Jacoby Richards is part of a motorcycle club that took him in when his parents kicked him out. He met Benny and Oscar (“Scar”), and they became his family. Jacoby has long been in love with Scar, but since he knows Scar to be straight, Jacoby pines in silence. Until one night when he gets all he has longed for, but then everything goes so very wrong.
Ruslan Belikov is the head of a Russian crime family. His brother made a bad deal and Ruslan is missing drugs and money and nobody takes what is his. But Ruslan can take whatever he wants and so he kidnaps Jacoby in an attempt to get information out of him. Ruslan plans to torture and use Jacoby until he’s finished with him, but Ruslan realizes quickly that he may never be finished with Jacoby. Ruslan has no time for feelings and the only thing he knows is control. It’s certainly not possible to have a relationship with the enemy—right?
The warning from the authors for this book reads as follows:
WARNING: Ruslan Belikov and Jacoby Richards may not be for everyone. They are two dominant men thrown into an impossible situation. Some readers may find their story makes them uncomfortable. If you don’t like dark and dirty mafia bosses who use torture and sex to get their way turn back now. You have been warned.
I took this warning as a personal challenge and was intrigued to see if the entire story would live up to the warning. On the surface, the warning holds, but digging a little deeper, it falls short as a cohesive story.
The action starts right away as we see Jacoby longing for his best friend Scar. Scar and Jacoby are part of a motorcycle club, but that is mostly in name only as nothing about the club is shown until the end of the book. Jacoby has been in love with Scar for a long time and just when he thinks he’s getting everything he wants, everything falls apart. Jacoby is kidnapped by Ruslan’s crime family and wonders if Scar set him up.
There is kidnapping and there is torture as the warning describes, but Jacoby is seemingly unfazed by most of it. He’s attracted to Ruslan from the start and even when he’s chained in the basement and Ruslan is forcing himself on him, Jacoby is aroused. He has minor internal musings that he shouldn’t like it, but mostly Jacoby is okay with all that is happening to him. He recovers quickly even from extremely painful torture and forced sexual acts and while he’s at times wary of what may happen to him, he’s also looking for Ruslan to come visit him time and again.
That all made the story a little more difficult to fit together for me. Jacoby can’t believe that Scar would have possibly set him up, his relationship with Benny never fully becomes clear, but Jacoby is mostly concerned about when Ruslan is going to touch him again and this starts from their first interaction. It’s not even as if Jacoby is held for a time and feelings start to develop; these two seem to be in love with the other the moment they see each other when Jacoby is a prisoner and that didn’t fully work for me on a relationship end. The book came off to me as mostly an erotic fantasy that was short on plot. Also, Ruslan is said to be the baddest of the bad. Yet, he doesn’t have command over his crew, he’s being double crossed, makes bad decisions, and seems like he doesn’t really have the backbone for his position. He also refers to being gay as his “lifestyle choice.”
After being kidnapped and abused, Jacoby decides that he belongs with Ruslan and he gets over his ordeal from one scene to the next. The book ends with a relationship for the men, but also the story is in a to-be-continued status as the larger plot is still on-going, but it wasn’t all that clear or enticing. This book won’t be highly memorable for me, but if you are looking for a mafia plot and a non-traditional, darker, and more violent relationship, this would fit.