13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not quite as good as I'd expected after the 4* Burning Wild, as this did not have the same Fire,
This review is from: Wild Fire: Number 4 in series (Leopard People) (Paperback)It was definitely one of her better recent books (after the dire Murder Game), but frankly, after the almost-erotica tale that was Burning Wild, and the way in which that tale was written, I was expecting more of the same and I feel a touch...disappointed.
Connor and Isabeau are Leopard people from the South American continent, he being an Alpha male and protector of his pack, and she being a female, and therefore rare and to be valued. However, years ago, Connor had been tasked with 'dealing' with her father, a traitor, in order to protect his pack, and to get closer to her father, he seduced the innocent Isabeau, despite realising that she was his mate. Duty came before mating, and when he killed her father he left her, which Isabeau saw as a betrayal, but in reality Connor was ashamed at what lengths he had had to go to and the irrevocable damage that he'd done to his mate to be able to stay, and he exiled himself to the US in case he did worse to her by forcing her into a mating against her will.
Years down the line, he's come back to the country of his birth, as an evil female drug lord has been hunting down and imprisoning Leopard children, after discovering their race by two traitors amongst the Leopard people. He doesn't know who he's being paid by or working for, but when Isabeau appears, he realises that she is the one trying to get the children back unharmed and undiscovered, and therefore his boss for this mission, so they put their differences aside.
The tale itself is fast-paced and full of baddies, fighting, suspense, some hot sex in the middle of the rainforest, right in the middle of the mission...and forgiveness; the latter threw me. The history between the leads should have lead to angst, heartache, emotional scenes and some major explanations and grovelling on Connor's part...but all of this was lacking. Perhaps it was because they were racing against the clock (yeah, even though they managed to make time for sex!), but I still feel that Isabeau was entirely too forgiving and too willing to get back into the same relationship as before, without convincing explanations and arguments, and without much 'give' on Connor's part. Yes, there was some really hot sex, right before Connor went off to war, and some chest-thumping and growling from Connor when he became aware of his fellow Leopards' attraction towards Isabeau as the sole female around...but nothing ever took off.
It was one of the longer CF tales in the series, and we caught up with Rio, Drake, there was mention of Jake Bannaconni and his life in the US, and several new males were introduced, so 'heavily' that I am sure that this book was a springboard for their future tales.
Overall, it's a decent enough read, but like with Maya Banks, I think that CF is churning books out to make money primarily, not any more for the love of her art - which regrettably shows in the lack of story in her recent novels. The Leopard series has the potential to be the best series that she has done (the 'Dark' series is now too repetitive, the 'Game' series is losing its way), but she needs a time-out and a re-think IMHO.