I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
I adore anything by Kresley Cole, so I knew I'd like the second installment in her Playmakers series, The Master.
I totally did. Cat is a down on her luck college student who needs cash so she can leave town to avoid her homicidal husband. She's been on the run for the past few years, keeping her identity secret. She agrees to be an escort for one night. Maximillian is a Russian mobster/politician who has very specific requirements for what he wants in an escort and for what he will do to her. I think a ball-gag was part of it. Oh, well. Maxim (as Cat calls him) doesn't get his way, which is kind of how most of the story goes. The premise is a bit out there but I was hooked.
The sparks between these two were incredible. Cat managed to knock Maxim off his feet and forget his rules and he couldn't get enough. I adored their interactions. In typical Cole style they were hilarious and crazy-sexy. Their combined Russian and Spanish was hot. Also, while I'm not really one for billionaire-heroes, Maxim was great. He still seemed like a guy and not just an alphahole with a giant bank account. I liked that Cat and Maxim connected over a mutual interest in finance. I can't believe I just wrote that, but, hey, it worked for me.
This was a great escapist read. I would say it was on the lighter side of a BDSM erotic romance. The first book was a bit darker. Sometimes it seems to have more to do with the hero's attitude about it. Maxim was more on the fun-and-games side (vs. angsty) so it read lighter to me. As always, there were female friends for Cat to talk to. I loved that. Jess, in particular, was hilarious.
I'm looking forward to the next book.
Highly recommend! Also, bonus for being set in Miami! (And a brief stop in my home state!)