I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Leopard's Rage by Christine Feehan
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley Books on November 10, 2020
Source: the library
Also by this author: Air Bound, Rocky Mountain Miracle, Power Game, Earth Bound, Spider Game, "Dark Crime", Judgment Road, Toxic Game, Vengeance Road, Fire Bound, Bound Together, Shadow Warrior, Leopard's Wrath, Wild Cat, Cat's Lair, Vendetta Road, Lethal Game, Desolation Road, Shadow Flight, Magic in the Wind, Oceans of Fire, Twilight Before Christmas, Dangerous Tides, Reckless Road
Twelfth in the Leopard paranormal romance series and revolving around angry leopard shifters determined to get rid of the worst of the mobsters running crime syndicates. The couple focus is on Flambé Carver and Sevastyan Amurov and set in Texas. And it’s quite erotic.
Amazingly enough, the series is getting worse with repetitive and choppy writing. When Feehan started this series, I really enjoyed it. Now…I must be a glutton for punishment.
I do like the visual of Flambé’s garden designs. That arboreal trail sounds so perfect. Then there are the interior gardens she’s created. Nice. I also like the rescue operation Flambé has going. It’s sad that it’s necessary.
It’s really sad that people like those Russian Amurovs exist. Where did they ever get the idea that their behavior toward women is okay? I would like to understand why Sevastyan thinks he was born twisted. Sounds more like he was tortured into being that way.
Feehan does nothing to make me believe in Flambé as being a take-charge gal with her business. There’s so little contrast between her submissive nature with Sevastyan and how she acts outside their sexual interactions. As for Sevastyan’s flare-up with Mitya? Where’d that come from? There’s been nothing to foreshadow this.
Feehan’s reasoning for Flambé’s appreciation for Sevastyan’s shibari work does make sense. Her descriptions of the various knot patterns gave great visual. Fortunately. If only Feehan had been more imaginative in Flambé’s and Sevastyan’s thoughts, instead of whining on and on about the same thing. Padding much?
Why couldn’t Feehan emphasize Sevastyan’s jealousy about Cain more? Oh, geez, then the truth comes out about Flambé’s father. What a jerk! Flambé was only seven when her dad kicked her out?? What kind of jerk does that?
Feehan uses a third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Flambé’s and Sevastyan’s perspectives. Each has a character arc within the story they fulfill, learning to understand their natures and dropping their preconceptions. Feehan does, eventually, explain why Sevastyan uses Cain’s club as he does. All tell. Feehan would have created a more impressive scenario if Sevastyan had come close to losing it at least once to reinforce how necessary Flambé is.
Considering that Flambé is named after a dessert her chef mother made, wouldn’t you think she’d know what the dessert was??
That Cain sounds quite the hypocrite. He’ll compromise clients to protect other clients? Sevastyan is something of a hypocrite as well. He complains about Flambé using sex to avoid talking, but he does as well.
So, “Sevastyan resisted touching Flambé’s face, tracing her high cheekbones…” I thought he was resisting touching her? At least Feehan made it more interesting with Flambé being cool towards Sevastyan when the two of them weren’t in bed, so to speak.
There’s plenty of action, mostly sex, with a number of battles. I gotta admit there was so much thinking about the sex and relationships that I got bored. The actual battles brought my brain to life. How sad is that? Yeah, it definitely affected the pace, at least because I got so bored…
Sevastyan is a violent man with an equally violent leopard half. A rage he calms with sex and ropes. It’s an attraction which intrigues Flambé, who feels a need for the harshness he displays.
Luckily for her, Sevastyan has already auditioned, while Flambé designs her Garden of Sin.
Flambé Carver, a strawberry leopard, took over her father’s, Leland Carver‘s, reputable landscaping business. She does have the credentials: a BA, Masters, and PhD in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Yep, Dad was a shifter as well. Flamme is the name of Flambé’s leopard. Her mother had been a chef at Baume, a renowned French restaurant in San Antonio.
The American Amurovs are…
…Amur leopards who escaped their Russian clan. Sevastyan Amurov is an enforcer, a bodyguard to his cousin, Mitya Amurov. Shturm is Sevastyan’s leopard half. Ania Dover is Mitya’s mate and a very experienced driver — she’s designing a car from the ground up (Leopard’s Wrath, 11); it’s her family home that Sevastyan bought and is renovating. Zinoviy, Vikenti, Trey Sinclair, and Kyanite Boston (Bahadur is his leopard) are some of the bodyguards.
Fyodor Amurov is a cousin mated to Evangeline (Leopard’s Fury, 8) who owns The Sweet Shoppe, a bakery. Ambroise Tregere, ex-Navy and an artist, and Christophe Tregere, a strategist with IT skills and a photographic memory, are Evangeline’s brothers. I’m suspecting that Joshua is another brother (Leopard’s Blood, 9). Gorya and Timur Amurov are more cousins. Ashe is Timur’s mate (Leopard’s Run 10).
Kirill Chernov and Matvei Bykov had been childhood friends who followed the Amurovs to America. Jeremiah Wheating is one of the youngest bodyguards and close to Ashe. Zakhar Kotov is loyal to Sevastyan; Istrebitel is his leopard. Miron and Rodion Galerkin had loose lips. Conrad had been a smart kid Sevastyan had rescued.
Flambé’s company includes clients such as Jake Banniconni (Burning Wild, 2), Drake Donovan runs an international security business made up mostly of shifters (Savage Nature, 4), Eli Perez (Cat’s Lair, 6), and Elijah Lospostos (Wild Cat, 7) are friends and part of the conspiracy.
Her employees include Rory and Etienne (who’d rather build things), more strawberry leopards. Blaise Brodeur is Flambé’s foreman and interested in environmental landscaping. He’s also very interested in Flambé. On the rescue side, Terry Orsan, Jet Vicks, Jack, and Lyndon are part of the extraction team.
Cain Dufort, another leopard shifter, runs a sex club. Shanty Jacobs is an African strawberry leopard/woman seeking to escape her abusive relationship with her mate, Reiner. Brent Shriver is one of Flambé’s suppliers of exotic plants. Sasha Bogomolov is a shifter ally in Miami. Charisse Mercier is a talented woman in New Orleans.
Detectives Ray Harding and Jeff Myers are investigating.
The Russian Amurovs are…
…bratya, Russian mobsters, who are so incredibly brutal with their children and worse with their females. Rolan Amurov, the vor, is Sevastyn’s father who enjoys beating the children nearly to death; Diktator is Rolan’s leopard. Tatiana had been Sevastyan’s mother. Lazar Amurov had been Mitya’s father and Rolan’s brother. Patva had been another brother.
Oliver is a mercenary pinpointed by Conrad. Smerch is Conrad’s leopard. Vagel is a sniper.
Franco Matherson is a leopard shifter with a huge sense of entitlement. His friend, Basil Andino, has the same issues. Karisa had been Andino’s mate…until she was rescued. Luan and Arno are amazing trackers from Matherson’s lair.
Strawberry leopards originated in South Africa.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a range of deep dark orange shadows through to a pale yellow highlight that shines through Flambé’s red hair. Her face fills the top half of the cover and is in profile to us, her eyes closed. An epitaph in black is to the left of her forehead while the silhouette of a leopard climbing the branch of a tree angles from the center right up to the upper left corner in a gold foil. Crossing Flambé’s chin is an info blurb in white with the author’s first name immediately below it, also in white. The author’s last name is below that in the same gold foil. The title is below that in white with the series information below that, also in white.
The title is a two-way street, with Flambé and Sevastyan both experiencing a Leopard’s Rage.