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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: In the Red by Elena Mauli Shapiro

In the Red: A Novel

Title: In the Red
Author: Elena Mauli Shapiro
Pages: 288
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 
Pub Date: September 16th, 2014
Source: Netgalley

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When Irina--Romanian by birth but brought up by American parents who have never understood her-arrives at college she quickly abandons ordinary student life for an affair with an older, mysterious Romanian man named Andrei.

Andrei awakens a powerful sensuality in Irina. And he has money - lots of it. For the first time, Irina feels free. But the longer she stays with Andrei, the more she is certain that she can't leave, and that may be complicit in Andrei's work - whatever that "work" might be. Then an unexpected friendship with a young Russian bride opens the door to escape, and also revenge.

A tantalizing, edgy exploration of women and love, power and money-interwoven with potent, unusual, and nervy Romanian fairy tales-In the Red asks what the legacy of love is, and who will be left unscathed

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Since the genre said Womens Fiction I imagined It would be a story of a woman trying to reach her Romanian side. What I didn’t expect was a dark love story of just how bad things could get from just one mistake. Needless to say it was hard to hold those tears in near the end. 

It starts off sweet and simple with a sweet encounter between Andrei and Irina where after a short conversation they have their first kiss. From that first kiss she is hooked to Andrei and his entire lifestyle. 

Irina knew she was born in Romania but as a young child she was adopted by a nice American family. From there she had every privilege and even though she wondered about her heritage she didn’t do anything about it until she met the gorgeous Andrei. He has a dark gypsy look that sucks her in and doesn’t let go. He drags her from a high society life to a hush hush criminal life. Even though he treats her like a queen she never knows how he gets the money.

There are three main associates, the boss being Vasilii and the business partners being Andrei and Womanizer Dragos. Life in Romania and Russia doesn't hit Irina until she meets Elena, Vasilis mail order bride. She then realizes just how lucky she was to get away and how lucky she is to have Andreii, who in all his evil ways would never screw her over.

Now Irina was a great MC, it was heartbreaking to see how she got so wrapped up in this lifestyle and every 10 or so chapters we go into the future and see how her actions had affected her. Elena was another girl who broke my heart. She never had a chance to decide what she wanted, instead she was forced into a life and to leave it was suicide. We don't get to see a lot from Andrei but the little we see is that he has parent issues and thinks that Americans are just stuck up and ungrateful. 

Of course life for a criminal never has happy endings and that’s what Irina soon learns. It was a heartbreaking book that I pray has a sequel or at least a novella!

Overall not for the faint of heart or for anyone looking for a swoony read. 

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