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 Blood by Christine Feehan
Series: Leopard People #10
Also in this series:Leopard's Fury
Also by this author: Shadow Rider, Leopard's Fury, Shadow Reaper
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Format: ARC, E-book
Length: 13 hours, 10 minutes
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ Audible
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan cuts straight to the heart of a man who stalks the shadows in an intoxicating Leopard novel.
Though born into a leopard’s lair in the bayou, Joshua Tregre’s fighting skills were honed in the rainforests of Borneo. Sleek and deadly, he’s the perfect man to take over a crime syndicate back home in Louisiana’s lush swamplands. His razor sharp instincts give him an edge in the violent underworld he knows so well, but even the watchful leopard inside him isn’t prepared for the danger that comes from the girl next door…
She is a woman who can create beauty out of thin air—and out of the ruins of her own life. The games that dangerous men play have taken their toll on her, but she is bent, not broken. And it’s her fierce spirit that’s like a lure to Joshua, a temptation he can’t resist—even if it means bringing his true nature into the light…
Leopard’s Blood is a sizzling story packed with sensuality! Sonia Lopez was on the run after a failed attempt on her life and had made her way to a small Louisiana town where she lived alone. She had purchased a piece of property that backed up to a swamp and it was perfect for her Leopard counterpart to run free in. Sonia had been ignorant to the fact that she was a leopard shifter until her life was in danger. That danger had forced her leopard to shift in order to save their lives. Although Sonia had been ignorant to her shifter side, she was quickly learning each day. At the start of Leopard’s Blood Sonia was learning firsthand what it meant for her Leopard to be in season.
Sonia thought she knew what to expect with her leopard being in season and had a place prepared out in the swamp where she could go and be alone while her leopard was in her heat. She thought that she would be okay being away from the local residents and there were no other leopards in the area so she felt free to let her leopard, Gatita, roam in order to try and burn off the sexual tension that had been driving them both crazy. Imagine Sonia’s shock when a male leopard answered the mating calls of Gatita. Sonia tried to get Gatita to listen to her requests to get away from the other leopard but Gatita accepted that leopard as her mate and that was that.
Not only was there was a leopard shifter close by, there was in fact several leopard shifters. Joshua Tregre and his crew had just moved into the territory previously ruled by mob boss Rafe Cordeau and his leopard, Shadow, knew the mating call that he heard was his true mate and boy did he answer. If you like a buildup between characters before they get between the sheets then be warned, there is none of that in Leopard’s Blood. The story starts out with mating between the leopards and then switches to mating between the characters because not only was Gatita in season but Sonia was as well. It was sex, sex, and more sex.
Sonia was not interested in a relationship so she accepted the idea that she was going to use this man for the duration of time she was burning with need and then she would walk away. Sonia had learned a hard lesson that proved to her that she could not trust anyone. Joshua knew Sonia was his mate and her leopard already accepted his leopard, there was no way that he was going to let her go. I loved that as the story went on I found out more about Joshua’s protectiveness from the moment he met Sonia and it was really sweet. From the start, it was clear to Joshua that Sonia was hiding something and he was determined to figure out what because she was his mate and he had to protect her.
Sonia’s life up until her attempted assassination was perfect. After the attempt on her life she realized that she had been naive and it led her to doubt herself and the intentions of others. Now she lived in fear that the men she was hiding from would find out that she survived and they would come for her. She had no doubt that they would kill anyone that Sonia cared about. For this reason and the fact that she trusted no one, Sonia tried to keep everyone at arm’s length, preferring to keep to herself.
No matter how hard Joshua tried Sonia refused to tell him the truth about who she was hiding from and her attempt at “protecting” him actually was the catalyst that led to the discovery that she was alive. If she had been truthful with Joshua he would not have made the choices that he had that put the ones she feared on her tail. This is where the action really picked up in this story and I love it! Sonia and Joshua had to try and be one step ahead of the trouble that was coming but that was not an easy matter because Joshua was not fully prepared due to his lack of information. No matter how prepared they tried to be there was no stopping the family that was bent on revenge. It would take every type of cunning Joshua and Sonia had in order to escape with their lives.
