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Pichla | Agla

Note: It's 2017 and I still have two months of reviews to go from 2016. I am hoping I should be able to finish it soon but we have to wait and see how far into 2017 this will go into. :)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here
For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: Shape-shifting Leopards, Mobsters and Love - A weird combination right? Well, it's worth reading on those lazy days or to bring you out of any kind of dull mood.

Leopard's Fury is the ninth novel in the series Leopard Novels by Christine Feehan published in November of 2016. The plot revolves around the couple Alonzo Massi / Fyodor Amurov & Evangeline Tregre.



I have read all the other series by Christine but this was one series that I had started with the first book The Awakening but never could move forward. For some reason it did not capture me. However the cover of this book somehow caught my attention and I had to simply read it. And I am very close to change my opinion on this series as well.

The entire Leopard Novels focus on shape-shifting leopards. Each book primarily covers one couple that are destined to be mated in this lifetime like how they have been so many times in past lifetimes. And surrounding this couple the plot expands on this species of leopard shape-shifters, their advantages as being so, their perils and how their lives move along in this 21st century. All of the plots are either set in Borneo Rain Forest - coast of South East Asia - or eventually lead there. These leopards come for very hard and cruel lairs, but they come out on their own, find their mate (contrary to what generations of the men in their lairs have been doing), infiltrate the mobs and acquire the territories taking over them - some being ruled with an iron fist and some being ruled with a gentle hand.

Evangeline Tregre owns a small bakery San Antonio, Texas. Robert Lenoux - one of the evil male leopard shape-shifter - is now on her tail forcing her to leave her bakery and come back home in New Orleans to serve her duty to the lair. Evangeline had left that life not because she wasn’t a shape-shifter - atleast from the eyes of the lair which she hid expertly - but because she hated the life of the criminals that they were - especially towards women. On one such day when Robert tries physically threaten her to take back to the bayou, Alonzo Massi - one of her regular customers - saves her from Robert. Evangeline realizes that Alonzo is also a shape-shifter leopard and an Italian. As much as she was grateful for Alonzo to save her, her female (her shape-shifting other self) - Bebe - and she reacted extremely towards him, both physically and sensually.

Who was Alonzo? He was named to be working for the crime boss Antonio Arnotto who was murdered. And it was rumored that Alonzo perhaps would rise out of the ranks and become the new crime boss. Evangeline had left the criminal life of her lair and come all the way here only to be attracted to another criminal. What is she going to do with herself?  Alonzo himself is unhappy at how his body was reacting to Evangeline. The past from the darkest places in Russia where he grew up, hadn't left him when he moved to the States. His leopard - an Amur leopard - was the most ferocious of all the shape-shifter leopards that made him a member of the bratya. And he had a hard time controlling his leopard anywhere else except in Evangeline's bakery. For some reason she soothed not only him but his leopard as well. Evangeline hadn't realized that she was a leopard whisperer - one who calmed and soothed the leopards in the shape-shifters - until she met Alonzo and Timur.

But that was not all that would cause trouble for Evangeline and Alonzo. The grand-daughter of Antonio - Sienna - was married to Elijah Lospostos, who was also another crime boss, and above all a shape-shifter leopard. Business dealings between Alonzo, Elijah, Patrizio Amodeo - another crime boss and Emilio Bassini - another crime boss could cause an unforeseen threat for Evangeline. But she hadn't foreseen was one of her cousins to be involved with this quartet - Joshua Tregre. Although he hadnt seen her will he recognize her? Added to that Patrizio's unwanted attention towards her caused Alonzo's leopard to rise. And the insistence of Emilio to use her bakery as neutral ground for their meeting - why did he want it? In the mix is Alozno's past involving his cruelest uncle Lazar Amurov and Evangeline's past involving her father and a mysterious bad leopard who had been hunting her since she was a baby.

How will Evangeline and Alonzo / Fyodor fare out in the end? Will she accept his dominance? Will he love her enough to accept her independence? Which of the crime bosses is retaliating against them? Will their past catch up to them eventually? The plot continues exploring answers for these questions and many more, giving the reader glimpses of past, present and many sub-plots - all tying neatly with the main plot.

Christine Feehan has written this book very well, I must say. I had my own reservations to read this series again after failing to like the first book - The Awakening - that I read a while ago. Perhaps that book had more erotic and very less of a plot to enjoy. This one however has a lot of meat to the plot with a mix of eroticism in it - keeping in synch with her plots from other series. One thing though she has a lot of repetitive text so I usually skim those. I wish she can reduce that. Also some of the erotic stuff is too dominating and too masochist that kept cringing me a bit. Apart from that the plot was pretty interesting, with a few holes left - obviously leaving door open for future books.

I can say now that I will be adding this series as well to my collection. Will you be doing so? ;)

Spoiler Alerts:
1) Pairs from previous books that are mentioned here are:
a. Jake Bannaconni surfaces in the plot as well. His story is told the third book in the series - Burning Wild.
b. Mention of Saria Boudreaux aka Donovan and Drake Donovan is seen in the plot. According to the series, their story is told in the fifth book in the series - Savage Nature. History between Saria and Robert is eluded to in the plot that perhaps might have been covered in the previous books.
c. Remy Boudreaux & Bijou Breaux - related to Saria Donovan - are shown attending Alonzo and Evangeline's wedding. Their story is told in the sixth book Leopard's Prey.
d. Eli Perez and Catarina Benoit are mentioned. Their story is told in the seventh book Cat's Lair.
e. Elijah Lospostos as mentioned is married to Sienna Arnotto. Their story is told in the eighth book Wild Cat.
2) Alonzo's brother Timur Amurov and his cousins Gorya Amurov, Mitya Amurov and Sevastyan Amurov formed the small lair of Alonzo that he ruled well. He came from a dangerous lair called the Amurovs which was ruled cruelly by his father Patva Amurov and his uncles Lazar Amurov and Rolan Amurov.
3) Joshua Tregre's mother had run away from the bayou in New Orleans to the Broneo Rain Forest when he was a toddler; when her grandfather Buford Tregre had murdered her Uncle Renard - Joshua's father.
4) Mitya Amurov is given his own territory - Patrizio Amodeo's territory - since he was the most hurt in the conspiracy caused by Amodeo. I am guessing there will be a future story involving Mitya too.
5) Other Leopard introduced - Jeremiah Wheating - might have a story of his own in a future book, perhaps.
6) Grammatical / Character / Historical / Geographical Errors:
a. Sienna Arnotto's first name is mis-spelled as "Siena" in this plot while the actual book of her story has it as "Sienna".

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