Saturday, February 11, 2012

Turbulent Sea by Chrisine Feehan

The star: Joley Drake was born with a legacy of unexpected magical gifts, but it was the gift of singing that made her an overnight sensation—a rock and roll goddess trapped by fame, fortune, and ambition. Heated by the flush of success, Joley could have any man she wanted. But there’s only man who can give her what she really needs.

The bodyguard: Ilya Prakenskii, cool, inscrutable, dangerously sexy, and working in the shadow of his infamous reputation—that of a secret Russian hit man on the payroll of a notorious mobster. He’s the last man Joley should get close to, yet when her life is threatened on tour she has nowhere left to turn. But in the seductive safe keep of Ilya’s embrace, is Joley really as secure as she imagines?

Where to Buy

This volume of the Drake Sisters series is definitely a page turner (or button clicker as the case may be). Full of action, suspense, mystery, and scorching hot romance and sex, it is probably one of the most difficult-to-put-down books in the series. The tension level remains high throughout, and there is never a dull moment it seems, with even the occasional down times being fraught with tension and danger. While they may not always or even often be the primary force behind it, Joley and Ilya are right in the heart of the maelstrom most of the time, and their clashes when they come together are just as violent in their own way as the bloodier dangers that surround them.

We have seen a fair bit of Joley in previous books, but as she has never been the focus before, we largely only saw one side of her, or perhaps just a few. We saw the free-spirited rebel that was determined to blaze her own path in life regardless of what anyone thought, and the fiercely loyal sister who was willing to bring the full force of a media scandal down on her own head to save her sister from the trauma it would have brought her and her career. Certainly her inner vulnerability that she tries to hide behind the brash exterior has been mentioned before, but not until now have we been able to see just how fragile she is or can be once you get past the image she projects. As a counterpoint to that fragility, we also get to see the inner core of strength that isn't just part of the glitz and glamour, but is very real indeed. For even when she is completely shattered and falling apart on the inside, still she manages to hold herself together somehow and keep going for the sake of those who depend on her, and when the situation calls for it, she becomes a tigress, viciously defending those she loves.

Ilya too has been seen several times in the previous books, figuring heavily into the action of them at times. And while at first meeting he had seemed to be little more than the remorseless killer that everyone considered him to be, we have also seen hints all along that he was more than that in many ways. Finally, in this book, most of who and what he is (and isn't) is spelled out for us and we find that he is everything that people have thought him to be and more. He is every bit as ruthless, cunning, forceful, and protective as anyone could want a bodyguard to be, and while he often seems more than a little arrogant and overbearing, he almost always has good reason for being so. Looked at in the larger picture, it is necessary for the most part that Ilya be a strong personality, for no one else would be able to stand up to the force of Joley's personality.
Ilya is perhaps my favorite of all the men who end up as partners to the Drake sisters for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, though likely have a lot to do with the fact that he has power of his own, a lot of power, and so is as much or more of a force to be reckoned with magically speaking as the sisters are. Of all of the soon-to-be husbands (and husband in Jonas's case), he is the only one, at least so far, who doesn't end up having to take a back seat to the women when it comes down to fighting battles with magic. That's not to say that the other men don't have their own strengths that come in very useful at times, but the inequality that exists between the men and the women on magical playing fields has always bothered me at least somewhat I think, so it is nice to finally have a man pair up with one of the sisters who is their equal at the very least in arcane matters, and perhaps is in some ways superior to them even.

All in all, this is a great read, though I would highly recommend that anyone interested in it read the books that come before it in the series first. While you can probably still understand most all of what's going on in the book without having read the others since the basic relevant facts and events from previous books are summed up for the most part during the course of this one, still, this one builds so much upon the foundation laid by the others that you will get far more out of it I think if you've read them and thus are familiar with the details of everything that's gone before, both with the characters and with the various storylines that have been woven throughout them. Many threads that have been dangling finally get tied up in one way or another, though enough is left hanging or at least uncertain to whet the appetite for the next, and final, book in the saga.

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