Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wake a Sleeping Tiger by Lora Leigh

When readers of dark romance and unbridled desire want to be satisfied, they turn to #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and her “powerful and highly erotic” (Fresh Fiction) Breed novels. Now a Breed hides in the world of man—until a woman arouses the amused and wildly carnal animal within...

Once, he was Judd—Bengal Breed and brother to the notorious fugitive Gideon.
After Gideon disappeared, Judd was experimented on until his tortured body knew nothing but agony.

Now he is Cullen Maverick, serving as the commander of the Navajo Covert Law Enforcement Agency in the small community of Window Rock, Arizona. Despite his genetics, Cullen is able to pass as human because his Bengal traits are recessed. He lacks the ability to smell the emotions, bonds and fears that other Breeds take for granted. And he remains tormented that he wasn’t able to mate the woman he loved—at the cost of her life.

He’s no longer a Breed, merely a man... or so he thinks. But his tiger is about to be awakened by the one woman destined to be his—Chelsea Martinez. And their world will never be the same...

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Book 31
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the 31st book in the series, but I do believe that it would be a great story as a standalone too. Undoubtedly there would be some elements which wouldn't resonate so deeply, but it is very good in its own right.

I don’t read paranormal all that often, but have really enjoyed re-immersing myself in the world of Breeds, Primals, genetics, and mates. The ongoing fight of good and evil continues with some blurring of boundaries between who is on which side, as dastardly deeds make individuals reconsider their allegiances.

When you add into the mix a love story – which has been simmering for a while, much to the denial of one and the sadness of another – then every page demands to be turned now. I love the mix of introspection and self-learning, as well as the amazing chemistry and deep and meaningful conversations. Cullen and Chelsea are a wonderful couple, even if it takes them a while to reach the same page!

If you only read one paranormal book this season, then this should be it.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
The recessed breed is a novelty and none more so than Cullen formerly known as the lost breed, Judd. Cullen felt he had to suppress his breed genetics during his time in the labs in an effort to lessen the chances of causing pain to those around him. After all, his twin, Gideon, had enough breed genetics inside him to be a Primal.

Fast forward to present day, Cullen is a run of the mill law enforcement officer just trying to live his life and do his job. That's hindered by the fact that Chelsea (his personal assistant) wants to be more than just a warm body in his office. She wants to be on the front lines, saving breeds from the Council soldiers. When she resigns and Cullen gives into temptation, his breed genetics slowly begin to emerge.

As Cullen learns to accept his emerging breed genetics, he also must come to terms that the woman he watched grow up is his mate. And someone is trying to hurt her.

Chelsea must also come to terms with the new Cullen. She was prepared to accept the man into her bed and in her life, but the emerging genetics have changed everything. That only makes her love him more, even if he is stubborn and hardheaded.

This story keeps you engaged from the first page to the last, showing you familiar faces and introducing new ones as well. To me, this story marks a definite turning point in the series and I have feeling we will be seeing a lot more those familiar faces in the books to come.

3.5 Stars.

Can Wake a Sleeping Tiger be read as a standalone? Yes, and no. As #31 in the series, I’ve read a handful of the books in the series. With the chance to read this book, I knew I may be confused. As long as you’ve read the first few in the series, have the world-building firmly in your mind, you shouldn’t have any issues. Slight confusion here and there, but I did remember the characters and their stories I read more than 5 years ago. So, yes, this can be read out of order without too much confusion. However, I wouldn’t jump in at book #31 without reading some of the series first. I will go back and read in order, but it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this novel.

Judd, now known as Cullen, is the commander at the Law Enforcement Agency. The widower is a recessive breed, more human than the Bengal tiger hidden in his DNA.

Chelsea is Cullen’s glorified personal assistant, even though she is fully trained with the right mental conditioning for a more dangerous job. As Cullen’s dead wife’s cousin, Cullen is protective of Chelsea, not allowing her to do the job she was trained to do, so she resigns… that doesn’t go so well.

Cullen acts on instinct, which he’s doing more and more lately, kissing Chelsea after she resigns, which sets the course of the novel.

Chelsea has always been in love with Cullen (Judd) since she met him, feeling an intense connection (this is where you need prior knowledge from the first few books in the series, which I remember… and beyond, I assume). After her smothering family has treated her as fragile glass, she doesn’t want to be put at a desk. She wants to be at Cullen’s side, have his back, and be in his heart.

Amid the mystery and politics in the Breed universe, the romance takes the reader on an angsty ride. During the mating heat, Chelsea is insecure about Cullen, as he was married before and her cousin was the love of his life. She doesn’t want to be a replacement, a second choice, last resort. If the reader is in the right frame of mind, connecting with Chelsea, be prepared for the gut-wrenching sensation of rejection and insecurity, even if it’s all in her head.

Easy to read, fast-paced, classic Lora Leigh Breed novel. I enjoyed the story and the characters. The heated scenes were highly descriptive, to the point the reader knows how every body part is reacting to the stimuli, and filled with purple prose. If you’ve read a book by this author, then you know what you’re getting before you begin. For those who haven’t, it’s highly erotic with a ton of slightly (sometimes highly) cheesy body part and secretion descriptions. But that’s par for the course, because this is a guilty pleasure read.

Early on in the novel, I was bothered by the many ways Leigh made sure the reader knew Cullen was ‘recessed.’ It was in all the dialogue between him and others, sometimes several times per page. Each chapter started with tidbits via Gideon about recessed breed and the mating heat, which was informative. With the chapter headings, once or twice would have sufficed in the text of the novel, but when Cullen and everyone else was pointing out his recessive breed genes, it started pulling me from the story. A bit of a broken record that had me groaning. I realize it was a focal point, a pivotal plot device, but this was overkill. We’re avid readers, reading book #31, a handful of times would suffice. Imagine if someone you knew added an ailment or physical description to every conversation, when you already knew.

Wake a Sleeping Tiger was angsty, dramatic, steamy, with political machinations. I highly recommend to fans of the Breeds series and Lora Leigh.

#1 New York Times bestseller, LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.
"Lora Leigh writes compelling, red-hot romance." – Sacramento Book Review

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wake a Sleeping Tiger (Breeds #31) by Lora Leigh to read and review.

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