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 Wrath by Christine Feehan
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Piatkus Books on November 5, 2019
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, Wild Cat, Cat's Lair, Vendetta Road
Eleventh in the Leopard People paranormal romance series and revolving around cat shifters. Set in San Antonio, Texas, the couple focus is on Ania Dover and Mitya Amurov.
It’s all about the power of love, and the melodrama begins immediately as Mitya moans about his life as a criminal with the leopard inside him, a brutal fighter, always wanting to take over.
I don’t know if Feehan (and her editor) are getting lazy, but I’m getting tired of all the info dumps. How many times do you meet someone and proceed into a detailed explanation of your accent?
It’s the characters’ backgrounds and personalities that drive this story and around which all the action — whew — revolves. Feehan’s use of third person dual protagonist point-of-view means what we see, hear, and understand is all from Ania’s and Mitya’s perspectives.
Part of what we learn is that the Dovers wanted Ania to know all about cars and that her grandfather included her in repairing, maintaining, and driving any car. I love that! We also learn that the brutality of the South American leopards is a worldwide trait. Sad. And consistent throughout Feehan’s various series, lol.
I do and I don’t like Mitya’s character. I love that he’s trying to be a better person; I don’t care for his control issues. Yeah, I realize his life has been one of incredibly brutal conditioning, and I don’t care. It does, however, make him an interesting type of character.
There’s plenty of drama in this: Evangeline’s troubled pregnancy, the cops harassing Evangeline at her bakery, Ania’s fears of being targeted, the truth about the car accident and her father’s incident, the sudden interests of various sons in Ania, and of course, Ania’s conflicts over whether Mitya wants her for her leopard or for herself or for both while Mitya doesn’t want to expose her to his father. – This one-mate tack Feehan uses in her series is very handy for explaining the insta-love.
Where did Feehan ever make that connection that Andi is Ania?? And, ya know, Ania irks me too. “Oh, no, Mitya is a criminal! Oh, no, how can I ever associate with him.” Let alone the fact that her family has been interacting, ahem, with criminals all her life. Gimme a break. It’s not like this is a surprise.
I like paranormal romances, and I like Feehan’s concepts, but I do wish she wouldn’t be so heavy-handed. As for Ania’s father, why didn’t his leopard heal him? Then there are Marzio’s concerns about Ania and her choices, and he’s only now worrying about Ania??
The “horror of what she’d done had spread across his face”?
Wow, I’m a third of the way through my notes for the book and quite a lot has happened, only it didn’t feel that way while I was reading. Leopard’s Wrath has such a slow pace — long-winded and meandering — as we suffer through all the melodrama.
It’s a chance encounter that shocks Mitya Amurov, for this woman in trouble has calmed his beast. It’s a calm that he’s never experienced before, and yet he dare not act on it. He’d rather die than put Ania Dover in danger.
Ania Dover, with a leopard shifter named “Jewel“, cares for her disabled father, Antosha Dover, and oversees his cars business. Melania is their housekeeper and keeps watch over her father when Ania can’t be there during the day. Annalise is the night nurse and had been Ania’s nanny.
Mitya Amurov is an Amur leopard shifter (Dymka) and the extremely abused son of Lazar. He escaped his father and took over the territory of Patrizio Amodeo, a human trafficker (but not a shifter). Mitya is also in a partnership with Drake Donovan (Savage Nature, 5). Sevastyan is his cousin, friend, and chief bodyguard. Miron is his driver. More bodyguards include the brothers Vikenti “Vik” and Zinoviy “Zen”, Josue, Kiriil, and Matvei.
Fyodor Amurov is Mitya’s cousin, who is married to the now-pregnant Evangeline, who owns a bakery, The Small Sweet Shoppe, where the protective Ashe also works as a barista. Timur is Fyodor’s younger brother and married to Ashe. The bodyguards at the bakery include Jeremiah.
The rest of the Amurov family are…
…based in Russia. There are four brothers: Lazar (Mitya’s horror of a father) with Kazimer his leopard, Rolan (dead and Sevastyan’s father), Patva, and Filipp. Each is/was a vor in the bratya, the Russian mafia and believes in introducing their sons to the torture and murder they crave. Uncle Filipp had three sons, Dima, Grisha, and Gorya.
Taras is Lazar’s vicious lieutenant. Albert terrorized females of all ages. Kronya is one of Lazar’s most trusted men who lives to destroy younger males. Artem is a show-off and sycophant. Damir had tried to hold out. More lieutenants include Guga who liked to hurt children and rape women and Fidel, Lazar’s second-in-command.
The Caruso Family is…
…a mob family (and leopard shifters) out of Houston that controls the docks and is led by Marzio Caruso, who is married to Ann; they have four children, including Alessandro, Benedetto, Cristo, and Donato.
The Anwar Family is…
…another mob family based in Houston and is led by Bartolo Anwar. Enrico and Samuele are his sons; Giacinta is his sickly daughter.
Members of the Drake Alliance
Donovan Security Company specializes in…
…kidnap recovery and bodyguarding, many of whom are shifters. It’s owned by Drake Donovan, who is based in New Orleans. A more important (and secret) specialization is his partnership with others in taking down brutal crime bosses. His men include Evan; Amory Binder; Colten Schultz and Fargo Day, who are friends of Amory’s; Kris, who is partnered with Amory; and, Palmer Blanchard and his brother Louis, shifters with access to Drake’s control room.
Other crime families, er, allies, include…
…Elijah Lospostos (Wild Cat, 7) who has a worldwide reputation and is friendly with the Carusos and the Anwars. He’s also in business with Drake along with the billionaire, Jake Bannaconni, who raises cattle and targets companies that launder money. Trey Sinclair is Jake’s private bodyguard. Joshua is mated to Sonia (Leopard’s Blood, 9).
Eli Perez is with the DEA and a neighbor of the Dovers and Amurovs, as is Bannaconni. (Eli had killed Rafe Cordeau, a crime boss with territory.) Catarina is Eli’s woman.
Sasha Bogomolov is based in Florida, which he runs, and is allied with Drake. Sasha is Nikita’s son, and Nikita has a crew, so maybe Nikita runs Florida??
Based in New Orleans, Joshua Tregre is Evangeline’s cousin (Leopard’s Blood, 9).
Emilio Bassini. Fredo Lombardi are mentioned in the book.
Bits and Pieces
Han Vol Dan is the first time a female leopard rises in a type of heat and becomes aware of her leopard. Andi was the best street driver in the business.
The Cover and Title
The cover hits you with its deep brown-black background, the better to catch your eye with its central graphic of the determined look on Mitya’s tilted face, his eyes focused on someone, something, to our left. Merging with his body is the face of his leopard, snarling with that same intensity. At the very top is an info blurb in white in a tiny font. Below that is the author’s name in an embossed silver. From the bottom up is the series information in the same yellow as the leopard. Above that is the title in the same embossed silver. Above that and right aligned is a quick epigraph in white.
The title is true enough, for it’s a Leopard’s Wrath that is coming from all sides.