2008, Paranormal Romance
Jove, $7.99, 308 pages, Amazon ASIN 0515145068 Part of a series
Turbulent Sea is the sixth of Christine Feehan's Drake Sisters books. It introduced me to the series...and it's a truly fantastic read.
Joley Drake is one of seven sisters, each of whom is blessed with a magical gift. Joley's is the gift of sound. She possesses an incredible voice that she uses to manipulate emotions. As the lead singer of a rock band, she has garnered a cult-like following of adoring, and in some cases, obsessive fans. She is stunningly, heart-stoppingly beautiful, with a voice that arouses the passions of men who cross her path.
Russian bodyguard Ilya Parakenskii has all the makings of a typical alpha male. He is a cold, heartless, domineering, and controlling. A bodyguard and hit-man for a reprehensible Russian mobster, he maintains a rigid control of his life, and the lives of those around him. Everyone fears him.
The contrast between how people feel about, and react to Joley is stark when compared to how they react to Ilya. She inspires adoration, love, obsession. He inspires only fear. Joley has had Ilya under her spell since their first meeting, and the feelings she evokes in him leave him reeling, unable to hold onto that rigid control he is known for. Joley is as mesmerized by him as he is by her. She thinks of him constantly, she wants him, but at the same time questions her feelings for a man she should fear. While on tour, Joley finds herself the target of a mad man, and turns to Ilya to protect her. They can no longer resist each other, and soon give in to the intensity of the emotions both have felt for so long.
I absolutely loved this book for several reasons - the main one being the terrific characters. Ilya happened to be my favorite character; his complexity fascinated me. There are so many different layers to him, and you really get to see those layers, and understand why he is the way he is, identify with him, empathize with him, and eventually love him. It took me a while to really like Joley. She is fine enough. She is described as other-worldly beautiful, strong, confident. She is loved by all, and brings out the protective instincts in almost everyone she meets. I found such perfection a bit irritating. But through her interactions with Ilya, other aspects of her character are exposed. She is not as she appears on the surface. She too has layers, not quite as complex, and definitely not as fascinating as Ilya's but endearing nonetheless. There was no doubting the love Ilya and Joley felt for each other. The romance is passionate, the love scenes intensely sexual, and explicit.
There are several other characters and side plots that made this an even more emotional and enjoyable read. This is a rock band after all. So, think VH1's Behind the Music. Talk about drama, and melodrama. But the characters - and their exploits - are believable. The book also boasts a very romantic story involving one of Joley's band mates and his redemption, and the reclamation of a love he thought was long gone.
Turbulent Sea offers well-written and entertaining action scenes as well as strong characterization and romance. and I was also engaged by the mystery of who was trying to hurt Joley. But, it was Ilya who held my rapt attention the entire time. The best written male lead I have read in quite a while. This book is terrific, a truly well-written novel with all the elements of classic, and in my opinion, highly worthy of DIK status.
-- Keisha Hudson
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