by Sabine Barclay
“Bratva Darling” is the first story in ‘The Ivankov Brotherhood’ by Sabine Barclay, who promises there will be a total of six books in the series. After having read this one, I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series. This was an action-packed, dramatic story balanced out beautifully with lighter moments and passionate experiences.
Women in mafia romance stories are often weak, pawns, foolish, or forgettable. When Laura faces Maksim, his brothers, and their attorney across a negotiating table, he’s as impressed with her intelligence as he is with her appearance. Laura knows that Maksim is a dangerous man, but she can’t stop herself from being wildly attracted to him. Not long after their momentous meeting in the boardroom, Laura and Maksim meet again in a situation where the chemistry between them ignites, and so does complete chaos. As the story continues to unfold, the action intensifies and the danger increases. We also learn most surprising things about both main characters.
I don’t want to ruin the plot for you because there are plenty of terrific twists and turns, and I hope you get to experience them as unprepared as I was!. Laura is as far as one could get from being submissive in how she lives her life, but in her physical relationship with Maksim, she finds peace in that role. Maksim is the mafia leader, so of course much of his world is dark and violent. He demands absolute loyalty from his men and everybody with whom he deals, and he is brutally unforgiving with those who betray him or the family. Yet the author has managed to make him a likable character and show the development of his emotions towards Laura. The tension in the book keeps rising until it reaches an exciting conclusion. Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down. Be warned that there’s a good chance you’ll have the same experience!