Twisted by Lola Smirnova
I read this book several months ago and planned to write this review but after reading it, I had to decompress, get my thoughts together before attempting this review. I may have never gotten around to it but, I got an email today as to my interest in reading and reviewing Craved, the second book in this trilogy.
I am not certain what I expected when I started reading Twisted, an erotic novel, an erotic suspense thriller or what. What I got was a frank, gritty dark novel about the European sex trade. While set in Europe, what goes on could be any spot on the globe. Ms. Smirnova has pulled the curtain back revealing the seedy, many times sick, dangerous and profitable sex trade. I had read this was based on true incidents and I have to believe it because it exposes the dreams, too few realized and most times shattered of those seeking a better income and therefore a better life. What they too often get is bittersweet. This could only have been written with the frankness and the honesty that it is by someone who either lived it or was close to those who did live the life.
The book in my opinion is not sexy or erotic. It is often times funny and at times hard to read. At the center of the story are three sisters Natalia, Lena and Julia who looking for a better life, join the sex trade. All three sisters are developed and likable characters. I found myself wanting a "Pretty Woman" scene for each of them but sadly I am still waiting (maybe in Craved).
While not for everyone, it is a book that will stay with you long after you have read the last page. It will make you think. It will disturb you. It will make you laugh and if like me, make you want to continue on with the next two books to see if the ambitions are realized or if they are the avenue of broken dreams.