Book Review – Lev by Belle Aurora (Shot Callers #1)

From the moment Lev Leokov spots the young woman hiding behind her hair in the middle of the gentleman’s club, he can’t take his eyes off of her.  For the very first time in his life, he is affected. Having been told his entire life that he can’t process or understand emotion, he considers it a big deal.lev

When Mina Harris gets caught red-handed with a wallet that isn’t hers, she falls apart. She’s tired, lonely and hasn’t eaten in days.

Lev offers her an ultimatum… A nice warm bed, a hot meal and a job, or the cops.

Mina takes her chances with Lev.
After all, a person with nothing has nothing left to lose.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Belle Aurora has quickly become one of my very favorite authors.  Why?  She writes complex, amazing characters that you instantly care about.  Lev is no exception.

Lev is Lev Leokov.  Does that name ring a bell?  It should if you read the Friend-Zoned series.  Nik and Max are also Leokov’s.  While the Friend-Zoned series is more romantic comedy, Lev is way more like a drama.  But that’s a good thing.

The story begins with Mina Harris, who is living on the streets and dying of starvation.  She sneaks into Bleeding Hearts Gentlemen Club and attempts to steal the wallet of the owner, Sasha Leokov.  She is stopped by Lev Leokov, who works security.  Lev is instantly taken by Mina (despite the fact that she probably smells god awful) and gives her three options.  One is to call the police, one is to come with him and work from him, and I can’t remember the other.  She chose option 2.  He takes her home and cleans her up, and of course, she is stunning.

Mina has had a rough life.  Her mother died when she was 12 and she went to live in foster care.  She fell in love with her foster brother and had to leave the foster house at 17 – and ended up on the streets.  She is instantly taken by Lev, but doesn’t understand him.  Lev seems to have Aspberger’s syndrome or something similar.  He is super smart but kind of socially awkward.

Lev is a tough nut to crack, but Mina somehow breaks down Lev’s walls a bit throughout the story.  There are a few things in the book that are kind of beyond imagination (like Mina, who didn’t graduate from high school, coming up with a business idea that can “save the day”).  But the story about two broken people (Lev is not broken because of Aspberger’s but because of severe physical abuse he suffered as a child) who can come together and find love is beautifully told.

I found the side story about Anika, a childhood friend who is in love with Lev, to be pretty annoying.  I also found the “Irina” storyline annoying as well.  But overall, this was a good story with great characters.  We even got to see Nik, Max, Tina, Helena and Asher!  That was super exciting.

I would recommend.

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