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.
paranormal romance in Hardcover edition that was published by Berkley on February 4, 2014 and has 448 pages.
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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Styx's Storm, Moving Violations, Cops and Cowboys, B.O.B.'s Fall, A Wish a Kiss a Dream, "Dragon Prime", Primal, Live Wire, Navarro's Promise, Forbidden Pleasure, Beyond the Dark, Black Jack, Tempting the Beast, Dangerous Pleasure, Maverick, Man Within, Midnight Sins, Wild Card, Tied with a Bow, Lawe's Justice, Legally Hot, Deadly Sins, Stygian's Honor, Surrender to Fire, Nauti Temptress, Submission & Seduction, Wicked Sacrifice, Secret Sins, Nautier and Wilder, Shameless Embraces, Wicked Pleasure, Only Pleasure, Guilty Pleasure, Wicked Lies, Twin Passions, Nauti Enchantress, Shattered Legacy, Intense Pleasure, Knight Stalker, Enthralled, Secret Pleasure, "The One"
Twenty-ninth in the Breeds (and sixteenth in the Feline Breeds subseries) paranormal romance series and revolving around men and women who were genetically manipulated to be faster, stronger, more dangerous. The couple focus is on Rule Breaker and Gypsy McQuade and is set in New Mexico.
Be warned, this story is incredibly confusing if you haven’t recently read previous installments.
The theme is salvation, and Leigh starts with a prologue of a tease that introduces the story nine years before, setting up the guilt, the remorse, the need to atone.
I’ve enjoyed the Breeds series in the past, but these days Leigh seems to be making it so much more complicated. So much so, that I think she’s getting confused. The number of exchanges in Rule Breaker that had me re-reading and re-reading, going back several pages to try and figure out what’s going on. That still didn’t help until I read much farther in, sometimes leaving me more confused and other times clearing things up. I suspect that Leigh’s use of third-person multiple point-of-view is what helps make this all so confusing, with so many characters having their own agendas.
There are so many loose ends in this. Actions and events that Leigh doesn’t connect or provide a reason for.
It does crack me up that Rule’s animal side is hiding from him, until it will be too late for him to run from his mate, but damn, Leigh does go on and on and on about his fears about having a mate. As for Dane, his part in all this continues to evolve, but it’s still hidden behind so much.
Lion Breed Rule Breaker had just a few rules he will not break. Not for anything. Not for anyone, including Jonas Wyatt. Only his animal side has his own ideas.
What ensues is a fiery affair that breaks all the rules of mating heat and will eventually endanger his mate with the very rules designed to protect the Breeds when Jonas learns she’s possibly been working against them.
Gypsy Rum McQuade has always felt the lack of her parents’ love, love only provided by Mark, her brother who had been one of Jonas’ informants. Hansel and Greta McQuade are her parents. Kandy Sweet McQuade is the younger sister who now runs her maternal grandparents’/parents’?? candy store, but it’s not her dream.
Theadora Lacey, an assistant DA in Window Rock, had been Mark’s fiancée. Now she’s Jason’s wife. Jason Harte had been Mark’s best friend and now runs the personal image building business, McQuade Image Consulting, Mark had started. Milly is a tramp of a cousin.
Enforcer Rule Breaker is now the investigative commander of the Bureau of Breed Affairs and has no intention of finding his mate. Enforcer Lawe Justice is Rule’s brother and Jonas’ right-hand man; Diane Broen, Rachel’s sister, is his mate (Lawe’s Justice, 26). Morningstar Martinez had been his and Lawe’s mother. Thor Thorsson is said to be an ex-mercenary who now works as a Breed Enforcer.
The Breeds are…
…men and women who were genetically altered in a horrendous experiment with most of their genetics a direct tie to the Navajo. Jonas Wyatt, a Lion Breed who can see the dead, is also known as the “Mate Matcher” and is the director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs, determined that the Breeds will survive. Amber is his deathly ill daughter, injected with a deadly serum seven months ago. Rachel Broen is Jonas’ mate (Lion’s Heat, 21).
Dane Vanderale is Jonas’ half-brother and a hybrid Breed. The first Leo is Dane’s and Jonas’ father. Rhys “Ryan” Desalvo is Dane’s friend and sometime bodyguard.
I think Rhyzan Brannigan is the new assistant director of the bureau. Tanner Reynolds and his wife, Scheme, are the PR team that pressured the governments to pay for what their leaders had done (Tanner’s Scheme, 9). Moira O’Malley is recently out of the labs. Ely is the Breeds’ doctor.
