Leopard’s Run (Leopard People #10)

Leopard Run

He keeps his emotions on a tight leash, but she can see the desire burning in his eyes…

Timur Amurov has one purpose in life: protect his family at all costs. With lethal skills honed from a violent upbringing, Timur is a leopard shifter who sees any newcomers as possible threats–and the petite blond barista who his sister-in-law, Evangeline, has hired to work in her bakery is definitely hiding something. While Timur still needs to determine if Ashe is an enemy, he does know that she is the only woman whose presence has ever truly calmed the beast roaring inside of him.

Ashe Bronte is well aware she has a type: sexy, gorgeous and dangerous as hell. Despite the fact that Timur is all those things and more, Ashe is in San Antonio for reasons that do not involve getting wild with a ruthless leopard–and she cannot afford to make any mistakes. But Timur has ignited something deep within her, and even though she knows she should keep her distance, every move he makes has her craving a taste…

—                         —                         —

Leopard’s Run starts of super sexy and heated. There is plenty of tension between Ashe and Timur in the beginning. Especially during this interrogation scene between the two of them.

Ashe pressed her fingers to her eyes, covering them for a moment. When she took her hand away, the female leopard was gone. “I don’t understand what’s happening and you clearly do. Would you mind if we moved this inquisition to the living room?”

“Yes. You stay right where you are.”

The living room was all glass. Anyone could see in if those drapes were open. He had the feeling she planned to do just that. In the bedroom, she was trapped. She was also more vulnerable. Both of them knew it. He had the psychological advantage as long as she sat on the bed dressed in her skimpy, lacy pajamas and nothing else. That made him a dick as a man, but a very good bodyguard for his brother.

Feehan, Christine. Leopard’s Run (A Leopard Novel) (pp. 45-46). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This book wasn’t everything that I expected it to be. Leopard’s Run begins with adrenaline but that petered out for me. I think I was expecting there to be more mixing between the couples, which barely occurred. They are family and see each other every day, so that surprised me.  Fyodor/Alonzo didn’t seem to have any interest in getting to know his new Sister-in-law, even though she is good friends with this wife and Fyodor cares very much for his brother.

Ashe also was a bit of an enigma. She recovers and forgives a little too easily after the interrogation scene in chapter three, which has a particularly violent moment between her and Timur. She acts like this is normal in her universe but it isn’t. She was raised to be a survivalist, but has never been in a real fight and was raised in an isolated cabin in the mountains. Timur has definitely proven that he is faster/tougher/stronger than she is in a violent (albeit controlled) manner, but Ashe has no problem trusting and lusting after him immediately following the scene.

My favourite part of this book was at the very end, in the first chapter excerpt of the next Torpedo Ink saga, Vengeance Road. It will be released in January 2019 and I cannot wait for it.

Overall, this book was off-key for me. There were parts that didn’t see to add up exactly. There is a note from the author in the start of the book, where she explains she had a very difficult time writing this one. That is definitely a publishing mistake in my opinion. It should have been at the end of the book or excluded altogether. When I read it, I felt like the author didn’t have confidence in her book and it may have coloured the story for me before I had even had a chance to read it 😦

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xx

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Leopard’s Fury by Christine Feehan

( 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…

fury

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.

—                    —                    —

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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xx

 

Cat’s Lair – a review

I read Cat’s Lair, by Christine Feehan a couple of weeks ago and can’t believe that I didn’t write a review yet. I actually thought I had but when I was going through the blog, it wasn’t there. Maybe I had started a draft? I *could* go look, but that might require effort and I think it would just be easier to start over with a new post right here. So here is my review of Cat’s Lair.

This is the 7th installment in the Leopard People series by Christine Feehan. Christine writes four amazingly deep series, but I must confess, the Leopards have always been my least favourite. I still read them though, because Feehan used to release a book every three months from her series on rotation, and to go six months without a new book from my then-fave author because I didn’t like the Leopards just didn’t work. I had to read it anyway. And I’m glad that I stuck with it because she finally found her stride and the last three have been great.

Here is the teaser from the cover, courtesy of Goodreads…

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leopard’s Prey returns to the feral underworld of her astonishing Leopard novels in an arousing new romance of forbidden animal instincts…

Cat Benoit has finally escaped the past—and the man who was the source of her nightmares. She’s off the grid, underground but watchful, and creating a new life for herself in Texas, far from the torrid dangers of her native New Orleans. She’s safe. He’ll never find her this time. Cat has to believe that. It’s the only thing keeping her sane.

