Buy Link: Dark Soul Volume 4
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: Novella

Rating: 4.5

This is the fourth installment of Voinov’s fabulous Dark Soul series.  Volume 4 picks up soon after the events of the previous book.

In Dark Rival I, Silvio and Franco are off dealing with the Russians while Stefano faces increasing problems at home. There are some definite rumblings among the family, many not thrilled with Silvio’s presence, and Stefano must reassert his authority and show his strength to keep control.  Emotionally things are unsettled for Stefano as well.  With Silvio gone he is on edge, making him aware how important this man has become in his life.  He knows he is not ready to see Silvio leave when the Russian problem is over.   But Stefano is still in love with his wife Donata, whom he doesn’t want to hurt, and isn’t fully ready to emotionally accept his feelings for Silvio either.

This story definitely puts the focus on Stefano and sort of takes stock of where he is and his feelings.  He is overwhelmed and out of sorts and not quite sure how to get things back together.  With Silvio out of most of the story, some of the tension and excitement is missing for me, but it gives us a chance to reconnect with Stefano as he tries to figure out what he wants and if it is possible to have it.

In Dark Rival II, Silvio and Franco return from having dealt with the Russians, destroying their hold on the city and stirring up the police.  Now that the job Silvio came for is over, Stefano worries this will be the end of things between them.  But when Silvio returns, he seems to still want Stefano, and a hot shower scene takes things further between them physically than ever before.  Once again, the men are incredibly hot together.   Stefano worries he is a bit out of his league — Silvio’s sexual interests are more extreme than Stefano is used to — but as he explores his desires he finds he can satisfy both of them.  Silvio’s mix of so much strength and power combined with his need to be controlled sexually are totally explosive.

But as much as things are moving forward with Silvio, things are falling apart with Donata.  She confronts Stefano with her suspicions that he is having an affair, although of course she assumes it is with a woman.  She can tell that Stefano is distracted and secretive, more than even the demands of his job require.  Although he reassures he it is nothing, Donata isn’t fooled and things are clearly gearing up for trouble.  Because as much as he loves Donata, Stefano still can’t help wanting to be with Silvio.

In Dark Temptation that desire for Silvio once again takes Stefano further than he ever expected.  When Silvio’s stress over Franco leaves him seeking some relief by picking up a stranger for some causal sex, Stefano finds he can’t stand the idea of Silvio with someone else.  Stefano realizes he wants things sexually with Silvio he never thought he’d crave with another man.

In this last story we finally see Stefano accept what he needs and wants from Silvio.  It is almost like Donata recognizing something is going on gives him that release to really seek it out.  Yet he is still torn, hating that he is hurting her and knowing that a future with Silvio is practically impossible given their lifestyle.

I really enjoyed this fourth installment in the series.  It is not quite as intense as I found the previous book, but I liked the way we get back into Stefano’s head for a while.  After the focus on Silvio, it is good to see Stefano’s side and how he is working through the relationship and what he really wants and needs.  We are left knowing that things are at a crossroads, and something must happen soon to break the tension.  This book sets us up nicely for the final installment and I can not wait to find out what is in store for Stefano and Silvio.

Cover Review: Another totally gorgeous cover. I can’t remember another series with such consistently amazing covers across the board. This one is made even more haunting once you read the story and understand more about what is happening at the funeral. So beautifully done.

%d bloggers like this: