Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess's realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.
About the Author
Shannon Delany is the author of 13 to Life and Beasts and BFFs. A much-abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the western world's first-ever cell phone novel contest. Shannon has written stories ever since she was a child. Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock in upstate New York, she has always been fascinated by history, myths, legends and paranormal research.
Read an Excerpt
A little more than a year ago
In a seemingly standard suburban sprawl outside the city of Farthington something has gone wrong. Sharp sidewalks and carefully clipped lawns hem in the town houses and flank the expected allotment of single homes. It's a quiet neighborhood, where everyone appears to know everyone else. But things are not always as they seem, and people are seldom only what their neighbors expect.
In one such innocuous yard a man naturally inclined to an animal grace staggers. Tall and broad shouldered like his elder son Max, and lean as his youngest, Pietr, he's dark as any Rusakova, with only a hint of silver in his hair.
Even so young a father, his life is nearly over. Not because of the poor choices he made as a younger man—choices that caused his wife to give their children her name rather than his—but because regardless of how normal the setting seems, Andrei is far from the norm.
He sways by the picket fence, the traditional American symbol for happiness, success—the elusive American dream. But to him, even pretty fences make a common cage. He glares toward the neighbor's house, a powder blue Cape Cod, and his wife lopes out of their home, crossing the yard on quick and quiet feet.
Slender and lithe as their daughter Catherine but with heavy highlights of red streaking her rich brown hair like coppery lightning, Tatiana tilts her head, nostrils flaring in question. Her eyebrows draw together, and she circles him. "Come inside," she pleads, laying a hand on his arm.
He shakes it off like a dog throwing off the rain. Face red with rage, his fiery gaze stays fixed on their neighbor's home. "The way he watches you . . ."
She blushes, fearing the shame is shared although she tempts the man unwittingly. With its very existence the animal that skitters and claws beneath her human skin calls to some men, entices and ensnares their weaker senses.
The door of the blue Cape Cod opens and the man steps out, waving boldly at her. The smile stretching his lips does nothing to mask his unwanted attentions.
The sun slips away, leaving a bloody smear across the southern mountaintops. These are the dangerous hours, when the skin feels loosest on the wolf within and the beast in the human-seeming breast grows more anxious to burst free.
"I will rrrip out his hearrrt—"
As her husband springs across the fence with a snarl, Tatiana fears that although this is not the first time a man has acted indecently toward her, this might be the only time it matters.
It's a race up the broad porch stairs to the neighbor, who doesn't even have enough sense to go inside, bolt the door, and lock himself in a closet—to wait out the dawn and pray for reason to override rage.
Instead he stands there. Spreads his legs in a fighting stance. "Off my porch, Rusakova," he growls.
The sound is nothing compared to the noise tearing out of Andrei. Coursing through his chest, the twisting growl erupts as he takes the porch's final three steps in one smooth leap.
His hands on the man who stares openly at his wife, Andrei's words are too thick with anger to be clear. A growl, a slur—language matters little when actions speak louder than words. And Andrei's actions speak wrath, revenge—hate. So fluently.
The man flops in his grasp, fighting stance forgotten as he screams and lands sloppy and panicked punches on Andrei's face as it twists and pulses and pops. Changes . . .
Someone appears at the window, shoves the curtains aside, mouth drawn into an "o" of terror. The leerer's wife—the mouse he ignores except when he publicly berates her. She thrusts her son from her side, and the curtain falls back across the window.
Behind him, the man's door clicks shut; the lock bolts into place with a slithering sound. There will be no retreat.
Tatiana pushes between the men, grunting with exertion. "Stop," she urges, eyes wide.
Lights flash, coloring the dimming neighborhood quickly falling into dusk with red, white, and blue as a siren wails its way down the normally quiet suburban street.
"Not finished with you," Andrei, half-turned, yowls. He throws the man across his shoulder and lopes around the house, into the tree-filled backyard and the shadows that threaten to solidify beyond.
With a glance toward the street, Tatiana sets her jaw and follows her husband, disappearing into the growing darkness.
A swarm of uniformed officers mount the porch stairs, as one unmarked SUV slips silently past the house, daring to scatter the darkness with its piercing headlights.
In the Rusakovas' home Catherine presses her face to the window, Pietr by her side. Unable to be much help, the twins are more than a year outside their first full change.