Callan Lyons is the Pride leader married to Merinus (Tempting the Beast (Feline Breeds, 1), 1). Dawn Lawrence, a cougar, is Callan’s sister and married to Seth (Dawn’s Awakening, 14). Flint McCain and Mercury Warrant (Mercury’s War, 16) are more Lion Breeds. Dr. Morrey is the Lion Breed physiologist. And Jonas’ medical spy. Cassa and Cabal St. Laurents (he’s a Lion Breed; Bengal’s Heart, 19) are assets to the Breeds.
Judd and the feral Gideon Cross are both Bengals, and Gideon is determined to hunt Judd down.
The wolves have…
…several packs. Dash Sinclair, who is married to Elizabeth (Elizabeth’s Wolf, 3), is one of the alphas and are Cassie Sinclair’s parents. (She’s a tri-Breed.) Wolfe Gunnar is another alpha, the Lupine of the Wolf packs, and married to Hope (Primal Heat: “Wolfe’s Hope” (Wolf Breeds, 1), 10). Cole Dagger is another of the Wolves.
Lobo Reever, a Wolf Breed, owns a ranch in New Mexico (Enthralled: “The Devil’s Due”, 28). Graeme, a Breed, works for him and loves to torture. Khileen, Gypsy’s best friend nine years ago, is his stepdaughter. Tiberian, Lobo’s younger brother, left the ranch to chase down a traitor.
The Delgado pack are…
…Coyotes friendly to the Breeds. Del Rey Delgado is the coye of the pack and one of the strongest pack leaders (Coyote’s Mate, 18). Ashley and Emma Truing and Sharone are friends with Gypsy. Dog a South African Breed, is one of the most dangerous Coyotes. Mutt, Mongrel, and Loki (he seems to be interested in Kandy Sweet McQuade) are some of his men. Loki’s brother, Farce, is one of the Council’s best trackers and assassins.
Lance Jacobs is married to the woman Dog should have mated, Harmony Lancaster, Jonas’ estranged sister whom Jonas was forced to turn on in the labs (Harmony’s Way, 8).
Breed Law governs any and all contracts and endeavors anyone has with a Breed or their affiliates. Self Warrant is an aspect of Breed Law that a Breed can use one time to protect his mate, but it has dire repercussions. Mating Heat takes over the senses, causes you to lose all control. Feral fever is the last stage of Breed insanity.
The Navajo Nation
Ray Running Wolf Martinez is the chief of the nation; Maria is his wife. Claire Martinez is their daughter. Shay Anderson is Ray’s aide and a friend of Gypsy’s. Terran Martinez is Ray’s younger brother and his father’s legal advisor; Isabelle (Malachi’s mate) and Chelsea are Terran’s daughters. Orrin Martinez is their father; their mother, Aliva had died of grief. Morningstar Martinez had been one of Orrin’s daughters, who suffered a horrible death, risked by Elder, a Coyote guard in the labs. Audi Johnson is head of security for the Navajo Nation; Jane is his wife while Liza is their daughter (mated to Stygian Black, Stygian’s Honor, 27).
The Navajo Covert Law Enforcement Offices are…
…led by Commander Cullen Maverick.
The Unknown are…
…six Navajo warriors who are part of the ritual. In the past they have hidden, and hidden well, Breed escapees. Whisper is a contact for (or with) the Unknown.
The Genetics Council was/is…
…an undercover organization of businessmen, world leaders, and scientists who have been operating for the past 100 years, manipulating the genes of humans to create a world army. No act is too vile for them. Grody, a Coyote, was one of Gypsy’s abductors.
Brandenmore Research is/was…
…one of the labs under the Genetics Council, and it created the serum used by Phillip Brandenmore.
Simon Quartres is an independent contractor who frequently works for the Breeds. Connie is Greta’s favorite beautician. James Herndon is a cowboy contact who had been friends with Mark. Slim is one of the customers at Slap Happy, a bar and a useful source of rumors and gossip. Kenny C is the bartender. Caine’s is an underground club.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a deep golden orange with verdigris showing through in splotches. I’d like to paint a wall like this. It’s a nicely muscled Rule on the cover in a ribbed hoodie open over that gorgeous chest, jeans hanging low on his hips, thumbs in pockets. His head disappears into the faux finish as do his legs and his lion persona on the left, behind him. His lion melds beautifully with the background, leaving his mouth, nose, and eyes staring out at us. The author’s name is large and at the top in an embossed warm silver while the title is in a more scripted embossed silver spanning lion and man at the bottom. The series information is tiny and in white between the words of the title.
The title is where the focus is, on the man Rule Breaker.