Between her family's drunken antics and vicious verbal attacks from her so-called friends, Irina Sudenko Volkov is having the worst night ever. And that's before she's widowed. Volatile, cheating, no-good Sergei's death by assassin unleashes chaos in the werewolf criminal underground. Irina's panicked papa assigns beta wolf Viktor Zhukovsky to Irina's security detail until her husband's killer is found.
As Irina's world crumbles around her, the perfect princess mask falls away, and Viktor meets the sharp, passionate woman underneath. Their initial chemistry gives way to a deeper attraction when Irina begins to see the decency underneath Viktor's gruff, tattooed exterior, despite his insistence that it doesn't exist. Their tendency to find themselves seminude and in enclosed spaces is a source of amusement to her sister, Galina, but each of them knows of the deadly consequences if their relationship is brought to light.
Things get even more complicated when Papa Sudenko begins to matchmake Irina and Andrey Lupesco, who also happens to be in a secret relationship with Galina. Family dinners are awkward. With danger closing in on all sides, Irina has to find her claws and learn to howl.
In the much-anticipated sequel to From Russia with Claws, listeners get a new perspective of the lusty exploits of the untameable Sudenko family. Gia Corona and Jacey Conrad craft a delightful tale of the anything-but-average human Irina and the libidinous lycanthropes in her life.
©2015 Jacey Conrad and Gia Corona (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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"a wonderful perspective on the first book,"
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Irina Volkov, recent widow of Sergei is the adopted and very human sister of Galina and Alexei. Her father, Ilya has never really treated his daughters as people, more seen them as pawns that he can use to gain advantages in the business world, and that can often be rather dirty. Head of the Russian Mob in Seattle, he had married her off to Sergei to secure one faction, and now feeling she needs protection, he assigns Viktor to protect her. Irina isn’t a shrinking violet however, and we get to relive many moments from book one (From Russia with Claws) as we get the story from her perspective, told in 3rd person.
With the abusive and not so bright Sergei gone, Irina doesn’t feel much but relief, and a touch of intrigue where Viktor is concerned. Most of all, she wants some breathing room and time to make her own decisions while she (along with the others) moves through the events and power struggles following Sergei’s death. It’s a wonderful perspective on the first book, filling in moments that Galina only ‘thought’ and giving us another person’s view on the events.
Personally, Irina has a very solid and believable attraction to Viktor, and he’s determined to protect her. She’s an anomaly in this family of werewolves, but she’s not lesser, just different – and wholly devoted to her sister. Alexei is another matter, however, as his behavior is becoming more erratic and uncharacteristic of the role of leader he hopes to step into. His attraction for Irina is startling to her, although his past behavior doesn’t signify the best judgment. Family is all important here, and often meddling, and there are so many different elements brought around to keep the mystery feeling fresh and the threats real, especially considering Irina’s fragility when compared to her were siblings.
Narration for this story is provided by Sophie Eastlake, and she does a wonderful job in flowing neatly from Russian flavored accents, to younger west-coast females, to wry observation. Distinct delivery, tone and pitch changes mark each character with as easy to recognize, and the pacing, inflections and variations in speed and volume were all perfectly suited to what had to have been a particularly difficult reading. A wonderful story that is perfectly in keeping (and best listened to after) the first book in the series.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Audible for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Mostly a rehashing of the first book in the series, told from a different person's perspective, and with very little original content. This is the first time I've ever NOT loved a Molly Harper book.
"Good addition to the series :)"
This was a pretty good story. I liked Irina and Viktor and their story was interesting and kept me pretty well engaged until the end.
Irina is the human adopted daughter of a crime boss. In addition to being a crime family, her adoptive family are also all werewolves. Unfortunately, Irina's father sees her as a bargaining chip for his business dealings and he basically sold her into her current marriage to Sergei, who is an abusive slime.
Viktor is a werewolf that works as an enforcer for Irina's family. He owes the family a lot and so he does his duty. He's not happy about this when he finds that this blocks him from being with the woman he wants.
When the story begins, Irina is at a birthday party for one of her cousins. Sergei is being horrible as usual and Irina is just trying to get through the night relatively unscathed. She certainly wasn't expecting to see Sergei get shot and killed right in front of her. Irina is shocked but since Sergei's been an abusive jerk, she ends up being more relieved to be free of him than in actual mourning over his death. Since no one knows who killed Sergei, Irina's father decided to put a security detail on her and the Viktor is the person in charge of her protection. There's a strong attraction between Irina and Viktor but they know Irina's father would never allow them to be together so they try to fight their attraction.
The story continues with Irina trying to get on with her life while fighting her attraction to Viktor (and not succeeding very well). There are difficulties raised by her father deciding that since she's free he can use her as a bargaining chip again and her brother having very un-brotherly feelings towards her (EW!!!). This story takes place during the same time period as the first book, From Russia With Claws so there's a fair amount of overlap in the stories. I read book #1 around 6 months ago so it wasn't fresh in my mind and I'm glad about that. I fear that if I'd have reread book #1 in prep for this one I'd have been annoyed with the overlap of the stories...already knowing what was basically going to happen was annoying enough. The story does end with Irina and Viktor getting their HEA (which wasn't specifically spelled out in book #1).
I enjoyed this story but I did have some issues with it. I liked Irina but I hated that she was so used! Both Sergei and her father sought to use her for their own benefit and she felt bad that she'd never really stood up for herself but I'm trying to figure out how she thought she could. I mean there's clear evidence that her father would have had her killed if she'd have tried to run away and have her own life so how could she unless she was willing to die to get her freedom? Both her and Viktor were victims of the system they were stuck in and I hated that the people in power didn't give a damn about the feelings of the people they're using. I could accept that from Sergei because he was scum, but Irina's father was supposed to love her and yet he used her terribly and I wanted to slap him! I also was slightly frustrating that most of the story didn't really seem to be based around the romance of Irina and Viktor...there was a good amount of separation between them and nothing really culminated into a true relationship until the end. Regardless of my complaints, I did enjoy the story and plan to read the next book in the series when it comes out. :)
"Same Story, Different Perspective - NOT a Sequel"
This was simply a re-telling of the first story from a different perspective. Knowing every significant thing that was going to happen made it VERY boring. The performance was great. Hopefully the narrator does other things with her talent. Lastly, the...we'll call them "intimate" scenes were ridiculous filled wth cliche terms more appropriate for something aiming for the frat boy set. Hopefully Molly Harper will drop the pseudonym and return to what she does best.
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