Pacing, Alexi refuses to change and go. His shaking fingers drag through his hair, but he rejects Catherine's pleas and ignores Pietr's threats. Begging until her voice is nothing but a reedy whine, Catherine sobs; her tears smear the glass, and the world outside seems to ripple. Pietr pulls her away, silently wrapping her in his arms.
And as vehemently as Alexi refuses to go, there is no place he'd rather be than beside the parents who adopted him and have kept his secret—that he is nothing like his siblings and is simply, horrendously, human.
The one Rusakova—the one wolf—able to help is missing. Spending one more night in the arms of anonymous girls, Max is living his short life as fast as he can.
In the woods not far from the backyard stands the tragic threesome. Tatiana, shaken by frustration into her ruddy wolfskin, circles the rivals for her attention, growling. Andrei releases the man, speaking to the worried wolf in a most guttural Russian. His words impeded by long and pointed teeth, he searches for an explanation, some justification. Distraught, he wavers as his metabolism—his canine bits—burns through the drug or drink that had such a hold on him.
Their neighbor looks around, contemplates escape. His jeans soiled from something fouler than the tears streaking his frightened face, he watches the werewolves warily.
All eyes suddenly focus on something—someone—shrouded in the shadows. The wolf Tatiana howls at the betrayal as a smile once again slides across the leerer's lips.
A sliver of moonlight shimmers across the barrel of a gun swinging into view, giving directions. Tatiana obeys, the wolf stalking to the side. But obedience is too much for Andrei and he lunges, completing his transformation in midair . . .
. . . one moment of fluid grace . . .
. . . brought down by a muzzle flash so bright it blinds.
He falls, pulled from midair with a grunt and a spatter of blood, never to rise again. The copper wolf noses the limp body of her mate, a whimper tearing at her throat. Rage empowering her, she leaps, willing to fall dead at his side, her husband. . . .
A muzzle flash tears at the inky night again and she tumbles to the earth, falling limp.
"So, after the loss of your mother in the car accident, you started work to redeem her amnesiac murderer, met a new boy at school, who you hid your attraction from in order to protect a friend's feelings. Then you learned the boy was being hunted by the CIA—one of their agents who happens to be trying to date your dad . . . hunted because the boy's a werewolf."
There was a long pause. I ran over her summary, mentally ticking off the checklist of the bizarre that my life had so recently been reduced to. "You forgot about the Russian Mafia's involvement and the shoot-out we were in."
Looking at her clipboard, Dr. Jones replied, "Yes. So I did." She jotted something down. "Well. It looks like our time is up." She clicked her pen and set it down definitively on her broad ebony desk. "Your story is absolutely fascinating." She confirmed what I knew too well. "But."
I sat up, the leather couch creaking beneath me. I gave her my best but what? look. I'd talked forever.
As much as I hated to admit it, the school counselors were right. It felt great to get it all out and tell an objective professional. So I waited, looking at her expectantly. She could surely say more than but after all I'd confessed.
"But, if you really want to get past the trauma of your mother's death—which is truly the crux of your situation—you'll need to get real here." She stood, lips twisting.
Get real? I had told her everything. I had risked the Rusakovas to save my own crumbling sense of sanity.
I couldn't help it. I laughed so hard I snorted.
In the two months since I'd met Pietr Rusakova I could number on one hand the times I'd told the truth. The lies? The phrase totally out of hand had special meaning when trying to keep track of them.
But to finally try and straighten things out and be shut down? Not what I expected.
She blinked at me. "Seriously, Jessica. Russian Mafia? Government agents? Werewolves?" She laughed. "I should be like other psychiatrists, I guess, and blindly prescribe something with an exciting new name. But I want to help you get better, not medicate you. I want you to get a grip."
"You don't believe me."
"It's my professional opinion that you're screwing with me. Most kids clam up on their first visit or avoid the heart of their issues. But you"—she glanced at the clipboard—"are an editor for the school newspaper. Surely inventive. So you chose the other route, exhibiting a commendable streak of creativity. But I have a high crap tolerance."
Her voice lowered and she ruffled the corners of her freshly written notes. "You have to, working with kids," she muttered. "You're no more delusional than the average teenager."
"I killed a man." God, for all the notes she seemed to take, did she not listen?
"Yes, Jessica, so you said. But where's the body, sweetie? I'd expect some part of the aftermath of a bloodbath like you described to be seen by someone. Why wasn't there anything in the papers?"
"I told you before. The agents called in a—" I chewed my lower lip. Why wouldn't the right words come when I needed them? "A cleaning crew."
