Over a thousand years past, a man sells his soul and that of his descendants to the Devil in exchange for the ability to shape-change into a predator and gain power and wealth. The family, the Varinskis, based in the Ukraine, are now assassins and thugs for hire. One man went against tradition, marrying a gypsy girl against family rules, and leaves the family; moving to the American Pacific Northwest and changing his name to Wilder. His family of three sons and a daughter (true Varinskis only bear sons on their partners), fight to stay alive and now are trying to break the ancient curse to save the father's life and their immortal souls.
In this book (second in the series, but may be read alone), Rurik Wilder is returning to his archaeological dig in Scotland after visiting home and learning that he needs to find his true love and a sacred icon in order to try and break the curse on his family. He knows whom he loves, Tasya Hunnicutt, a feisty photographer, whom he had once had wild sex with, ending with her leaving him cold.
Tasya, he finds, is at the dig in order to take photos... but also for secret motives of her own. When she was a child her parents were killed by the Varinskis and she hopes to find something in this tomb that will help in her revenge. Rurik, of course, has his secrets, such as being able to shape-change to a hawk and that he is related to the very people Tasya hates. He, too, hopes to find something in the tomb.
When the Varinskis arrive and blow the tomb up, Tasya and Rurik are on the run, on a suspenseful trip to evade death from a family of professional killers with super-natural powers. And they are all on a search for the same treasures for different reasons.
I happen to like my romances with plenty of plot and back-story, and this book had lots of all of that. And of course lots of sparks fly from Rurik and Tasya's hot but difficult relationship. I liked that they had some real problems to solve for the story and for their relationship. If you like a bit of "Bourne Identity" suspense along with your sizzling sex scenes, along with some paranormal shape-shifting, this book is for you.