Sunday, 3 January 2016

LEV: A Shot Callers Novel Belle Aurora - Review


From the moment Lev Leokov spots the young woman hiding behind her hair in the middle of the gentleman's club, he can't take his eyes off of her.
For the very first time in his life, he is affected. Having been told his entire life that he can't process or understand emotion, he considers it a big deal.

When Mina Harris gets caught red-handed with a wallet that isn't hers, she falls apart. She's tired, lonely and hasn't eaten in days.

Lev offers her an ultimatum... A nice warm bed, a hot meal and a job, or the cops.

Mina takes her chances with Lev.
After all, a person with nothing has nothing left to lose.

***This book enters the world of the extended Leokov family which are introduced in Friend-Zoned, however, is unrelated... release date TBA**

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

“Being alive was easy. Living, on the other hand…well, that was a little harder.”  

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up LEV, actually that's a lie I expected something dark, gritty, it had been a long while since I'd dived into one of Belle Aurora's books, and my memories of RAW obviously left a mark. LEV started ominous enough, Mina Harris is cold and hungry, her very existence is so far out of my realm of experience that my heart ached for her, desperation and despair make you do things you never dreamt of, after narrowly escaping a fate that threatened to send her down a path she didn't want to travel, she finds herself in a gentlemen's club, her plan is simple, seduce a man, get his wallet, and take off with enough money to enable her to eat for the first time in what feels like forever. Mina finds her mark and immediately realises how easy it could be, no seduction needed, grab the dangling wallet, grab some money and run for it, that is until Lev Leokov is standing in her way, Lev seeing something in Mina, feeling something foreign to him, the need to save and protect, offer's her two choices, a place to stay, and a job serving drinks, or the police. Mina has been on her own for so long she's wary of the offer, but faced with a chance of salvation she grasps it.

“I’m not ashamed of who you are. And the only time I would look down on you is if I were helping you back up.”  

LEV was an easy read, the connection between Mina and Lev was fun to explore, her past should have broken her but when given the chance she flourished, and Lev's inability to feel emotional responses tempered all of his interactions, he has definite alpha qualities and yet he was almost an anti hero for me, which is strange in itself that I felt that way, because there's never a doubt in this story that Lev is a good guy, one better than most, he's ruthless when it serves his purpose, and yet he's a devoted family man. Mina and Lev made for an interesting coupling, but what grabbed my attention throughout the story was the romantic lives of Lev's brother Sasha and sister Nastasia, the briefest glimpses of their romantic entanglements had me desperate for more, and I'm excited to see where Aurora takes these characters in the future.

“Love,” he advised gently, “is a doing word. And sometimes the people who least deserve it are the ones who need it most.”  
Aurora writes some swoon worthy moments here, we see the emotional pull Lev has on Mina early on, he is no doubt her saviour and there was always that voice in my head that told me that Mina had no hope in not falling for her white knight, his unconventional way of addressing her, his inability to truly feel anything of consequence made me wonder whether he could be the kind of leading man I love, I shouldn't of worried, it was utterly pointless especially with lines like the one below, my heart was in danger of exploding right out of my chest.

“My arms around her waist tightened a little. I never wanted to let go. “I don’t know what love is,” I started quietly. “But if I could love anyone…” I pressed a gentle kiss behind her ear, pulling her close. “I would love you. Very much.”
LEV was surprisingly fun, for what I expected to be a dark and harrowing story, I was pleasantly surprised to find the perfect book to curl up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I read it in one sitting with a glass of wine in hand, slowly sipping away while Aurora reminded me to expect the unexpected, while this book didn't change the way I view the world, it was an entertaining easy read that was highly enjoyable, one that has ensured I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for other books in the Shot Callers series, I struggled with how to rate this one, I flipped in my decision, but so much of how I rate and review is based on not just how quickly I read them, but how desperate I am for more while reading, and in truth I devoured this, I blinked and I was finished, time ceased to exist and I sunk into Aurora's words.



About Belle Aurora:

When finding an author pick of this talented lady use your own photo

Belle Aurora was born in the land down under.
At an early age she fell in love with reading. Boredom one summer had her scouring the bookshelves at home. She stumbled across Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal and fell in love with romance.
Having been brought up in a loud and boisterous family of Croatian descent, she developed a natural love for dramatics and humor. Only some years ago had she discovered a new love.
Humorous romance novels.
Kristen Ashley and R.L. Mathewson had opened a brand new world where she could lose herself yet feel safe and at home in their stories. Belle has been known to become a screeching banshee while anxiously awaiting their newest titles.
Belle never thought she would write. It had never interested her until recently. Friend-Zoned began to form and in February this year Belle typed the words Chapter One. And she fell in love.
With words.
With writing.
With a creative imagination she never knew she harbored.

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