Review: From Russia with Claws by Jacey Conrad and Gia Corona (From Russia #1)


From Russia with ClawsFrom Russia with Claws (From Russia… #1)
Jacey Conrad and Gia Corona
Published: Aug. 18, 2015 (Omnific)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Galina Sudenko is an alpha werewolf female within a Russian family that is constantly at battle with each other. After finishing college and coming back home to Seattle, Galina stumbles upon Andreyev Lupeso, creating an instant attraction and connection between the two. Unfortunately for them, Andrey is the head of an opposing family of werewolves—one that Galina’s brother has stolen shipments from. Galina’s brother Alexei is the next head of the family once her dad passes and Galina can’t let that happen.

In order to save her clueless family from her brother’s potential reign of terror, Galina works with Andrey to find where the shipment is being hidden, uproot Alexei’s future plans, and prove herself to the families, all while semi-fighting the pull she feels towards Andrey.

When I first started reading From Russia with Claws, I thought I picked up a contemporary novel because there was no initial mention of anything paranormal related. In fact, the only thing that I picked up right away was Galina and Andreyev’s connection to the Russian Mafia that, while separate from contemporary life, is anything but paranormal.

I’m not sure at which point I realized that the entire Russian Mafia in Seattle was composed of werewolves, but it was done subtly and to be honest, the novel could have read the same without the paranormal element. That’s not to say anything negative about the story, it’s just that the world-building I look forward to reading in paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels wasn’t there. The only kind of ‘world building’ there was revolved around describing pack dynamics, which was interesting and definitely not conducive to an alpha female on the rise within a pack.

What I loved the most about Galina was her alpha personality. This is also what made From Russia with Claws such a unique read in a world full of shifter romance novels: the ability for a woman to possess that alpha characteristic that is automatically responded to by other werewolves—male or female. Typically, we see the alphas in male form, more often than not with a woman of significant personal power, slightly acquiescent with a will of her own. In From Russia with Claws, there were plenty of alpha personalities but the one that was the most important was Galina.

If you’re picking up From Russia with Claws because you heard that Jacey Conrad is the pseudonym for Molly Harper and you’re as much in love with the Half-Moon Hollow series as I am, don’t expect for this series to be as lighthearted and laugh-out-loud funny as her other novels. I will say, however, that you can definitely expect the heat and passion between both protagonists that are evident in her other novels.

The chemistry between Galina and Andrey is instant and felt natural and genuine, even with their instant attraction. Both Galina and Andrey are smart individuals that are completely aware of their actions and potential consequences within their organizations. So it was interesting to see them fight the practicality of their nature with their basic instincts to be with one another.

Overall, From Russia with Claws was an easy read with a steady-paced plot that left me craving for the next installment in the series. If you’re new to the paranormal romance genre and/or are looking to get into contemporary novels, this is the perfect novel for you. I feel like it’s nestled so nicely between the contemporary and paranormal worlds that lovers of either or both genres can easily fall into.

Sexual content: graphic sex

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