actually made the deal go through in the end.
This was a lot better than the first book. I think it's because I liked Laura's maturity and composure, and Vasilii has this vibe of being all "still waters run deep". Those are the heroes who really heat things up in books when their iron composure finally melts!
The scene when Vasilii finds out how long Laura has been in love with him, and the significance of the earrings was so sweet. A definitely 'aww' moment!
This is a good one! A lot to like about this book. Overall rating: 4.25/5.0 stars.
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