"Yes, the agents." She made quotes in the air with a twitch of her fingers. "Including"—she flipped through the papers on her clipboard until she found it—"Wanda the librarian."
"No one gives librarians the credit they deserve," I snapped. "Yes. She works in the reference department and is a gun-toting government agent."
"Of course," Dr. Jones said, still smiling. "So. Creative, and probably with a large number of overdue books causing you to be creatively suspicious about librarians. Interesting."
I had no idea what else to say. I'd surely said it all.
"Anyway. It's your insurance coverage. You decide if you want to waste it on fantasies."
She turned away to look out the window—a clear dismissal. I stood, slung my purse over my shoulder, and headed out the door, as confused as when I'd first arrived.
I'd decided to adjust to my new normal. Regular counseling. A life with no mother. No more shoot-outs with the Russian Mafia. Nearly no CIA presence. And a werewolf sort-of-boyfriend who was also still seeing my not-quite-stable friend Sarah because we hoped to avoid triggering her return to absolute psychosis.
Okay, so my new normal wasn't nearly normal by other people's standards, but it was the best I could do.
I was back to horse riding and farm chores and trying to keep up with my classes and working on the school newspaper.
I still had my friends. Amy had my back, and Sophia, well, she was hanging around enough that I knew she cared—or was fascinated by the tragedy that seemed to continually wash over me. And there was Sarah—beautifully angelic and with so little of her original memory she was almost safe to be around.
Derek (the star of our football team) shadowed me now, too, frequently appearing and smiling at me in a way that made my heart race. I'd had a crush of Titanic (and I do mean like the ship that nailed the iceberg) proportions on him. For years.
Well, until Pietr showed up and everything changed.
Anyhow, my new normal should have been a good thing. Not perfect, but acceptable. Nearly sane.
In the nonthreatening beige waiting room people hid behind newspapers and magazines so old their readers were learning history—not catching up on current events.
All but one.
Catherine Rusakova waved to me and rose, following me out the door. Normally as unnoticed as a shadow slipping across shade, she was also impossible not to notice when she wanted.
The office door clicked shut behind me. "Hi, Cat." I wasn't sure how to proceed. I wasn't used to being stalked by Pietr's twin sister. Werewolf number two.
Her eyes sparkled, astonishingly blue and faintly slanted, with a fringe of thick lashes. Cat's strong features and high cheekbones made her look more like a goddess of old than a werewolf.
Of course, there was probably someplace where the goddess of old was a werewolf. . . .
The Rusakovas were at once strong and beautiful: an elegance and brutality blended in their features. Once I'd seen what they became—what they truly were—it was impossible not to see some shadow of the beast slinking within their eyes, some hint of it hiding in the glint of their smiles.
"Privyet," Cat greeted me. "I did not realize you were seeing a psychiatrist until your sister told me," she admitted, the faint roll of her first language softly coloring her words.
Nice. I'd have to have a little chat with Annabelle Lee later. Sometimes she was far too helpful. Just not to me.
"Does Pietr know?"
I shook my head. It was one thing I hadn't found a way to tell him. It was far easier to talk about school and books than admit to seeing a psychiatrist about serious issues.
"Considering circumstances, I agree it is wise." She smiled, and I repressed a shiver. That beautiful grin turned into a devil's nest of fangs when she wanted. "You have seen a lot of horrible things recently."
I paused by a potted plant that looked like it needed water—or proper burial. "But?"
"I love talking with you, Cat, but why are you here?"
Cat tilted her head and peeked at me from the corners of her eyes. "It's not often people outside our family know our truth, Jessie. It might make us nervous to hear the one who does know is talking."
"I don't want to make anyone nervous." My palms grew damp. Nervous was not a descriptor I wanted applied to any member in a family of werewolves.
"That is why I chose to come," Cat explained. "To get a better understanding before the boys find out. You are very important to our family, Jessie. I am convinced of that."
"Because I opened the matryoshka and found the pendant?"
I watched her, waiting. "And?"
She sighed. "And because of what your tea leaves said." Shaking her head, her smile ghosted away. "I must ask you what—"
"Everything, Catherine. I told her absolutely everything."
She stepped back, solemn. "The CIA?"
"The Russian Mafia?"
"Yes." Tears filled my eyes, threatening to spill.
"And werewolves. Jessie, you said you'd seen werewolves?"
