Gold Digger, by Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher : Riptide Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : Contemporary, romance
Length : 175 pages e-book
Blurb : Not all that glitters is gold.
Nikolai Krasnorada leads the life of a corporate nomad. Working for a gold explorations company, he’s never put down roots, and he likes it that way. Roots can be dangerous, as everyone from his “man-hating” sister to his manipulative mother to his war-traumatized father has proven.
But when his CEO sends him to Toronto to strike a deal with LeBeau Mining, Nikolai meets Henri LeBeau, crown prince to the resources conglomerate and inveterate flirt. Sparks fly immediately, despite the business deal that threatens to go sour and Nikolai’s own reluctance to give Henri false hope about him being Mr. Right. He’s barely come to terms with his bisexuality, and getting involved with Henri would get messy.
When LeBeau Mining launches a hostile takeover bid, Nikolai and Henri find themselves on opposite sides of the negotiating table. But fortunately—or perhaps unfortunately—for Nikolai, Henri’s not nearly as interested in his company as he is in his heart.
Review : On the surface, Aleksander Voinov’s Gold Digger, a spin-off of the Special Forces books, is the story of a man who finds a romantic relationship where and when he least expects it. Of course, still waters run deep, and it’s also a story of fathers and sons, and a contrast to the relationship in Special Forces.
Nikolai Krasnorada seems to be doing well working for a gold mining company, Cybele, started by friends. They are looking for investors when they contact Le Beau Mining. Possibly it was a little naive on Cybele’s part to not realize the investors would be interested in simply taking control. Nikolai is quickly brought up to speed about the situation by Henri Le Beau. A man who should be his enemy in the quest for control of Cybele. He’s also quickly embroiled in a physical relationship with Henri. A relationship he keeps trying to deny means as much as it does and is moving as quickly as it is. To further complicate matters Nikolai’s family life is crumbling around him. His sister-in-law left his sister and took their child. His sister, Anya, takes out her rage on Nikolai by informing him he isn’t really a Krasnorada. He turns to Henri for comfort.
Le Beau Mining is in fact attempting to take over Cybele and oust Nikolai’s good friend and mentor, Ruslan. Nikolai feels betrayed by Henri despite the fact they both knew what side of the boardroom they were on. He travels to New Zealand to visit Vadim knowing he isn’t his biological father. After speaking to Henri, Nikolai confesses to his father he has mixed up business with romance. They have a long overdue discussion about their relationship. When Henri finds Nikolai in the lobby of his Wellington hotel things change. Henri gives Nikolai the information he needs to fight off the take over of Cybele. He also manages to get himself back into Nikolai’s good graces and bed. Together, Nikolai and Henri do all they can to help Ruslan thwart Le Beau Mining.
Gold Digger was more than just the story of two men meeting and coming together. Nikolai and Vadim had some serious familial issues to deal with. Not only was Vadim an absent father for the majority of his son’s life, Nikolai also learned he wasn’t his biological father. Despite having very limited emotional availability Vadim is able to offer wise counsel to Nikolai who is not only confused by his apparent heteroflexibility, but dumbfounded by the news of not being a “real” Krasnorada. Furthering the father and son theme Nikolai makes an effort to maintain a presence in the life of his nephew, Szandor. Szandor is also Nikolai’s biological son. He is named for a close family friend who also acted as a father figure for Nikolai.
As much as I feel Gold Digger could and can entirely stand on its own it is a spin off of the Special Forces series. It offers a brilliant contrast to the events that take place therein. Instead of the first sexual experience between the two men being a violent rape, it was consensual and conscientious. Nikolai felt no hostility toward Henri, but a great aversion toward him being hurt in any way and a tenderness he was hard pressed to understand. After a romantic night in a hotel room Henri was able to safely leave and fly home while Nikolai wasn’t forced to kill his way out to safety. Both men agreed to be monogamous. As much as Nikolai did things opposite to his father’s epic romance, he found himself in similar situations time and again. It made for a poignant comment on the Special Forces series with no condemnation that I can’t help but recommend highly.
Rated 5 stars by Faye