Finally I have completed my "366 Critiques By Amateur" series that I started in 2016. Original target was to complete it by end of the year 2016. However life happened and it got dragged into 2017. Closing of this series with a book by one of my favorite authors who doesn’t hesitate to mix eroticism with the dark side of this world and yet bring out hope and light to the readers in the end. Look out for this space in 2018 for more reviews of books that I read or movies / TV shows that I watch - if you are interested. :)
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 Blood is the tenth installment in the Leopard People Series by Christine Feehan published in October of 2017. The plot revolves around Joshua Tregre – new boss taking over the crime syndicate in New Orleans swamps – and Sonia Lopez – who is on the run from the most ruthless mobster in Russia.
The entire Leopard People Series focuses on humans who have ability of shape-shifting to leopards. Each plot covers one couple that are destined to be mated in this lifetime like how they have been so many lifetimes in the past. 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 - and New Orleans in USA or eventually lead there. These leopards come from 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 but all turning towards a better world.
On a particular uncontrollable heat period of her leopard – Gatita – Sonia Lopez goes into the deeper swamps of New Orleans to settle her. Instead she and her leopard get claimed by Joshua Tregre and his leopard Shadow. Raised in the rain forests of Borneo, Joshua is the recent addition in taking over the crime syndicate in New Orleans – taking over specifically Rafe Cordeau’s territory. Sonia didn’t want anything to do with mobsters, guns and the cruel games these men play. She had carved a niche for herself in this part of the world that did not connect to her past in anyway. But her fierce spirit and loyal nature pulls Joshua to her as much as her leopard calls for his. As well as her immense knowledge and workmanship in restoring old homes – a skill he needed to restore his current home. And Joshua doesn’t lose the opportunity that brings him closer to Sonia. How does her past and his current clash, how both Sonia and Joshua resolve it with less consequences to them and at the same time make a life out of all this chaos is what the rest of the plot traverses about.
As like other plots, Christine introduces more leopard men in here who work directly under Joshua Tregre – Evan, Kai and Gray. I first met Joshua Tregre in the ninth installment in the Leopard People Series – Leopard’s Fury (My review of that book is here). He had been an intriguing character and he is much more mysterious now even though he is the lead in this plot. It is very interesting to see, although a very confident and fierce woman, how Sonia unfolds into a leopard woman, a perfect mate for Joshua. The chemistry between Joshua and Sonia is off the charts.
Most of the plot in this book takes place in one single day and night. But the description goes for so many pages and the erotic scenes are so many that reader forgets that they occur in a period of 24 hours. It could have been shortened a bit and still would have been a good book to read. Christine uses phrases and words such as “he rewarded her…” or “she did exactly he asked for…” while describing erotic scenes in her plots. They keep bordering on one of the concept of BDSM which is something I don’t like at all. So it gets harder to read her plots when such incidents occur. In this plot as well she had some scenes pretty close to such scenarios. I had to skip reading those scenes before I proceed further. I wish her erotic content goes back to how it was in her initial plots. As always there is a lot of repetition of text and context all through the book.
Another fierce plot involving the shape shifting leopards and mobs that surround them adding to the chills, with strong magnetism in sexual and physical manner between the lead actors adding to the thrills and the end goal that these leopard people try to achieve for humanity - all packed well together making it a definite pick.
1) Plot Reveals:
a. Two new characters Molly Sheffield – also on the run from a dangerous man – and Bastein Foret – the local law enforcement detective – are introduced in the plot. Although Christine has a sub-plot involving both, it makes me wonder if they will resurface in future plots that will be set in New Orleans.
a. As I am reading the books in this series, several characters from past plots keep popping up - Drake Donovan and Saria Boudreaux aka Donovan, Eli Perez, Elijah Lospostos, Jake Bannaconni, Remy Boudreaux & Bijou Breaux. I believe it’s time to pick the previous books and read about these dangerous men that are tied to their mates as well as to the crime world that they are working towards making it better.
b. We also see Alonzo Massi aka Fyodor Amurov in action along with brother Timur Amurov and his cousins Gorya Amurov, Mitya Amurov and Sevastyan Amurov. We met him in the previous book Leopard’s Fury along with his mate Evangeline Tregre.
i. We had seen Mitya Amurov being given Patrizio Amodeo's territory. Still waiting to see if there will be a future story involving Mitya too.
ii. Other Leopard was also introduced - Jeremiah Wheating - might have a story of his own in a future book, perhaps.
3) Christine mentions about a Taylor Swift song “Wildest Dreams” in the plot. Hadnt heard that song before but ended up listening when I came across it here, not a bad song.
4) Grammatical / Character / Historical / Logical / Location Errors:
a. On Pg. 110, fourth para, it should be “He collapsed over on top of her….”
b. On Pg. 352, first line, it should be “as if he hadn’t been the one…”
c. On pg. 366, fifth para, it should be “on Joshua, but he could on her.”
5) As the Ghostwalker series is set in New Orleans – at least one of the team, Elite Air Force Pararescue Team - so is also most of the Leopard People series. Will Christine have a cross-over plot between both the series? I hope she does. Would be interesting to see how man-made super soldiers fair with the naturally born super human. (Christine, are you reading this? :)