Thursday, October 21, 2010

Along Comes the Coyote Breeds...

If I had to choose, I would say that Lora Leigh's Coyote’s Mate is my favorite Breed book. I read all of the Breed books, one immediately after the other, over the span of six weeks. I started in order (always recommend you do that with a series!!) with the Ellora's Cave books which were steamy, had a basic premise that held me but the story was woven around sex scenes as opposed to the sex scenes being integrated into the story. Still, yummy reads – I can’t deny I didn’t eat them up. But then came a change in the publishing company and Lora Leigh’s Breed books focused more on the story of the Breeds, their pasts, their struggles, their need to build a community and be accepted. I really liked this shift since it draws the reader more into the characters... and Coyote's Mate became my favorite because it has a unique storyline with strong, real characters including a few hilarious girlfriends to make you laugh.

The story of Del-Ray and Anya gives readers their first look at the Coyote Breeds with their similarities and differences from the other Breed groups. Finally the Coyote Breeds are taking their place beside the Feline & Wolf Breeds at Haven, one of the protected Breed communities. Yummy coyotes!

I can’t help myself; I need a strong Alpha Hero (who knows how to love his woman). While Del-Rey is far from my favorite of Lora Leigh’s heroes, he is a strong alpha male. Though his arrogance is like other Breed males, his disregard for his mate’s needs at times is unprecedented. I was angry with him throughout the book but assumed his struggles with assimilating into a loving relationship are because of his early life in the Council lab. Still, Del-Ray defines “stupid male”.

Del-Ray is the Coyote Alpha who survived Council captivity and now rescues others. When Anya approaches him with information on a Council coyote lab, he works with her to eliminate any traitors and plan a raid while steadily growing attached and possessive of her. But as a typical Alpha Breed, Del-Ray’s arrogance and cluelessness about women leads him to do just about everything wrong. Herein lies the premise of the entire book.
How stupid is he?  Let me count the ways… first, he lies to her, then he mates with her so forcefully that she is terrified, injures her father, kidnaps her and steals her virginity. Then he leaves her with his pack only to return and claim her, denounces her as his mate and Coya, but expects her to act as his mate in private. This is the part of the story when I threw the book across the room only to quickly pick it up again because the book has great action and mystery which I love. I can’t help myself; I want action, mystery and suspense. Coyote’s Mate has it all. The story moved fast and every page was a turn in their love story.
I can’t help myself; I need to feel the love to love the book. Despite everything they go through, the reader can sense the connection and love between Del-Ray and Anya. Anya is similar to many of Leigh's heroines... young, beautiful, and of course, she’s overwhelmed by the loss of control brought on by the mating heat. But here’s what I loved about her: Anya was the first heroine to stand up to the hero for what she believed in and was willing to walk away to stay true to herself. Her strength was amazing, helping to free the Breeds, stepping into the role of Coya and fighting for her mate while still doing what is right. I found myself wondering if I could’ve been as strong as she was. Anya intrigued me.  And I figured if any woman can deal with a man like Del-Ray it would be her.
Hot alpha sex, murder plots, suspense, good secondary characters, quick action, the full emotional spectrum and a happily ever after - it’s all here. Coyote’s Mate gets five chocolate dipped strawberries. Yep, it’s just that yummy!
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