Chicago Bratva #3
Romantic Suspense / Mafia
She’s my weakness, my obsession. And now my prisoner.
I spent twelve long years in a Siberian prison.
Since my release, nothing’s held my interest.
Nothing except her.
Week after week, I watch her band perform.
I can’t get her out of my mind.
When my past catches up to me, she becomes a target.
The only way to save her is to lock her away.
Hold her prisoner until things blow over.
She’ll never forgive me now, but I can’t explain.
I can’t talk.
I step away from my vehicle to show myself. I hold up my keys and point to the Denali. It’s about as close as I’ve come to communicating in a long fucking time. I usually don’t even try. That way people stop trying to connect with me. To include me. That way, I become invisible.
As much as a guy who’s six-foot-six and two hundred eighty pounds can be invisible.
Story sees me and hesitates. I can tell she read my offer. She’s considering it.
Part of me wants her to reject it. She shouldn’t get into cars with men she doesn’t really know. I mean, she knows me from a bar, but I could be any kind of creep.
But her shoulders sag in defeat. She holds her keys up and waves them at me. “Oleg—can you drive me home?” she slurs.
She wants me to drive her van.
I nod, moving before my brain has even considered the consequences.
This will require connection. Attempted conversation. Awkward silences filled most likely with avoided eye contact and the metallic scent of fear. That’s what’s happened before anytime someone as good as Story gets too close to me. Fuck, I hate that.
I scare the shit out of people. I’m big, menacing, covered in bratva and Siberian prison tattoos, and I can’t speak because I had my tongue cut out by my last employer to keep me from spilling his secrets. I breathe intimidation. I look like I can kill a man with my bare hands without breaking a sweat.
And I have. Many times.
I’m the bratva enforcer.
Story stumbles a bit as I arrive, and I catch her elbow, steadying her. She leans into me, giving me an unfocused smile. “Thank you for rescuing me. I knew you would.”
I try to ignore the effect of her words on my beating heart. The way they make it double-pump, then skip a beat, then race forward again.
She knew I would.
Well, good. Because I sort of figured she was one breath away from calling 911 on me for stalking because I’d been at the beautiful lead singer’s shows every week for a year.
I didn’t plan to become Story Taylor’s stalker.
I just like to watch her perform every week. I don’t know when I became obsessed. The first time I saw them play?
Nah, that was when I became a fan. When I knew I wanted to get her lithe little body underneath mine to make her scream in pleasure.
The third time?
All I know is she’s now my addiction. I don’t want to come. I fucking hate that the guys in my bratva cell figured out and want to help me hook up with her. I want to stay invisible. A block wall no one can read. I shut down when I suddenly found myself in prison with no tongue. I learned to communicate with my fists and stopped attempting any other form of connection. But she’s my weakness.
I can’t stay away.
I can’t stop myself from being the first one to arrive and the last one to leave on Saturday nights. I don’t want to care about anything, especially not a perfect stranger who has zero interest in a giant, mute strongman.
But here I am.
My ARC Review:
The 3rd book in this Chicago Bratva series, easily read on its own, but so much better if you know the backstory to this….. I was really looking forward to this one after reading the others in this series! Oleg is a giant of a man, full of tattoos, imposing, intimidating, but his quietness and his inability to talk really drew me in, I wanted to know his story and all his secrets, and this book did not disappoint!! Its full of secrets, heartbreak, danger and suspense as well as some steamy hot scenes…
Story is the singer of a band that Oleg has been obsessed with since he first saw her perform. He is always at the bar where they perform every Saturday without fail, from opening to closing. Story has got used to seeing him there, relying on his being there, even to the point where she will throw herself off the stage knowing Oleg will be there to catch her. But that’s as far as their friendship went, until one night she has had too much to drink and Oleg takes her home, and she invites him in….. but all is not as it seems, he doesn’t take her in her drunken state, but takes care of her and leaves, only to find his past has caught up with him and found him walking the streets on his own, now both he and Story are in terrible danger.
This is a great story, made all the more special with the rightness of Oleg and Story together, how they fitted together like missing pieces, how he would do anything to keep her safe, and how she instinctively knew what Oleg was trying to communicate. Their connection just pinged though the pages, their passion, the steaminess, it was a joy to read and watch as Oleg opened up and tried more in communicating with Story and his friends. This one made me fall hard for both these characters, both Oleg and Story have very different backgrounds, each having had their own set of troubles, with each eventually realising they had found their One with each other, but not without some bumps in the road to get there!! A great addition to this series, can’t wait for book 4!