His name was Yuri Athanas.
They called him the golden boy of the Afxisi, a college org during the day and an underground racing club at night.
Like his brothers, Yuri was rich, powerful, gorgeous, and devastatingly sexy.
Unlike his brothers, Yuri did not leave a trail of broken hearts behind him. Yuri was the angel amidst all the other Greek devils, they said.
I liked hearing that about him. It gave me hope that when we do meet again, he would remember his promise, and he would keep it.
He would take one look at me and he wouldn't mind
that I wasn't... okay.
He wouldn't mind I wasn't... normal.
If he was everything I prayed he would be, he'd take one look at me and love me, like he had promised.
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
*What you'll get is a rant not nearly as emotional as I was while writing it*
*You've been warned*
Oh. My. God.
First of all, you guys are LIARS (you know who you are) and it was NOT SWEET. Kellion was sweet, even with the heartache of Aria's cute little brother and her trauma. This was so not fucking sweet. And I'm telling you now, I gave it the benefit of the doubt when I read the first few pages, thinking it'd be like Kellion and get sweeter.
It. Did. Not.
Okay, yes, there were sweet moments but only for two reasons: it was a damn grand reunion with the couples of the Heart Racers series and two; Yuri and Kalli are cute. This has me almost as wrecked as Helios and MJ's story, and they went through countless fucks and a few rapists before finding their HEA. Kalli and Yuri didn't go through such a horrid ordeal, but I think it was their childhood traumas that made it nearly as worse.
Kalliope- Kalli -Antoniou was put into foster care after her grandmother made her mother give her up (So what happened to Kalli's mom???) Mila Antoniou, a powerful business woman with her own wrath, had unknowingly placed her granddaughter in the hands of an abusive, religious nut named Madame with her own fucked up background. I was furious with Madame for treating her foster children like trash and killing them, but she didn't just wake up one day deciding to kill off kids, she- unfortunately -was made that way. She was gang raped as a child, and forced to kill her parents out of fear. It's sad, tragic, and I don't wanna feel bad for the bad guy, but I do!
It's horrible, cause I feel bad for a monster who was just disgusting towards a twelve-year-old Kalli, making her think she was nothing but an "It" who didn't deserve anything in life. (God, project much?) And this is the first fucking thing I read right after I get the green light to read it sooner rather than later. Ughhhh.
Do I regret reading this? Hell no, but I do regret doing so during a monthly time of craving the blood of that fucking moped that keeps riding around my house. He better be fucking lost because I swear to Allah, I will throw eggs at him just to see his ass flip into a bush and get a front row seat to his annoying crass piece of shit metal burn in a fiery death-
*whispers* It's just a really bad time.
*looks for chocolate*
*looks for chocolate*
THE FOLLOWING MORNING:
So I slept on it, and their situation is still one of the darkest things from this author because think about it! Kalli is a very fragile girl too smart to be lied to, and if Yuri fucks up just once, he'll end up possibly killing her and himself. The suspense is just- KASDJFKDJS. However, it really is one of the sweetest, too. I mean, Yuri's bringing his fiancee home to meet his family! And Kalli, after being kept from the outside world for all her life, finally gets a chance at the normalcy she saw on the [search: safe on] Internet. The Afxisi Headquarters, filled with outrageously hot men and hotter attitudes, is her new home... oh boy. Good luck with normalcy.
*Jesus Christ. That HQ of Hotness is almost wasted on the women
who only have eyes for their men. T_T*
Once brought in, Kalli meets Yuri's younger sister, Hallie, his ride and die brothers, and their wives/girlfriends. What I loved most about this was how much they understood the situation and went out of their way to make her feel safe and wanted. It shows just how close Yuri, Helios, Kellion and Andreus are.
Makes me wish I was the center of that man sandwich...
So let me back up a little. After her time with Madame, she's eventually rescued by her grandmother and two years later, a fourteen-year-old Kalli with an obsession for food is released from the treatment center. The doctor explains that food is what she associates to things like trust and love, and would be best for her to concentrate on during her healing time. He also warns Mila that she'll never be normal, and will need constant attention and love if she's serious about seeing to her getting better. Ridden with guilt and a sense of responsibility to family, she vows to take care of the innocent little girl she'd unknowingly thrown to the Big Bad Wolf.
*I take that back. Calling Madame the Big Bad Wolf is an insult to the Big Bad Wolf.*
Before she leaves, the doctor urges her to buy Kalli a husband, knowing that Mila's cancer will only give her so much time with Kalli. The thought of admitting defeat and bringing in someone to take her place doesn't sit well with her, but she thinks about Kalli being all alone and decides that finding her a HEA is the best thing to do. The perfect candidate?
