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Lenore

I'm a hopeful cynic.

Gold Digger

Gold Digger - Aleksandr Voinov All right. I've been typing and deleting the first couple of paragraphs of this review for at least half an hour now so I'll just cut to the chase.The things I loved:• Vadim. Vadim. Vadim. Vadim. Vadim. I've said it many times already but allow me to say it one more time: I love Vadim to pieces and I will always be grateful to A. Voinov for creating him. This story was worth reading if only for the Vadim parts.• The premise. The corporate world and men in tailored suits? Sign me up.• The sex. I know it's Voinov we're talking about so great sex scenes are kind of a given but still; holy hotness Batman!The things I liked:• The references to Greek mythology and Greek food. I kept reading "mezze" as "métze" instead of "mezé" but I guess I should blame my Italian influences.• How easily the plot moved from Toronto, to Wellington, to London. It also explained that airplane on the cover of the book!The things I wondered about:• Why Tamás didn't know what a white knight was even though he was one of Ruslan's top guys. Since he elaborated most of their presentation to LeBeau Mining and was even sent to Toronto along with Nikolai to make it, shouldn't he know this kind of financial jargon?• Nikolai calling people around the world without thinking about the time difference. He was in Canada and he called Vadim in New Zealand, his mother/sister in Hungary and Ruslan in Armenia. Shouldn't he calculate the time difference first? He certainly wouldn't want to wake his family/friends in the middle of the night.• Why Jean and Solange had to be mentioned so many times in the story. I admit I hate Jean's guts but, honestly, what did mentioning him and his wife offer to this story? They liked this hotel and/or that restaurant when they last visited New Zealand. So? Why should their opinion matter to Nikolai? Or to Vadim for that matter? • Nikolai first reassuring Vadim he could deal with the check saying "I do part-own a gold company, you know" (Kindle location 1416) and then a little later (Kindle location 1484) providing practically the same info to his father ("You know I'm in gold exploration. I'm one of the partners of a company called Cybele…") The first reference was fine. It came across as Nikolai joking with his father about information they were both privy to. Maybe it's just me but I didn't think that second reminder was necessary.The things that didn't sit well with me:• That the parts of the story I liked best were the ones involving Vadim. Since this was Nikolai's story, shouldn't I have focused on him and his evolving relationship with Henri? Before you start with the "it was to be expected; you got tunnel vision the moment you learned Vadim was going to be in this story," let me elaborate a little. I liked the Vadim parts especially because they involved Nikolai; because they showed how Nikolai and Vadim's father/son relationship was fortified, how they learned to respect and understand and listen to each other. I didn't notice this kind of dynamic in Nikolai's interaction with Henri. There was nothing really profound there. • Nikolai's sexuality. It wasn't the first time I read about a straight man discovering he liked gay sex but in Nikolai's case everything happened with lightning speed. One week he was straight (who hadn't even thought of experimenting with other men); the next, he was talking about the possibility of marriage with a guy he barely knew. The same went for Henri, by the way. One week he was the crown prince of a multi-billion dollar company; the next he was abandoning everything and moving from a luxurious condo in downtown Toronto to backwater Armenia for a straight guy he'd just met. • And this is where the length of the story comes into play. I'm sure that, if it were longer, Mr Voinov would have made the whole thing work beautifully; Nikolai's relationship with Henri would have evolved more smoothly and their HEA would have been more solid and more believable.• Nikolai's lukewarm reaction to the news his sister had about their family and parentage and how it later played out with Vadim. That was another point in the plot that would have benefitted had the story been longer.• My impression was that Gold Digger was a little rushed. Not only because of the length. It was also obvious from the editing. There was the occasional typo (e.g., "Henri was building a physical trust between them before any more happened") or repetition. For instance, I noticed how Nikolai's stomach "was boiling with acid", or "digesting itself with all the acid," or how coffee "hit his stomach like battery acid." Also, he had a "really weird feeling in the pit of his stomach," "a hollow, sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach," or "dread collecting like dark, cold liquid in the pit of his stomach." All these could have easily been avoided. The bottom line:This may be a Special Forces spinoff but it's one of Mr Voinov's more mellow and sweet stories. Much as I prefer his "darker" work, I enjoyed it very much and, as a contemporary m/m romance, it put a smile on my face. It's three stars for the story plus an extra one for Vadim (I know I'm biased. There's no need to point it out to me. We're talking Vadim Petrovich Krasnorada here.)In fact, I wouldn't mind reading a sequel to make sure everything went all right with Nikolai and Henri, and—why not—read about another gay marriage in the Krasnorada family. And yes, to take another glimpse into the life of my beloved Vadim.