Money isn’t the key to happiness only it might help, or so I’m assuming and add in bad boys and pretty daughters and the promise of war, and you got quite a story on your hands, so how do I feel about this one? “I’m Happy; I’m Feeling Vlad”
Maybe that would worry me if I was talking about Vlad the Impaler although when it comes to Vlad by Ker Dukey and K. Webster, well I would choose sex over violence any day but honestly, why can’t we have them both. Vlad (The V Games #1) has that and even more; enough that I have to wonder how anybody finds out so much about the Russian mob and I’m sure I asked this in a review before but what is it about women and criminals. I mean bad boys for sure but a man has to try and kill you once or twice to get on the radar, Buffy The Vampire Slayer that much.
Speaking of Buffy we have the big sister and little sister dynamic and no spoilers yet, but you know what’s going to happen from the moment you start reading, all that’s left is the how and why but if you understand the genre? As for anything else you need to know, the authors are kind enough to start with a who’s who of characters, some cannon fodder but I found myself bookmarking that page as one character after another emerged. Also, Vlad’s love story isn’t the only love story, but what’s love got to do with most of it anyway, but again there’s plenty of sex and criminal activity, but most of it is glossed over to a certain degree.
Much like The V Games themselves, and for me that’s a high selling point to read the next one only because they make the games sound so exciting but all the characters lives are games amongst themselves. For everybody being inside their heads, I found myself after a day of reading thinking about how such and such a role would have to be taken care of to make a happy ending. Almost every individual had to let some things slide, except for one as you need a sequel though why she didn’t get top billing. Well, I guess you have to stick with V so if you liked V For Vendetta and a bunch of knives but other than being brought to you by the letter V that’s the only similarity between them, being honest.
So yes I was happy with the story overall, and I get that the authors are setting up a series, but maybe some things should have been left to the imagination mainly the V Games until they were ready to be revealed. Allow me to follow suit with a few of our characters and don’t worry there will still be plenty to go around trust me on that, and soon they will grow on you pretty quickly when the mind games begin, there’s a lot.
For the moment we begin with the typical bad boy that’s super-rich Vlad Vasiliev “Vile. Vicious. Villainous.” as if that doesn’t scream we’re the bad guys which makes us the best guys in the scenario. As in most of these tales besides the money and divine qualities that make women go all knocky in the knees, I relate to him; it never works if the guy isn’t wealthy or isn’t a prisoner somehow, e.g., Stay by Emily Goodwin, just saying.
We then have the two sisters Diana and Irina “Shadow” Volkov the beautiful older sister and the shadow who is a bit of a nerd that, of course, is head over heels in love with the main protagonist without a doubt. Can’t say I ever had a problem with my half-brother but having a younger sister myself she could get away with murder which is another idea explored in this book and even more in the sequel if I had to guess. Not giving it away as the synopsis tells you that Vlad prefers the younger to the older now all you have to figure out is how they make that happen other than all the sex; that’s a joke.
There is a wide array of other characters from Vlad’s family living up to the villainous stature though we don’t get much of Vika and the book does an excellent job of making you feel that good riddance when it comes to her. The father of the Volkov sisters uses his daughters like pawns as though this is the middle ages and his daughters can only help, and then there is Vas which brings up that sons are preferable to daughters. There are other families and various servants or alliances to be had, and maybe this explains why I don’t watch Game Of Thrones or a ton of soap operas.
You do feel a part of this world though as you are given more information than most of the characters and is another way to entice you to want to take part in this world; buying the next book. So I’ll give this round to the authors as I’m all in yet if something were to happen to Irina or Vlad but again to me it’s all about the V Games and while I’d prefer to see it from a male perspective, what’s Diana’s plan.
I plan to give this story four stars; am I honestly such a hard sell or maybe I have become jaded when I see the same tropes, and that’s not these authors’ fault at all but the book isn’t perfect but what is? Maybe you should stop right here if you don’t want any spoilers, four stars overall but there are some five-star moments here that can get you hot and bothered in impressive ways, well at least I was.
Mostly it Vlad and Irina as it should be, whenever they got together it was in a word explosive and the love that they feel for one another though I have yet to meet any woman like Irina which is only another reason I love her. There are scenes when they are collecting women or training women I wish that were flushed out more but having that sort of control over the such and such business. Dare I say there should be more sex, while we are somewhat in a bind with Vlad and Irina with the plethora of characters I suppose the authors are waiting for more books, but knowing about Diana or Darya how about Danill’s side business.
If I haven’t stressed this enough my biggest gripe is The V Games; it’s a fight to the death, there are women involved how does it all get done, reminds me of The Dollhouse by Stacia Stone, a promising premise but glossed over. I don’t think I’m quite as forgiving as the characters in this book, one of Irina’s weaker qualities. How she’s all about saving her sister and Vlad as evil, then she’s out of her dress and is like “whatever” training the women and excepting Vlad’s word like it’s the gospel. The depth of the families was good but in a way a bit tedious as to how many characters played little to no role and could be explained in a sentence or two without the line-up though I’m a stickler for knowing every person with my work.
Looking forward to the next one in the series how Diana plans on making her comeback which might be something to see, as I can’t think of any stories like that off the top of my head. For now, I’ll dream about being in the V Games until I have reasons to beware such a plan indeed because Vlad and Irina aren’t playing right, so I’m Happy, I’m Feeling Vlad.