Russian Tattoos: Prisoner
(Russian Tattoos, #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
American tennis player Carter Cook is being held prisoner by the Russian mafia…
Carter is the obsession of mob boss Vladimir Ivanov, a man she once loved. Now a mafia war has erupted on his home turf, and Vladimir’s enemies have put a bounty on her head to force him to surrender. If she is captured, his rivals will deliver a deadly ultimatum—his life in exchange for hers. The price for Carter’s freedom is Vladimir’s blood.
Vladimir holds ultimate power as godfather of the Ivanov Bratva…
He spent five years in a Siberian prison camp and has earned every tattoo inked into his skin. He is a powerful man who rules his crew with an iron fist.
But his enemies have discovered his only weakness—Carter. Vladimir knows if she stays in his world, he is handing her a death sentence, so he vows to get her home and never interfere in her life again. Giving up the woman he loves is the only way to protect her from the bad guys—including himself.
Vladimir’s rivals have a different plan for the ill-fated couple…
Some punishments are worse than death, and the head of the Ovechkin Bratva will go to any length to seek vengeance and inflict maximum suffering on Vladimir.
Carter may be Vladimir’s weakness, but she is also his only hope for survival. When the boss of the Ovechkin family threatens the man she loves, she must fight for Vladimir’s freedom before their rivals can deliver the fatal blow.
Love is blind—but it could also be deadly.
4 **** Hot Russian hunk meets stubborn American beauty
I like bad boy romances as much as the next girl. I’ve got a soft spot for those men who look tough-as-nail on the outside to hide their caring and loving core. In that aspect, Vladimir is a prime specimen because only Carter has access to his fun-loving and carefree side. However, I draw a line at criminals. No matter how you try to spin it, murderers are criminals so I’ve got a problem with storylines that mystify the Mafia. To quote Carter, the road that got Vladimir and her together “was wrought with landmines, deceit, and fear”, often times in a quite literal way. Growing up in Brazil where organized crime is a plague that destabilizes its society, I can’t endorse part of the storyline of Russian Tattoos: Prisoner because I don’t think organized crime makes a fitting background for a romance trilogy.
However, that’s my pet peeve so I urge potential readers to make their own judgment about the book, especially if you like Mafia romances. As for my review, I did knock off one star and, even though the Mafia issue bothered me taking away a chunk of my enjoyment, it wasn’t the reason for the four stars rating. Other aspects of the book were key to my evaluation.
Russian Tattoos: Prisoner is book 2 in a trilogy and it’s not a standalone as it takes off exactly where book one had finished. That meant I felt lost in the first couple of chapters but was able to deduce the background story out of the bits the author provides either as flashbacks or in the dialogues between Carter and Boris. Reading the blurb for book 1: Obsession helped me put together other missing pieces. So I’d say it’s possible to start the trilogy with the second installment; although I’m considering reading the first one just to get more of Carter and Vladimir while skipping the mafia stuff. LOL
There are many positives to Russian Tattoos: Prisoner. Characters development is one of them. I like it when characters are presented under one light – favorable or not – and the reader gradually discovers other facets. Kat Shehata is able to do that even with characters whose background stories and personalities have been explored in the first installment of the trilogy without making it redundant to those who have read Obsession; at the same time as she doesn’t leave readers high and dry who, like me, haven’t it. Personal growth as well as the ability to learn from one’s mistakes and evolve are also indicators of good character development. I’m not saying all the characters go through that evolving process though. Certainly not some key ones who seem so set in their ways I wanted to scream. For instance, I wish I could smack Carter hard frequently and had to remind myself she’s only nineteen. As for Vladimir, I’ll just say that for a genius, he can be very obtuse. But, he did learn from past mistakes that he made in book one. He’s trying to avoid them and be a better man. His weakness, in my opinion, is planning. Boy, does he come up with some darn, stupid ideas! LOL The secondary characters are very well fleshed out and you’ve got all kinds of them: the ultimate vicious villain, the cute kids, the antagonizing family members alongside the loyal ones. My favorites: Dmitri and Pasha.
Regarding plot and narrative style, Kat Shehata builds suspense that puts the readers at the edge of the seat with quite a few twists and turns, which aren’t totally unexpected, but make sense and engage readers. Because I don’t write spoilers, I’ll be vague in my examples here. There’s a little reverse Romeo & Juliet thing going that was well executed by the author, except for a tiny glitch: If I were planning on killing someone, I’d be very suspicious if they dropped dead without me having planned their execution. The explanation presented after the fact convinced me initially, but the subsequent actions of those involved were so contradictory I remained unimpressed. Again, I apologize for the cryptic comments.
Another positive is the quality of the narrative where people’s feelings and reactions are concerned. The story is told exclusively in first-person from Carter’s POV, which could make readers feel they were getting a biased, one-sided version of facts. However, it’s so skillfully written that we have a pretty good idea of other people’s feelings. That’s especially true about Vladimir, mainly in their sex scenes.
Talking of which, I always leave my favorite part for last. As an avid reader and writer of erotic fiction, I’m a specialist on the topic. This couple sizzles! Their chemistry is amazing and their love scenes are elaborate yet realistic and extremely well-written. Even the Russian cultural aspect of valuing Carter’s virginity makes sense in the story. By the way, her being a virgin isn’t a spoiler if you’ve read the first book; and she mentions it in the first or second page of this second book. At the same time, expect romantic exchanges such as Carter saying, “Losing you is my worst nightmare”, to which Vladimir replies, “You’re the reason I breathe, angel”. Isn’t he swoon-worthy? LOL It can’t get much better than that.
Kat Shehata’s first career involved caring for exotic, dangerous, and adorable animals as a zookeeper. As an author, Kat weaves her love of animals into her work. She is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling children’s book Animals on the Other Side written with Sylvia Browne.
She is an avid tennis player and spends her free time playing matches in a recreational league in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Wilmington College, a professional writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Spalding University.