TheProfessional and The Master (The Game Maker #1 & #2)

Good afternoon! Happy Wednesday, Hump Day, and most importantly… Veteran’s Day! I’m at work right now and just finished up my latest series read, so instead of waiting to post, I figured I would get to sharing right away. The latest batch I’ve been reading are part of The Game Maker series by Kresley Cole. I’ve never read anything of hers before, but friends of mine have raved about her work, so I had to dive in eventually, right?


I was wary yet anticipating reading this series. Book one, The Professional, had numerous mixed reviews. However, I couldn’t help buying #1 and #2 on a random B&N trip. I’ve had my eyes on them for awhile, but never went through with purchasing them (until last weekend). With most things that require an opinion (or don’t), I decided to see what this book was about and figured I could sort my opinion on my own.

Aleksei Sevastyan is by far one of the most intimidating alphas I’ve ever met. Why is that? He’s not just a dominant man, but also a trained assassin. He prefers to call himself an “enforcer” (cause that sounds much more cozy). He has spent the majority of his life killing, he started at age twelve, and doesn’t hesitate to do so in his adult life either.

Natalie, the curvaceous redhead PhD student in the middle of nowhere Nebraska meets Sevastyan in a crowded bar on the most random of chances (or so she thinks). She has her own ambitions, and none of them include a man. She’s the total manalyst. When it turns out Sevastyan is working for her long-lost father (who she has never met), breaks into her house, and steals her away to Russia, her life turns into a whirl-wind.

He’s ordered to guard and protect her life, and she’s intrigued and beyond curious about this pent-up, closed off, angry man in her father’s life that he treats like his own son. Needless to say, the two push each other’s buttons past the point of anything tolerable.

Aleksei honestly made me a bit nervous from time-to-time, which has never happened to me before when it’s come to a dominating man in a book. I knew he had reasons for his brooding attitude, but I didn’t know how far back into his past his bad blood ran. Once they get caught up in a relationship, Natalie does what she can to try  to understand him, while also getting him to open up to her and break his walls to bits. Their attempt at compromise is a constant one step forward and two steps back process that nearly destroys them.

My Final Rating: four out of five stars

I’ve read my fair share of alpha males, but Maksimilian Sevastyan may have taken the cake as far as terrifying males goes. This book is called The Master for a reason. Talk about an absolutely shattered childhood. His moods and actions are beyond justifiable, yet completely unhealthy. I’m glad he finds such a brave girl in Cat to attempt to become better and see the sun.

He’s escaping an abusive and atrocious past, while she’s on the run from a murderous husband, and a shadowed history of her own. Both of their walls are built impossibly high, and the more time they spend together, the more you’re just waiting for the powder to ignite and the explosion to occur. When it does, it’s powerful, and almost destroys everything in its wake. Almost.

Cat was awesome. She’s spirited, spiteful, ballsy, and aggressive. Every time you thought Max intimidated her or thought he put her in her place, she’d basically say, “oh yeah?” and (pardon my language) just not give a shit and make life work for her. After the hand she’s been dealt, she knows how to survive and make people (even Max) work for her benefit. Plus, the fiery Latina girl mixed in with a tough-as-nails Russian, tempers (and fireworks) flare.

I wondered if either Max or Cat could be swayed from their lots in life, but the more encounters they had, the more their lives snowballed into one life together, and that was exciting to see, even if you know some sort of mess is coming. No matter how closed off and angry they seem to be as individuals, you always want to believe that one partner is out there to make you see life for the better. They’re both capable of change and happiness, they just have to allow themselves to be honest and take it.

More than the stories told, I enjoyed the writing as well. That’s refreshing. A lot of books nowadays seem to tell a good tale and entertain you enough, but don’t always have the greatest way with words, so I’m glad I got that experience as well with this book, and its first installment, The Professional.

My Final Rating: five out of five stars


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