Leopard’s Blood is mixture between hot sex, Sonia’s past coming back to haunt her, and Joshua’s realization that he has finally found his mate. There is a solid story between Joshua and Sonia but there is also so much sex. Leopard sex, sex toys, aggressive sex, mating sex, seriously a lot of sex. I can’t say that it took away from the story but it did not endear me to the characters either. I just think that for me there was just way too much of the non-stop sex. Once the action started though the pace picked up and the story started to get really interesting. There were definitely moments where I was kept in suspense and others where I was completely horrified for the characters.
Joshua’s character is very sexual so a lot of his emotional expressions are physical. He is also the most alpha male character I have ever read. I liked that his character had feelings and grew to express those feelings beyond just the physical. Although he is a very dominant character he also had a big heart for Sonia and he did not demand that she listen to his every whim. Sonia had a mind of her own and she was not afraid to stand up for herself against this alpha male character. Their relationship started out on lust but it slowly developed into a swoony love connection and that was nice. Overall, I think that Leopard’s Blood is a solid installment in the Leopard’s People series!
*Thank you to Netgalley & Berkley Publishing Group for this eARC of Leopard’s Blood*
Excerpt from Leopard’s Blood by Christine Feehan
Nights in the swamp were often sultry. Heat and moisture drifted through the cypress groves and clung to the long shawls of lacy Spanish moss hanging from crooked branches. The long-fringed drapes swayed in the slight breeze adding a macabre feel to the already eerie night. Frogs chorused loudly, hundreds of them, calling out joyously while raccoons slipped noiselessly down to the duckweed-filled water to wash their paws. Two bull alligators challenged for territory, their bellows reverberating through the air.
Sonia Lopez followed the narrow game trail, the one she’d widened over the last few weeks that led deeper into the swamp. Insects droned all around her, a loud cacophony of sound. None stopped when she stepped lightly along the ground, a tribute to the fact that she’d spent every night for the last two months learning every inch of the piece of swamp that belonged to her. She owned forty acres and wanted to become acquainted with all of it. For this. She’d known it was coming, and she was very, very glad she’d prepared.
“We’re almost there,” she whispered softly. “Hold on. I know it’s hard.”
Something moved beneath her skin, a wave that pushed outward and then slid away, leaving behind a horrible itch that made her want to scratch until she bled. Her joints ached. She burned in her most feminine core, a savage, brutal need driving her deeper and deeper into the swamp. She was on fire. Every part of her, her body so sensitive, clothing hurt. Every movement brushed streaks of fire from her breasts to her sex. She ached. She needed. The only safe place she had was the swamp.
The grunt of a wild boar had her quickening her step. She had to get to the very heart of the swamp where she’d constructed a small blind, just big enough so she could have a thin mattress, strip, leave her clothing in relative safety and shift. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. The words thundered in her ears accompanied by the drumming of her heart.
Sonia had allowed her leopard to run free when there was opportunity, ever since that first, shocking, terrifying appearance when the cat had saved her life. It had never been like this. This . . . this . . . necessity. She breathed deep as her joints began to pop. Her knuckles were on fire, the ache becoming a terrible pain that wouldn’t let up. “Wait. Just try for me, Gatita. Just try to hang on. We’re close.”
She didn’t dare let her cat loose anywhere near civilization. Not now. Not ever, but now was the most important. Gatita was definitely in heat. That meant Sonia was in heat and couldn’t be any place a man might be. She didn’t trust herself. She had had no idea the heat would be so intense, such a terrible force driving her beyond all endurance.
Her leopard was in need, and if the way her body was burning was any indication, her cat was going up in flames. She tried running, but stumbled when her toes began to curl down. The blind was just ahead and she threw herself forward those last few feet, tugging her shirt over her head and pulling off her shoes. Her jeans were next. She was usually good about folding clothes and being neat, but there was no time. Her female was in trouble, and Sonia was driven to help her.
Nothing had prepared her for the brutal hunger, the need filling her mind and body until she wanted to scream. Nothing helped. She’d tried. Toys. Fingers. She’d given up, sobbing, standing under the cold of the shower until she realized that wouldn’t help. Nothing would help. And it was far worse for Gatita.