The Player (The Game Maker) – book review

The Player
by Kresley Cole
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Valkyrie Press
Book #3 in the The Game Maker series
Number of Pages:  323
Paperback
Source:  MelCat
Erotic Romance
Ages 18 and up
CW: child abuse, stalking, murder, intense sexual situations
————————————
A madman with a shadowed past . . . In Las Vegas, Sin City, Dmitri Sevastyan finds her, Victoria Valentine–sexy, vulnerable, and in need of a protector. Obsession takes root deep inside him. Despite a history tainted with violation and betrayal, he will stop at nothing to possess her. #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings readers the third book of the erotic Game Maker Series, a searing tale of a man racked with dark desires and the beautiful young woman who could sate him at last.

A grifter with nothing to lose . . . Descended from a long line of con artists, twenty-four-year-old Victoria, a.k.a. Vice, needs the score of a lifetime to keep her loved ones safe. She sets her sights on gorgeous and rich Dmitri Sevastyan. Even as the irresistible Russian toys with her body and mind, he tempts her heart. Love is the ultimate wild card. When Vice and her associates maneuver Dmitri into a hasty Vegas wedding, he refuses to protect himself with a prenup, trusting her with all that he has. But can she trust him? As secrets unfold, the newlyweds share days of doubts and nights of the wickedest pleasures. Yet once Vice discovers her husband’s past, will she stay to fight for her marriage or cut her losses and run?

I just knew Dmitri’s story would break my heart. Kresley Cole did a great job of giving bits and pieces of Dmitri’s turmoil without dragging the whole story to a pit of despair. Quite honestly, if you haven’t read The Master, you may not even be as tuned in to the tragedy of Dmitri’s childhood. The story can absolutely stand alone and you can get a lot out of it. But there is definitely a depth added by knowing more of his backstory that has been picked up through the previous books.

There were times I was tempted to dislike Victoria, yet I couldn’t argue with her motivation. She also doesn’t know the things about Dmitri that the reader knows so it makes sense that she cannot open up to him in the way she yearns to, therefore continuing her lies. On top of that, I just knew Dmitri must have a plan. Right? I mean, the Sevastyan brothers are extremely smart and wily. Sure they fall hard and fast, but they’re no dummies.

With all of the sensual and wicked interactions between Dmitri and Victoria, I loved how sweet this story was at the same time. This couple is really perfect for one another. Dmitri knows it, Victoria knows it, but can she admit it to herself?

Once again, I find myself holding back from saying too much so as not to ruin the journey for someone else. There will be times you aren’t sure if some of the things these two do to each other are forgivable. That’s the genius of this story, the way the characters are proved out to be perfect puzzle pieces that fit together in just the right way.

I don’t know if it’s the culmination of getting the final HEA for these brothers, or if it’s Dmitri’s story just hits different, but this ended up being my favorite of the series.

5 stars


About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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