Series: Foreign Affairs #2
Published by Aspendawn Books on 1 November 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller
She wants the truth. He wants her.
Ambassador and scientist Skylar Rossi is determined to expose security breaches in an illegal Russian chemical weapons plant. Her mission is personal. She’s spent a lifetime atoning for the sins of her father, an international arms dealer. But the moment she steps off the Trans-Siberian train in Khimgorod—a city that doesn’t exist on any map—she’s alone, isolated and deep in enemy territory. She can trust no one, especially her so-called security escort, the refined and lethal Nikolai Markov.
Ex-KGB agent Nikolai Markov’s assignment is to keep Russia’s dirty little secrets out of Skylar’s hands…by any means necessary. But Skylar Rossi is more than just the mark. She’s responsible for his brother’s death and it’s payback time. So why is he suddenly feeling protective about a woman he might have to kill?
The stakes quickly turn deadly, and Skylar needs Nikolai to keep her safe. But their own chemistry may be far more dangerous…
*I received a free ARC of The Russian Temptation from Aspendawn Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
The Russian Temptation is a thrilling spy / romance set in a hidden city in Siberia for the most part. Funny, filled with assassination attempts, a strong and very smart female main character and international diplomacy, it’s a fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the most part.
Skylar is quirky and fun, very intelligent, diplomatic, gorgeous and she speaks several languages. She has worked months to get to the hidden city of Khimgorod and evaluate a chemical plant she thinks is selling chemical weapons to countries that will use them in war. Once she arrives, she is told to get back on the train and leave, but she resists Nikolai and makes sure she can do her work anyway. Even if some of his goons look like they could break her in half if she as much as looks at them the wrong way.
Intriguing, The Russian Temptation has a great premise, but the fact that there are so few characters present, and the few secondary characters that are there are pretty much props took away a little of my enjoyment. I also got a little hung up on the fact that Skylar repeated the word cannoli – which is food – instead of ass several times. As in ‘he had saved her cannoli several times already’. The first time it was cute, the fifth it just kind of bugged me, and took me out of the exciting action.
However, I really enjoyed the interactions between Skylar and Nikolai, the way they didn’t trust each other, how they always observed the other, and that Nikolai used chess references for several things. The Russian Temptation is a very exciting read, though, and I know I will check out the first book in the series so that I can read more about Alexis and what happened to her, even if she was only mentioned in passing here.
Even if The Russian Temptation is part of a series, it is no problem to read it as a stand-alone, it has a full story even if some characters are talked about that evidently had their big part in the first book. And since I love strong female characters, Skylar certainly appealed to me on several levels. Self-assured and very smart, she took no prisoners and went after what she arrived in Khimgorod to achieve.
The writing is very good – I loved that it was showing a lot more than it was telling, and it was easy to see the dark world of Khimgorod through Skylar’s eyes. Fast-paced and full of intrigues and thrilling action, The Russian Temptation is a quick read, and if you enjoy spy stories, you should definitely pick it up!
The cold sliced through the ivory wool of her knee-length coat, slid cruel fingers beneath her conservative pantsuit, and raised sheets of goose bumps on her skin. Inside fur-lined boots, her feet were chunks of ice, already numb and aching.
Skylar definitely wasn’t the only one who specialized in keeping people at a distance. She’d bet Nikolai Markov was a master at more than chess. Between her defense mechanisms and his, it was a miracle they could even share the same seat.
Yet there was something armed and lethal under all that refinement, lurking under that Armani suit like the semi-automatic pistol he’d drawn in her defense. As dangerous to her as to the man he’d shot so casually. She’d better not forget it, no matter how strangely fascinating she found him.