"Yes!" I winced, closing my eyes and remembering the dreadful moment I'd seen in so many movies recently—the moment the werewolf changed and tore out a victim's throat.
I held my breath.
I opened my eyes to find Catherine gazing at me with curiosity. Predators did that, though. Studied their prey.
"I'm sorry, Catherine. I had to say something . . . had to tell someone. . . ."
Her fingers twitched by her hip.
I shut my eyes again, ready as I could be for certain disemboweling. I'd gutlessly betrayed their family, in an attempt to save my sanity. I deserved no better.
"What are you doing?" Cat's words rushed out; she stood so close now her breath was a warm breeze brushing across my face.
"For what?" she asked.
"Death?" I squeaked, peeling one eye open to watch her—the way I watched most werewolf films.
My heart throbbed against my ribs.
She grabbed me so fast I nearly peed myself. Holding me in a powerful hug, she whispered, "You are a strange, strange girl, Jessie Gillmansen."
Says a werewolf.
"You should stop watching those awful horror movies."
"How did you—? Of course. Annabelle Lee."
"She is worried about you."
"We are not Hollywood's creations. You know that."
"Rationally, yes." Not Hollywood's creations, but rather the descendants of one of the USSR's surprisingly successful scientific experiments from the earliest years of the Cold War.
Cat nodded. "Does the doctor believe what you said?"
"Not a word."
"Excellent." She grinned her most wicked grin. "Now you can tell her the truth without repercussions." She stepped back, toying with her short, dark curls, glittering eyes fixed on me. "Might she medicate you?"
"Nope. She insists I embrace sanity without chemical assistance."
"You are such a clever girl!" She threw her hands into the air. "Strange in your methods, but clever. Oh." She pinched her ear. "Your father is coming. He should not see me here."
"Cat!" I called as she retreated down another hallway. "I need to talk to you about Pietr—"
She nodded. "I will find you. Tonight. Listen for me."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
COULD NOT PUT MY NOOK DOWN EVN MY MOM OT MAD BECAUSE I DID NO CLEANIN XD A MUST READ FOR EVEYONE
This book was great. Fiction, romance, action, with just a bit of a fright.
I enjoyed this book a lot, and was happy with it as the next in the series, however I would choose others before it. (book priorities. :)
Shadows and secrets was so impossibly amazing. It was waaaaaaay better than the first because there was more to it. You got to know the Rusakova's, and, now, they are, to me, the best family I've ever read about in any book. I love them all. I love how smart Jessie is in this book, and the fact that Derek showed his true self. And, of course, my favorite part: Max and Amy together. It was absolutely adorable, I've read it all like five times because I love it so much. We get to know Sophia more, which was great, and Sarah also showed her true self. And the plot continued to get complex without too many complications. I wasn't even annoyed with Annabelle Lee in this book! I love the Rusakova's!!!!!! I can't wait to read the next one. This series is getting better and better! If you're hesitating because of the first book being a little slow, you will not be disapointed with this one.
I reccomend this book.
I love this book! It's so interesting that I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this book to everyone! :D
The book cover does the book itself no justice. It may appear to be a wannabe twilight book but the book is interesting and displays valid folklore in a way twilight or any or itssequels do not. You will find yourself rooting for werewolfs. A fantastic book overall with only several cliche parts in the plot line.
The suspense kept me hooked and the ending blew me away. It wasnamazing. Not a book you can guess what will happen. Just when you think you know whats gonna happen the author changes everything. Highly recommend this series!
Jess is involved in more drama in this book and comes across even more strange things. She wants to have a normal life but nothing is normal around her. Pietr is avoiding her, Derek seems interested in her now, Sarah is acting different, and she is the mediator between the CIA agents and the werewolves trying to find their mother. I think this is one of the best werewolf series that I have read. I would recommend this series to anyone that enjoys paranormal books with a lot of mystery.
