*****Review contains spoilers******
This book is far more difficult to review than the first. I'm having a hard time separating my personal preferences from the actual content of the book. Maybe I should call this a rant and not a review, LOL.
A few words come to mind when thinking of this book. One word ANGER, all towards Dan (and Jean)! The other, compassion and strength all towards Vadim!
So I can't say how much I hate how Dan treated Vadim in this book. Vadim is taken a prisoner of war by the KGB, his own country because of his love for Dan. Two years in isolation, he loses everything, Dan, his family, his mind, his soul and all reason to live. Dan works night and day to free Vadim and when that day finally happens, Vadim can't handle the stimulation overload. Ah, no wonder? He was tortured and left alone to believe he was a degenerate and that everything he felt for Dan was wrong and dirty. Vadim did everything he could to hold onto his memories but he was left empty and didn't know how to deal with it so he ran.
Dan, in this book was way too dense for me. You would think he would try to understand what Vadim has been dealing with but he really didn't. At least not enough for me. This is not the same Dan even if he is Mad Dog now. I won't diminish what Dan went through, he lost Vadim twice and that killed him on so many levels so I understand how he had to protect himself and go on. I did feel Dan's pain and I understood how he had to find comfort through sex from other men. I get it but once Vadim is back in the picture and they both decide to begin to heal their relationship, Dan still doesn't give up his little side dishes. For what, sex? So what if he only had one guy, it's not like he didn't screw around before Vadim.
I mentioned anger before, well that doesn't cut it. I wanted to hurt Dan, still do. WTF is wrong with him! He has Vadim and he still goes knocking on Jean's door. What the hell. Now, Vadim has to deal with Dan's shit on top of his torture. Oh, and the nightmares. Fucking wake up Dan. *slap, slap, slap*
Of course Dan pulls Vadim into his multiple partner fantasies. I have to say I do have a little trouble understanding these type of relationships. However, I say as long as people are happy, all the power to them but to me it seemed that Vadim would not have followed this path and this is what bothered me the most. Yes, he did have multiple partners in the past but I thought that had ended. Maybe it's just my perception and wishful thinking on my part? I'm still trying to figure this one out. Does Vadim really want this type of life back? Would he have wanted this if Dan hadn't? Simply not sure. I still sense his uncertainty.
What impressed me the most was Vadim's courage. Feeling Vadim's pain and his struggle for gaining control of his thoughts and his mind was a real tear jerker. Once he gained some semblance of sanity back, he faced Dan and his problems head on. Vadim is the true definition of strength.
So, rating this was very difficult. I ended up with 5 stars because of all the different emotions that went through me and especially for my deeper understanding into Vadim. Of course still trying to come to terms with many of these.