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.
Wild Rain is the second book in the Leopard People by Christine Feehan published in January of 2004. The plot revolves around Rio Santana – a shape-shifter leopard living in the Borneo Forests – and Rachael Lospostos – searching for a safe haven in the very same Borneo Forests,
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 just like 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, infiltrate the mobs and acquire the territories taking over them.
Rachael Lospostos is on the run, trying to find a safe haven in the Borneo Forests and inadvertently finds Rio Santana’s home. Rio, a shape-shifter and one of the protector / guardian of the rain forest, although claims her as his mate, has his share of secrets and powers. Neither trust each other but they are thrown into a situation forcing to be with each other. Will they trust each other? How will their pasts collide and create ripples that bring more danger to them? Will Rachael make home where Rio has his home? That is where the rest of the plot takes the reader to.
Christine Feehan spins another erotic tale with dangerous missions with this second book in the Leopard People Series. More exposure to the Leopard People, their work, their beliefs and their nature is shown. Including the clouded leopards as part of Rio’s personal team, Christine further asserts the bond between man and animal – leopard in this case – into the plot. There is a touch of “cat has nine lives” concept in the story that Christine weaves around Rio and Rachael. Although her plot still revolves around the leopard people working towards saving the rain forest and animals, she opens small windows to her future plots where the very same leopard people take over the mobster families.
She introduces Elijah Lospostos, Rachael’s brother and right hand man to his uncle, Armando Lospostos, who heads the Lospostos Mob Family. The segue from rain forests in Borneo to mobsters in Florida, USA comes, not yet reaching to New Orleans, USA. I am curious to see how she expands it, stretches it and puts in the same perspective as the guardians of rain forest – which I already read it full-blown in the latest two books Leopard's Blood (Leopard People # 10) and Leopard's Fury (Leopard People # 9). For some reason I was pulled into Elijah’s character although the book was about Rio and Rachael. I can’t wait to read about Elijah’s story and see how I would feel about it.
Normally when Christine writes the next book in a series, she includes some key characters from previous books and also introduces new characters that would eventually become main characters in future books. However this time around she barely mentions Brandt Talbot and Maggie Odessa – the pair in the first book The Awakening. I wonder if she will bring them more into focus in any of the future books.
As much as the plot thickens around romance, love and preservation, I particularly liked one part of the conversation that Christine writes between Rachael Lospostos and Elder Peter Delgrotto regarding the laws, how to follow and how to abide by them. It is all in perspective of everyone’s view, but it ultimately falls on the shoulders of the responsible elders to be judicious of those laws. The two contrast views that Christine poses between Rachael and Elder gave me a pause on many things that I had thought were cruel or things that I had thought were right. Of course there are cases where it is cut and dry but often times it is the gray areas that need more strength to follow by law. Very very educating chapter.
Again this time around the repeat phrasing of context is seen but the erotic content didn’t border on BDSM. And Christine keeps to the points of global threats – deforestation, endangerment to animals – along the lines of the plot. I would say a good continuation into a powerful erotic series that touches on social evils, romance and the mysterious species.
1) Sub Plots:
a. Christine introduces us to her future heroes of this series who are yet to be mated as of this book:
i. Drake Donovan - Although Drake gets injured during a mission in this plot, and goes into resting. I wonder when will his story come up by Christine.
ii. Joshua Tregre – I have read his story in the 10th book Leopard’s Blood. My review of the book here.
iii. Connor Vega
iv. Shilo – a female Leopard being protected by the leopard people in Borneo Forest.
v. Elijah Lospostos – Rachael’s brother.
2) Rio Santana has two clouded leopards – Fritz and Franz - that act more as brothers to him than pets. I was wondering what kind of leopard was this. Came to know that unfortunately they are also coming close to being endangered species as are hunted for their skin. More about them here.
3) Christine uses the term “Indochina” when talking about regions where there are thick forests filled with bandits. I always thought Indochina meant India and China. Seems to be it is different – it is a term used for regions that are influenced by India and China. Oh well, there is more behind the term that you can read here.