I didn't realize how much I missed SF, especially Vadim until I picked up Gold Digger. I really think Mr. Voinov did a great job intertwining both the Nikolai/Henri and the Nikolai/Vadim storylines. In Gold Digger, we get to delve deeper into Nikolai's life. Nikolai is a man who never really fit in with his cut-throat family. He's kind, forgiving, a loyal friend and colleague but he's constantly on the run. He never settles down anywhere or allows himself to get close to anyone. That is until he meets Henri. Although Nikolai denied and fought his feelings for Henri, there was still a connection and passion that came through. However, even with the pull Nikolai and Henri had, I still think the relationship developed too quickly. I thought Nikolai started off with the right amount of distance and questioning but by the end I did a double take at the changes that took over him. I’m glad Nikolai took a risk to be with Henri but the fact that Nikolai even brought up the word marriage felt wrong to me. Also, Henri quitting his job was over the top. I can see Henri taking this step but not so soon.
At times, I also thought Nikolai was a bit too awkward and naïve about his sexuality. Considering his family dynamics, I wouldn’t have expected this. I understood the doubts. It was completely believable that Nikolai would have a problem with being intimate with a man but he seemed to dismiss his feelings far too quickly and the reason for that didn’t come through for me.
This book would have been perfect if it was a bit longer. There was a lot going on. I felt many issues needed more time to develop. Mainly, I wanted more of Nikolai dealing with finding out who his biologic father was. That was a major issue in the book and it also brought Nikolai and Vadim closer together so I think it deserved a bit more page time. Overall, I think Nikolai took things far too well. He even got over his conflict with Anya fairly quickly. I would have liked to have seen more of them.
This brings me to Vadim! I absolutely loved how Nikolai and Vadim's relationship came together. To see them develop a father/son bond was so touching and heartfelt. The time they spent together in New Zealand was priceless and filled me with so much warmth. Vadim finally opened up and became the father Nikolai needed. This was a very intense and fulfilling moment. Can you tell how I feel about Nikolai and Vadim? Ok, end of gushing.
This is a great SF spin-off especially for all you Vadim fans out there.