She'd helped the boy and his younger half-sister stand up against their father, so it's more of a favor that he must return. His own childhood trauma has turned him cold because he doesn't trust himself to love again without being blinded by it. He loved his father full-heartedly, and because of that love, it blinded him to the fact that Daddy Fucktard Dearest was sneaking into his little sister's room late at night. Even when Hallie told him, he didn't believe it, and that is something he will never be able to change. So he changed himself.
Wait a minute, I just realized something. I know that he didn't want to love because it blinded him to his dad molesting Hallie (I can't say that without cringing), but I didn't really think about it until now that- that- that he didn't believe Hallie until it was too late, and he'd caught his dad red-handed. He doesn't hate love because it blinds him, he hates it because the last time it happened, he didn't believe someone, and it got them hurt in the end.
He unintentionally called them a liar and abandoned them
*what the fuuuuuuck?*
I don't want there to be rapists in here, I despise them with a passion. Maybe that's why this book really did me in, because there's a child molester and a better-only-be-almost-rapist in here. What's worse is one succeeded in his evil act, while the other succeeded in fooling the main character who's supposed to be SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER YURI GODDAMN IT WHY???
*cough* Sorry, I'm still miffed about the whole thing. So after the arrangement, Mila sits with Yuri to let him know that she knows there isn't a heart of iron in his chest, but a boy just waiting to trust himself with love again. Just like her granddaughter, she sees the similarity in their exteriors but puts her faith with God in everything working out. Four years pass and Kalli is now eighteen.
Mali's passed away ( T_T ), and the old woman's doctor, Silas Doesn't-Get-A-Last-Name, is a conniving sleezeball creepfuck who forces his way into becoming Kalli's caretaker. He wants her money, and he wants her hot body.
Kalli doesn't trust Silas (good girl), but she never lets it effect her. She doesn't let anyone effect her. If anything, she's a perfect picture of poise, like an angel placed in a cruel world too primitive for her to comprehend. She trusts Yuri to take care of her, sure, but only because he and Mila told her he loved her, and to love her means to not be a liar; to not abandon her nor treat her like shit. What can I say? Every single thing is new to her and only known of, thanks to the Internet. Cause you know, it never lies.
*Ah, the irony. Good one, Marian*
SWEETNESS APPRECIATION TIME
I think Kalli's time with Yuri's family was probably the sweetest part of the entire series (yeah I went there), mostly because of all the other characters making an active appearance in the story. Kellion and Aria were great. He knows how Yuri and Kalli must feel because of the things he went through with Aria, and Aria, with her reluctance to speak because of her past, brought the two young women a little closer together because they knew what it meant to survive and never forget. (Why you gotta be like that, Marian?) Helios and MJ were just sweet, like the cool parents your friends have, and I loved when Kalli first met him. She just stares and is like, "I see why you're the Sun God" right to his face XD lmfao. Another brownie point to Kalli for speaking her mind and not even knowing how refreshing it probably is for all of them. But gah, MJ. Makes me sad and proud to see you smile when I know what you went through.
Andreus and Hallie were the cutest ones Kalli interacted with. She so obviously sees the love between them, but because neither will say anything, she gets annoyed with Andreus and doesn't bother to think twice about her reprimands every time he doesn't 'kiss Hallie in the morning' or say 'I love you'. Drives him bugfuck and it's all just too funny not to smile at XD Hallie was adorable with her hugs and hope of a HEA for her big brother. She's also possibly one of the biggest teases of a book I've ever come across. The whole time I'm getting scraps from Yuri's past and yet here comes the real future main character, prancing around with hugs and rainbows to spread to everyone who needs it. I really need to read her story.
You know, so I can kill her dad.
END OF SWEETNESS APPRECIATION
The majority of what made me LOL came from a frustrated/bemused Yuri and a thoroughly entertained biker club. When Kalli wanted a tour around the school and the administration appointed scholarship playboy Leon Arlotta (why do you sound familiar?), I wanted to die. Yuri doesn't understand why he should be jealous and this guy's just like, "Seriously?" His own brothers are just like, "Seriously?" We ALL KNOW he's jealous and just doesn't wanna admit to it. Leon's snarky and rather jaded towards the billionaires but I loved his aggravation and failed attempts at penetrating Kalli's walls. Even with Yuri's warning about her being special, he doesn't understand what it is until he spends time with her. By then, he doesn't understand why such a sweet and innocent woman like Kalli would stick around with such a cold prick.
He definitely kept things light and sassy.
And he certainly taught Yuri a lesson! He didn't think the billionaire had a heart and wanted to prove it to Kalli by making her laugh and kiss him, but before she even does, Yuri appears "out of nowhere" (dude totally stalked) and forces them apart. And Kalli smiles and says "ha, he's jealous" to a dumbfounded Leon. :))))))))
Yuri's struggle with himself was also comedic, because he basically has to teach Kalli the world without going too far. How do you tell her not to be so blunt with her thoughts without making her out to be a liar? How do you tell her that the volunteers in their club only come for one thing? How do you tell her that a hard-on is not a bad thing? Oh. And the sex? OMG now the sex was very nice. I particularly loved two scenes: one, where he reluctantly taught her how to give him a blowjob in a secluded part of school (holy shit) and two, the shower part where he couldn't help himself against Kalli's unintentional sexy talk and masturbated to her voice.
