Chronologically, this story takes place after Styx’s Storm and the recent novella “Primal Kiss.” The story focuses on Breed Enforcer, Navarro Blaine and human Mica Toler. Mica grew up among the Breeds and is best friends with one of the Breed protected children, Cassie Sinclair. Mica is now an adult, but has dreamed of and loved Navarro since she was 16. She guarded her emotions from him for years, but when the evil Phillip Brandenmore threatens her life, Mica and Navarro are thrown together in a dangerous fight for survival.
NOTE: due to some technical issues with the book, I have described a scene that may be slightly spoilerish. In addition, I have mentioned some things about the conclusion of the book that are spoilers.
I’m going to say right up front that this book was a bit of a let down for me. It still had the erotic sex scenes and the fast-paced action, but for me, it lacked the “punch” of many of her other Breed stories. Not only that, but the book is actually missing an pivotal scene that lead to some confusion while I was reading it! ... right about page 299, at a critical moment in the book, we have Mica and Navarro leaving the labs all mad at each other and jump to the bed, post sex, spilling out the emotions we’ve been waiting for the entire story. Oh, and the bad guy happens to be there as well. It was a total WTF?! moment. After doing some research on both the author’s and publisher’s websites, the only thing I could find out about this “error” is that it was a mistake, the author plans to put the scene up on her website, and the books will be reprinted soon. (The information HERE http://pub4.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=330493581&frmid=4&msgid=1336472&cmd=show is located on Ms. Leigh’s FORUM) I called my local Barnes & Noble store, which knew nothing about the problem, but said that they would exchange my book for me when the new ones are available.
Anyhow, back to the review... The overall story was okay, and I doubt that the missing scenes will solve the things I didn’t care for in the book. What I did like: the mating heat and signs have taken an interesting twist and I like how it was directly tied to emotions - in the past we were lead to believe the heat happens, but will only match up “perfect pairs,” and the emotions of either partner didn’t seem to have an impact. Not so with Navarro and Mica. It was a nice adjustment to this little-known phenomenon. I also enjoyed seeing more of the mysterious Cassie and getting a better idea of how Eli (the feline doctor) is doing after being near death and betrayed by those close to her.
What I didn’t really care for: first of all... the story seemed very repetitive to me. I got tired of reading about Mica’s juices flooding her pussy, that Navarro was not experiencing the mating heat, that the Breeds have to hide the mating phenomenon, and that although Merinus was over 40 years old, she still looked so young, etc. etc. Also, I felt that Mica’s reactions to events surround the mating heat were overly conflicted and hyper-emotional. She admitted that she’d been in love with Navarro since she was 16, yet she was so freaked out for a while, even bordering on hateful feelings. I understand that she was afraid of getting her heart broken, but it just seemed over the top to me.
Finally, the ending of the story was a disappointment. Unless the missing scene can pull together several plot line developments, I feel that the conclusion of the story was lackluster. There was build up of a spy in Sanctuary (yes, another spy... go figure!), but it was never more than a passing mention in the end. Mica was the focus of Brandenmore’s evil plans, yet we never really found out what he was up to, and he was just brushed under the rug in the end.
I am giving this book a 3 for its rating. I love the Breeds, and this book did have some wonderful scenes that held an emotional impact. I felt it fell short in the end, but is still a must read for fans of the series. If you are new to the series - definitely do NOT start here. It’s not the best example of how wonderful this series truly is.
3 stars: Liked it, but I had some issues - recommend (B)
(recommend for fans of the series, but not for new comers to the series)