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Twisted [Kindle Edition]

Lola Smirnova
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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Inspired by real life events, Twisted is a fascinating story of vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade...


A Riveting ADULT SUSPENSE THRILLER, Profoundly Moving COMING OF AGE



“A gripping and mature story deftly woven by Lola Smirnova, "Twisted" is the kind of suspense novel that will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf... "Twisted" introduces an extraordinarily gifted author to an appreciative readership looking eagerly toward her next literary effort.”
- Midwest Book Review

Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three young and eager sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia - dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of 'quick' money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever...

For sensible, resilient and calculating Lena and Natalia, the transition to the underworld of Luxembourg’s deceptive champagne bars is eye-opening, but smooth. But for fragile, brittle Julia, haunted by a childhood assault, the change is more than just vocational. Struggling to adapt, she turns to alcohol and drugs, exposing herself to increasing danger and depravity; and, ultimately, betrayal, when a deceitful client, who claims to love her, drugs her and cleans her out.

Despite her sisters’ best efforts to intervene, she finds herself in Istanbul – culturally a world apart – in an attempt to make back the money and self-respect she’s lost. Vulnerable without the protection of Luxembourg’s champagne bars, she descends into a hell of drugs and high-risk sex until, at the novel’s terrible climax, a kidnapping, brutal assault and one-sided justice system lead to her imprisonment and a threat of deportation.

How will Natalia and Lena save Julia?


'TWISTED' IS THE FIRST BOOK OF A TRILOGY. THE SECOND ONE - 'CRAVED' WILL BE RELEASED VERY SOON! To stay updated, follow Lola on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/twistedlolasmirnova or Twitter - @BookTwisted.

Editorial Reviews:

“Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade.”

- Kirkus Reviews

“Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable.”
- 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

“I highly recommend ‘Twisted’ to open-minded readers who aren’t afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It’s sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.”
- 5 star review from Red City Review

“In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry… Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!”
- 5 star review from Pacific Book Review

“While the subject matter does not make for a light read, a breezy writing style and Julia’s willingness to fully and shamelessly lift the veil on her controversial lifestyle makes an irresistible combination.”

- IndieReader







Editorial Reviews

Review

"Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade." 
- Kirkus Reviews

"Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable."
- 5 star review from Readers' Favorite

"I highly recommend Twisted to open-minded readers who aren't afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It's sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value." 
- 5 star review from Red City Review

"In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry... Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!"
- 5 star review from Pacific Book Review

"It is up front and direct; Smirnova thankfully avoids the guileless euphemism that writers with less comfort about sex and sex work use in their sex scenes. It also explores the business with a sensitivity and respect - though not approval - that is rare. The story is paced steadily, never lingers in melodrama, and can easily be read in one sitting." 
- 4 star review from Foreword Clarion Reviews

About the Author

Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine living in South Africa, who for many years worked in the sex industry.
Twisted is her debut novel which was published in January 2014. Lola is currently finishing her second book of the planned trilogy - a sequel to Twisted - CRAVED.
You can contact her on twisted@lolasmirnova.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 1458 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Quickfox Publishing (January 26, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I2DFEOO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,701 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
A quick look at the cover of Twisted, one may draw the conclusion that it is a highly provocative erotica book. On the contrary, it does not fit that genre at all. Twisted is the raw and unsettling story about a young woman's experience in the sex trade. Amid the overwhelming premise of prostitution, Smirnova's eye-opening debut novel is filled with accounts of human tragedy.

Penned in first person, Smirnova's narrative relays the story of Julia Lazar, who leaves her post-Soviet and depressed socioeconomic Ukraine for a better life with better pay. She is not alone, though, since her two sisters are in the same dire straits. The three siblings venture over to Luxembourg, where they get involved in sex-oriented establishments. When Julia decides, against her sisters' wishes, to head out to Istanbul, she learns first hand that business dealings over there are not quite the "free-rider's paradise" she expects.

Based on her background in Ukraine and her personal work experience in the adult entertainment industry, rising author Smirnova has crafted a gripping story that takes readers into the mind of a women who is grappling with why she is "morally comfortable with what she's doing." Smirnova includes a number of literary tools to keep her narrative constantly moving. On the top of that list of tools is her use of paradox. A good example is Julia's racing and often disturbing thoughts that run concurrent to the salacious services she offers to a host of sleazy characters. Smirnova also keeps her chapters short and alternates them between Julia's clients, love life, and interactions with her sisters.

Julia is indeed a dynamic character. She is definitely conflicted. Her love/hate job is lucrative, but at what price?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Page Turner! September 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Twisted is honest to the point that it is haunting. From the first page, Smirnova captured my attention, creating vivid scenes that chilled me to my bones. This book exposes a side of the European sex trade that those involved try to keep under wraps and takes the reader on a graphic journey through Smirnova's nightmares.

