“Most women…would be…pleased.” He shoved a pair of keys in his pocket, looking sexy as hell while doing it. “I imagine you’d rather stab me.” “Good guess.” I said with a sweet voice. “Russians.” He shook his head. “Always so ruthless.” – Rip by Rachel Van Dyken
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I honestly do not know what drove me to acquire this book, but it was definitely a treat. As a romantic suspense it’s a little outside my usual genre preferences, but I really enjoyed the read. This was my first Rachel Van Dyken read and I have purchased more of her work since reading Rip. While it is very softly connected to her mafia series, Eagle Elite, it stands alone quite well. At 344 pages, the length was just as satisfying as the content and ideal for a two-day read or an afternoon to evening read.
“Love has a way of making things seem less dark… I would hate for you to stop breathing before you get the chance to experience sunlight for the first time.” – Rip by Rachel Van Dyken
The male lead, Nikolai, is quickly set up as an anti-hero with his dark thoughts and ways. He has done dirty work for the mafia for quite some time, but has managed to establish himself as a mostly legitimate and highly acclaimed doctor. His past comes back to haunt him when Maya begins to press for an interview and he finds he is once again unable to resist temptation. Their non-relationship type of relationship is fraught with snags, and the story is amazing in its complexity, extremes, and the emotions inspired. I love the Russian proverbs featured at the beginning of each chapter and the way the author switches viewpoints to keep things moving. The sexual tension between Nikolai and Maya is practically flammable, and the author wrote the scenes with detail and feeling. Nikolai and Maya both grow as characters as the story advances, and Nikolai waffles from hero to anti-hero at the most unexpected moments. The question, in the end, is whether the two will be able to survive the mafia’s determination to snuff them out.