I had barely begun the second of the two stories in this volume, Dark Secret and there I was, adding all the rest of the Dark Soul Series to my MUST HAVE wish list. This series really isn't for everyone. Gritty is almost too gentle of a word to describe it. It's dark, it's violent, it's intense and it explores things that most people would rather relegate to the very back shadows of their minds. I will be honest, I spent most of the first story, Dark Soul with my eyes like this - 0.0 - while I devoured it. Horrified and fascinated at the same time. *LOL* The main characters of Stefano and Silvio are two of the most intriguing men I have ever read about and I cannot wait to discover more about them. I hope to learn more about Stefano's wife, Donata, as well. The wee glimpse we got as well as Stefano's thoughts about her have piqued my interest. So, it's really not for the faint of heart, REALLY NOT, but, man, I really, really enjoyed it. And it gets 5 stars because it's so far outside my comfort zone and Aleksandr made me care about the characters so that I can't wait to read the rest of the series.