…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.
Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick takes Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.
Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.
I had absolutely no idea what I would be in for when I decided to read this. I took the words dark and no HEA as a challenge. This did not disappoint in either of those areas.
The story begins with Ilia getting a corset piercing on his back, told exclusively through his POV we know his reason for the piercings. The detail of this first event had me sitting straight up in bed as my back felt each pull of the ribbons as they were laced. Each drop of blood as it slid down Ilia’s back. Being in his head, it was interesting to be a part of his thought process with his excitement of showing his Mikhail his gift.
Mikhail, I liked this mob boss with tenderness for his Ilia. I liked him and how he treated the man that he loved, what we are shown at least. The things he wants for Ilia and the things he won’t deny him were beautiful. I knew he would die, we are told that in the blurb and told who kills him but reading it? I broke down in sobs with the feeling of loss for Ilia and the love he cherished with Mikhail. When Ilia’s father shows up, I lost it and had to put the book down. Talk about an unexpected feelings taking over.
Then, there is Nick. We hear a bit about Nick with Ilia and Mikhail before the raid but when he shows up? I really liked him. I have this soft spot for unapologetic arrogant men in position of power and Nick fits the mold completely. When he picks up Ilia and tells him he is “taking everything” that belonged to Mikhail and that includes Ilia… I held my breath to see how it all would play out.
“Do I ever get to leave the apartment?”
“When I am finished with you.”
This was slow, not slow in reading; I couldn’t put the book down. It was slow to the buildup of what was going to happen and I felt everything with Ilia. My throat hurt from his screams, I felt his hunger, his anxiety and his overwhelming loss of Mikhail.
It was pointless to try and stop Nick Kadyrov from doing whatever the fuck he wanted. It was pointless to be afraid of the inevitable.
Patrick… I can’t even go there. I am sucker for redheads and knowing, just knowing Patrick hurts my heart. I can deal with Ilia and what Nick does to him, I can’t explain why but when it comes to Patrick, I want to toss my freaking cookies. Ugh. I liked Nick in the beginning, his thoughts on God and redemption but that changed about half way through the book. Nope. I do not like Nick. Nuh uh.
Mikhail, who was he? Was he the version we know from Ilia or the version Nick tells us? Was he both? I am not sure but I know what I believe and I will keep that with me.
There were no hard edges separating boyfriend Mikhail from gangster Mikhail. In loving one, Ilia had loved the other.
So where would this go? We know again, from the blurb that Nick decides he is going to kill Ilia’s father because he killed Mikhail but… good lord. The buildup and the wait just about did me in. I wanted to read faster and I wanted to stop reading all together. I am a masochist though; I never stop when a book gets this good. Make no mistake, and it was this good.
Another Man’s Treasure did not disappoint, not one word of it. The pace of this book was done well. When it needed to be slow, it was slow. When the pace needed to be brought up a notch, it was brought up and Holy Shit did it ever grab you and drag you along right to the end!
That end? I was not prepared for it. I had so many theories on what would happen with the end and not one of them was right. Good lord. I have goose bumps just thinking of those last pages. I was lulled into a warm and comfortable place… I should have known better.
There are consequences to our love. And it took me a long time to understand that those consequences aren’t judgment. They’re not…what we deserve. They just are.
Note: This book will be dark for some readers. Read the warning if you have concerns about the content. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be, though I am a reader who is familiar with the dark side… That being said; I am impressed. Well done ladies, well fucking done.