Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing

Dark Soul: Vol 4 by Aleksandr Voinov

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a series before that has taunted and provoked me the way “Dark Soul” has, wanting two characters to be together more than anything else, then rethinking that, wondering if they did end up together, would they even be good or right for each other? Then again, maybe there are times when want and need supersede good and right. This is a time when vice and virtue mingle and tweak at the conscience and make me want things I hadn’t ought to want. If I was a really good girl, that is.

Throw into that mix a man whose mere presence is a dangerous seduction and a temptation to them both, as well as a suspicious (rightly so) wife who I want out of the way now–and what does that say about me and how much I want Silvio and Stefano to have some sort of chance together?–and, Lord, what a tangled web Aleksandr Voinov has woven around my emotions.

This installment in the “Dark Soul” series felt like progress, but that’s also a dangerous feeling; there’s always a sense of one step forward and two steps back when it comes to these two men. The fact they’ve made a pretty significant move forward can’t mean much right now, not when things are still so complicated, but at the same time, it could mean everything. Obsession, attraction, addiction, jealousy, coveting; yes, the wanting is unmistakable and utterly delicious and defines, brackets, underscores and puts an exclamation point on the connection between them. And I want more.

H.G. Wells wrote “We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.” If that doesn’t describe the sharp and tangible need between Silvio and Stefano just now, I’m not sure what does.

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