Yet she can’t escape the attention of Ridley Cromer, the instructor at the martial arts dojo where Cat takes lessons. She arouses the animal in Ridley—and something feral comes to life when their body heat rises. Cat is in no position to let her guard down with anyone, especially someone who could be endangered by her past. But Ridley has secrets of his own—secrets only Cat would understand. If she dares to trust him.

I loved Cat’s Lair. It’s in serious competition with #5 Savage Nature as the best in the series, but I can’t quite bring myself to declare a winner when I haven’t read Savage Nature in over a year.
cats lair    savage

There are a ton of things that I loved in this book, but I’ll limit myself to a few big points. Cat’s Lair takes a complete left-turn about 20% of the way through, and this was a plot twist I did not see coming. You can tell me I’m naive if you called it, that’s alright, but I always see these things way ahead and this one caught me by surprise! That was actually really exciting.

I also loved how it led to two very intense scenes between Ridley and Catriona, the ones that occur before they arrive at his ranch. Can’t say more than that without posting spoilers, but what happened between the characters rarely occurs in a CF book – to that serious of a degree at least – and to my recollection, has never occurred in the Leopard series before. Grr, I wish I could say more but I don’t want spoilers to scare readers off the rest of this post. Suffice it to say, I’m highly encouraging you to read this book.

One of the great things about Feehan’s series is that each book can really be read as a stand-alone, so if you have not read the entire series but this review has piqued your interest, go ahead and read it. There aren’t any over-arching plot twists in this series that would ruin previous books, and you will still be able to understand everything that happens. It’s actually the safest of her series in that regard.

The cover blurb doesn’t name him, but the terrible past Cat is running from is Rafe, a rogue leopard, who ‘acquires’ her shortly after her eleventh birthday. Rafe is definitely a bad guy and he isn’t going to pop up with a happily ever after five books down the line, but I still felt sympathy for him. More so for him than for Ridley to be honest. Even though his character has made the wrong choice at every fork, he isn’t wholly evil as Christine’s antagonists usually are. Throughout the story, I was sad and couldn’t help but feel that if he had had a better start in life, a role model like Drake or Ridley to teach him to control his leopard or if he could have opened up and been brave enough to accept the love Catriona offered him, both as a child and as an adult, he had the potential to become a good man. I wanted him to be better and my heart broke for Cat that she wasn’t enough. You could tell that Rafe did fight for her though. Maybe he didn’t end up winning against his lessor character traits, but you can’t say he didn’t care. There was one soft moment between them after he reined in his leopard, that tugged at my tender heart strings.

This book marks a huge step up in the author’s writing in my opinion; dramatic and compelling without being trite or unbelievable (apart from the whole shapeshifters living among us thing, but I’ll give her that one), complex characters, secondary characters who can stand on their own without cluttering the story, a plot-twist early on that I didn’t foresee and an antagonist I actually cheered for – at least so far as to champion his turnaround and hope he would get his life together. Christine also kicked up the heat in this book. There were some eyebrow-raising, kinda sorta dominant-submissiveness happening between Ridley and Cat. All the male heroes are Alphas with a capital A in her novels, but this one was the first that made me think “hey, that’s a bdsm relationship”, even though she doesn’t come out and say it. I like the evolution.

As fans of her website know, Feehan has joined a new writer’s group in the last couple of years and started churning out books. At last update, I think she was something crazy like three books ahead of her publisher’s schedule, so they announced they are moving a book up. The next Leopard installment will be at the end of  November 2015 instead of next year. The cover photo and blurb have already been released so I am throwing them in here. I hate the cover photo btw, but I am very excited to finally get Elijah’s book! We see him in a couple of previous books, including Cat’s Lair, and he has me more interested than other secondary characters at the mo’.

wild cat

Wild Cat

In the new Leopard novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cat’s Lair and Leopard’s Prey, passions explode like wildfire when a young woman’s feral instincts are ignited by a man who’s too dangerous not to desire…

A simple request for Siena Arnotto: deliver a gift to her grandfather’s friend. One look at Elijah Lospostos, hard-bodied and stripped to the waist, and Siena succumbs to a feline stirring she never felt before, and to Elijah’s reckless and pleasurable demands. But when that pulse-throbbing moment ends in the murder of an unexpected intruder, Elijah accuses the shaken and confused Siena of setting him up.

Then Siena discovers the truth of her Leopard heritage, of the secrets in her grandfather’s inner circle, and the sinister plot of revenge that has put her in jeopardy. When Siena’s grandfather is assassinated, she realizes the only man she can trust is Elijah. Now as her Leopard rises from within, Siena and Elijah share not only an animal instinct for survival—but a desire so raw and wild it may be the only thing that can save them.

xx

P.S. * * * * * to Cat’s Lair