Consider this spoiler warnings and trigger warnings and any other damned warning you can think of.
A simple request for Siena Arnotto: deliver a gift to her grandfather’s friend. One look at Elijah Lospostos, hard-bodied and stripped to the waist, and Siena succumbs to a feline stirring she never felt before, and to Elijah’s reckless and pleasurable demands. But when that pulse-throbbing moment ends in the murder of an unexpected intruder, Elijah accuses the shaken and confused Siena of setting him up.
Then Siena discovers the truth of her Leopard heritage, of the secrets in her grandfather’s inner circle, and the sinister plot of revenge that has put her in jeopardy. When Siena’s grandfather is assassinated, she realizes the only man she can trust is Elijah. Now as her Leopard rises from within, Siena and Elijah share not only an animal instinct for survival—but a desire so raw and wild it may be the only thing that can save them.
Yeah, don’t let that blurb fool you. Siena starts out an idiotic, oblivious, blithering fool so worried about her libido and her looks that she never took a moment to merely take a look at her life. And Feehan turned Elijah Lospostos, a character I have been waiting on for years, into a sadist, and brute, and all but a rapist. After the situation with his sister he damned well should have known better. And because of his actions she is sent back to a situation where she is brutally beaten, then her grandfather is murdered, and then she is freaking mauled and almost died. And that is just the first part of the book.
It did get better, don’t get me wrong. Siena grew a backbone, or at least half of one, pretty damned quick. She had to, all things considered, though Feehan doesn’t seem inclined to let any of her heroines grow too much anymore. And Elijah figured it out how bad he effed up, but he didn’t do what any sane and rationale person would have. Move past it he says? I don’t think so. I figure Feehan used the method she did as a short cut to make her grow up. But personally, I never moved past it and don’t see how the reader can be expected the believe Siena moved past it either. And Joshua, another character I’d liked actually laughed about what Elijah did to her. Not laughing about the situation, but more mocking Elijah for how badly he screwed up. There was no thought to how Siena felt, no righteous indignation one her behalf. Just mocking his friend like it was a prank gone awry.
Things seemed to be smoothing out, but then because these idiotic men can’t be bothered to tell Siena what the hell is going on and what the hell their plans are, she ended up in even more turmoil than is needed. It was gratuitous. And just when you think maybe Elijah is serious about settling things out, he effing spanks her. I am not even kidding. Siena has gone through all of this and he effing spanks her because HE is an ass. No apologies, no real remorse, nothing. And weirdly enough, she isn’t hurt or upset, she finds it funny. If I didn’t have so such anger and irritation over the whole book up to this point, maybe I would too, because she wasn’t intimidated at all. But I just couldn’t.
Looking back through it, as the story progressed he was rather sweet, still overly dominant and aggressive, but sweet. It was a good difference from the way Eli treated Cat in Cat’s Lair. I would have felt completely differently about the entire thing if it weren’t for the way she started them out. But it is like Feehan just couldn’t let him be sweet with her without being completely brutal first. It is like there is some quotient she feels like she has to adhere to.
And the way she is building the world and the reason why these men have been setting things up they way they have is really interesting. There have been hints, but many things have been made clear.
And I was all ready to break up with Feehan. Except that ending was super sweet, and she set up two characters and I fell in love with Alonzo. If his book is next I am terribly likely to go back to her knowing it is just going to piss me off. Just like I fear she’s going to piss me off with Trap in Spider Game. Because she did the same thing with making Wyatt Fontentot such an awful character in Viper Game and then dangling the sequel bait new character.
I don’t like myself very much right now.