Could not put it down i am the fastest reader and i read all the time but rereading i hate to do, but this book i just keep reading and reading
This book could only be describe in one word: Torture. Pure torture. I mean, my heart just ache and well, the writing is pretty dang good. Torture. Why? Well what else is hard to watch then the one person your in love with be with someone else. I mean that tough. The drama in this book is great, but pure torture. You don't know how many times I wanted to be Jessie just so I can slap Pietr. The characters I feel in this book did no growing up whats so ever. They made the same mistakes over and over again. They torture each other by going out with other people, ignoring each other and well, only causing more grief for everyone else around them. I felt like at times that they were just selfish. The only one I felt grew up a bit and it wasn't toward the end is Jessie. She finally put her foot down (Thank God) and just said things that been need to said. I really admire her strenght and her strong determination. She really blew my mind away with how she handled everything. Though at times, I want to slap her as well. The plot line in this book wasn't very different from the last book. They still dealt with the CIA and hunters, plus all the drama in the relationship. I am a little disappointed that things were repeated in stead of something new. The ending again, left off with another cliffhanger. I an not satisfied with how the book ended. I wanted it to be different but again, no. Though I am still interested in reading the next book just because I have to know what happens. Overall, it was okay cause it can hook you in easily with the story line but very torturous.
Secrets And Shadows is a fantastic next step in Shannon's 13 To Life Series. I LOVED Jess and Pietr's relationship in 13 To Life so it was very interesting to see how their relationship evolves in this next installment. All of the emotions that Jess, Pietr, and the rest of the Rusakova's were going through felt so real. Not to mention watching Sarah spiral back into the "evil girl" she used to be and dealing with Amy and Max's forbidden attraction made you really feel for them and their situation. There are so many things I want to say but am afraid to reveal such great plot twists and turns. As William Shakespeare once said "The course of true love never did run smooth" ~ From A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 1, scene 1, 132-140. No truer words were ever spoken in relation to this book. That is what I love about Shannon's 13 To Life Series. She is some how able to portray teen angst with such realism and she is really able to make her wolves come alive in such amazing detail. I also love the little bits of Russian we learn from the Rusakova's. I have always been interested in learning new languages and even though it is only a few words here and there I still loved learning them. On a scale from one to 10 I give this book a 20. I am just really in love with this story and series. It has such depth of feeling and is a book I could go back and read over and over again. If you LOVED 13 To Life like I did then you really need to pick up this book. If you haven't read 13 To Life pick that up as well as Secrets And Shadows. If you LOVE YA Novels, teen angst, wolves, drama, a love triangle, the mafia, the CIA, psycho's and/or sociopaths, or just a really great book you need to run and pick up this book. In my opinion this is a fantastic read and an all around AWESOME series. I so can not wait for Bargains And Betrayals to come out on August 16,2011.
I couldnt get enough of this book. Now i have to wait for the next one to come out!!! This book will keep you in suspense!!!
The first book was surprisingly good and I think I had high expectations for this book. It wasnt great and it wasnt bad. I feel like the author started rushing towards the end, especailly the chapter at the nursing home. The ending was very climatic and I was expecting others to come and help. The author definitely left a lot of loose ends so you have no choice but to sit on pins and needles waiting for the next book. Luckily the next book comes out in August.
i loved the first one! but this one made me not care what happens anymore.........i just felt like the author was trying to tackle too many topics at once........cmon i want more werewolf and romance! this book just didnt deliver on that front
Great Book. Lots more back story in this one. I enjoyed the new excitement that was introduced but am sad to see the ending. Its gonna be too long to wait for the next!
I didn't think it was possible for me to love this book series anymore than I already did, and then came along Secrets and Shadows. I loved 13 to Life so much, but Secrets and Shadows blew my mind. Shannon Delany has written an amazing sequel that will leaving you wanting more! There is so much I want to say about this book but just do not know how to put into words. Shannon Delany literally takes you on such a ride on this book. The story picks you up and does not let go until literally the last page. And boy, does she know how to play with your emotions, especially when it comes to Pietr and Jess's relationship. I literally loved every minute of reading this book. I could not put it down until I got to the end. So much happened in this book that I felt was extremely important to the series as a whole. I do not want to spoil anything that happens but a lot of big stuff goes down. Like A LOT! Even though a lot happened in this book, it did not feel like so much happened that it was impossible to comprehend everything going. Every thing flowed so well that when things were revealed they just clicked into place. The story flowed so well, it felt like I was reading for such a short amount of time when I got to the end but really hours had passed I was so engrossed in the story. I have to say, I loved the character progression in this book. All the characters from the first book all grew and more of the secondary characters in the first book became major players in this book. I really liked learning more about each of the Rusakovas, especially Max. I became a huge fan of Max after this book. In the first book, I loved Pietr, I still love him to death, but Max really grew on me in this book and I love him for other reason than I love Pietr. I really loved what Shannon did with Derek, he became a very important person in this book, and not just because Jess liked him. And Sarah. Ugh. I never really liked her in 13 to Life, but in this book, she is just horrible. I do not want to talk to much about Jess and Pietr because I feel I will let something spoilery slip and I don't want to do that. But I love their relationship, I was really glad Jess finally admits that she does not like Pietr being with Sarah. There are some really great scenes between Pietr and Jess, even if they are not what I wanted to occur. There were so many great scenes in Secrets and Shadows, but my favorite has got to be the Halloween/Birthday party at the Rusakovas' house. This scene was just perfect. A lot of great things happened, their was tension, and Max being, well, Max. Definitely my favorite scene in the entire book. AND THE ENDING! Boy. Does Shannon Delany know how to write an ending that leaves you wanting more. I'm not always a fan of cliff hanger endings, but this one got it completely right. I was literally in shocked speechless by the end of the book. This book was awesome. I was so involved and so engrossed in reading it. I wanted to laugh, scream, cry, and hug parts of this book. This book far surpassed anything I was expecting. I am completely in love with it, even more so then the first book. Even though I have a signed ARC of this book, I'm still going to be picking up a finished copy of Secrets and Shadows when it is released. In fact, I have it pre-ordered. Now if only it were August so I could read Bargains and Betrayals.
