Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Gold Digger, Aleksandr Voinov

A well written, engaging, very sexy M/M contemporary read by Aleksandr Voinov.

- Review by Kazza K

Nikolai Krasnorada is sent to Toronto to secure a major fiancial partner/backer interested in his best friend, Ruslan's, gold mining company/operation, Cybele Exploration. The company he talks to is LBM, LeBeau Mining. There Nikolai lets it slip that LBM is the only company he's talking to, thus alerting LeBeau senior to the 'greeness' of Nikolai in the business world, and in turn Cybele. This makes Cybele an attractive propostion for a hostile takeover. It's gold, and while it's expensive to fund drilling and exploration, the profits are there to be made. He also meets the CEO's nephew, and heir apparent in LBM, Henri LeBeau. Henri takes Nikolai out to see the sights whilst in Toronto and the sights end up being very...attractive. Gold Digger is part corporate, part romance, part travelogue, part sequel to Special Forces in compostion. Making it a pretty interesting book for more than a few tastes. Gold Digger is from Nikolai 's POV and it takes us around the world in business, family and personal matters and relationships. I didn't mind it being from Nikolai's POV. I didn't feel like it was stilted, everyone came through loud and clear due to the strength of the writing.

This is an incredibly sexy, romantic just plain nice contemporary read from Aleksandr Voinov. Both of the MC's were so engaging, for different reasons. I will admit to a crush on Henri, damn wrong one (for me). It's incredibly easy to read, and enjoyable, as in a - 'I just want to keep reading. OMG is it 2am? Meh, sleep is overrated' - kind of way.

Gold Digger is quite a departure from the books that I have read of Aleksandr Voinov's previously. I liked that. I like to see writers mix it up. I think if you're a good writer you need to be able to show some different depths.

Gold Digger had some great dialogue, a great global feel, and, from time to time, some business speak. Yet again, good research went into the book, from food, to business, to geography, and culture -Melbourne is indeed the 'Greek Capital' of Australia. And parts of New Zealand were pretty well described.

It also has some great sex scenes. The sex was smoking, flaming, scorching, don't-stand-near-a-naked-flame-white-hot. I hope I wasn't too subtle here :) Seriously, this is one of the sexiest books I've read for a while, and I read a lot of sexy. There's some great lines -

Henri claimed him in an open-mouthed, ravenous, filthy kiss.

"Don't tell me you're a foot fetishist, too."
Henri chuckled and glanced up. "Not a fetishist, but don't tell me you've never had someone suck your toes."
"I used to work on an oil rig. There's very little toe-sucking going on there."

I liked the sexual fluidity of Nikolai. He hadn't had sex with a man before, he hadn't thought about it, but he was attracted to Henri. He didn't freak out about it, he reflected, slighly, and liked it. He liked the person, Henri, and liked the sex  Gold Digger cannot be deemed a GFY. Bisexuals all have their first same sex experience, this was Nikolai's. I really appreciated the way it was written, the message and the words -

Nikolai stripped off the rest of his clothes, regarded himself in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. He didn't actually look any different after this gay encounter than before it. Nothing had changed on the outside, and he wasn't sure if anything had changed on the inside. He might even repeat something like this.

Being with Henri felt a bit like a holiday, like nothing else mattered, like he could just be himself and relax....Act on attraction for once in his life.

Nikolai grinned. "Well. I just outed myself to my boss. He's taking it well."
"How's it feel?"
"I'm exhausted."
"It's a big step, Nikolai. You'll run into gay guys who'll tell you you're not actually bisexual, just scared to come off the fence, and a whole lot of people who'll tell you bi guys don't exist and you have it all wrong." He shrugged. "Though I don't personally care how you define yourself."
"Oh, I'm the son of a gay guy. I know how these categories aren't worth shit."

While this is a standalone book, if you've read Special Forces, which I haven't, yes, I know, bad me; I think some of the minor backstory here - Anya, Vadim, Jean, Szandor, Katya, will mean much more to you than it did to me. Anya should have pissed me off, I think, maybe, but she just didn't. I didn't like her bitchy moments, but, hey, that's family, that's life. Likewise, reading about Vadim meant nothing more than a man trying to be a father figure, reconnect, trying to make up for...complications. Once again other reviewers may feel great passion for someone or something that, to me, kind of got in the way of Nikolai and Henri's time. Don't get me wrong, it was very well written, and helped advance Nikolai's character. So, I'll just say that I felt a little like I had been dropped into the middle of some people that my friends knew, but I didn't, if that makes sense.

In the wrap-up I really enjoyed Gold Digger. I was engrossed and had a good time reading it from beginning to end. Can't ask for much more than that. I highly recommend this book to those who have read Special Forces (you don't have to have read it), and to those wanting a nicely written, very sexy, romantic, contemporary M/M read, with a good ending. Certainly I would like a follow up on this pair. I'd love to see how Nikolai and Henri are doing. Where they've settled...or not. Perhaps a series?

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