Lora Leigh’s Breed Series is truly my personal guilty indulgence. Yummier than chocolate dipped strawberries, her alpha males make my mouth water. More intoxicating than too much red wine, her love stories make my heart pitter-patter. With the newest in the series “Styx’s Storm” just being released, the Guilty Indulgence Bloggers are highlighting the series this week. Hopefully we’ll entice a few of you to sink your teeth into some delicious books.
Take my advice and start with the first book in the Breed series. It’s a deliciously yummy romance. Tempting the Beast is more like a short story that serves to introduce the reader to the breed community. Human, infused with DNA from predators of the world, Breeds were created to serve as secret operatives, assassins and killing machines. The hero in this first book, Callan Lyons, is one of these genetic experiments and one of the initial six lion Breeds we meet fighting for their freedom.
I can’t help myself; I judge a book first by the hero. And Callan Lyons is a master alpha hero. You can actually hear him roar through the pages. After his Pride escapes the Council labs where they were held in captivity, Callan leads their Pride to secretly settle in the Kentucky Mountains, hiding from rumors of their existence. He is smart, strong and determined.
Then along comes Merinus – also smart, strong and determined - who feels a pull towards Callan since the moment she first sees his photo. The moment they meet and touch for the first time, the pull Merinus feels turns into a burning lust that neither she nor Callan can resist. They are thrown into a frenzy which locks them in a battle of sexual heat from which there is no escape but to mate. It was hotter than hot, especially how Callan tries to pass himself off as a common man but can’t keep his inner lion from roaring out with his mate. His lion DNA demands that he dominate and possess Merinus; and when his barb (yep, you know what I mean, girls!) emerges for the first time, it was weird and hot at the same time.
I can’t help myself; I need to feel the love to love the book. For the Breeds, this “mating frenzy” is a chemical and emotional reaction that consumes them, not permitting them to refuse their connection to their mate. There is no doubt that though the force that brought Callan and Merinus together is the mating frenzy, Leigh diligently shows us that their connection is solidly love. And what woman wouldn't want a mate devoted forevermore, loving, and certain of his fidelity? It’s every woman's ultimate fantasy. (Or maybe it’s just mine?!)
Because Callan and Merinus are the first of the Breeds to experience the mating frenzy, they turn to the Council scientist who has helped Callan through the years to understand the DNA complications in their bodies. They discover that this evolving science of the Breeds might just save their Pride and bring Callan the family and sense of normalcy he has craved. When Leigh unveils Callan’s dream of a family, it makes this alpha male more tender.
I can’t help myself; I want drama, mystery and suspense. And this book delivers it all. While in the throes of the mating frenzy, the Pride comes under attack and Callan and his pride are forced to run for their lives. A betrayal within their own Pride brings the Council back into their lives and puts Merinus in danger as well. Callan's lion DNA comes roaring to the surface at this threat to his mate – his fierce protectiveness is all-consuming.
With the Council on their trail and attempting to uncover the deception that divulged their secrets, Callan has to use his lion’s strength to save them all. His choices will change his Pride’s life in ways they never imagined possible. His choices also set Breeds on the path to their future. The book does a solid job of setting the stage for the entire series, both by providing a foundation for the series and by snagging the interest of the reader to continue on to the next book.
Now, don’t eat them all at once. If ever there were calories in books, Lora Leigh’s delicious Breed series would be high in the calorie count. I’d give the first in her series 5 Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.