I felt like I was relearning the wonders of my own body with Kalli lol. So this, all of this cutesy new wonders of the world shit was nice. It was really adorable with their banters and embarrassing misunderstandings. The rest...
When she insists that she eat with the rest of the club members instead of being isolated in the private quarters, Lily, one of the volunteers, (
*FUCK YOU, SLUTTY ASS NO CLASS VOLUNTEERS*-Kalli has a panic attack because she catches Yuri's thoughts written all over his face about giving her up for someone she really deserves. I just... cracked. Like fuck, Yuri! Of all the times to let your mask fall? Seriously? I curled right along with her and closed my eyes when she whispered to herself over and over again.
It. Was. Not. Going. To. Break.The same goddamn thing she whispered back when she was a child taking in Madame's abuse. You're breaking my heart, girl. :*( Yuri immediately realizes his mistake and apologizes profusely, and this is where things get heavy for me. Up until this point, he struggled with lying to a young woman as sweet as Kalli. He told her he loved her to keep her happy, but it only made him feel worse about the empty words. He didn't think he deserved her. It wasn't until he saw her nearly broken on the sand that he realized he could never walk away from her. So he decides to be with her every second of the day. But even with his constant attention and assurance, she still can't shake the feeling that something horrible is going to happen, and of course, because there's a fucking COUNTDOWN OF THE DAYS THAT PASSED, we all know what that means.
Shit hath hitith the fan.
Volunteers start making her look abusive and insane, crazy about hearing things from the dead Madame and acting irrationally towards anyone who was deemed a threat. Yuri would believe her in a hot second about her innocence, but because it's other innocent volunteers and not Lily, he hesitates.
I swear to God, I yelled at him more than I did anyone else! Because it only takes that one slip, just one fucking slip with his confidence in Kalli, to bring up all of Yuri's insecurities and make him doubt himself all over again. And once that happens, it means seconds for Kalli.
Unfortunately, he slips, and Silas has succeeded. His constant messages to Yuri about caring for Kalli and reminding him that he's always there to help at a moment's notice finally penetrates Yuri's usually secure mind and when Lily screams bloody murder with finger imprints around her neck and a shocked-looking Kalli right in front of her, he snaps.
All his frustration comes out and he yells at her to stop lying, to stop being crazy and own up to the shit she's been making up because of her jealousy and possessiveness. And he keeps yelling at her, even when she's trying to defend herself! He yells, yells yells yells and then calls her a liar, guilt-tripping her for hurting him with her lies-
Oh, the fucking irony.
He yelled about some other type of fucked up shit I don't know I pretty much ended up in a daze as I read. But he yells. Screams. Shows the horrid truth that it was just too much for him to take care of her. :( She can't take the pain and she blacks out, but instead of getting proper help, he tells everyone that he already has a doctor on standby-
He gets her up to his room with Kellion and Aria while he calls Silas-
The doctor says his team will be there in half an hour-
Three men come out of a black van. He goes up to the room and tells his friends to leave. Aria vehemently protests (out loud! That's a huge thing, people!) but no one listens to her. He goes to an unresponsive Kalli and-
*Yuri.... please don't... I'm begging you...*
-he tells her they're here to take her away to Dr. Silas. And she finally jerks to look at him, only to run to the window in an attempt to get away. He tackles her down before she can jump (OMFG SHE TRIED TO JUMP) and she starts screaming the moment they walk in to drag her away.
She begs him to make them stop, but when he listens to them to stop and he stops reaching out to her, she just... loses her will. She looks at him.
"If you truly loved me," Kalli whispered, "you wouldn't let this happen."
"You lied."And then they put her in a straitjacket (she wasn't struggling you assholes) and into the van. They leave, and he waits 191 seconds before Leon suddenly bursts through the doors panting his name, and that's when he knows. He'd made a mistake.
*No fucking shit, Yuri, you think?*
He rushes after them on his bike, goes as far as to throw his beast in the way to stop them, only when he gets to the van and opens the back doors, it's to see a startled Silas backing away from a tied up, cut-lipped Kalli, trying to pull up his fucking pants MARIAN???
Line goes: Yuri went berserk.
