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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Risk Return (Return on Investment #2) by Aleksandr Voinov

WOW. I couldn't have asked for more.. really. I LOVED getting more of Martin and Francis as a couple. The previous book, the first part of the story - "Return on Investment" - wasn't even a true romance novel, it was more about Martin "growing up", learning his worth, learning who he is and also going after what he wants. So near the end, yeah, he and Francis are together, but it's the very beginning and also, it's hard to imagine how their relationship would work. This story, taking place 6 years later gives us exactly that. Again, our sole POV is of Martin (god how I wished at times to get Francis' voice as well..) and it's no doubt that though there are some things he is still insecure about, he grew up and matured in these years. His relationship with Francis is established, they are happy together. They are living together in Frankfurt. They own their own successful business, working together with a third partner Carsten (Francis' best friend from college whom we met in the previous installment). 

We heard very little about both Francis and Martin's families in the previous book. This one was sort of "meet the family" from both sides. Naturally they came from a VERY different background, but the sweet thing (as always) was how each one of them made the effort in their own way. We start the book with Emanuel the Jesuit, coming for a visit, asking Francis to visit his dying father. Francis flat out refuses, but Martin wonders if that's the right decision and not only because by coming to the States and "playing the game" he will inherit a BILLION.. Yet before Francis decides, they go for a family visit to the Davids'. They are a warm and loving family, but it's obvious Martin never truly felt he belonged, mostly because he was gay and the decisions he made led him to a totally different life style. Somehow Francis actually blended in :) It was kinda sweet. The visit to the States was TOTALLY different, very intense with a lot of things remaining closed off in Francis and his father's past. Some things are disclosed but I felt as we only get a part of the story and not all of it. Yeah, it was enough and I enjoyed the way it played. Francis got a lot more than what he expected and I guess it's mostly due to Martin's calming effect on Francis allowing him to de-stress and make better decisions, ones more suited to the man he is in these last few years and not who he used to be before. 

Francis and Martin's relationship was a pleasure to read. They have their own quirks, they clearly love each other dearly, though Francis is not really the type to express it. But he known how to show Martin he cares. They have a sweet dynamic. They know each other so well they know exactly how to react to one another. I loved that. Francis SEEMS to be the dominant one in the relationship, the one who makes the shots, but I really enjoyed seeing it NOT actually like that.. Francis might put up a front, but Martin has more than a say, in the business aspect and clearly in their relationship. They are very in-tuned with one another. Yeah, I LOVED LOVED LOVED seeing them together. 

Carten is SUCH a sweet guy :) Though I was wondering what's up with Josh who was really fun in the previous installment, in this one, Carsten seemed to occupy the besty slot. He is so different from Francis, and yeah, from Martin as well, yet he is a good friend (and business partner) and it's obvious he cares deeply for both Martin and Francis. It was actually refreshing having a clear straight guy who isn't interested in neither one of them, except for being their friend.  

There's a little bit of finance in the story, not as much as we had in the previous one, which helped made this book so perfect for me. Besides the family side of the story, there's also a business one, concerning Syed and Skeiron. I liked how it played. Also, it was kinda sweet to see Francis, well, I guess jealous would be the word.. I'm not usually impressed by this emotion, but I could totally get why Francis wouldn't want Syed and Martin to meet without him. You know the saying - it's not my partner I distrust, it's the other guy/gal? Well, it works here.. Martin trusts Syed, and believes he had nothing to do with how Alec treated him (and Francis..) but Francis never had such a close connection to the guy so how could he be sure of his real interests? So I don't know, I think it WAS jealousy but also I think he was worried about Martin. That's at least how I see it. 

One last thing! While the ending was everything I could have asked for, there is actually a promise-bonus :) Aleksandr states in the Author's Notes he is planning on writing A LOT more about other characters in the story. There ARE a few blooming relationships out there, and also we might actually get Francis' past! THAT I would enjoy reading. Especially from his personal POV. I got a feeling I'm still missing a little bit of the background. 

This book was WONDERFUL! I loved the romance side of the story, enjoyed the growth each went through and while I had a little misgiving in the previous one about how much finance we had to deal with I HIGHLY recommend it because this one is a definite MUST READ (and shouldn't be read before the first installment..)

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 230 pages, 15-17 December 2016 / On GoodReads

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