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COVERS WEEK REVIEW: “Dark Soul Vol. 1” by Aleksandr Voinov

“(Don’t?) Judge A Book By Its Cover” Week


Sara votes THUMBS UP on the cover of “Dark Soul Vol. 1”. Let’s see how the book itself fared…


Stefano Marino is a made man, a happily married west coast mafia boss who travels east to await the death of a family patriarch. All the old hands have gathered—of course sharks will circle when there’s blood in the water—but it’s a new hand that draws Stefano’s eye.

Silvio “the Barracuda” Spadaro is protetto and heir to retired consigliereGianbattista Falchi, and a made man in his own right. Among his underworld family, being gay is a capital crime, but the hypersexual—and pansexual—young killer has never much cared for rules. The only orders he follows are Battista’s, whether on the killing field or on his knees, eagerly submissive at Battista’s feet.

But Silvio has needs Battista can’t fill, and he’s cast his black-eyed gaze on Stefano. A fake break-in, an even faker attack, and Silvio is exactly where he wants to be: strung up at Stefano’s mercy, driving the older Mafioso toward urges he’s spent his whole life repressing. Stefano resists, but when the Russian mob invades his territory and forces him to seek aid, Gianbattista’s price brings Stefano face to face once more with Silvio—and his darkest desires.


Can you really judge a book by its cover?

When this weeks’ challenge was set up, I was game. I had been given the charge to find the best cover in the genre…which actually made me pause and start to dissect my TBR list. I may have wavered over a few covers that are my favorites but they had been read and reviewed. I looked further and my eyes landed on this baby.

The cover: is that a look of pain, regret, spent passion, love, loss… just what made this man look that way and would it even have a damn thing to do with the story because, let’s face it, some covers don’t.




What a dark and gorgeous surprise Dark Soul was for me. I admit to having gone a bit crossed eyed at the Italian names and a bit of the ins and outs of the “business” details but having gone back and read them again, it flowed nicely.

Oh boy, Stefano. What are you getting yourself into? I am a bit lost on how to review this without telling everything about it so I will be brief. Stefano meets Silvio, the Barracuda, while they are both waiting for the family patriarch to die. This mob world, like I said was a bit confusing listening to the different men talk about who did what and where they stand. I am not the biggest lover of all things mob but Voinov could drag me through what I loathe and his words would carry me through it. I adore the hell out of that ability, and am in awe of it.

I loved Stefano’s reaction to Silvio when he first sees him on the motorcycle. I loved the banter disguised as conversation at dinner they had together and yes, I even loved the… let’s call it the “gun play” scene. That was, gah, it was hot. Dark Soul was a great introduction and then I turn the page and get Dark Secret? Let’s get it on!

In Dark Secret, Stefano needs help and who else does he go to but Silvio’s lover and um… daddy, Gianbattista. Goodness. I think I held my breath reading Dark Secret waiting and waiting for the moment, for that thing to happen.  Would there be repercussion to what happened earlier and if so who would it come from and could I handle it? Le Sigh.

There is this quiet, yet intense anticipation to the story that kills me. It makes you want and it makes you wait but when you get the good stuff, it is so good. That scene by the hot tub? I am sitting here with my mouth opening and closing like a fish and shrugging my shoulders because I can’t describe that scene but you bet your ass I want to go back and read it. Mmm hmm.

But I have to say, as much as I liked Stefan and wonder where he is headed in his career and how this will all play out with his wife *gasp* too, I am in love with Silvio. I just want to sit and stare at him and marvel, strong word marvel? I don’t think so. I want so much more of this dichotomy that is Silvio Spadaro.

Ack! That end? I wasn’t prepared for that extra layer to be peeled away and I may have gave a fist pump in the air for it and then sighed for the change that happened. Ugh. Silvio, I believe you will be the death of me.

So, did I judge a book by its cover? I sure did and it was brilliant. Yeah, that cover is sexy and this book was beyond sexy, I would call it sensuous. It was smart, it made me uncertain with each layer revealed and I am so ready to read the rest of the series to see where this will go and how it will end.




Katinka – 3 stars
Susan – 5 stars
Sheri – 4 stars
Sue – 5 stars
Shelley – 5 stars
Ilhem – 5 stars



12323849Title:  Dark Soul (Volume 1)
Author:  Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher:  Riptide
Pages: 76
Release Date:  October 30, 2011
Purchase Links: Riptide, Amazon, ARe

3 comments on “COVERS WEEK REVIEW: “Dark Soul Vol. 1” by Aleksandr Voinov

  1. karenwellsbury
    June 24, 2014

    It’s a great series of books and a fantastic cover, one of my all time favourites


  2. LegeArtis
    June 24, 2014

    This is one of my favorite covers ever….It’s beautiful. It was my iphone wallpaper for a long time, actually. :blush:
    I always thought it’s a nod to this particular scene:
    “Stefano walked slowly along the length of the pool, and had almost passed it when Silvio launched from the water, pushing up on the rim and to his feet in an impossibly graceful motion, and wiped the water from his face…”

    I am such a cover*hore so even if I am not Voinov fan, I would buy it just to look at it. And it’s such a great series…2in 1. ;)


  3. Ana
    June 25, 2014

    I love this series, and this is one of my favorite covers ever too.


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This entry was posted on June 24, 2014 by in Dark & Twisted, Reviewer: Sara and tagged , , , , , .

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