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Family Ties

The Family Novak, Book 1
Narrated by: Kirt Graves
Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a world where the rules are gray, and the Don's word is a law unto itself, only one thing is sacred: family.

River Erikson is a man on the run. After scenting his true mate, he’s done everything in his power to escape. Just because he was born an omega doesn’t mean he needs to answer fate’s call and drop to his knees for some alpha. Especially not a smug mafioso who thinks way too much of himself. 

Luckily, his job at STAHP - the vicious vigilante organization that works to police shifters when law enforcement can’t - keeps him busy enough that he can try to forget how his traitorous body reacts whenever a certain muscled Russian is around.

Vasily Novak is stunned when he scents his mate, but powerless to chase him when he flees. How can he? His focus is entirely centered on the precocious five-year-old he recently learned was his child. All he can do is trust the fates to bring his mate back when the time is right. Vasily is confident that River will be his eventually. He just needs to be patient.

When Vasily’s son is taken, River comes to help retrieve the boy who melted his heart the first time Petey called him “pretty kitty”. As the pair leave a bloody trail through the city on their search, will the fates give them a second chance at finding a forever in each other? 

This is the first book in a new mpreg mafia series. Get ready for a world ruled by the Don’s iron fist, unique interrogation tactics, and a family that stands together, no matter what. At its heart, you’ll still find all the fluffy mpreg feels and crazy antics you’d look for from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown. This is a Team A.L.P.H.A. and Alphabits spin-off series.

Warning: You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and more violence than you’re used to from us.

©2019 Hawke & Crown LLC (P)2019 Hawke & Crown LLC

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kp
  • 01-18-20

Enjoyed!

Enjoyable first book in the new series by Susi Hawke!! There is action, intrigue and mystery in between hot scenes! Add in cute babies and I'm sold.
Kirt Graves does a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life! I'm looking forward to the next one in this series.

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I love the new, "rougher" writing style!

I have been wanting to hear River's story, and this is it! This is the first book to the second spin-off series from Team Alpha, and I can't wait for more.

This is not your typical fated mates story, which is part of the reason why I really enjoyed it. River caught a whiff of Vasily, part of the Russian mob and his brother's new in-laws, and ran. He doesn't want a mate; he doesn't even seem to want to be an Omega. But, he sure does love little Petey, the young boy they saved and found out was Vasily's son; enough to let him get away with calling him "pretty kitty."

Vasily doesn't know about having a mate until an unexpected meeting when River is working for STAUP, and Vasily is at the party with Petey. River runs away, but Vasily will be patient for a while. When Petey is taken, River shows up to help with the search. That's when things get fun.

Vasily and River make an incredible team, and as neither are necessarily "the good guys," they use whatever means necessary to get the information they need to find Petey. Their interrogation methods are unique, but they flow so smoothy that it seems that they have been working together for years, not a day or so. I personally enjoyed the questioning of the "Butcher." I don't know exactly what that says about me. LOL.

After taking the crime world apart like a tornado, the Don and the family have to get involved to avoid a full-blown war. River is in a bit of a situation by this point, but he's still feisty as ever. But, everything works out in the end, and at least for now, River and his new family have their happily ever after.

I really enjoyed Kirt Graves' narration. I recently listened to a fluke, where I had a hard time getting into his voicing. But, he portrays a wonderful Russian accent and kept the story going at just the right pace. His character differentiation was perfect, even if characters from the other series didn't sound exactly the same. His performance was spot on!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A united front

When a little boy who stole his heart goes missing, River has no choice but to stop running.
Vasily wants his mate, but he wants to let him be his own person as well.
This spinoff from the Alphabits series was a great introduction to the Novak family.
We get to see these men at their best and see them not hold back.

River and Vasily in action was entertaining. The lengths they go to for their family is heartwarming.
I loved how understanding of River, Vasily was and how he did not stifle him.
I'm eager for the rest of the family to get their stories told.

The narration was engaging and the characters were voiced well with discernible characteristics and clear pronouncements.

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Good Story

I enjoyed the first part of the story very much. The chase and action scenes and passion between River and Vasily were captivating. I didn't realize this was a spin off, but I wasn't lost, I just knew that some of the characters had a story I can find in another book. I would have enjoyed the second part of this book if not for all the stereotypes and cliché related to Bratva and such. Narrator did a good job, I loved his voice for River and Petey.

