* If you haven't read Mercs1 please turn back, don't read on, this will contain mild spoilers for you*
What do I think? Well? That's the question isn't it? But I don't have a clue, no, not really. This has kept me awake at night, not just to read, but to ponder. Oh good God, have I pondered, worried, obsessed and debated this book in my head to the point of near insanity. I feel shattered, hopeless, defeated and slightly screwy.
But, and I have to apologise in advance for all the 'buts' to follow,but I still want more. I have become an emotional sadist.
My thoughts and feelings toward Dan have gone back and forth so many times I thought I became the tennis ball in five hour game at a masters final. I hated him and his monogamous views, just sucked! Makes me feel physically ill! How can he be such an ignorant arsehole to how Vadim really feels about his conquests? I think he is subconsciously punishing Vadim for the rape, that's why he gets off watching V get fucked by his harem. Urgh...gag...sickening! I can't take much more of that and thank god it was only really the first 20% of the book that I had to endure it.
But then I loved Dan again. He lets down his shield and allows some of his insecurities to show through and it was heart breaking, but made me see him for what he was again, not the irreverent man-whore, but the Dan I loved and respected. To see him with needs other than sucking and fucking was like a balm to my soul. But then, he does something to upset me again and I am just back to where I started! Whiplash!
Vadim...oh my V. My fucked-up Vadim. With all his need, darkness, pain, terrors and torturous insecurities that never leave him. This broken, needful man will always be Dan's only love, but I wish Dan could see what he is doing to him.
He leaves no single physical act that is theirs alone. Can there be nothing sexually sacred between Dan and Vadim, without Dan giving it away? I don't mean the love, I know that,that will always be the one sacred thing that Vadim will always have of Dan's. I don't think anyone will take that. But still!
Vadim is an emotional mess so if you look at it from Dan's POV the perspective changes again. I feel for Dan, that he can't get what he sometimes needs from Vadim, the fun, joy and affection. The conflict that lies within each of them, holds them back and pushes them forward, both their own worst enemy, both taking for themselves and not giving enough back.
It's insanely intense, and deep, but I think it is fading, going stale. I even feel that at this point, if it wasn't for that need, they should go their own ways, it might be for the best. I know, I say that with the heaviest of hearts, my hope has dissipated and I cannot go on. I just want to give up and say..
But...and there it is again, the but. I will go on, I will soldier forth, it's what they would want. They haven't given up yet, so I wont either.
Now I have to say that while the first two books in this series where the very best for me. I mean the very best of the best! This one has left me disappointed.
New characters have been introduced, which is so very refreshing and I was happy for a breather from Dan and Vadim's intensity, but on the other hand... I felt the voice and POV of Dima was a distraction and unnecessary. Why? I didn't get it. Who the hell is Dima to get his own POV? And do I care about him? No, I'm sorry, I have no emotional attachment to him, not from the past or anything.
I also felt this book was lacking in the beautiful almost poetic telling that the last two had. I might be pushed to say that it was almost written by somebody else. I didn't breathe and live the settings like I did when we where in Afghanistan or even Kuwait. The dialog was difficult to establish who said what. Although that might be the conversion layout for my kindle.
All the way through I wondered how to rate it. My rating system has been completely screwed after reading the last two books, which have left everything else I've ever read in the dust.
I have gone from loving this book to hating it and then feeling ambiguous and then hate, love all over again.
So I have decided to go bang in the middle with 3 Stars! Which now means I liked it:)
I am invested in these characters, the story, every-bloody-thing! I am sucked in completely. This will always be my Gone with the Wind, my Casablanca.