Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review: Just a Bit Ruthless by Alessandra Hazard

Just a Bit Ruthless
(Straight Guys #6)
by Alessandra Hazard
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense

Stockholm syndrome or Love?
When you want someone completely wrong for you…

Luke Whitford has always dreamed of meeting Mr. Right. A hopeless romantic at heart, he dreams of falling in love with a nice man, getting married, and having a bunch of adorable babies. The problem is, Luke has the propensity for being attracted to men who are anything but nice.

Roman Demidov, a homophobic, cynical billionaire who has a grudge against Luke’s father, is certainly not Mr. Right. Cold, manipulative, and ruthless, he’s not a nice man and he doesn’t pretend to be.

Luke is fully aware that Roman is all wrong for him. His attraction to the guy is just some sort of Stockholm syndrome; it must be. If life were a fairy tale, Roman would be the main villain, not the hero.

But even villains can fall in love. Or can they?

The story of a boy who dreamed of Prince Charming and ended up falling for the Beast.

This book contains derogatory language, mentions of violence, explicit M/M content, D/s dynamic, and a protagonist of questionable morality. Book #6 in the Straight Guys series, but it can be read as a stand alone. 

After reading the blurb for this book, I just have to read it asap and I don't care that this is Book 6. It actually works very well as a standalone and the only secondary couple that appear here is James and Ryan. I did feel a bit curious and want to know what the hell is happening with these two, so a little detour to read the blurb for Book 5 and a review for it manage to sate my curiosity.

This is a story of pretty boy heir, Luke who did something reckless to impress his father and ended up being kidnap by the Russian mob boss, Roman. First of all, I really like the tone of the book. It manage to hover between serious and humorous very well. It is funny without feeling like a slapstick comedy, it also has the serious and intense moment that make my breathe hitch with anticipation, but without being too serious that make it feel like a dark read. The perfect blend for a mafia romance.

From the blurb, Roman is painted as a homophobic villain that I thought I will need more time to warm up to him. However, I actually find myself being drawn to his domineering personality instantly. He's a straight mobster and being in his position is only natural for him to deny his attraction to Luke in the beginning and continue sleeping with woman, but I don't actually see him as a homophobic asshole. As Luke finally wears him down, Roman proves that he is open with his sexuality and he is such a confident asshole that he don't even care about what others think.

Luke is a hopeless romantic with a sinfully pouty lips. Like seriously, with the way the author describe Luke's mouth, I want it to be molded and place as an exhibit at the museum. The lips that leads to war and mayhem.

Luke and Roman together just sizzle with attraction and they proceed to set my kindle on fire. I like that each of their sexual encounter feels meaningful in a way that brought the story forward. They are both kinky and there's the element of D/s relationship, but it doesn't feel mechanical like other BDSM romance I read. They just feel so natural together and despite their 'captor/captive' situation, they are mostly honest and genuine with their feelings.

I don't mind if this turn into Stockholm syndrome romance, but the author actually try to steer us away from it by giving us a straight headed Luke. Luke never once fantasize about living happily ever after with his captor, Roman. Luke still dream for a nice husband and a lot of kids and he know Roman is not the one. The time gap that was put in place help to reinforce that their bond is so strong that distance and time didn't dim their need for each other. The first half of the story, we got the force proximity/sex/chemistry, the second half of the book deals more with feelings when they are apart, but most importantly Roman realized how important Luke is and the length he will go through to protect his boy. What's better than a protective Russian lover. Le sigh.