( I thought I should leave a positive review too, rather than just coming back after 3 months to leave a negative one :) ) Also, minor spoilers ahead.
Holy Hell. I loved Leopard’s Fury. It is probably my favourite Leopard book yet. Which was difficult to become considering I also LOVED the previous two. They have just been getting better and better IMHO.
Alonzo was introduced in the previous book as a secondary character. He is the first Russian Amur Leopard, and his introduction brought along a whole new slew of yummy male secondary characters who will eventually become leads in their one books. Apparently Amur Leopards are even more violent and aggressive than their South American counterparts, although maybe that is just the environment these men were raised in. I don’t think they are as moody though…
A ruthless criminal unleashes his most feral desires in the new Leopard novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild Cat.
Passion melts the will of an ice-cold criminal when he meets the one woman who can tame the beast inside him…
With her own bakery in San Antonio, Evangeline Tregre made a new life far from the brutal lair of shifters she was born into. Though she is all too aware of her leopard-shifter blood, she never felt the sensation of a wild animal stirring inside her. Not until Alonzo Massi walked into her bakery. The powerful shifter is as irresistible as he is terrifying, but his icy demeanor tells her to keep her distance.
Alonzo knows better than to let himself get involved with someone like Evangeline. She doesn’t deserve the type of danger that follows him, or the threat of his Amur leopard. But even with his lean muscle and iron will, Alonzo isn’t strong enough to stay away from the one woman who can make him feel at peace. And when their secret lives draw a mortal threat, Alonzo unleashes the feral passion he keeps pent up inside himself.
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Evangeline and Alonzo are perfect together. I love them so much. I like the sacrifices Alonzo made to keep Evangeline’s life steady and true to what she was seeking before they met. Most of the leopards sweep their mate off their feet but expect them to leave their old lives and fully assimilate into the male’s. It was a refreshing change to see Alonzo willingly adjusting his life to Evangeline’s whenever he could.
I also loved that so much of the story is told from Alonzo’s point of view! This was lacking in other recent Leopard series novels and is an important part of the story. It let me feel as if I truly was getting to know the couple to see both points of view. I loved learning the backstories behind the Russian leopards and hope that their experiences and relationships with each other will be brought out further in future books.
One of the aspects I love most about these types of books is the sense of family; the development of relationships between a main character and the background characters is just as important to me as the relationship between the hero and heroine. Leopard’s Fury was a great introduction but I would have liked to see Mitya, Timur and Gorya interact more with Evangeline as well to this purpose.
My one grievance with this particular book is the lack of space dedicated to Joshua Tegre! Joshua is Evangeline’s first cousin, and the head of her family, the patriarch if you will.
And even though they are not close, this is a Big Deal in Leopard culture. Joshua professes to care for her and seeks to protect her in several key points of the plot, but they never actually speak to each other and he sort of fades off at some point in the story, leaving Elijah to take up the defence instead. This is the only thing that I would have changed in the story so I will have to hope the author did it with purpose, leading into the next novel, but looking back, this is a point of contention that really stuck with me.
I also would have loved to see more scenes of Evangeline interacting with Alonzo’s leopard. There was a particularly key one that I won’t ruin for you, but it just wasn’t enough to satiate my appetite!
Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this book and the rest of the series, particularly the last 5 or so novels. Cannot wait to read the next book from the great Christine Feehan!
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