Secrets and Shadows takes us deeper into Jessie and Pietr's worlds. Jessie is a believable main character, and I can relate with her reactions, emotions and decisions. Pietr is still desirable but ever so frustrating. I can understand where he is coming from when more of his reasoning and story comes out, but still!!!! Max and Cat play more in this story and I like them as much as Jessie. S&S has same issue of taking a bit to pick up as I remember with 13, but I know that before halfway in I was eager to turn the page, wanting to find out what happens next. There is somewhat of a conclusion, but I am already itching to get my hands on the next book.
**slight spoilers** The story picks right up after 13 to Life ends and answers a few questions about the cliffhanger ending. It took me about 100 pages to really become interested in the story in this one as well since I had the same issues with the first book. The last two-thirds of the book was a page turner. Of course this one ends with a cliffhanger as well, so be prepared to wait another a year (fingers crossed, maybe later this year?) to read the next installment. Jess, Cat and Pietr are trying to work together now that they have located the Rusakova's mother. As Jess acts as an intermediary between the CIA and the family, they find themselves still being trailed by the Mafia. A little more light is shed on the gang's interest in the family. Pietr and Jess are no closer to becoming attached, although Derek shows his true colors and now we are left wondering what his real story is as well. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot. Oh, and Sarah is getting her memory back! There is some sexual tension, alcohol use and of course, bad words, even though Jess struggles valiantly against them.
Jessie Gillmansen struggles to adapt to all she has recently learned about what she thought was were beings from horror movies and novels being real. This new reality occurred when she discovered werewolves exist. She and Pietr Ruskova are apparently a mated pair but she has no time to pursue what that means as she has bigger issues than howling male hunks to contend with. Jessie tries to negotiate a deal between the Ruskova werewolf pack and the CIA. Her efforts seem futile, as progress is snail slow. However, she is taken aback when Pietr begins behaving as if he no longer wants her. Not one to be left out in the cold, Jessie debates whether to give Pietr one more chance or turn to Derek. She is soon in danger when the CIA apparently betrays her with only one male protecting her. This is an engaging fast-paced young adult werewolf urban fantasy starring a heroine who has come a long way since entering Pietr's world (see 13 to Life). Though with all that has happened to her readers would expect a besieged Jessie to show more moxie rather than the Perils of Pauline. Yet she still holds the entertaining tale together as she feels pulled from all sides with no one to turn to while dealing with agents, beasts and a boyfriend. Harriet Klausner
I really liked this novel, however, it did drag in some places. For instance, it took over 100 pages before the main character and her boyfriend decided to call it quits and another 150 pages before they were truly back together-and even that's shaky. On one hand, the novel was fast-paced (werewolf findings and scenes, developments between the main character and a few minor characters, etc..) and on the other hand it was slow (relationships, school events, etc..). The main character was a little bit annoying, even whiny, at times. However, I did like her enough to want to read more of her story. Her boyfriend, Pietr, was truly annoying in his "Twilightlike belief in the main characters' human fragility". Other than those quirks, I did enjoy the novel and would recommend the book to girls of teen and young adult age.
