This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Leopard's Fury by Christine Feehan
Series: Leopard People #9
Also by this author: Shadow Rider
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon
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.
When I started this book I was instantly in love with the female protagonist Evangeline. She is written as a strong, independent, and intelligent character who has relied only upon herself and her leopard since childhood. She is just starting her business but is satisfied that she is making it on her own. The male protagonist is introduced right away and his profession is easily deduced. So there is no grand reveal about what he does as a living. More clarification that anything.
The main plot in this story is that both Evangeline and Alonzo have experienced their own type of abuses and hardships. They have suffered and through that suffering developed methods of coping that make relationships with others difficult. Although Evangeline starts crushing on Alonzo from the start Alonzo remains cold as ice. There is great character development during the time it takes for both of them to be willing to explore what it means to be together. During this time, we learn more about their backgrounds, all the juicy secrets they are keeping and the lustful desires that they harbor for one another. I really like it when relationships are developed over time. It gives the story a more realistic feel to me.
So there a romantic oooh-la-la between Evangeline and Alonzo but there is also relationship building between their leopards as well. I loved the connection between Evangeline and Bebe, her leopard. You can really feel the love between them and Bebe is very confident and a bit cheeky. Alonzo’s leopard is a savage killer but he knows what he wants and it is Bebe. 😉 There is a great deal of sweetness to counter the savagery in this story and I just loved it.
Alright, you know that this is a novel by Christine Feehan so do I really need to explain that there are Sexy Times in this story? Well just in case you are not familiar with her work, yes, there are Sexy Times. Although this is a story that includes sexual relations it is mostly focused on what is happening between Evangeline and Alonzo.
What did I not like? Not a huge fan of controlling Alpha males and Alonzo is all that and more. Let me be clear, I am okay with Alpha males actually but not males who like to be the “alpha male” in sexual situations. In the bedroom his character is written to be very controlling to the point of telling her to fold her clothes properly and place them properly where he wants them. Granted he is a giving lover and relaxes a bit but for me it just grates on my nerves. I would have definitely have tossed the shirt and told him to just deal, sheesh. He gets better as the story goes on but it was some definite points off for me.
Absolutely wonderful read that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I like where this series has come from and where it is going. I am most assuredly looking forward to the next installment in this series! If you enjoy paranormal romance that revolves around shape-shifters, then you need to check out this book and this series. You will not be disappointed.
*Thank you to NetGalley & Berkley Publishing Group for this eARC of Leopard’s Fury*
Excerpt from Leopard’s Fury by Christine Feehan:
Alonzo didn’t smile. He rarely, if ever smiled. His gaze was restless, scanning the streets, the sidewalks and most of all, looking through the plate-glass windows of the Small Sweet Shoppe. She was there, just as she always was. Working. Beautiful. Breath-taking. He shouldn’t be there. He was the last man that should ever go into that bakery and put his gaze on that woman, but he couldn’t stop himself. Timur was right. She was his Achilles’ heel.
He sighed and put his hand to the door, shoving it open because he couldn’t stop himself. He was a disciplined man in every area of his life, he had to be, yet for eight months he’d come to the bakery at least three times a week. That was him being disciplined. He’d wanted to go every damn day. He’d stayed away over a month, nearly two. He could count the weeks, days, hours and minutes since he’d last seen her.
“Bad idea, boss,” Timur muttered. He was deadly serious and when he pushed past Alonzo to take a sweep of the small interior, his body in front of his brother’s, he scowled at the woman behind the counter—the one who eventually was going to be the death of his brother if Fyodor kept this madness up.
Alonzo paused inside the door, taking a moment to drink her in. Savor her. Just for that moment before she looked up. He found he was holding his breath. A part of him almost wished she had a man. That she wouldn’t look up, see him and smile that innocent, shy smile that told him she was interested in a monster. On the other hand, if she didn’t smile at him that way, he’d be crushed. Shattered. It had been so damned long since he’d laid eyes on her, and he couldn’t take it one more minute. More, if she was smiling that way for another man, he might commit murder and it would have nothing to do with his leopard.
Her name was Evangeline Bouvier. She was small and curvy with beautiful breasts that called to him. Her hair was a thick, dark silky mass that cascaded over her shoulders nearly to her waist. She wore it pulled back from her face in a thick intricate braid that always made him want to run his hand down it to the very end where it rested in the sweet curve of her ass. And she had a very nice ass. He spent far too much time thinking about it, just as he did every single part of her.
Evangeline glanced up, and instantly it was there. That smile she reserved solely for him. He’d seen countless customers come in over the last few months. She always smiled at them, but not like that. That smile was reserved for him alone and that told him she didn’t have a man. No one had come in and tried to steal her out from under him.
She had a fantasy mouth—one he’d dreamt of many times. He’d woken up every one of those times with his fist on his cock and the dream of her mouth tight around him. Her eyes were a true emerald, startling green, rich and warm and he wanted her looking up at him when he fucked her mouth. He always dreamt of her that way. If she had any idea of the dirty things he wanted to do to her, she’d order him out and lock the door behind him. Yeah, and if any other man ever had the same thoughts about her and he knew it, that man would be dead within the hour.
“Alonzo, I haven’t seen you in a while.”
Even her voice got to him. Low. Sexy. So damned sweet he wanted to take a bite out of her. He stepped up to the counter.
Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2016.