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 can have any man she wants. And there's only one 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 safety of Ilya's embrace, is Joley really as secure as she imagines?
Ever since Ilya Prakenskii was introduced as a secondary character in this series and possible love interest for Joley that I have been convinced that their book would be one of my favourites. I love mysterious bad boys with a dangerous aura and Ilya, from the first, seemed exactly one of that kind.
I have realised that in my latest reviews of the series I have been somewhat remiss in mentioning the Drake sister’s powers and how that influences their stories. The truth is that sometimes I think Feehan goes a bit overboard in the magic department and since I tend to ignore what I don't like I just review them as contemporaries and that's that. It helps that they do live in a contemporary world and their most used powers are the knowledge that one of them may not be well and telepathy. Each has individual powers but they are only called into action when needed.
It's not as easy to ignore them in this story. What makes Ilya so interesting is the fact that he has powers much like the Drake sisters, in fact as the story progresses we realise he alone may have almost all of her powers. That is what enables him to make such an easy contact with Joley using telepathy whenever he wants and what allowed him to mark her as his - a scar in her hand that burns whenever...
The problem is that for a time it seems that Ilya may well be one of the bad guys. He is the bodyguard of a notorious Russian mobster and it is undeniable that he has killed more than his share of people at his boss's orders. This leaves all the sisters nervous as well as Jonas, Hannah's husband and the usual male protector the girls have. Especially as Joley, a superstar singer (yes Feehan also goes overboard with the kind of jobs she gives the sisters) usually attracts the wrong kind of male attention. Her power is precisely that with her voice she can attract, convince people to do what she wants.
A big part of the book is devoted to Joley and her band's life style, the problems with groupies and drug abuse and to a possible human trafficking ring that may have abducted a young girl who was a fan of the band. I must confess that I was not as interested in this as in knowing more about Ilya and in that Feehan does not disappoint. He may be brooding and mysterious but in this book he is clear and direct, he wants Joley! He has always been alone, having been raised to be a sort of super spook (spy) and his current job is part of an undercover operation. Although this somehow reassures the Drake's there is still the problem, or mystery, of his powers and what he really is. I really enjoyed knowing that and I'm looking forward to know even more about it as it seems a new series is already in the works. I can't really say much more without it being a spoiler but I guess it's no news that by the end of the story Ilya is accepted by everyone even though had to fight her sisters a bit in the beginning to make it so.
Joley and Ilya do make an interesting pair even if Joley does take a bit too long before trusting him. It can't be easy to put your trust in a possible Russian mobster but once the truth about him was revealed I think it was more her fears of commitment especially to such a determined alpha male that took centre stage.
It has occurred to me that fans of Anne Stuart's Ice series may well enjoy this book although Ilya ends up being a much lighter character than Bastian and his friends.