Book/Audio Review ✭✭ The Master (The Game Maker #2) by Kresley Cole

The Master by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #2
Published February 17, 2015
                 by Gallery Books
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sultry new Game Maker novel.
Everyone fears the Master…
Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.
Except her.
Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.
If pleasure is a game, play to win.
After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past—to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.

Though I didn’t read The Professional, the first book in The Game Maker series, it didn’t hinder my reading experience in the least. The Master can be read as a stand-alone, however I do believe it would enhance the story a bit if you do choose to previously read book one.

The Master of this story is Maksimilian Sevastyan, brother of Aleks (The Professional) and a supreme politician and mob boss.
On one of his routine “meetings” with an escort, he comes face to face with a woman with more personality than even he may be able to handle. She’s fierce and nowhere near intimidated by this powerful Russian lion.
Catarina Marín has been on the run from her past for years and when she’s in need of some quick cash, fate points her in the direction of a man who could possibly be the only one with the ability to help her in more ways than one.

There’s only one other modern book heroine that has made this level of a great impression on me, and Cat is perfect company for her. 
Cat hasn’t had a pleasant past. She overcame a lot already in the first part of the book and yet her struggle still wasn’t over. Cat certainly had vulnerability to her that she let slip through occasionally, but she was a strong woman and extremely driven. Her charisma and sarcasm really made her that much more enjoyable. 
I loved the way she challenged Maxim every step of the way when no one else dared to. When he foolishly thought he held the reins to their relationship, Cat let it be known who was really in charge. She called the shots from the moment they met and that made her his perfect counterpart.

Maxim started off as a disrespectful and vulgar man, and he then allowed himself to show a kinder, loving side of him. Cat chiseled away at his walls and made him feel safe enough to let the remaining ones down for her. 

These two had such a powerful connection that may have started with sex, but it slowly blossomed into something deeper than just physical. There was so much passion streaming between them; sex, arguments, conversations, all so very passionate!
Their pet names for each other, while they may seem raunchy or rude, were adorable in context.

I’m not one to blush over sex scenes, but I will say this book managed to have me blushing scarlet red through practically the entirety of it. 
While I did think the sexual scenes between Maxim and Cat were done well, and the writing was fantastic, I was hoping for more of the story to be brought to the forefront. I felt as though the sex took priority and overshadowed the story through a good portion of the book. Cat’s past did lend a really strong mysterious presence to the story. I really liked the underlying suspense that lingered. Bits of information were given slowly and it added to the mystery. The pacing overall was done really well.

Another factor that kept my rating from reaching a full five stars was the issue with Cat’s Spanish. I’m not fluent, but I get the gist. That being said, I think some phrases were overused a bit much. Listening back to the audio version made that all the more obvious. I also would’ve liked to have seen more words and phrases that were better equated to actual Cuban mannerisms. 

If you’re not comfortable with or simply don’t like too much sex in your romance books, I suggest stepping away from this one. Or perhaps just wait for the right mood to read it. If however, you don’t mind that and welcome it, take out your wallet and buy up Maxim and his feisty Cuban as soon as possible! 
I’ve added this one to my top books of 2015!

❤︎Audio Review:
While the book is explicit, the audiobook is in a whole other realm of explicit! The narrator, Kimberly Alexis, is so spot on it felt a bit like audio voyeurism. She did a fabulous job at portraying Cat’s fiery and sarcastic personality; as well as the thunderous roar of Maxim’s words. Her execution of the Russian accent was spectacular. However, the Cuban accent strayed several times. In fact it wasn’t very Cuban in general. Perhaps narrators are told it’s okay to do this, but I never understand why the character’s thoughts are spoken with an American accent, but then the dialogue is spoken with whatever accent they’re supposed to have. I would like to see consistency in that sense. Despite that, she did a wonderful job at narrating this risqué book.

{Audiobook acquired digitally from my local library}
4.5 Kisses

The Game Maker Series

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances.
A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings.
Her IAD books have been translated into twenty foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.
Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.” You can learn more about Kresley at