I was really hoping to like this book more than the first in the series. Unfortunately it seems like I had even more issues with this one that the last. It started off pretty good. Rurik and Tasya have a bit of history. We don't learn much about their history, unfortunately, except for the fact that they shared one scorching night in bed before Tasya ran off, frightened by her feelings for him. Rurik is understandably mad about the whole thing and wants to punish her by making her want him even more. Of course, they manage to run into each other again and things heat up. However, it seems that Tasya is hell bent on denying any attraction to him and he is set on punishing her by exerting control over her. She keeps saying no, even though we're supposed to think she doesn't mean it, and he keeps pushing her. The first "love" scene is a bit ridiculous as he starts in on her when she's sleeping and then she says no the entire way through while he "forces" orgasm after orgasm on her. And where did he get a vibrator on the train? Are we supposed to believe he picked that up when he went to the sundry shop? If he did, I want to book a trip on that train. Rurik says he loves her and wants her to trust him. But at the same time he admits to himself that he's going to have to betray her to get the icon. So why insist on her trust when you know it'll hurt her? When it happens it's sad but what Did Rurik really expect? Then he risks his life to save hers and she forgives him and realizes she loves him. That just didn't make much sense to me. There wasn't enough of a basis for this deep connection they were supposed to have to justify their actions. Unfortunately after having read this, I don't think I will continue on with the series. The characters are too contradictory and underdeveloped for my taste even though Dodd's world is a promising one. For me, it doesn't live up to its potential.