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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gold Digger (Special Forces spinoff) by Aleksandr Voinov

Continuing with the second spin off to Special Forces. This one of Vadim's son Nikolai. I really didn't think about it when I read Deliverance, but I realized we only got a phone call from Dan (with a mention of Vadim) and in this one Dan is visiting friends so we only got to re-visit Vadim. I think it's because Aleksandr wrote Vadim's POV and Marquesate Dan's POV  but I"m not totally sure about that. It does make sense, though..

We met Nikolai in the last installment of Special Forces as a grown man when Vadim tries to reconnect with his family. I remember the scene where they sit and talk probably for the first time in years. It was heart crushing. I had my hopes back then that it would work between them, both missed too much, even though biologically Nikolai isn't Vadim's son buy Sasha's the man Vadim and Katya shared (and Vadim always thought Katya would have married Sasha and not Vadim if he hadn't died in the war). 

I totally got my wish. Seeing them together when Nikolai visits him for a week in New Zealand - even when it was a bit awkward there was still a connection, and they were able to talk like a father and son. I loved every minute of them together and enjoyed so much getting to re-visit Vadim even if it's obvious that in his old age he is still dealing with his horrible life experiences. I"m not sure when I'll be able to re-visit "Special Forces" with it being so long and my endless reading list but this glimpse into Vadim, a character I was so overwhelmed with (for so many reasons), was truly a joy.   

I'm forgetting the romance aren't I? Nikolai works for a company that finds gold. He needs the services of LeBeau Mining company to harvest it. But when he approaches the company he discovers a lot more than he expected. Firstly, Henri, the nephew of the CEO is a flirt, a flirt he has a hard time saying no to, when they are having such a good time together. Even though he isn't gay there is still curiosity there. Secondly, Henri confesses that his uncle would probably want to buy out Nikolai's company and use it to his own needs which makes the interaction between them quite problematic. 

Henri was sweet. He really wasn't a bastard like his uncle and did what he can to help the man he falls for. But I'm not sure if it's ONLY that. It felt as though he wanted to do the right thing this time around and having Nikolai by his side is more than he could wish for. Nikolai had a lot of struggles, with LeBeau's Mining intentions, with his sexuality (he never considered he was anything but heterosexual but as it seems he is a bi) but also with the life style he maintained in which he keeps wandering around with two suitcases around the world never settling anywhere. This is were the father-son interaction was so crucial and beautifully done.  

There is a bit more drama in the Krasnorada family with Nikolai's sister Anya (Vadim's biological daughter) which I always saw as a total bitch - she doesn't miss any opportunities here as well.. Yet in a way what she does and say affect Nikolai (in the end) in a positive way (at least I think so..).

I liked the romance between Nikolai and Henri. They were sweet together. It did somehow work too quickly, them falling for each other in the 3 days Nikolai spent in Toronto. I'm not sure if I believed it, or if I could accept what Henri did in the very end but well, I enjoyed their banter and connection so I don't mind that much.

The reason I'm giving this one 4 stars is that I wasn't into the economical aspect. I understand why it had to be there, for us to understand the situation Nikolai and his company was in, but I couldn't care less about it, and I didn't understand too much as it is about the whole deal... and for a novella so short I rather had more couple time and less of the "side story". 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 136 pages, 7 March 2015 / On GoodReads

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