THE BEAUTY WHO LOVED HIM
The Beast of Moscow, #3
Cover Credits: Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Tropes: Anti-hero, saga that spans generations, slow burn
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mafia, Organized Crime
Kidnapping one’s future father-in-law is par for the course for a man like Vaslav Pashkov. Even if done with the best of intentions. But ensuring a safe arrival, and departure, of Vera’s father is simply one loose end of many for Vaslav to tie up.
And his timeline to finish pertinent business just tightened up.
Now, there’s a wedding to plan.
Didn’t you hear?
The beast is getting married.
The Beauty Who Loved Him is book 3 in The Beast of Moscow saga. While it does end with a HFN, there is one more book to finish out the couple. TBWLH should only be read after book 1 and 2.
Vera clung tighter to the phone like it might bring her closer to the man who answered on the other end. “Vas.”
“Aren’t you shopping for dresses? Why on earth are you calling me?”
A valid question. Even if he did ask it impatiently.
Vera didn’t typically call Vaslav without his prompting through a text first because that’s what he preferred. He didn’t pretend to like talking on the phone, and she didn’t push him on it considering he was easier to appreciate when he was less annoyed.
“You know I love you, don’t you?”
Vaslav paused on the question before asking, “What does that have anything to do with dress shopping?”
“Well, nothing. Sort of,” Vera added quickly. “But then I—”
“Are you dress shopping?” he injected, demanding.
“Yes! I’m sitting in the dressing room right now.”
“Send me a picture.”
Vera’s brow jumped high. “Excuse me?”
“A picture. With your phone. Send it.”
“What if I was wearing my dress?”
“Are you?” he returned.
“Stop talking me in circles,” Vera returned. “That’s not the point, and you know it.”
She didn’t have any intention of explaining that she had already picked her dress, paid for it with the card Vaslav had provided, and Hannah was currently browsing for an appropriate gown herself. That wasn’t even why she’d decided to call him.
“You would have come right out with that, kisska, if you were wearing something you didn’t want me to see.” She surmised he was at home, but other than the sound of footsteps, she couldn’t hear anything else on the other end of the phone. “Send me a picture, or I call Kiril and ask him where you are.”
“You really don’t believe me?”
“Trust is a … tricky thing,” Vaslav muttered.
No, he was just a very complicated man. She had figured that detail out before agreeing to marrying him, and had accepted it was a part of the package that made up the man who had unintentionally captured her heart.
“Don’t call Kiril,” Vera grumbled. “He’ll come inside and make a damn scene.”
Just because he was probably bored by now.
“Then send a picture.”
Vera rolled her eyes. “Give me a second … impatience helps no one.”
“And yet, impatience somehow gets me everywhere.”
Frankly, she didn’t mind playing along with Vaslav’s game because she intended for him to eat his words. Or rather, his request. He couldn’t possibly know that even though she’d finished her dress shopping, including finding a black number for a possible date that may or may not happen, she had decided to try on the sets of lingerie.
Well, one set of three. The set she couldn’t wear on the wedding day because the straps of the bra weren’t removable.
Vera didn’t bother to stand from the white leather chair in the middle of the changing room to take the picture of her reflection in the wall of mirrors. She didn’t need to. With her legs crossed, she’d propped her elbow up on the armrest of the chair to get a good, steady shot of her body’s profile wrapped in stark red lace. She even winked for the picture, too.
All the while, Vaslav remained quiet on the phone. She knew when her picture text had been sent through, and he pulled the photo up, because he didn’t try to hide the grunt that proceeded the clearing of his throat.
“Damn,” he praised.
Only to herself.
“See, I am in the changing room as we speak,” she said.
Vaslav’s responding sigh came out breathy and terse. “Did you try on the other two as well?”
“They’re the same size, so I don’t really need to. They’ll fit, and I’d like to keep them perfect until the wedding, you know?”
She didn’t explain why she opted to try on the red set. That would give Vaslav too much information to go on regarding her dress and what it might look like. Not that he asked.
“Good, save the white set so I can ruin it first, and the black set for the night after.”
Vera eyed her reflection as she toyed with the red strap of the lace bra. “That’s why I called, actually.”
“The lingerie,” she clarified. “I wanted to tell you they’re good choices.”
“Da, for anything. Including taking them off. And speaking of things getting off, how about you? Now.”
Vera stilled in the chair, unsure that she’d heard him right. “You’re not serious?”
“As a fucking heart attack. You should not have sent me that picture if you didn’t intend to make it worth my while, beautiful. Can someone see you?”
“No,” Vera assured.
Did he hear her swallow just then?
“Maybe,” she admitted, less sure.
The walls of the private dressing room weren’t particularly thick. Yes, Hannah was down shopping on the main floor of the private boutique known affectionately as the Dollhouse by the ladies running the place. Vera probably wouldn’t be interrupted for a while, either.
“Be very quiet, yes,” Vaslav murmured.
“But make good and sure I can hear you, kisska.”
A terrific continuation of this mafiya series. I love the Russian setting that’s so different from the US. Something else that different than most other mafia stories is that Vas doesn’t really do much business. He leaves it up to his second in command, Igor. I love Igor as he pushes back at Vas when a plan goes wrong. I thought a couple of times he went to far and Vas was going to retaliate. Held my breath waiting for the outcome. I so hope Igor gets a story. And then there’s my sweetheart. The young rascal Kiril. I loved him the minute he popped up and couldn’t believe where he landed at the end of this story. He has to be okay but it’s a great setup for a new series. Brutal! I haven’t even gotten to the lovely Vera and the cliffy from the last story. Well, Vera’s trudging along getting ready to become Mrs. Beast. There are some really interesting developments especially when Vas takes care of one of their pesky enemies and plans a sweet wedding gift. The interactions between Vera’s father and Vas were startling and revealing. I loved their budding relationship and Demyan’s help. We get more insight to Vera and her relationship with her father. What really grows is Vera and Vas’s relationship to the point Vera isn’t afraid of the Beast and Vas lets her in. My heart was bursting! A happy event comes off without a hitch but a loved is left in peril and missed the big happening. I will say I’m not happy with one decision the couple makes and I’m so sad about the state of Vas’ condition. I can’t wait for the conclusion of the thrilling series. Loved it!
The author of too many novels to count, Bethany-Kris is a Canadian, lover of much, and mother to four sons, a glaring of cats, and a pack of dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, a snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.