Friday, February 17, 2017

ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One(Extended Edition) by Zoya Tessi

Title: ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One(Extended Edition)
Author: Zoya Tessi
Series: Mafia Bodyguards #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.

All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.

All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.

But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?

I went to the kitchen and took some bread out of the cupboard, reached over for a tub of jelly on the countertop and froze. The next moment, before I could catch it in my throat, I let out a loud, high-pitched scream.

There, near my hand, was the biggest cockroach I’d ever seen. It didn’t seem to be going anywhere, either.

Hearing footsteps from behind me, I turned and almost screamed for a second time. With a knife gripped in one hand, Alex was poised in the doorway, ready to attack and looking mean. The pose didn’t hold for long, maybe only a fraction of a second after he realized there wasn’t any danger, and then all his muscles relaxed at once.

“What the fuck was that for?”

“I... I was hungry, and I saw...”

I felt ashamed when I realized I’d acted like such a sissy over a bug. With a hangdog expression, I regarded Alex in silence for a few moments, while he stood waiting for an answer.

“A cockroach.”

“What?” he asked in disbelief.

“A cockroach. A big ugly black one.” I bent my head and pointed my finger over to the sink.

“A bug? Jesus! I’d thought they’d come for you or some shit.”

“I'm sorry, I didn’t mean to get you in here, but… since you are, can you kill it? I mean, you’re here now…”

He cursed loudly and raised one arm, then brought it down fiercely, sending something whistling through the air towards me, its progress ending in a sharp snap. I jerked reflexively and looked in his direction to find that he wasn’t moving anymore. Turning back to the cockroach, I saw his slick knife buried first through the bug and then into the counter.

Approaching in a hurry, Alex pulled it out by the handle, complete with the bug, which he scraped off on the rim of the trashcan. After that, offering no further explanations he just left the room, weapon in hand. With my mouth open in disbelief, I could only stare at the mark on the surface where the roach had been. I stood for a full five minutes like that.

After placing Sasha on the back seat of the car, I turned to Mike and gave him a strong pat on the back.

“I owe you for this.” 

“Don’t mention it,” Mike exhaled, and with a resigned look on his face, he shook his head. “You sure you can handle it? Want me to take you?” 

“I’ve driven in a worse shape than this. I’m good.”

“So…what’s your story?” He nodded toward Sasha’s sleeping form before turning to look me straight in the eye.

“No story there.” I shrugged and turned to go. “She’s just a part of the job and that’s all.”

I was gripping the handle of the car door, and was about to get in when Mike’s voice reached me again. When his question came, I almost squeezed the handle clean off. 

“You sure about that?”

I stared into the darkness of the corridor, its inky blackness looking right back at me like Nietzsche's abyss.

How in the hell had I ended up in such a mess? How could I have managed to screw up so badly?

The fact that Sasha was my boss’s daughter was the least of my problems. I took the phone out of my pocket, deciding that the best course of action would be to call Nikolai right away and ask him to send some of Vlad’s guys to take my place. Punching the number automatically, I waited for him to pick up, while my mind worked overtime, trying to think up a convincing reason to relieve me of my current duties. None came, and in the eternity of the first ring, I decided to hang up and rethink.

“What's happened?” he answered just before I could cut the call.

All thoughts of making excuses evaporated, leaving me with no option but to tell him the truth, so I parted my lips to do it but no sounds came. I knew that Vlad’s guys were all hardened professionals, their skills honed through years in and out of dangerous places and lethal situations. Any one of them could guard Sasha as well as me, perhaps even better, but just thinking about the possibility of leaving her in someone else’s care made me shudder. 

“Sorry, boss,” I heard myself say, knowing all the while that I was making a big mistake, yet somehow throwing caution to the wind. “Phone was in my pocket. I forgot to lock it. Situation's normal and no one's dead.”

“Christ, Aleksey! You had me reaching for my Beretta.” I heard him let out a long breath. “ So, everything is okay?”

“Yeah.” I tried to sound casual as I squeezed my temples, mad with myself.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

When I heard the line go dead, I lit another cigarette, its tip fizzing at the end of the flame from my Zippo, the vague aroma of petrol filling my lungs along with its blue smoke. A satisfying hit in the midst of a most unsatisfactory situation. How the hell was I supposed to go back inside and pretend that nothing had happened? 

Author Bio:
Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.

Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.


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