Series: Drake Sisters
Author: Christine Feehan
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: July 29, 2008
The star: Joley Drake was born with a legacy of unexpected magical gifts, but it was the gift of singing that made her an overnight sensation—a rock and roll goddess trapped by fame, fortune, and ambition. Heated by the flush of success, Joley could have any man she wanted. But there’s only man who can give her what she really needs.
The bodyguard: Ilya Prakenskii, cool, inscrutable, dangerously sexy, and working in the shadow of his infamous reputation—that of a secret Russian hit man on the payroll of a notorious mobster. He’s the last man Joley should get close to, yet when her life is threatened on tour she has nowhere left to turn. But in the seductive safe keep of Ilya’s embrace, is Joley really as secure as she imagines?
Joley Drake, rock star sensation, has been growing a little fed up with her life of late. Despite the carefree picture she paints of herself, she craves for normality and a life away from the limelight. She hides her true feelings from everyone, including her sisters, but she cannot hide them—or herself—from the one man she knows should keep her distance from.
Ilya Prakenskii is a man of many secrets and Joley is one of them. When he first heard her voice, she brought light into his barren world of darkness and shadows. And when he saw her for the first time (in Oceans of Fire), he's known she was his destiny.
When someone starts to send Joley warnings in the form of murdered members of her crew, she has no one to turn to but Ilya. Ilya with his mesmerizing voice, hypnotic eyes, dark aura, and an inexplicable power over her senses. Ilya, whose song merges with hers in a perfect harmony. But as she seeks his protection, is she really safe, or has she given her heart and soul to a man who would destroy her?
I have one word for this book. FINALLY!
After years of waiting and speculating just what might be brewing between these two, we finally got our answers. And those answers are scorching hot!
A leading man just doesn't get better than Ilya Prakenskii. An impassive face that hides deep turmoil, icy veneer over a white-hot volcano. And the fact that we don't really know whose side he's on merely ads to his allure. We, despite the clues and hints dropped in the previous books, are as clueless as his true nature (not his intentions toward Joley, those couldn't be more clear ^_^) and motivations as Joley is. And, as Joley, we're unable to resist him, no matter the darkness, no matter the shadiness, no matter anything and everything.
No wonder they all say girls are attracted to the bad boy. Well, yeah, it must be the nurturing gene. We can't help but see a lost boy underneath the facade and we want to help, want to heal, just like Joley wanted to help and heal the little boy she sometimes glimpsed (literally) in Ilya.
And although this was supposed to be her book, she paled in comparison to her Russian hottie. He stole the show (he did that in every scene he appeared in this series, and merely took her along for the ride.
To be honest, I didn't really understand the girl. Which makes sense, since she didn't get herself either. She had no idea what she really wanted, making her jump all over the place. She'd spent most of the book brooding about the fact she was attracted to bad, dominant guys, knowing she could never be with someone kind and gentle, because she'd be the one to stomp all over the poor guy. She was attracted to domineering guys, apparently it had something to do with the dark secrets in her soul, which were never explored (or if they were and it was simply the fact she wanted someone to take charge of her in bed, the secret was beyond lame), while hating them for their domineering ways all the same. She kept pushing Ilya away for only one valid reason (she didn't know if he was bad or not, while feeling he wasn't evil), and plenty of idiotic ones that had nothing to do with him and everything to do with her, while throwing herself at him all the time, sulking if he rejected her because he wanted everything and not just a part of her.
While I can say I empathized with her a little, and her reluctance was understandable to a point, her erratic behavior where Ilya was concerned quickly grew old and repetitive. Although the issue was resolved somewhere in the middle thanks to some finger-burning pages of sex (ooh, boy!), and the second time a little later, also thanks to some finger-burning pages of sex (ooh, boy!).
I loved the destined mark, and the "hand-thing" should definitely be put on the pro side of the list, seeing how handy it was working both ways. ;) And I adored the little twist in the end with Ilya's bloodline and legacy. Lovely, funny, and sweet.
And the ending, with the Drake house recognizing him and welcoming him home, offering a home to someone who's never had one...Juts plain heart-melting.
Yet, there were problems...Quite big ones. As much as I loved this story for its growing relationship and romance between Ilya and Joley, these two people made for each other, yet so very much alike, they tried to keep some little part of themselves separate and failed miserably, I cannot overlook the somewhat absurd plot-moving devices and sub-plots this book offered us. They were missing girls, a murder, a battle for supremacy between criminal clans, a crazy stalker with a penchant for broken bottles, and a gay head of the Russian mafia.
I just kept rolling my eyes at all the fillers and red-herrings. Yes, I understand Joley had to be in danger for Ilya to be with her as her bodyguard, but still. Was that the best Ms Feehan could come up with. Compared to the previous books, some of the plot elements were rather laughable. But maybe that's just me.
The action scenes were superb, though, as always.