Wow, so intense! I loved getting to be in Silvio's head for the first story, and getting a few more little glimpses into who he is. But wow, do I hate Battista! I should probably read this again before totally making up my mind, but it seems like he had a huge role in screwing up Silvio's sense of self and his place in the world. And then to talk him into phone sex after breaking up with him just seemed cold and heartless. Like I said, though, that was just my initial reaction. I may very well change my mind after a second read, or after finishing the series.
A lot of the second story was incredibly difficult for me to read. Donata makes me uncomfortable, only because I feel guilty hoping for a Stefano/Silvio HEA (or as close to it as men like them can get...) when she and Stefano are already happy together. I'm concerned about how that's going to play out. This story was also considerably more violent than the first three, and that was tough to read. It was fascinating to learn more about both Stefano and Silvio through this, though.
It fascinated me that Stefano let go of his pride so much sooner than I would have expected, and that he really did ask the russian to stop. It was interaing that we got his little mental counter to his defense that nobody was around to hear telling him that HE would know. And then in comes Silvio, when Stefano is weak and hurting and likely has a part of him that hates himself for giving in so quickly, telling him he IS strong enough, and reminding him that he got out and to the hotel on his own--basically reminding him that he's strong and tough and fierce when he most feels the opposite. I thought that was so beautiful!
I'm loving getting to know these two! I'm excited to go start #3!