Book Critique: Leopard's Run (Leopard People # 11)
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 Run is the eleventh installment in the Leopard People Series by Christine Feehan published in November of 2018. The central plot revolves around Timur Amurov - the head of security for Fyodor Amurov aka Alonzo Massi who had taken over the Arnotto territory - and Ashe Bronte - a leopard woman on the run.
The entire Leopard People Series focuses on a shape-shifter species 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 Louisiana and Texas 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.
Ashe Bronte comes to San Antonio, TX to hide and at the same time take aid from Evangeline Tregre. Only problem is the head of security for Fyodor Amurov and Evangeline Tregre - Timur Amurov. Nothing is more important to him than the safety of Fyodor and Evangeline. Now Ashe forms a question mark to him that he cannot wait to get answers revealed. She may be telling the truth but wasn’t giving the entire truth.
To top it, Timur's leopard seems to go silent and still around Ashe, that had never happened to him before. With Fyodor and Evangeline's life at threat, Timur cannot afford any distractions. Ashe is definitely a distraction that he has to overcome in order to perform his duties.
At the end of Leopard's Blood, Christine talks about more lairs that are cruel and need to be mended. That was an obvious segue into the next plot. However, she has already given us the stories for all the key players so far whom I guessed to become prominent. Of the remaining ones (see my list below in spoiler alerts), I couldn’t see anyone's character developed enough to become a central character except for Mitya Amurov and Timur Amurov. My guess was that her next plot would continue to explore the Russian leopard lairs and would central it either around Mitya or Timur. True to my guess, she had kept the plot focusing on Timur Amurov and the Russian Leopard Lairs.
Although she brings the Russian leopard lairs and the local mob territories into the mix along with the sub-plots that we have been seeing since the fifth book, Savage Nature, there are so many elements still left open. The key antagonists that the Amurov brothers are fighting will be still seen in next few plots, I believe. I see a theme going on here by Christine that reveals to readers more on how her story line would proceed. A few open ended questions she did close in this plot though.
The leopard males that we had seen working to clean-up the bad leopards as well as the mobs in the past 10 books, resurface as always in the form of a huge meeting or a gathering. However, I still did not see a sibling reunion between Evangeline and Joshua, even though they are cousins and even though Evangeline craves to know her side of the family more.
Jeremiah Wheating, a leopard pup growing into a formidable leopard male, first introduced in the fourth book Wild Fire, is growing as a character as well as on the readers. He would be continuous presence if I am not wrong. And he reminds me so much of Josef in the Carpathian Series - the adult next-gen Carpathian but still considered as kid in Carpathian age terms. Makes me wonder if Christine based both Josef and Jeremiah on the same person. Both are such fun characters and break into the serious and grittiness of the plots in both series.
I see that Christine thanks her friend Cheryl Wilson, the very same one of the WeatherMages Series. I don’t remember if the other books in the Leopard Series has her thanking her friend, but I do remember in the Carpathian Series she has quite a few of them that she acknowledges and thanks Cheryl.
Christine has given a very Lara Croft's style fighting strategy to Ashe Bronte when she faces her enemies alone while her bodyguards lie injured nearby. I was superbly impressed by the female protagonists skills and brain to think on the fly.
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 characters 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. Ashe Bronte Mostafa's parents: Father an Arabian Leopard from Greece and Mother, Raisa, an Amur Leopard from Russia.
b. Evangeline Amurov is pregnant with twins as of this plot.
c. Evangeline and Ashe, both are leopard whisperers who can calm the leopards of any males around them, to an extent that the males can bear their leopards without being clawed and raked at. Again reminds me of some of the Carpathian females who could bring solace and sense of emotions to Carpathian males without lifemates. Similar plot-lines being spread across both series.
d. Jake Bannaconni has opened a private hospital catering to the leopard species on his private estate in Texas.
e. Gorya Amurov and Jeremiah Wheating are gravely injured at the end of this plot. Now I am debating if she would make Mitya's story next or Gorya's. Will have to wait and see.
2. Christine starts to give names to the leopards - human's counterpart - as well starting Leopard's Fury:
a. Evangeline Amurov's (Fyodor Amurov's mate) leopard is called Bebe.
b. Sonia Tregre's (Joshua's mate) leopard is called Gatita and Joshua Tregre's leopard is called Shadow.
c. Timur Amurov's leopard is called Temnyy and Ashe Bronte's is called Godiva.
