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I'm a hopeful cynic.

Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1) - Aleksandr Voinov,  Marquesate,  Vashtan I don't really know where to start with this review. I'll do my usual gibberish hoping I'll make some sense in the end. I was so heartbroken and so angry at the same time while reading this installment. And it was all Dan. With his Mad Dog sexcapades he ripped my heart out and stomped on it. Vadim? At a certain point my emotions for him were so intense, my chest felt like caving in. I wished he were a real person so that I could hug him and tell him everything was going to be all right, one way or another.Halfway through the book there is such a sucker punch of a scene that I seriously considered taking some Xanax to ease the anxiety. It could not be. It just could not be... I was so angry at Dan, I wanted to smash his head against the wall. So at that point I understood why people were asking me if I was a Dan or a Vadim person. I didn't distinguish between them in Soldiers but after this? Dan didn't stand a bloody chance. I became a hardcore Vadim person. Like everyone else, I suppose. At least everyone who doesn't have a stone instead of a heart.Some bits and pieces, fragments of thoughts while reading this part:The scenes where Jean plays Peeping Tom on Dan and Vadim's sexual encounters. I was all like "will you back a fucking inch off, motherfucker?" Then all this sudden understanding, along with that threesome later on, left me kinda numb. And having Vadim "admit" that part of the problem was that he, too, wanted Jean? I felt somewhat cheated. Plus, that "we are all fuck buddies now" situation felt forced and a too easy way out.That first threesome with Jean. I normally don't have any problem with that kind of action. As long as I feel everyone in it is participating on equal terms. But I didn't feel like that here. I felt like Vadim was forced to play on Dan's terms. When Dan whispers to Jean not to fuck him in front of Vadim? I wondered if he meant any of the things he had said to Vadim in Thailand... As I saw it, Vadim was either "forced" to accept and do the threesome because Dan wanted it (there was another, unsuccessful, attempt for a threesome earlier on when Vadim didn't succumb) or he finally accepted that all he wanted was "in" (at some point he tells Jean that he was jealous because Dan was friends with Jean while hating his guts.) Too easy a solution on both occasions. And kind of simplistic. We've gone to hell and back with Vadim for 600 odd pages only to find out this? Come on!It bothered me to no end that Dan willingly swallowed when blowing Jean but Jean always wore a condom before he did either Dan or Vadim. And the "you're clean but I might have something" excuse was a very petty one. Given that swallowing part.Hooch. I kinda liked him at first. Him being there meant that Jean was not that important to Dan. But when he got involved with Vadim? I rapidly lost interest.What bothered me though was that Dan encouraged Vadim to go "have fun" with Hooch. In my eyes, he did it to take the edge off his own multiple sexcapades. Vadim wouldn't have pursued anything with anyone else hadn't Dan made it possible. At some point he even admits it to himself. So there. Another reason to wanna punch Dan in the face.And one little (?) detail. After his encounter with Hooch, Vadim thinks that Jean is a friend of Dan's and that Hooch feels like a friend to him. Seriously? Dan has spent loads and loads of time with Jean, has had the chance to confide in him, learn things about his life, TALK with him, for heaven's sake. Hooch? The silent opportunist. He doesn't even make noises during sex. What does Vadim know about him? That he's Delta. And that's pretty much it. How could he consider him a friend? Because of a good fuck? That's juvenile mentality and I feel the authors sold Vadim a little short on that. He deserves better. MUCH better.I could go on and on and on about this. One thing I want to note before I close this review is that I agree with those who believe that some sex scenes were completely unnecessary and they didn't add anything to the story. I don't believe I'm saying this but there was too much sex in this part.Despite the abovementioned, this book deserves a solid 5 stars for making me feel so many things at the same time. The journey wasn't easy or smooth, at times it was excruciating even and I wanted to scream at the top of my head or cry my heart out, but it was a damn fine one and I wouldn't change a moment of it.Again, a big "thank you" to Mel for initiating me into Special Forces and for all her help and support during my "someone please shoot me and take me out of my misery" moments.Same goes for Emma, Kate, Jodie, and Lori. You all are great SF company.