I was in the middle of a book funk when I read this, so I don't mean to offend anyone with my take on this sequel. I was bummed with it. I was hoping for more action and a lot less drama. I can't stand the sort of forced love triangle between Pieter, Jess and Sarah. I mean really? You love the guy but you push him on your psychotic friend? And then get pissed when he starts falling for her? Gag. It's sick and not in a good way. I was also a little bit confused on where we were going on this ride. Still trying to break out mom and find a cure right? Oh just kidding! We can't cure ourselves now since we need all our supernatural powers to rescue her. And working with the CIA? Yeah, probably not a good idea seeing as how they keep trying to kill you. Ehh, so you see my problem right? I want to love it, I liked the first one, but I was just not in a good place and the characters annoyed me. I say give it a try if you even remotely liked the first.
This book could only be describe in one word: Torture. Pure torture. I mean, my heart just ache and well, the writing is pretty dang good.Torture. Why? Well what else is hard to watch then the one person your in love with be with someone else. I mean that tough. The drama in this book is great, but pure torture. You don't know how many times I wanted to be Jessie just so I can slap Pietr. The characters I feel in this book did no growing up whats so ever. They made the same mistakes over and over again. They torture each other by going out with other people, ignoring each other and well, only causing more grief for everyone else around them. I felt like at times that they were just selfish. The only one I felt grew up a bit and it wasn't toward the end is Jessie. She finally put her foot down (Thank God) and just said things that been need to said. I really admire her strenght and her strong determination. She really blew my mind away with how she handled everything. Though at times, I want to slap her as well.The plot line in this book wasn't very different from the last book. They still dealt with the CIA and hunters, plus all the drama in the relationship. I am a little disappointed that things were repeated in stead of something new.The ending again, left off with another cliffhanger. I an not satisfied with how the book ended. I wanted it to be different but again, no. Though I am still interested in reading the next book just because I have to know what happens. Overall, it was okay cause it can hook you in easily with the story line but very torturous.
I didn¿t think it was possible for me to love this book series anymore than I already did, and then came along Secrets and Shadows. I loved 13 to Life so much, but Secrets and Shadows blew my mind. Shannon Delany has written an amazing sequel that will leaving you wanting more!There is so much I want to say about this book but just do not know how to put into words. Shannon Delany literally takes you on such a ride on this book. The story picks you up and does not let go until literally the last page. And boy, does she know how to play with your emotions, especially when it comes to Pietr and Jess¿s relationship. I literally loved every minute of reading this book. I could not put it down until I got to the end.So much happened in this book that I felt was extremely important to the series as a whole. I do not want to spoil anything that happens but a lot of big stuff goes down. Like A LOT! Even though a lot happened in this book, it did not feel like so much happened that it was impossible to comprehend everything going. Every thing flowed so well that when things were revealed they just clicked into place. The story flowed so well, it felt like I was reading for such a short amount of time when I got to the end but really hours had passed I was so engrossed in the story.I have to say, I loved the character progression in this book. All the characters from the first book all grew and more of the secondary characters in the first book became major players in this book. I really liked learning more about each of the Rusakovas, especially Max. I became a huge fan of Max after this book. In the first book, I loved Pietr, I still love him to death, but Max really grew on me in this book and I love him for other reason than I love Pietr. I really loved what Shannon did with Derek, he became a very important person in this book, and not just because Jess liked him. And Sarah. Ugh. I never really liked her in 13 to Life, but in this book, she is just horrible. I do not want to talk to much about Jess and Pietr because I feel I will let something spoilery slip and I don¿t want to do that. But I love their relationship, I was really glad Jess finally admits that she does not like Pietr being with Sarah. There are some really great scenes between Pietr and Jess, even if they are not what I wanted to occur.There were so many great scenes in Secrets and Shadows, but my favorite has got to be the Halloween/Birthday party at the Rusakovas¿ house. This scene was just perfect. A lot of great things happened, their was tension, and Max being, well, Max. Definitely my favorite scene in the entire book.AND THE ENDING! Boy. Does Shannon Delany know how to write an ending that leaves you wanting more. I¿m not always a fan of cliff hanger endings, but this one got it completely right. I was literally in shocked speechless by the end of the book.This book was awesome. I was so involved and so engrossed in reading it. I wanted to laugh, scream, cry, and hug parts of this book. This book far surpassed anything I was expecting. I am completely in love with it, even more so then the first book. Even though I have a signed ARC of this book, I¿m still going to be picking up a finished copy of Secrets and Shadows when it is released. In fact, I have it pre-ordered. Now if only it were August so I could read Bargains and Betrayals