Title: Dark Soul: Volume 4
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Characters: Silvio Spadaro, Stefano Marino
POV: 3rd Person
In “Dark Rival I,” the noose tightens around Stefano Marino’s neck. While Silvio and Franco are off taking care of the Russian problem, mutiny brews in Stefano’s crime family. It soon becomes clear he can trust only one man in his life, but whether he can hold on to Silvio—and what it might cost his marriage—are questions for which he has no answers.
In “Dark Rival II,” Silvio returns from his mission. Job done, threat gone, Stefano knows Silvio has no reason to stay. Or so he thought, anyway, until Silvio makes his move. It seems Silvio wants only sex, but Stefano is well aware there’s much, much more on the line. Including Donata, whose suspicions of a mistress in Stefano’s life are uncomfortably close to an even more uncomfortable truth.
Hopeless and helpless as his life crumbles down around his head, Stefano gives in to his desires in “Dark Temptation.” He isn’t any closer to understanding Silvio—and he’s farther from Donata than he’s ever been—but at least he’s come to understand his own needs. Now if only he could figure out how to be himself without hurting the ones he loves the most.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a series before that has taunted and provoked me the way “Dark Soul” has, wanting two characters to be together more than anything else, then rethinking that, wondering if they did end up together, would they even be good or right for each other? Then again, maybe there are times when want and need supersede good and right. This is a time when vice and virtue mingle and tweak at the conscience and make me want things I hadn’t ought to want. If I was a really good girl, that is.
Throw into that mix a man whose mere presence is a dangerous seduction and a temptation to them both, as well as a suspicious (rightly so) wife who I want out of the way now–and what does that say about me and how much I want Silvio and Stefano to have some sort of chance together?–and, Lord, what a tangled web Aleksandr Voinov has woven around my emotions.
This installment in the “Dark Soul” series felt like progress, but that’s also a dangerous feeling; there’s always a sense of one step forward and two steps back when it comes to these two men. The fact they’ve made a pretty significant move forward can’t mean much right now, not when things are still so complicated, but at the same time, it could mean everything. Obsession, attraction, addiction, jealousy, coveting; yes, the wanting is unmistakable and utterly delicious and defines, brackets, underscores and puts an exclamation point on the connection between them. And I want more.
H.G. Wells wrote “We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.” If that doesn’t describe the sharp and tangible need between Silvio and Stefano just now, I’m not sure what does.
Actually, it pretty accurately describes my addiction to this series too.
Reviewed By: Lisa