Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book Review: Cross Breed by Lora Leigh

Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #23
Audience:  +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: September 25th 2018
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Source: Own Copy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Breeds are humans altered before conception with the DNA of the predators of Earth. But although they all carry the genetic material of beasts within them, Cassandra Sinclair stands apart. A unique mix of wolf, coyote and human, she is revered by many—but preyed upon by others. She is fiercely protected by her community…but no one manages to stop her when she slips away one day to offer her body in exchange for her sister’s safety.

The man she succumbs to surprises her by unleashing her inner animal in ways she never dreamed possible—and provokes her deep, furious rage. To Cassie’s shock, he is the mate she has long awaited. She may never be able to forgive his deception. Still, as dangerous enemies track her, and as the threat of all-out war between Breeds and the humans who despise them hovers in the air, they must join forces and hold fast to each other.

But the passionate union between them holds a potential that could change the world—and some will do anything to stop it…

*Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.

**Disclaimer: My review won't contain spoilers about Cross Breed, but it probably will include spoilers for previous books. With this being book 23 (actually 33 if you count the novellas) in the Breeds series, spoilers cannot be avoided.  

I did it, guys. I finally did it!!! I read Cross Breed!! Let me tell you, it wasn't easy convincing myself to read this book. We all know I have a fear of reading my most anticipated books (which I call unicorns, by the way), so I decided to read this during a sleepless night this week. Guys, the wait of over 10 years for this book was worth it. And more.

Let me give you a little backstory before I screech about how much I loved this book. Cassie was first introduced into the series in Elizabeth's Wolf as the heroine's daughter, book 3 of the series to be more exact. She was only 9 at the time and she was just the sweetest kid I've ever read about. I remembered being in awe of how she was able to save her mom through her abilities, abilities that her mother struggled so much understanding and accepting.

As the series went on over the years, Cassie was one of those side characters that was always there and we got to watch her grow up. Then Dawn's Awakening happened. Dawn's Awakening has the first real hint from what I remember towards Cassie having a mate. Now, obviously, all Breeds have mates, so it wasn't a surprise that she would have one. But I was surprised that Leigh was hinting at it, because that meant that eventually she'd write that story. And so the wait began. And with each book I hoped we'd get closer to finding who her mate was. Speculations ran WILD on her forums (that's how long I've waited by the way, because this is pre-FB groups!!!) about who he was. And then the news came that Cassie was finally getting her book and here we are.

I have to say, I have loved watching Cassie grow up with each book. I remember her standing up for Anya to support her petition for separation, I remember her giving both Kane and Styx some comfort through her ability to know things, personal things about them that no one alive knew. I imagine though that it was such a difficult thing to see spirits and have them whisper things to a young girl that doesn't understand that people will look at her like she's a freak. Her childhood was also horrific, as readers may remember from Elizabeth's Wolf. Add to that the fact that she's a hybrid of wolf and coyote, with coyote being the most hated of breeds, and her life hasn't been an easy one. And this book confirms it.

Cross Breed finally gave us her full perspective on her abilities. And guys... I feel like this book was a game changer. Now, this is the time where I feel the need to tell you that I haven't read the latest books in the series, so I was shocked by some of the things I read about!!! (which means one thing and one thing only: reread followed by reading the rest of the series!!) Now. I'm not going to mention them, because they are surprising and super spoilery. Some of the things I found out in this book I probably should have already figured out, and they were somewhere in the back of my head as "I hope this happens", but I never thought they actually would. I may or may not have gotten all weepy when one of the things happened.

The hero. I'm not going to mention his name by the way, so if you've read this book please don't mention his name in the comments. The thing is, it took me a while to remember him. I knew of him, mostly because of the speculations I mentioned before, but it took me a while to remember who he actually was. His story was very interesting, not just in this particular book, but in the entire series. This goes to show that authors with really long series can still shock you completely. The thing he did towards the end of the book shocked me so much, because I did not anticipate that at all. I did love him though. He should have told Cassie who he was, but I understood why he didn't, why he kept secrets from her.

We're getting closer to discover who the members of the Genetics Council are and that makes me happy. They need to be... painfully and quickly dealt with. I'm curious of the direction the series will go in. It all started with some rich higher ups in the government needing super soldiers and now the game is changing, the reasons are changing, and I'm very much enjoying the moral and ethical implications of these developments.I'm very excited for the future.

The sex was hot, as always with a Lora Leigh book. I was hoping for a little more tenderness, at least between these two characters, but it was all made up for with intense chemistry and sexual tension. The pacing was good and overall I enjoyed reading this book.

Now my focus has shifted to two other characters to finally get their stories told: Dane, and the good doctor, Ely. Now that I think about it, it would be interesting if they end up together. Anyway. Until the next book is out, I think the time has come for a reread.

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