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Great Start to a New Series

What do we get when we have a member of a vigilante group and a member of a mob family realize they are true mates? A Team A.L.P.H.A. and Alphabits spin-off series that is entertaining, sometimes sweet, yet filled with a few scenes that make you happy you are on the right side of the law!
We are introduced to both River and Vasily in previous books (Alphabits Series) as River is Leaf's brother and Vasily is Cyrus's brother. We even get a look at Petey, Vasily's son, in a previous Alphabits book. When Petey is taken and Vasily and River come together to work to find him, giving them a second chance at fate!
The characters are fun and snarky, yet lovable and Petey is so adorable! We are also given a bigger look into the Novak family, and are given a chance to know more about the brothers (that will hopefully be in later books!)!
The narration by Kirk Graves is amazing. The accents that he is able to perform give the story something extra. He does such an amazing job at conveying every emotion with just his voice, bringing these characters to life! I can't wait for more in this series!

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Great start to a new series!

I’d been contemplating this on Kindle and was glad to see it come to Audible! Having not read either the Team Alpha or Alphabits series, I didn’t really have too hard of a time figuring out who was who. The people that popped up in the story were explained well-enough that I wasn’t lost (and now want to go back and read previous stories).

It revolves around River (a STAHP operative) and Vasily (River’s brother-in-law’s brother and member of the Novak mob family) being fated mates. Although it starts out with River hightailing it away from his mate, they quickly team up to take down another crime family that has kidnapped Vasily’s young son. I was surprised at how much storyline was encompassed in this whole audiobook considering the shorter length. It could have quite easily been over after the search for Vasily’s son, but the story continued through so much of their relationship that the conflict ended up seeming like a small blip in the grand scheme of things.

And we can’t forget Kirt Graves’ wonderful narration! The accents were on point with all the different characters represented (Vasily is Russian, for example) and the pacing was perfect. I hope the rest of the series will be voiced by him as well!

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Amazing

Loved this story. The Novaks are amazing Loved the storyline and characters. You get action filled adventure with hot alpha romance and the narrator did a amazing job bring the characters to life. I am so excited. This is the first book in this series and I can’t wait to listen to book two.

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Great start to a new series

I couldn't wait for River's story as I loved him from the first time we met him. I also loved Vasily as he was pretty bada&&. This is a spin-off from the Team A.L.P.H.A and Alphabits and even thought they are introduced previously and we find out about Petey, Vasily's son, I think this can be read as a stand-a-lone. But I would recommend reading the other series as they are really good. Anyway, River knows that Vasily is his fated mate but he doesn't want one. He doesn't want to be like all the other Omega's he knows, tied down & pregnant letting their Alpha's rule them. What he really doesn't understand is, the Omega's have all the power & their Alpha's would do anything for them. River has been keeping as far away from Vasily as he possibly can so that Vasily doesn't find out about the mating status. They do run into each other by chance & Vasily scents him & knows immediately but River runs. Vasily is having a hard time with his "rut" and while he was trying to take care of that on his own, his son is taken from their home. River loves that little boy & immediately comes to help get him back. Along the way, River realizes that being mated to his Alpha is not a bad thing. They make a great couple, though they do not take any prisoners and will do anything needed to find Petey, & I loved them. I can't wait for more in this series.

Audio ARC provided by LesCourt Services in exchange for an honest review.

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River and Vasily

This is a wonderful start to a new series. It continues on after the Alphabits series. This a River and Vasily's story and when Petey goes missing it's River and Vasily that rescue him. I love how Petey gets his "pretty kitty". River isn't your typical omega and he can't avoid fate forever, but in the end he and Vasily do work well together. I recommend this book and can't wait for more.
Narrator Kirt Graves does another fabulous job.

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  • Love222
  • NJ, United States
  • 01-07-20

So not disappointed

I'm always a little leery going into a spin off series and was especially so with this one because Cy's family has intrigued me from the start. This was not disappointing and better than I had even hoped for. A perfect commute listen, light, fun and a little bit out there.

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  • Gwen
  • 01-16-20

The Novak family

So the Novak family of strong bears got their own series. So cool! River has been running away from his mate. He is skilled and trained, a different omega. He doesn’t need salvation but one hunky bear from a Russian family might just be his better half. I really enjoyed the book. I loved that it includes kids and taking care of them just like Alphabits. The narration was awesome.

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  • Dee Slate
  • 01-16-20

(Not) soft kitty!

Wow! This is definitely going to be a book I will to several times - has all my favourite things - snark, heat, action, more snark and humour.
River is an awesome character - he's as bada** as they come and even when he's mated he didn't lose his edge.
Vassily was just as good and I thought they made a good pair; Vassily as the 'saner' of the 2.
Not having read or listened to the Alphabits series, there are references to past characters, but it's easy to follow this story, so it's definitely great as a standalone.

Kirt Graves was brilliant! All the characters were distinct and fun to listen to - River at this snarkiest; Vassily when in protector mode; Piotr at any time and all the other people. I sincerely hope that the next book will be in audio and perfomed by Mr. Graves. Totally awesome perfomance!

