Review: Grind by Sybil Bartel

grindTitle: Grind

Author: Sybil Bartel

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Irina Tsarko Federov

The hero: Ex-marine/mercenary/escort Dane Marek

The blurb: I’m silent. I’m trained. I’m lethal.

My hand skimming down your thigh, my gaze a weapon—I know more ways to kill you than please you.

But you’re not paying for my aim. You’re paying for my control. Bringing you a breath away from ecstasy, watching you beg as I hold back your release, I’ll show you exactly what you’ve been missing. Your hunger is my currency and five thousand is my price. I only have one rule—no repeats, because I’m not for keeps. I’m for sale.

One slow grind and I’ll give you exactly what you paid for.

Standalone or series: Book three in the Alpha Escorts series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is the last of the Alpha Escorts series and by far the most intense. Dane Marek is an ex-marine who acts as a mercenary during the day (including killing, if that’s what he’s paid to do) and an escort at night. Unlike Alex and Jared, he won’t see a woman more than once. He just wants the release that sex gives him and if he’s getting paid big bucks for it? All the better.

He gets home early from one of his clients as a hurricane is about to hit Miami, only to find a young, white blonde woman with a Russian accent in his house. She is one of Alex’s clients who needed emergency accommodation, and Alex called in a favour. Dane soon learns who she is: the wife of Viktor Federov, a known Russian guns dealer. Dane also quickly realises what Irina is to Viktor: his submissive. Everyone in the business knows Viktor isn’t able to have sex after an accident damaged certain body parts, but he’s still able to cruelly control Irina, whom he married five years previously when she was eighteen. She did it with the encouragement of her mother and the promise of half a million if she stayed married to him for five years.

Irina had no idea what she was getting herself into when she married Viktor. He treats her as nothing more than a possession, and by the time Dane meets her she’s so conditioned that she does anything Dane tells her to. He’s disgusted by Federov and the hold he has over this beautiful woman, and soon Dane not only finds himself falling under her spell but becomes obsessed with the idea of getting her pregnant.

Irina sees a chance to finally be free of Viktor with Dane, but he’s as damaged as she is. Their relationship is intense and electrifying. There’s also the problem of Viktor. Dane wants to kill him for what he’s done to Irina, and Viktor seems to think she’ll just go running back to him as she always does. But with Dane’s help, Irina is able to break the hold Viktor has on her – but he’s not going to let his prized possession go.

This book was mesmerizing. This whole series was captivating. Recurring characters in these books have their own in another series, which I will definitely be checking out!

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