Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dark Soul by Aleksandr Voinov

Dark Soul (Vol.#1) by Aleksandr Voinov
Riptide Publishing
Short Novella: 76pages
Rating: 5 out of 5

Stefano Marino is a made man, a happily married west coast mafia boss who travels east to await the death of a family patriarch. All the old hands have gathered—of course sharks will circle when there’s blood in the water—but it’s a new hand that draws Stefano’s eye.

Silvio “the Barracuda” Spadaro is protetto and heir to retired consigliere Gianbattista Falchi, and a made man in his own right. Among his underworld family, being gay is a capital crime, but the hypersexual—and pansexual—young killer has never much cared for rules. The only orders he follows are Battista’s, whether on the killing field or on his knees, eagerly submissive at Battista’s feet.

But Silvio has needs Battista can’t fill, and he’s cast his black-eyed gaze on Stefano. A fake break-in, an even faker attack, and Silvio is exactly where he wants to be: strung up at Stefano’s mercy, driving the older Mafioso toward urges he’s spent his whole life repressing. Stefano resists, but when the Russian mob invades his territory and forces him to seek aid, Gianbattista’s price brings Stefano face to face once more with Silvio—and his darkest desires.

I find it a lot harder to write a review for a book that I really love, an easier to write for those that I just like. I am in quite a predicament, because I have stronger feelings than love for this book (if that’s even possible). Counterpunch was my first book by the author and I thought ‘there is no way freaking way his stuff can get anymore awesmazing’. I can eat my freaking words, because Dark Soul is incredible, viciously sexy, and absolutely mind blasting. Broken down into two stories, Dark Soul & Dark Secret I was left in complete awe and possibly ruined for other books.

In Dark Soul we meet Stefano Marino a west coast Mafioso who has travelled to the east coast to pay his respects to an old patriarch that’s about to die.  It’s also where Stefano meets Silvio “the barracuda’’ for the first time. Stefano is unexpectedly drawn to the man with the cold eyes. It’s not exactly easy to ignore Silvio, when he exudes sex and danger. However, Stefano is struggling with the fact that he feels some desire for the man. When Silvio breaks into the room that Stefano is staying in and is caught. It pushes Stefano even further to the attraction he feels for the other man.  To save face Stefano wants to humiliate and torture Silvio, but his plans back fires and leaves you with the question ‘Just why did Silvio break into his room?’.

Dark Secret
picks up a few weeks after the first story and Stefano travels to Italy meet with Gianbattista Falchi, the man responsible for Silvio and how he lives. Seems Stefano is having some troubles with the Russians trying to take over his turf. He knows that he will be indebted to Falchi and he knows that the price will be high. He’s also guaranteed to run into Silvio again, and is still coming to terms with what happened between them in the room. Stefano also learns the true nature of Falchi's relationship with Silvio.

The stories are told through Stefano’s point of view. The married man who clearly loves his wife but is drawn to the sultriness that is Silvio, in a business where it’s not good business to be attracted to a man. The stories might seem like its all about Silvio, but I am very aware of Stefano. It would take a special man to attract Silvio and clearly, Mr Marino is that man.

The writing is gripping and leaves you either panting like a dog or hanging on the edge of your seat. The author captivates with every word and it’s not hard to picture what’s being described. The characters are complex, they might seem one dimensional on the surface but as the book progresses there is a mystery to both men, and you just can’t wait to have their complete story. Stefano refers to Silvio as ‘faggot’, but after awhile I wondered if that word wasn’t meant for himself, you understand his torment in that word. Silvio is sex on legs and he is the most unforgettable character you will ever read, love him or hate him he is extraordinary.

Overall, I have strong feelings for this book and I have Silvio on the brain. I am guessing I should warn about the gunplay, breath play, and serious kink found in this book. I really don’t like warnings, because in the end Dark Soul is so much more than that. Voinov pushes the boundaries of conventional genre writing and introduces the variety that can be found in sexuality *to each is own*. I will now wait impatiently for the rest of the volumes and I highly recommend this series.

SideNote- That cover is gorgeous and is absolutely perfect for this (think Silvio dripping wet). Crap! just lost my pants.


5 Pants Off
Go Ahead Take Those Pants Off

*book provided by publisher*


  1. Godammit! Want to reread *so much*! Must.Refrain.Til.Paperback.Is.Out!

  2. Oh Paperback! I am so owning that. I know its just so fantastic I also wanna reread.

  3. Yes, love love how the cover evokes that hot tub scene


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