by Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick
Series: Hitman #1
Pub. Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Length: 11 hrs 33 min
Source: Library / Hoopla
I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all bespoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.
I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Homeschooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best in people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man that has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk..and also, my life.
So I just picked up this audiobook from my library via Hoopla. I have read it before, but I want to finish the series so I needed to re-read as a refresher. And let me tell you, I enjoyed this book SO much more this time around all because of Iggy Toma, the absolutely yummy Russian-accented male narrator. He absolutely brought Nikolai's character to life and made even the most crude words titillating in that short, clipped Russian accent. The first time I read the book, I thought the dialogue was a bit choppy... but I realize that it's not really. It's just written to go along with this accent. It worked so much better for me in audio. There is a female narrator, Kasha Kensington, and she did a fine job. But I just loved Iggy mucho mas! I raved about Iggy to Deanna and convinced her to pick up this series in audio as well. You should all do it, do it now.
So this is the story of Daisy and Nikolai. I consider it more Nikolai's story as he just seemed to play a stronger role in the story (or this could be my fixation on that Russian accent). Nikolai is Ukranian and was taken into the Bratva as a young boy. He has been trained as a hitman, and carried on in that role after he left the Bratva at 15 years old. When Nikolai sees Daisy, he immediately recognizes her innocence and purity and thinks he is not worthy of her.
Daisy has demons of her own, namely growing up in a home with an agoraphobic father after her mother was murdered. At 21 years old, Daisy can no longer live under the extreme control of her father and makes a run for it. Running from a farm to the city was an eye-opening experience for Daisy... she was sheltered to the point of only reading the classics and watching children's television programs. Even the historical romances she covertly read at the library were not enough to prepare her meeting the stoic and broody Nikolai.
Usually uber-naive heroines get on my nerves, but I didn't mind Daisy. Her innocence was somewhat endearing, and she didn't whine or complain about her situation. She met every new experience with awe and wonder, but it wasn't so over the top that it made your teeth ache. Nikolai was what you would expect of a hitman, sober and unemotional. Though he had horrible self-esteem, sometimes it was endearing and sometimes it was a little annoying. You usually see more confidence with Mafia heroes. But Nikolai absolutely worshiped Daisy and it was nice to see how he took care of her.
If you are a fan of audiobooks while you are driving or puttering around the house, this is a great series in audio format.