Author: Avril Ashton
Publisher: Silver Haven Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 278 Pages
At a Glance: If you love a bit of rough in your romance, Avril Ashton delivers.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: They’re in a war for control of the streets, but love will be the ultimate prize.
Here comes trouble…
Men. Women. Drugs. Dima Zhirkov’s favorite things. Add in the element of danger and he should be right as rain. But not today. It’s not working, hasn’t for a long time. He’s grasping at the flimsiest of straws to prove he’s indeed strong enough to run his streets. Until he sets eyes on him. In the midst of a room full of strangers, Dima is drawn to a man as cold and dangerous as he is beautiful. Captivated, Dima embarks on a ruthless campaign to get his new toy into bed.
Here comes the danger…
Xavier “X” Storm is content to pull the strings while someone else handles the day to day dealings of his gang, The Rude Boys. He’s after what Dima holds closest—the Coney Island streets. He contracts out the job of killing the Russian, except Dima isn’t that easy to kill. When he suddenly shows up in X’s path, tempting him to indulge in the dirtiest play, he finds Dima isn’t all that easy to shake, either. His cocky attitude and rough submission tempts X to go where he’d vowed to never return, and they plunge head first into an affair fueled by possessive obsession.
Run for cover…
Sex and pain Dima can handle, and X delivers the most depraved kind. Their connection is explosive, their games addictive, but Dima can end it whenever he wishes. He doesn’t see that X is breaking him down, giving Dima everything he wants and even more than he ever thought to need. By the time he realizes who X is and what he wants, Dima is raw and bullet riddled. It’s run or fight. And Dima doesn’t back down. Neither does X.
Warning: Includes strong BDSM elements.
Review: There’s nothing quite like a good book to remind me I have a bit of a twisted streak. Avril Ashton’s (Watch Me) Break You reads like a steamy, sweat-soaked mindf*** that shouldn’t be as irresistible as it is. Dima Zhirkov and Xavier Storm are two sides of the same sadomasochistic coin, working on opposite sides of a corrupt landscape, each heading up their own faction of their crime families and heading toward an all-out turf war in the New York boroughs.
Ashton wastes no time setting the tone of this novel, which revolves around a strong BDSM element (if you’re looking for shiny-pretty sex, this isn’t the book for you). When Dima first spies Xavier in a club, dishing out a whipping to a bound woman, his obsession with X is born. Dima is a sexual submissive, an unapologetic masochist who homes in on Xavier, wanting what the sadistic Dom seems to find no pleasure in delivering. Dima wants to light a fire in X, to see the man throw some passion into his punishment, and Dima’s not averse to stalking X, nor submitting to his own deviant devices, to get what he wants. I loved Dima’s nonchalant attitude toward his proclivities, which could burn like fire at the blink of an eye. He’s nothing if not mercurial. And what Dima doesn’t realize, until he’s in too deep, is that Xavier is the man behind the gang he’s trying to destroy.
Xavier Storm knows exactly who Dima is—he’s the Russian, the man X has ordered a hit on. Dima’s also the man X is drawn to, his need to be dominated like a magnetic force Xavier is powerless to resist. They form a connection through pain and punishment and raw sex which becomes a metaphorical war for territory in and of itself, each marking and laying a physical and psychological claim on the other, though Dima tries (and fails) to keep a controlled barrier between his emotions and his obsession with Xavier. Their relationship is built upon desire and dysfunction—secrets and lies of omission, the danger that is the inherent nature of the lives they lead—and when it all comes to a head in an explosive revelation, the depth of Dima’s damaged innermost self is the catalyst for revenge, as well as an all out binge of self-destruction.
(Watch Me) Break You is a novel that begs the reader to question every motivation and action of its characters. These men are flawed, if not outright damaged and corrupted, and the way they act and interact and react toward each other is gorgeous in its deviance. Not to mention the author manages to capture the chemistry between them and weaves it so deliberately into the plot that it’s near impossible not to become invested in its kinky and fascinating expression.
This book, like any book, really, isn’t going to be for every reader, but if you love a bit of rough in your romance, Avril Ashton delivers it with a white-hot intesity.
You can buy (Watch Me) Break You (Run This Town: Book One) here: