March 12, 2014

Review: Rule Breaker

Rule Breaker
Breeds, Books 29
Lora Leigh

Published: February 4, 2014

Hardcover: 448 pages
Berkley, Hardcover, 448p
ISBN: 978-0425-26545-1

Lion Breed and enforcer Rule Breaker has just a few rules he doesn’t break. Not for anything. Not for anyone—like never have sex with a woman outside his own breed, especially a human woman. Especially someone too helpless, too fun loving and too full of life to ever be able to protect herself, let alone help him to protect her.

If the damned animal inside him insists on a mate, then why pick her? A woman who is an easy target and who can be used as a weapon against him at any time.

But what he suspects is mating heat may not be that at all. Just his animal instincts rioting, pacing, irritated whenever he's away from her.

Okay, he can handle that.

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—for she’s possibly been working against them…

I just love these Breed books!  I have been following the series since it all began at Ellora's Cave (oh so many years ago) with Callan & Merinus, and now, even though I'm not too keen on e-formats, I'm getting the eBook as soon as possible just so I can get my fix ;-D

Okay, so what can I tell you about Rule Breaker?... Well, we're still in the Navajo Nation, and only a few weeks seem to have passed since Stygian and Liza (aka Honor) mated. But, time is running out for our manipulation maestro, Jonas, in his hunt for the Breeds who may hold the key to saving his daughter, Amber.  In the desperate search for Gideon - who actually makes an appearance! - he's still digging into the rituals of the Navajo, trying to find out what happened to the four Breed children who disappeared 12 years ago.  Children who hold the answers that Jonas and Rachel so desperately need.

Enter Rule Breaker - you've got to love the names they chose for themselves (with a little help from Ms. Leigh) - Jonas' right hand man, who is now on the path of the mysterious Unknown warriors.  It was these powerful, well trained individuals who rescued the four childred all those years ago from the Council's clutches - and who could possible give Jonas more critical information about what's happening to his beloved daughter.  Now Rule is on their trail.  In his search to find the truth, Rule will also have to deal with his past, and his determination to escape the fate of his parents, by making sure that he never, ever takes a mate.  Ironically, it is this ruthless mindset that has made sure that he can't escape from his Gypsy Rum McQuade.

Over the course of the book, there are appearences by friends new and old, plus the alias' of Gideon, and Judd, are revealed!  There are new characters that come into play - Gypsy is apparently a favourite of the Breed's, but I've never heard her mentioned before? - and there are betrayal's all over the place.  The love stories that permeate these books is always so touching.  Full of forgiveness, acceptance, and opening you heart to the possibilities of love, that I can't help but shed a tear in places.  It is because of the epic bonds that Ms. Leigh has created between mates, that the brutality the Breed characters have suffered in their lives is all the more stark and horrific.  When we first meet Gypsy in the Prologue, her torment and anguish just flows off the page.  Even more moving, is the sympathetic feelings that the Breeds have - especially to a female, or children, in pain - and when Jonas flinches when he senses her emotions.... well, I never could keep a dry eye when men tear up in the movies (or, now books apparently).

Now, that's not to say that these are depressing books.  Quite the opposite really.  They are fast paced, full of mystery and intrigue, with a whole lot of action tossed in for good measure.  Over the past few books, we have been drawn more into connection the Breeds have with the Navajo Nation, and I can't stress this enough - you need to read all the books before to get the most out of your reading experience!  There are references to past incidents, you'll need to know who is working for who - friend or foe? - and even though the ending gives you an idea of the coming story, it does help to get a better overview of the Breed-universe so that you're not struggling to make the connections hinted at in each title.

On a side note, there is just something so amusingly corny about the names in these books.  However, I think Rule Breaker (the book, not the Breed) takes the cake as far as names go.  As I've said, the names the Breeds get are really interesting - however, I just couldn't get over the monikers slapped onto Gypsy's family.  Seriously, a father called Hansel - who marries a Greta!? - with a younger daughter called Kandy Sweet McQuade!   I'm actually surprised her brother just got stuck with plain ol' Mark ;-P

Rule Breaker is a great addition to a wonderfully gritty and moving series.  I would recommend the Breeds series to anyone who loves a good romance spiced with espionage and urban fantasy (animal men?) twist.  Just don't try reading them on lunch breaks at work - or on public transport - as they are just too engrossing to put down!

A keeper, and I'm going to put the paperback on my wishlist ;-D  

PS - For those of you who would like to know, there is the usual mild language (I've heard pre-school kids use worse!), and of course, the very hot sex scenes.  And while these books can get a tad violent, there is not as much the hand to hand combat in this book as we usually see in the series.

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