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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Return on Investment (Return on Investment #1) by Aleksandr Voinov ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ~~~

I really don't know how to review/explain this book, and maybe more than that - how to rate it. It was a wonderful journey mainly for the our main hero - Martin David (though he wasn't the only one..) It's not really a romance novel, but it's more than a "thriller" or a "drama" kind of novel. For me, it's a maybe a sort of "coming of age" novel? even if it's FAR from being similar to New Adult's usual turf. It's simply something else that doesn't fit into a certain category, but there IS a sort of a romantic vibe, it's just not really clear WHO will be the one Marin finds himself with and also it's not really the main focus in my mind. 


This book starts in the most bizarre way.. the prologue feel like a "cliff-hanger", it's obviously a scene taken from a further place in the story and it left me with a mouth hanging open as to what the HELL happened prior and what does it really MEAN. Then the first chapter, well, let's call it a very kinky sex scene, but it's MUCH more than that and the significance of it stays right until the very end of the story. Then we continue on to follow Martin around on his daily life which mostly consist of work that leaves him exhausted beyond words but there are times when he puts those aside for a partner he is fascinated by. 

Martin is quite a new financial analyst at Skeiron, he admires his boss and the beautiful work he does but he also has a secret crush on him. Francis de Bracy though, is all about the job, and besides, who even knows if he's gay? He doesn't seem to do anything but work/work out (and he has the body to show..). Trying to get closer to him, he follows him into the gym and find an unexpected friend - his new personal trainer (Francis' as well) - Josh. But these two aren't the only ones he is intrigued by - the star of the show - Alec - who seems to have it all, and is offering everything to Martin with just a little bit of help in return... Behind Martin's journey there is the financial breakdown of 2008 and the storm it brings to everyone around them. 

There is A LOT of finance talk in this book, enough for me to get TOTALLY lost at too many times which is the ONLY reason I'm not giving this one a higher rating. This is not my "scene" and I really didn't understand it. I tried at first, but gave up somewhere and just kept going while "ignoring" the parts that felt like those thrown in sentences in a foreign language you simply accept you don't have any idea what they mean.. I think it gave the story credibility, I can't see this book without it, and yet it was a bit too much for me. Not enough to make me stop reading though! I was always wondering what up next, what would Martin's decision be like, what would happen around him, and yeah, also who would he choice or maybe who would chose him? 

I can't say I really "like" any of the characters in this book (Marin included), but it doesn't really surprise me, Aleksnadr is good at bringing "real" characters into life, ones that are flawed, make mistakes, chose wrongly and somehow I STILL wanted more for Martin, maybe like someone else in the story, I waited for him to grow up a little. To really see the world around him as it is. I loved Martin's relationship with Josh (though I did feel sorry for how he treated Josh at times before they became friends). There was something so beautiful and tender between these two. Alec could never be my "type" or someone I could appreciate in any sense of the word,  he is too manipulative, I don't think I would have been charmed by him as Martin seemed to be and Francis? what is the appeal really? I thought it was more about the person he wanted to BE and not the person he wanted to actually DO ;) Yet as the story evolves we see each character a bit differently than we did at first. Not everyone is who they seem to be, or rather, Martin failed to see clearly the men in front of him. 

I actually really enjoyed this book. I was worried about it, because I've read reviews saying it's not really romance (yeah, it isn't) and it has a lot of financial talk (yeah, it does) and so where would I find myself? I found myself drawn in and unwilling to put it down (okay, maybe a little when I was lost ;)) and so all I can say is - give it a go, it's a different kind of story but it's SO worth the journey. 

Note - It's been a few days since I've finished this book and I still carry it around in my head. Martin goes through quite a lot in this book, he stands in pretty difficult situations, he has a lot of hard decisions to make and I when I think about everything he went through, his journey and myself in it, I feel as though I "owe" this book more. I can't give it a solid 5 stars, but I feel more comfortable "upgrading" to 4½ stars.

This book has a second part - "Risk Retuned". First off, be advised NOT to read the synopsis to it before reading this one (MAJOR SPOILER!), also after reading it and LOVING IT SO MUCH, this one becomes a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book because the second installment? was simply PERFECT and naturally - A MUST READ!!! 


Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 340 pages, 13-15 December 2016 / On GoodReads

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