But then all I fucking get is nothing? WTF! There's no "I killed him" or "he's buried where the sun never shines- his own ass" or even a goddamn "he's rotting in jail. No one likes rapists" spiel??? This reader deserves to know what happened! Did he succeed or did he just look like an ass with his pants caught around his knees?? (please say he didn't get that far) Did he go to jail? Did Yuri kill him? Did Yuri kill him? How does Kalli feel about this? What are her thoughts on the whole ordeal with being kidnapped right after being lied to and abandoned? Did she really break? If so, is the final outcome what she looks like broken? Unable to talk or trust him? I need answers, and I demand them now!
The chapter ends with him going berserk (why don't we get to hear how? -_-) and the new one opens to Kalli already sedated in the hospital room after she wouldn't stop crying and struggling (Gee, I fucking wonder why) with Leon informing Yuri and the others on what he'd discovered during his secret investigation with Kalli's tormentor(s). No surprise, the volunteers were all shit liars paid to make her seem crazy. Yuri has nothing to say (what's there to say?) and goes to her room, only when she wakes up, she can't speak (OH MY GOD ARIA FLASHBACK) and she just cries when he asks her if she doesn't believe him now when he says he loves her.
So... I was really disappointed when Yuri chose to trust the doctor out of anyone else in his life. I get that the doctor is 'licensed' and supposedly held to a code of honor, but why didn't he ask his brothers for help? They were involved so much that to not ask them (even a little?) makes me feel weird. Are they just that prideful? If so I never really saw them that way til now... and the fact that his insecurity lead him to ask a stranger instead of his ride or die brothers makes me just wanna-
I wanted to see him rip Silas a new one. And by one I mean a new asshole. You've robbed me of that pleasure, Marian. You had no problem showing a lot of the suffering in Willem and Ser's story T_T Why couldn't I see Silas getting a highway pole shoved up his ass Vlad the Impaler style? Hmm???
Robbed of revenge put aside, Yuri finally realizes what Kalli must've gone through as a child up to the point that he broke her trust and heart. Disgusted and ashamed of his actions all over again, he can't find the will to eat (food was like love for Kalli, after all) and he weeps in front of everyone. :*( Hallie goes up to Kallie in the hopes of seeing her recovered, but to no avail Kalli just wants to go back to Greece. So Hallie decides to tell her a little story.
A story about a big brother who loved his father so much, he believed his own little sister was sprouting lies about Daddy visiting her late at night. As she tells Kalli about their past and the true reason for why Yuri was so distant with his love, Kalli then understands that to love means to forgive.
"If you really love him, Kalli, you must forgive him. Because if you don't, then I don't think you ever loved him at all."
Hallie... I just wanna put you in my fucking pocket.
Kalli goes to apologize and tell Yuri that she forgives him in true Kalli form: with a bento, which she made out of vegetables and cheese and cracker platter goodiness with two slices of bread cut out in the form of a boy and girl. Holding hands. AAAWWWWWWW. But... er- well, he's asleep when she goes to his room, and when he wakes up, it's to her dressed in white with her long hair in her face. She even crawls to him with her gift and I'm sorry, but it just made me see:
Scares the hell out of Yuri, but she gives him her bento in a way of an 'I'm sorry' and they make up and it's just 'awwww'. The epilogue (where's my revenge, Marain? -_-) moves to a happy day with Kalli revealing her newest bento masterpiece: a scene of the outdoors (ha ha) with... a foot long Subway sandwich.
Don't get it? She's depicting her first blowjob.
Everyone is just hooting over the inuendo and added two inches of hotdogs, which she innocently explains that 'they didn't make 14" sandwiches' LMFAO. You're adorble. Yuri takes her away and it ends with them getting all hot and primitive (yuuuuuum) doing it doggy style against a tree-
-and the school newspaper reporting a couple of wild wolves running amock. Ha ha. Ha.
So this was cute, but I kept getting distracted with the lack of VENGEANCE so I didn't exactly get to enjoy it as much as I'd have liked :/ Otherwise, this thing really was sweet, just very... er, surprising with its intensity. But again, it might've just been a personal tihng since the two worse types of people I despise are in here. God, just my luck.
I liked how you revealed Yuri's past without going into depth. At first I was wondering why, since you do it enough with the other hunnies, but then I realized- it's not really his story to tell, is it? It's Hallie's. And we all know what that means.
Yuri was a mixture of adorable and horrifying with that comedic streak of 'lol wtf seriously?' riding right along side the 'oh shit, the bad guy's-'. It boggles my mind that Silas was a really sick fuck and didn't have to have much scenes in here to be creepy or hated. Amazing.
I think this is one of my favorites because it's about a mentally fragile woman. Yes, they've all got problems, but for Kalli, she was one hit away from completely breaking. I thought it was very interesting. A definite read for those who enjoy their sweets with random shards and needles hidden away. Don't choke. T_T
Silas, if I don't find out what happens to you, I'm making my own personal fanfic. You better pray Marian has something. o.o
Oh, and this guy is gorgeousness (may or may not be due to the glasses... yeah it's totally the glasses)
Happy Reading =^_^=