Review: Leopard's Rage by Christine Feehan and Excerpt
When it comes to alpha shifter romance, Ms. Feehan is a must read. In the latest installment in the Leopard People series, Sevastyan is up front and center. He has been a secondary character in several of the book in this series. To finally read about him and his past, it is a pleasure!
As with the other Amurov leopards, Sevastyan experienced a terrible and traumatic childhood. His father and uncles are complete a-holes. They are sadistic MOFO who need to be taken out for good. It is a good thing that is one of Sevastyan's goals. The confrontation comes to a head just as he finds his mate, Flambe.
I am a bit surprised by the kink from Ms. Feehan. Although, I've been noticing this trend in her more recent books in a couple of her series. Since I've lived the lifestyle, I am always a bit more critical of authors writing kink. Ms. Feehan does a lovely job of incorporating kink into this romance. She has done her research and the kink is what I classify as GlitterKink because of the high end exclusive BDSM club Sevastyan patrons. It is a lovely dream and how Ms. Feehan brings Flambe into the lifestyle through her work is impressive. It flows quite nicely.
The kink is more D/s and lovingly done. Sevastyan and Flambe's D/s relationship is easier to navigate than their shifter one. For Flambe, shifting into her leopard is fraught with emotional and psychological setbacks. Quite a bit of her dilemma ties to the male leopards seemingly very dysfunctional and abusive relationship with their females. When Flambe learns her father whom she loved and admired may not be quite a good guy as she remembered, it causes a disconnect between her and ability to want to shift.
The conflicts in this story are nicely balanced between the relationship and external forces trying to tear the two lovers apart. The suspense element with fighting in both leopard and human form is action packed. I especially enjoy the "thoughts" of the leopard self when they take down their enemies. Animal disgust is quite amusing and so appropriate.
This is another winner in this series. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy a bit of spice to their romance, dominated by an alpha male and a female who may or may not submit.
Nonexclusive Excerpt #1 (Chapter 1, page 6-8)
Sevastyan was unprepared for Shturm’s furious reaction. The leopard leapt at him, raking and clawing for freedom as if he would go hunting right then and find Flambé’s stalker. Sevastyan remained absolutely expressionless but he couldn’t stop himself from stepping in to her and circling her the way his leopard would, inhaling as he did so. The moment he did, his leopard went crazy. He felt a little insane himself. Her stalker was leopard. He wasn’t Amurov. He wasn’t from Russia, or from one of the lairs Sevastyan was familiar with, but none of that mattered, he was leopard and he was stalking Flambé for a reason.
“He struck you. Hit you. Did he do anything else to you?” Sevastyan forced himself to take a step back when he wanted—no—needed—to yank her closer, spin her around and see for himself.
Flambé frowned and touched the swelling on the side of her head, her hand trembling. She looked confused. “The moment he tried to throw me against the car, I fought him. He punched me and I went down to the pavement and hit my head very hard.”
Sevastyan wanted to pull her close to him, even on the pretense of just steadying her, but the attack had shaken her. Shturm was acting crazy, one minute rolling over and the next struggling to get out. He had to be careful with her.
“He straddled me, grabbing me by my hair, and I kneed him hard, managed to get to my feet and ran for your property. I’d been here a few times with my father so I knew approximately where the trees were the thickest. He’d planted them when I was really young.”
Sevastyan swore to himself. “Is this man someone you know? Someone you were promised to by your father?”
She tilted her head and studied his face for long moment before answering him. “No. He didn’t know my father. Clearly, you’re aware of what we are or you wouldn’t have been so set on hiring our company.”
“Before we go any further, if I ask you inside, will you be uncomfortable alone with me? There is no one else here. I didn’t know how much you knew about shifters and I wanted a chance to tell you what I needed from you when it came to landscaping without anyone around, but I don’t want you to be in the least uncomfortable. We can discuss this and then business on the outside patio if that is easier for you, but you need to sit down.”
Flambé hesitated, faint color stealing up her neck into her face, surprising him. Sevastyan studied her averted face as she once again peered over her shoulder before looking back at him. He had the feeling this time her hesitation wasn’t because she feared whoever it was that had struck her. She was avoiding looking at him.
“I’m not afraid of you. Your family has a certain reputation and there is honor and integrity involved.”
There was the smallest hint of untruth in her voice. She wasn’t afraid exactly, more like intimidated and he was okay with that. Sevastyan had been intimidating people nearly his entire life.
“And criminal activity,” he prompted.
For the first time a faint smile lit her face, doing extraordinary things to her eyes. “That too.”
He stepped back and held open the door. “Come in then. I’ve had a lot of work done to the interior, but it’s by no means finished.” He stayed where he was, forcing her to move past him. He took up a lot of space and that meant her smaller body would have to slide next to his, touching his briefly. He wanted to see what reaction his leopard would have. He already knew what reaction he had to her.