Dealing Her Final Card by Jennie Lucas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Since the hero in this book, Vladimir shows up as a peripheral character in the last Jennie Lucas book I read, A Night of Living Dangerously, I decided to reach for this one. It also happens that the hero is Russian (and I swoon over Russian heroes). Talking about drama, wow!
Man, this book was sizzling. The whole scenario and the dialogue and action was crazy. I couldn't believe the bet that Bree makes. I completely understand why. I loved that she isn't the typical, sweet, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth heroine. She has a history of being a card shark and con artist from childhood, but decides to go straight when she falls in love with Vladimir. Even though he abandons her and turns his back on her.
Their reunion is titillating, to say the least. There are some pretty outrageous moments in this book. A couple of scenes are just all kinds of inappropriate, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from the page. It works for the book, and I like that the author wasn't afraid to go there.
I liked the descriptions and imagery of St. Petersburg. I wanted to be there, feel the cold on my skin and experience the over the top luxury with my own eyes. The Hawaii scenes were good, but since I am a contrarian who'd rather be walking around in a snow-covered vista than on a beach, I liked St. Petersburg more. Plus, it's Russia. Enough said.
Vladimir could throw money at Bree like nobody's business. He really doesn't get that she didn't want his money. That she loved him and wanted to protect her sister. That she had changed and wanted to do the right thing, but she was between a rock and a hard place. Vladimir is the real deal. He's really ruthless, ambitious and cutthroat (in the boardroom). He doesn't change over night. A broken heart made a fundamentally decent young man into a shark, and it takes time for reunited love to change him back. I felt that his character was very three-dimensional and I liked that. Bree was also well-developed. Towards the end, she had me worried. I really thought she was going to go through with something that was just so wrong, even if she was doing it for the right reasons.
This was another book I couldn't put down. I give it a thumbs up on the drama and the sizzling romance. Lots of romantic tension and also tension in hoping that the characters get a clue and eventually own up to their love for each other and doing what's right out of love. I thought this was a very good book.
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