Return on Investment by Aleksandr Voinov

91yJD4CCnSL._SL1500_Title: Return On Investment

Series: N/A

Author: Aleksandr Voinov

Genre: Thriller

Length: Novel (340 Pages)

Publisher: 44 Raccoons (July 11th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Heart

Blurb: Martin David, an eager but inexperienced financial analyst, is the newest member of the investment team at Skeiron Capital Partners in London. His boss is an avowed financial genius, but he’s also overbearing and intense. Despite his erratic behavior, Martin can’t help being drawn to him both professionally and personally.

Too bad his boss doesn’t seem to feel the same. In a firm where pedigree and connections mean far more than Martin’s newly-minted business degree, Martin feels desperately inadequate—at least until he meets the enigmatic investment manager Alec Berger, who promises to help Martin establish himself in the financial community. Martin is so charmed by Alec’s sophistication and wit that he gives him data that should have stayed confidential.

Then the financial crisis hits. Banks burn, companies teeter on the brink, and Skeiron’s survival is at stake. Martin is pushed into the middle of the fight for Skeiron—against both the tanking economy and a ruthless enemy who’s stepped out of the shadows to collect the spoils.

Return on Investment is the new gay financial thriller from EPIC Award winner and Lambda Award finalist Aleksandr Voinov.

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Reviewer: GiGi

Review: A book that demands your time and attention. Return On Investment is definitely more corporate thriller than anything else. Voinov seems to grab a hold of the culture of London/Wall Street Market and Investment firms. It’s a dog eat dog worlds, the competition is rough, unforgiving, and the fierce competition is in the blood. And blood is spilled, both figuratively and literally.

The beginning of the book lets the reader know where all this infighting, deceit, and overzealous and risky work ethic are leading. Lies, greed, violence, betrayal all have a part as one might assume in this thriller, what I did not expect is morality. Yes plenty of immorality, anyone who paid attention to the market and banking crisis of the 90’s expects that in this book set in the investment and banking market of the same time period. But what hit me most is how Voinov brought his characters through a crisis of personal morals.

I really started to give up hope on Martin redeeming himself, after some bad decisions both in whom he chose to trust, how he let professional relationships become sexual trysts, and hurt people on the sidelines, like Josh, with little concern. Until it hit him, and that moment of epiphany changes the momentum and pace of the books for me.

Alec, greedy, smarmy, conniving, and beautifully presented, I loved to hate this man. I don’t’ want to give out the surprises surrounding Alec, but he’s one of the most interesting and evil characters in the book. I think that Voinov wrote the best bad character I’ve read in a very long time.

Francis, Martin’s boss, was a puzzling character for me. The shocking beginning of this book undermined for me, all the confidence and strength he seemed to exude throughout the book. Maybe that is a strong point Voinov wants to make here. That you never know what will topple a powerful, intelligent, otherwise confident man of the edge. Everyone has their limits, and sometimes it takes drastic measures to pick a man up once he hits bottom.

I will warn you Voinov drags the reader through a ton of jargon and investment/banker culture, complete with conferences, strategy meetings, portfolio reviews, networking, and corporate takeover. If you really don’t like reading about business, and can’t warp your head around that culture, you may want to look elsewhere. I admit to wanting to speed read or scan over sections of the more corporate related details, but I’m glad I gave this book a closer look.

This is not a romantic book, though personal character, commitment, and loyalty do prove to aid in turning a professional and sexual attraction into a powerful intimate connection.

Watch out Michael Crichton, here comes Aleksandr Voinov. I highly recommend Return On Investment to those who enjoy a good corporate thriller!