Twisted gives us a look into the life of a sex worker, showing us the dangers they face on a daily basis and giving us the insight of a former victim of this industry. Smirnova manages to describe horrific events with a clear mind and a clear commentary that many who have seen this world firsthand cannot achieve. She puts the reader in Julia's shoes, making us feel her discomfort and experience her emotions as she does, in such a raw piece of fiction that reads like a memoir.

Though the story is fascinating and intriguing, what kept me turning the pages was Smirnova's grasp of language. She has a way of drawing a scene that is uninhibited and effortless, as if the image in her brain was pasted directly on the page.

I highly recommend this book, though it is not for the faint of heart nor for young readers. Twisted is disturbing and heavily features sex, violence and cursing. However, if you do decide to pick this book up, I guarantee you will not be able to set it down until you have finished. Though it may be fiction, the sex trade is very real, and the insight that Smirnova gives us may allow us to better understand such a gruesome industry.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and gripping story. Highly recommend! September 15, 2014
By Stacey
Format:Kindle Edition
Just finished reading "Twisted" by Lola Smirnova and found this to be a fascinating and gripping story that had me from the start. The plot is intense, the pace is fast, the characters are real - Smirnova really has a way with words, portraying each of the characters in such detail that brings them to life and drawing the reader into their lives and their survival stories as workers in the European sex trade. Quite a heavy read involving a lot of sex, blood, sweat and tears, but definitely one that you won't want to put down (I read it in just over a day). Looking forward to see what more Smirnova has to offer as I love her style of writing!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... different side of life September 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not a big fan of the erotic novels, but Lola Smirnova used her sexual scenes differently- it was not a sex for arousal, but more like description of what the average girl who picks the prostitution as a job goes through every day. Without picking sides she just tells about the good and the bad.
It is definitely a page turner. Sometimes story is heart breaking, but often funny and entertaining.
The book is rather graphic and the plot as well as characters are keeping out attention. the story is genuinely interesting and makes us think about different side of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars First Time for Everthing November 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Free download – a first. If I were to rate this book in terms of being entertained, I would give it a four-star. I read it during a long flight home and it passed the time. Lola will never win any awards for being a polished and talented writer, but Twisted is exactly that. Twisted. It’s highly entertaining and bold. Loved the character, Death. I literally laughed out loud when reading the scene when Death slid along with the ‘free standing leather couch’ and poor Julia had to pick his ass off of the floor and dress him. That said; her explicit details and what takes place in these brothels /peepshows is quite interesting. That alone kept me intrigued. Enjoyed the wit and rawness. Gagged a few times, felt as if I needed a shower or at least some Listerine. It was during the last 30 pages or so when Julia ends up being used by some gigolo that I felt that the story lagged. Her characters are poorly developed and unrealistic. Her dialogue is also weak. A lot of cliché terms. Still, if English is Lola’s second language, then kudos to her. A week later, and I still chuckle over the vision of Death, the creepy guy jumping up and down, getting whacked with his own tool until he you-know-whats, the very flexible client who can fold into a sandwich and pleasure himself and, what was probably the best line out of all, Chapter 16 - Julia's client has no more money and would like to see her pro-bono. I'm quoting Lola here: ‘I write back that there is absolutely ****ing nothing that could make me spend even an hour with him for free.’ The paradox is that I got to read Lola’s book for free and would actually pay to read the sequel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest look at the sex industry
A very eye opening book about the European sex industry. Very honest, at times uncomfortable to read but interesting at the same time. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Ginabadina
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and haunting take, a one click must.
Twisted by Lola Smirnova immediately captures your attention from the first page as she brings you into the hidden world of sex slavery. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Good editing!
I bought this book doing my research of books on amazon kindle. i am an editor. i actually check the books i buy to see and learn for the editorial skills employed. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Abegunde S.O
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Very graphic and to the point of how things have been in the European sex trade. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Kim Sparks
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read that paints a portrait of a young girl's ...
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Twisted is brutally honest, gritty and graphic. Intense at times and not for the faint of heart. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Gina Elton
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and horrifying
This is a bit like watching a train wreck, fascinating and horrifying at the same time. It's a no holds barred and probably true account of young women who turn to prostitution in... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL AND INTENSE BOOK
Twisted was powerful and intense. It gave an indepth look into the world of prostitution. I read it in one sitting because it grabbed my attention from the picture on the book... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Pamela Braswell
3.0 out of 5 stars whoa TMI
Interesting book but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It really depicts the highs and the debasing lows of prostitution. Read more
Published 14 days ago by meme@sf
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense!
This is an intense story. Well written and its not a simple plot to pull off. I loved how the story gives you scenes to watch out with every page you turn. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Callie Richards
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic But Based on Real Experiences
Actual Rating: 3.5/5

The Story: Julia wants to make a better life for herself, so when her sisters head to Luxembourg to find work, she tags along. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Jancee Wright
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