The Professional (The Game Maker #1) by Kresley Cole - Book Review Bay
The highly anticipated complete novel of The Professional—the first installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s scorching Game Maker series, an erotica collection that has readers asking: How hot is too hot?

He makes the rules…
Mafiya enforcer Aleksei “The Siberian” Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss knows no bounds, until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter, a curvy, feisty redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Aleksei will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.

Rules are made to be broken…
Grad student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the dark and breathtaking Sevastyan before the professional enforcer whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures. Every day under his protection leads her deeper under his masterful spell.

Are you ready to play?
Yet all is not as it seems. To remove Natalie from an enemy’s reach, Sevastyan spirits her into hiding. From an opulent palace in Russia to the decadent playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, the two lovers will discover that even their darkest—and most forbidden—fantasies can come true…


I’d never been more confused in my life. “Are you . . . are you
going to kiss me?”
With his accent thicker than I’d heard it, he rasped, “Would
you want a man like me to take your mouth?” His thumb ring
glinted when he gave another slow stroke.
Good question. I answered myself when words spilled from
my lips: “Try it and see.”
“You think I’d stop with a kiss?”
“You assume I’d want you to?”
My reply seemed to wake him from a daze. As if burned, he
jerked his hands away, his expression transforming from lost to
disgusted. Again, he told me, “Cover yourself.” Now he was as
furious as I’d been before, but I had no idea what I’d done.
I swatted the ends of my robe down as he levered himself to
his feet.
When he seized my hand, yanking me up, sanity resumed—
as if the Natalie I’d known all my life had decided to rejoin us.
What kind of madness had just possessed me? I clutched my
robe with a shaking hand. I’d just let this man touch me, this
stranger, and had been rolling my hips for more.
If he’d made a move to fuck me on the ground, I thought . . .
I thought I might have let him.
Fist clenched around my upper arm, he dragged me along.
“If you run from me again, I will catch you. It’s what I do.” He
locked his gaze on mine. “And then I’ll spread you facedown over
my knees and whip your plump ass until you know better.”

Strangely enough, if you asked me if I was a Kresley Cole fan, I'd adamantly tell you that I worship her. But if you'd asked me which of her books were my favorite, I'd probably blush and tell you that I've only ever read one of her book series and that would be my favorite... Even though it's Young Adult - and I'm so embarrassed to say that - because heaven knows I love dirty and flirty books... So why I've never read any of KC's more adult books - I really and truly just don't know the answer to that.

There's a redeeming point though... I do have a whole lot of her books on my Kindle (and The Professional is the first I've read other than The Arcana Chronicles) so I'm not entirely blonde - just blind and naive. Since moving along onto other books / genre's by Kresley Cole - I'm determined to work my way through every book she's ever released! Starting with The Professional (The Game Makers #1).

I had no idea what to expect going into this book. My only experience with Kresley Cole is YA and dystopian.  What I have figured out about KC's writing ability is that she's can comfortably and effortlessly create characters and scenario's that are no at all every day types.

In The Professional - for instance - she's transported us to Russia. Building a world around the Russian mafia with characters that should scare you but are so well developed that you can't help but love them dearly. This book is full of romance, sexy moments, sorrow, action and mystery. I found myself enjoying situations I'd not normally be keen to read about.

Book Review Bay - The Professional by Kresley Cole

The Professional hooked me in deep. For hours I was engrossed in the life and loss of Natalie. I'm even sad that it ended. Not because it didn't end well or the book felt incomplete... but only because I was really, really into this book. I do wish that I had a few more moments between Natalie and Sevastyan that are more tender rather than angsty or erotic... but I'm not really going to lay down a complaint. I'm entirely happy with the experience, the outcome and the sexiness of this book.

I've seen a few readers make an association between this book and Fifty Shades... but I'm going to have to disagree to that. Although Fifty Shades and this book, The Professional, are both erotic romances, the female characters are both virgins, both alpha male's have a dark past - The Professional is a whole lot deeper and far more 3 dimensional than I found Fifty Shades to be. I'm a huge Fifty fan - one of the biggest out there... but now, years later and many, many more erotic reads under my belt... I can honestly say that the difference between this book and Fifty is maturity. This book carries a level of maturity between the characters that I didn't find in Fifty. This book ventures into the world of BDSM that is far, far darker and more daring than anything I read about in Fifty.

Natalie is easily one of the best female erotic fictional characters I've ever gotten to know. She's funny and open-minded. She's not so much of a submissive as we've come to expect in others and she's not afraid to ask for what she wants from Sevastyan. In fact, I loved that she tested him often, almost daily - but also submitted effortlessly when the moment called for it.

The Professional - The Game Maker Series by Kresley Cole - Book Review BaySevastyan is not the usual alpha male we normally get in erotic romances. Yes he's good looking, but what I particularly loved about this read was that it wasn't repeated over and over again. He's strong, calm and mysterious. He's need for Natalie is beautifully played out. I'm such a huge fan over this book that I'm completely drifting off thinking about it while I try and put together this review.

As a whole, I found this book engrossing. I found the plot - easy to follow, angsty and possessively sexy. I found the secondary plots made this book more 'human' and believable. I found myself inquisitive about learning more regarding the secrets surrounding Sevastyan. I loved that we know he has a past that he doesn't want to delve into, but there isn't this huge focus on it. The book moves along freely without going back and forth reminding us that Sevastyan has secrets. So when they did come out I felt relief rather than agitated with having to wait so long to find out what it was. There are a few moments where I didn't know what to expect. Even the sensuality between Sevastyan and Natalie developed as the book progressed. Never did I feel as if they were stagnant in their romance. I simply just adored everything about this book!

So if you've read Fifty, loved the concept and theme - then give The Professional a go. It's not exactly the same, but it's along the lines when it comes to Alpha leads & BDSM. However, like I said, this book is far darker, more grown-up that Fifty - so expect to blush a whole, whole lot more :)

The second book in this series, The Master is set to release February 24th, 2015. This book is all about Sevastyan's brother (who you get to meet in The Professional) and I'm so freaking excited to get my hands on that!

Rating: 5 Stars!

The Professional (The Game Maker #1) by Kresley Cole - Book Review Bay

RELEASE DATE: May 6th, 2014
GENRE: Erotic Romance


PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster


The Professional       •       The Master (Releasing February 24th, 2015)

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About Laurynne Gouws

Hi. I'm Laurynne (Pronounced 'Lauren') & I'm a 30(ish) year old Graphic & Web Designer from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I spend majority of my time either reading, blogging, browsing Amazon or when the mood strikes, designing something. Welcome to my blog.
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  1. I've been circling this book since its release last year. I think you've convinced me to go for it! Great review.