Over a thousand years ago, the first Konstantine Varinski, a Russian warlord, made a deal with the devil - Which involved the breaking of a religiousOver a thousand years ago, the first Konstantine Varinski, a Russian warlord, made a deal with the devil - Which involved the breaking of a religious icon into 4 parts, scattered and hidden around the world. Since then the entire varinski line has produced only sons, and exerted their power over the local area in various ways, commonly being reputable assassins for hire. All of them are long-lived, fast-healing and are able to shapeshift into a predatory animal.
The current day Konstantine Varinski was just as brutal as his namesakes, until he met a young gypsy girl, fell in love, and fled to America, changing his surname to Wilder. Now he has 3 grown sons, goodlooking and single sons of course.. (and miraculously also a daughter). Then the gypsy mother utters a pretty scary prophecy.. that 4 of Konstantine Wilder's sons must each bring a piece of the broken icon back together, or rather not the sons themselves, but the women who love them. In order to break the curse, and save their father from certain death. Of course you can bet the original Varinski family back in Russia, has not forgotten them, and probably has their own version of the prophecy to work for.
Jasha Wilder, is the eldest son, and currently running the hugely successful family wine business. Anne Smith works as Jasha's executive assistant, her defining features seem to be that she's unusually tall, an extremely hard worker, introverted, and secretly in love with her boss. Oh, and she has a dark secretive past to do with nuns.. Anne uses a recent wine deal as an excuse to personally turn up to Jasha's house one day, (his phallic shaped house, apparently), and on discovering he is out moves all her clothes into his bedroom (as you do).. and then goes downstairs to find a giant wolf in the house.. guess who?
The backstory to this series is certainly interesting, all though it does fit a certain UF pattern, 4 sons in one prophecy all to find their fated ladies, its a very smooth set up for 4 separate books. Although son number 4 remains a complete mystery at this point! Thats certainly something I want the answer to.
When Anne turned up at Jasha's house, I was ready to be severely disappointed, Anne came across as quite the psychotic stalker woman.. I mean who the hell moves their clothes into their bosses bedroom while hes out? It really didn't sound like the perfect romantic beginning, especially considering Jasha had never even considered her in a non-professional capacity before. I was so expecting this to end up my crap shelf at that point, and yet, by the 100 pages mark, I was absolutely truly hooked!
I think primarily it must be Christina Dodd's writing skill that makes the entire book work. The cliche PNR series setup and the awkward beginning aside, I truly enjoyed it, so yet, there is certainly something to be said for Dodd's writing. And I don't just mean the fluff-scenes (although they were pretty epic it has to be said). In any other book I'd say Jasha and Anne wouldn't have worked as a couple, he was ridiculously domineering, she was a psychotic stalker, and I'm still not convinced he was truly in love with her, and yet Dodd managed to smush them together in a ridiculously convoluted way.
It's going to be one of those series that I hate to love, and can't help but read the entirety of. Guilty pleasure extreme.
Note: some sex scenes border on/could be considered Non-consensual, so if thats an issue for you, consider yourself warned. and I can confirm there is a similar situation in book 2. ...more
I'll start off by saying that it deserves 4 stars because I really liked it, and I do really really like all of Laurell K Hamilton books. I really do.I'll start off by saying that it deserves 4 stars because I really liked it, and I do really really like all of Laurell K Hamilton books. I really do. And I'm definately finish this series because I'm hooked.
I do however have two slight peeves.. One is a genal LKH Peeve - I don't like that she leaves out a lot of what I would consider 'important firsts'.. eg, there was no written scene for the first time Merry and Niccus got it on, we just jumped into a story where that had already happened for them, and that really dissapoints me. I know theres a lot of lovin going on, and it would probably make the book huge to include everything, but to me... all firsts are important!
The second peeve is a peeve that just for the Merry Gentry Series, and not for Anita. Merry gets into things too fast. I'm not saying her morality offends me, because it really doesn't. But it didn't leave much room for emotional buildup. Of course LKH did pretty good with the situation, I just prefer it slower :)...more