The Professional is a contemporary novel divided in three parts which will be published out between several weeks between one another. In this first quarter of a book, it told the story of a young woman named Natalie who found out who her long lost parent was and a bodyguard, Sevastyan, who was sent to protect her. They shared an intense attraction between one another but Sevastyan tried to keep her at arm’s length although failing.
Surprisingly, it was archetypal. The story was cliched at its best. A girl finding out that she’s a modern princess and a knight who was forbidden to touch her. The innocent romanticized version of Bratva and more romantic atmosphere and decadence. Steamy atmospheres and more stereotypical romance with a twist. If you have read a lot of Kresley Cole books as I did, you’d be surprised that the book does stretch itself thinly especially with the worldbuilding. Although Cole did wonderful in bringing Russian culture in this book that I enjoyed the bits that was equally foreign to me, at times I rather want her to expand it more than simplified version to give way to the characters’ drama. It was all too convenient that Natalie was beautiful, smart, bilingual and now rich and virginal. I let myself being suspended by the disbelief as it clearly written on the intention of the post-50 Shades audience. But for the first quarter of the book, there’s that delicious sexual tension between the characters that made waiting for the next installment can be frustrating. Which was clearly intentional, I suppose.
For all its worth, it was an enjoyable start of the story. The dialogues was witty and exciting as well as the character interactions. Natalie wasn’t any bit of a pliant blank character commonly written as a poor substitute for the readers. She had fire in her and an individual of her own right. She enjoyed the power play between her and the ever dominant Sevastyan. There was that relationship dynamics between them but attraction was the theme in this book and also they also get to know each other before. Although she found herself submitting to the alluring bodyguard, she didn’t much enjoy being subservient to others and was clearly defiant. Although it appeared to be a substandard run of the mill erotica, there were more depth in the story telling than those thick brick novels obsessing on inner goddesses and abusive relationship. Even though Sevatsyan at the beginning was essentially a stalker, it was his job and he’s actually hired by her father to do so and so which made everything different. It made him more of an alluring dark guardian of the night than an emotionally problematic possessive narcissist. An erotica novel that doesn’t have a destructive coupling, that was refreshing.
Then again, The Professional part 1 is a quarter of a book. Basically what it does was to lay out the basic bricks of the story. It does what it intent to be as a hook and a sinker. I am definitely hooked and will look forward to the next installment.
The ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review