Friday, March 28, 2014

ARC Mini-review: Sweetest Surrender


Sweetest Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City #3)

by Katie Reus


A woman on the run…
Angel has been on her own for two years, moving from place to place to outrun her past. With no family and few friends to lean on, she’s managed to keep her secrets and stay safe. But when her past suddenly catches up to her, she has a choice to make. Run or stay and claim her life once more.
He’ll stop at nothing to protect her…
Vadim has never let anyone close to him—until Angel. From the first time he met her, everything changed. As a private consultant for Wyatt Christiansen, he’s good with computers and he’s got connections to unearth people’s deepest, darkest secrets. When Angel’s life is threatened Vadim steps in and uses all his resources to end the threat once and for all. As the danger closes in, he lies to her in an effort to protect her, not realizing that even once the threat is eliminated, he might lose her anyway.
Themes: contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
A love story between a socially awkward but incredibly sexy ex-marine turned computer geek and the sweet but secretive woman that has captured his interest and heart… what could be better? Not much in my opinion.  I have been looking forward to learning more about and getting to know Vadim since we met him in previous stories in this series.  The story of a past catching up with one of the main characters is one that we have seen a bit, more than once even from Katie, but she always gives each person their own unique spin on the theme and allows them to not ever become exactly the same.   I was happy to see Vadim come out of his comfort zone and ultimately let his emotions and desires lead him into Angel’s arms.  Even if you haven’t read any of the other stories in the series, I can say with a level of surety you will enjoy this story. 
Vadim has finally decided it’s time to take a chance and ask Angel out, being prodded by his friends, and just as he tries to make that leap Angel’s life becomes infinitely more complicated.  Thankfully Vadim is good at keeping people safe and solving problems.  With only a small amount of persuasion and manipulation he is able to get Angel right where he wants her, but when the truth of her circumstances come to light, Vadim immediately sets out to protect the woman he is coming to care for.  Angel has had enough with controlling men though and is determined to stand on her own two feet, even if her ugly past has finally caught up with her.  Deciding to embrace the relationship with Vadim, she gives herself the chance to find happiness with a man, even though he is infuriating at times and impossible to get a read on at other times. Ultimately there is no fighting their need for one another and getting past the small misunderstandings makes their happiness that much more deserved.  When the ultimate test of trust comes, Vadim and Angel overcome beautifully and are able to finally have the life they both desired, together.
Angel is a bit of a sad character, having fate working against her in the past, but ultimately I think it led her to Vadim, right where she needed to be. Though she is emotionally scarred by her past, she is willing to get past her insecurities for a chance to have Vadim all for herself, though she never imagines he will actually want her as much as she has always wanted him.  Obviously they are both clueless since all their friends and coworkers could see their feelings for each other while they couldn’t see it for themselves. When Angel finally decides to stand up for herself and work with Vadim to change her life, I liked her even more than when she was running from her past.  Seeing that backbone come out, seeing her demand her due from Vadim, and finally seeing her get her justice makes me even more happy that I got to meet Angel.  Vadim on the other hand is a strong silent guy, one with some serious kickass skills hidden under his placid exterior.  His ability to blank his emotions from his face leaves Angel a bit lost at time, but thankfully he lets his guard fall in the end so she can see the love he feels for her.  His protective streak is one that is wider and more deadly than the river Styx to those that threaten his loved ones, especially his woman. Though he is socially awkward, when he makes friends or develops relationship they are deep and lasting, as evidenced by his friends and the depth of love that Angel feels for him.  I loved Vadim on a couple of levels, but one that should not be forgotten is his obvious soft spot for his German Sheppard Charlie, because as much of a scary dude as he is to others, he is a squishy teddy bear around Charlie, showing us the true man that lurks inside him.
This story certainly lives up to its name.  In the end angel has to let go of her fears and surrender to Vadim and the love that develops between them, a bit unexpectedly, but it really is the Sweetest Surrender and the most rewarding move she has ever made in her life.  Vadim is a sexy, alpha, protective, and dedicated man who will go above and beyond every time to make Angel’s life safer, better and filled with love. Angel is a bit stubborn, but when she finally gives in to him and lets their love bloom, the result is wonderfully fulfilling for them both.  The plot of her past catching up with her, while a common enough theme, certainly came with its own plot twist that I never saw coming.  I have enjoyed this series and the original it spawned from (Red Stone Security) from the very beginning and Vadim’s story was right up there with my favorites.  I am looking forward to more in the series, but I must continue to reiterate I would love for them to be even the tiniest bit longer. Keep up the great work Katie.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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