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  • Rebekah
  • 01-16-20

Really enjoyed

I really enjoyed listening to River getting his mate even if it wasn’t plain sailing as they had to deal with a kidnapping.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Trio
  • 01-15-20

YAY River Finds His Mate! Enjoying Kirt Graves

I've enjoyed each and every one of these stories... the originals and the spin-offs, and I hope they just keep coming and coming. Creative stories and interesting characters, and watching Susi Hawke and Crista Crown continue to dream up thee pairings, well it never gets old to me. Just plain fun.

This is the second one in the A.L.P.H.A./Alphabits universe narrated by Kirt Graves and I think he's doing a marvelous job. His range of Russian-y accents is impressive and he brings out the humor, as well as the seriousness, and keeps it all rolling along smoothly.

You might be able to read these as standalones, but I'd recommend doing the series in order.

an audiobook copy of Family Ties was provided to me for the purpose of my honest review

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 01-15-20

Great start to a new series

I’m not a huge mafia fan and some books go too far but this is not one of those books. In the last Alphabits book, Petey was rescued by River and his group. The little boy fell in love with River’s kitty shape shifter and a bond was formed. Later it was determined that Vasily Novak was Petey’s biological father. Petey was placed in Vasily’s care and everyone moved on.

Well, everyone except River. He’d scented Vasily and realized the mafia Don was his true mate. He’s spent months on the run, so to speak, taking plenty of jobs that keep him out of town and away from Vasily. In a moment of weakness, River returns to town to see his brother and this time Vasily scents him as well. From that moment on, the men are fated.

One problem – River values his independence. He’s worked hard to earn a place on the team and doesn’t want his omega status to hold him back. He’s watched all the omegas he knows meet their mates and become fathers. River has no interest in settling down, nesting, and bearing children. Vasily wants River to be happy and so is willing to have a discussion about what their relationship will be. Then Petey gets kidnapped and all bets are off.

I liked that Vasily respected River’s value as more than just his omega. The men were able to have an open and honest discussion. Then things went sideways and everything changed. I don’t want to give away too much, but part of me was surprised the twist the story took and part of me saw it coming. I loved the ending, though, so everything worked out.

Kirt Graves narrates this series and I adore him. He’s consistent with Vasily’s accent and does a great job with little Petey. This is the beginning of a new series and I’m excited to see where it goes next.

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  • kindleaddict
  • 01-12-20

Bloodthirsty fun.

This would be a light, fluffy, shifter mpreg without the added Brutality and Gore associated with two Mob families having a familial disagreement (by disagreement read kidnap). We have some of the Alphabits making an appearance, always fun. There is murder and some mayhem, all carried out with snarky humour.
River is scared that Vasily will want to control him, it gets very sexy while Vasily persuades him that's is not his agenda. This couple get an extremely satisfying HEA.
Kirti Graves does another great job of being all the characters in the book and just giving it that little something extra.

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  • alias11
  • 01-12-20

Absolutely loved it!

I totally loved this start to a new series, and especially River! He is a one-man arsenal of independence, snark, and skill. I would certainly want him on my side. Although he knows Vasily is his fated mate, and there is certainly attraction, River resists because he doesn't want to be the stereotypical omega -- barefoot in the kitchen. I loved how Vasily worked to win River over and earn his trust and respect, to show they could be a good team together. I am eager for more in this series. Just a warning, though, if you have read or listened to either the Team A.L.P.H.A or Alphabits series, -- this story is a bit grittier, with more violence and blood. A little more graphic, but still with plenty of snark, humor, and steamy times between the MCs. The narration was very good. I loved the accents.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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  • Starwarslover
  • 01-12-20

loved this

i loved this so much.. the narrator hit these characters and who they are on the head for me.. it was sexy and mmm some spots were sooo soo hott. lol the story is as always amazing..and i loved it

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  • Pixiebell
  • 01-09-20

Love this new dark side of Susi and Crista

I really enjoyed this first book in The Family Novak series written by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown.
I’m not a lover of ‘cute and fluffy’ stories, not that there is anything wrong with cute and fluffy, just my preference, so some of Susi Hawke’s previews books have not been my cup of tea, but I loved this darker side of her and her co writer Crista Crowne.
I will definitely be looking forward to the rest of the series.
I also thought that using Kirt Graves for the narration added to the darkness and his vocal range, accents and inflection were excellent.

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  • Celpompom
  • 01-08-20

Great start to the series

I loved this story when I read it and the audio really did it justice.

it could have been hit and miss to voice Vasily and River, but Kirt Graves brought them to life beautifully.

I really love these two very strong, very beautiful men. Not so different, with the same values. The trust and love that builds between them was amazing and I really enjoyed their book.

Can't wait for the next books