3. Sub Plots:
a. One of Saria’s brothers, Mahieu, and Charisse Mercier – another female leopard – are dating per the plot in Savage Nature.
b. It is revealed in this plot that all the pregnant ladies from past plots have indeed given birth now: Saria & Drake Donovan have a son; Catarina & Eli Perez have a son; Sienna & Elijah Lospostos have triplets
c. Mitya Amurov is given his own territory in Leopard's Fury - Patrizio Amodeo's territory - continuing with the leopard people's end goal in taking over the mobsters.
d. In Leopard's Fury, Christine doesn’t close out the threat to Evangeline and Alonzo / Fyodor from either Emilio Bassini - head of another mob territory - or from his uncles in Russia. More meat for future plots involving Mitya's or Gorya's or Sevastyan's when they eventually are written by Christine. Although she removes the threat of Ulisse Mancini in this plot.
e. Still waiting for a family reunion kind of thing between Evangeline and Joshua Tregre considering Joshua and Evangeline's mate Alonzo Massi / Fyodor Amurov work together on their missions. Or atleast a kind of gathering Christine wrote up in all her previous novels for the female lead character to get acquainted with other female leopards.
4. Christine also introduces a few non-leopard people as the plots proceed, but a few stand-out making me wonder if she would make them shifters in future plots
a. Susan Hindman, Senator Hindman’s daughter, is introduced in Burning Wild plot. Christine made her character as brilliant, sharp and fast-learner at a very young age. Will Christine make her a shape-shifter in a future plot?
b. Jerico Masters and Evan Mitchelson - security / ranch hands all rolled into one at Jake Bannaconni’s property - aren't shifters but are loyal to Jake in Burning Wild.
c. In Leopard's Blood, Molly Sheffield – also on the run from a dangerous man – and Bastein Foret – the local law enforcement detective – are introduced.
5. Christine introduces us to unmated male leopards who could potentially have their own stories in her future books.
a. Shilo – a female Leopard being protected by the leopard people in Borneo Forest.
b. Felipe and Leonardo Gomez Santos – brothers from Brazilian rain forests introduced in Wild Fire.
c. Jeremiah Wheating – a cub shifter who accidentally joins this group in the Wild Fire.
d. Mateo – Connor’s young step-brother, introduced in Wild Fire.
e. Dr. Abel Winters and his wife Mary Winters; Dr. Liam Mulligan, Dr. Mason. Doc – Leopard Doctors who help the leopard shifters when in need. Suddenly from Wild Cat the doctors have become Doc. Which one of this is addressed as Doc is unclear.
f. Remaining Boudreaux brothers – Mahieu, Dash, Gage and Lojos, first introduced in Savage Nature.
g. Trey Sinclair and Evan Courtier - work for Jake Bannaconni, as of this plot Trey Sinclair is part of Fyodor's security team.
h. Joaquin Estrada and Tomas Estrada – Elijah’s bodyguards.
i. Alonzo Massi aka Fyodor Amurov's cousins Gorya Amurov, Mitya Amurov and Sevastyan Amurov - They come from a dangerous lair called the Amurs who are part of the Bratya in Russia.
j. Kyanite "Kye" Boston, Borya, Kirill, Matvei - work for Fyodor / Alonzo introduced first in Leopard's Fury
k. Rodion Galerkin, Vitaly, Logan Shields - Work for Fyodor / Alonzo, introduced in this plot.
l. Carter, Fergus, Kai and Gray - Work for Joshua
m. Sasha Bogomolov is spared by Joshua, Alonzo and the rest of the teams in Leopard's Blood.
6. Grammatical / Character / Location / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:
a. On Pg. 220, Line 8 from bottom, it should be "Our cats are moody…"
7. As I read these Leopard People books and as I see more and more of the plots getting closer to or around New Orleans Bayous, it reminded me of another of Christine Feehan's series that is set in New Orleans. One of the team from her Ghostwalker Series (My review of the books in this series here) - Elite Air Force Pararescue Team - are also set in New Orleans Bayous. 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 fare with the naturally born super humans. (Christine, are you reading this? :)