“She had to stay still, but it was impossible. She needed, and he was right there. She couldn’t fight that terrible, desperate burn one second longer.”
– Cat’s Lair, Locations 1752-1753
Cat, a New Orleans native, finds herself in Texas. Working at a small, nondescript coffee shop, wearing baggy clothing, ball caps and sunglasses. She thinks that she’s being smart and has covered her tracks well. She has done everything in her power to ensure that people do not pay attention to her. She works out, takes martial arts lessons, and lives entirely off the grid. She’s clearly on the run, and she knows that she is never going back to Rafe Cordeau. A merciless, ruthless, blood thirsty thug ith power, money and a whole lot of influence.
Despite all her efforts, Ridley Cromer has noticed her. He has a keen eye and studies her far more closely than she’s comfortable with. Ridley finds her intriguing. He knows that she is running but he wants her to trust him and allow him to protect her. He wants her for himself. He’s not without his secrets. The real question is whether Cat will be able to put aside her hurts, betrayals and heart ache and let this man help her, maybe even love her.
This is an extremely well written book. Ms. Feehan uses wonderfully descriptive language and clearly has an established style. She tried to ensure that her characters were fleshed out and fully realised but more about that in the “Review” section.
There were a few irritations, like: “retreated back”. People, to retreat means to move back/fall back. These sorts of redundancies really annoy me, but I doubt that it will have as much of an effect on the general populous. I’m just really picky.
Overall, I really enjoyed the paranormal lore the author created or expanded from current tropes in the paranormal romance genre. She didn’t go into lengthy, detailed explanations but touched on the lore sufficiently that I understood where the character were coming from and how they were formed.
“‘You really are afraid of me, aren’t you? I’m not going to hurt you, Cat. No matter what you think, I won’t do that to you.’ His voice was pure velvet, stroking over her skin, low and vibrant and all male, almost a purr.” (Locations 379-380)
“He reached over and captured her hand, bringing it to his thigh. He held it there, needing the closeness, wanting her to understand it wasn’t just about sex with her. He knew he made it seem like that, but truthfully, everything about her appealed to him and it had from the moment he’d laid eyes on her.” (Locations 2518-2520)
“‘Abuse isn’t an excuse for any of us. We can feel sad for the person, but there are many abused people who choose not to go down that path. You can’t sacrifice yourself, Kitten, it would be useless.'” (Locations 5014-5015)”
As much as this book was very well written and the characters were fully constructed, I found that I simply could not relate to any of them. Cat is trying to understand herself, and her inability to trust anyone while Ridley is meant to be the strong, brooding alpha male. What actually comes across in the narrative is a whiny little girl with no life experience but the steadfast belief that no-one can help her but herself, while Ridley is the most verbose dark and mysterious bad-boy I have ever met on paper.
There are other issues that I have with this book, which generally stem from common practices within the romance genre. An example of this is the seeming lack of creativity or ingenuity in naming the female protagonist “Cat” (Catarina) when she is a leopard shifter, and then having the male protagonist giving her the nickname “Kitten”. We already know that we’re dealing with leopard people, the book cover tells us so, you don’t have to engineer the entire book to reiterate this fact.
Another romance convention which irritates me, is the juxtaposing of the virginal, untouched, pure, wholesome, innocent woman with the battle hardened, cynical, promiscuous, never met a woman who made him wanna settle down, bad-boy. How are we still pedaling this idea in the 21st century? I’m not saying that authors should pull a 180 but at least give me a female character who is not afraid of her own sensuality and sexuality, without writing her a slut. I don’t even have an issue with the virginal nature of the character. I have an issue with how women are written in such a way that they cower from their desires.
Ridley, on the other hand, was the most wordy alpha male I’ve read in a long time. He was constantly asking Cat what she was thinking, and cornering her and bullying the answers out of her if she didn’t want to talk endlessly about her thoughts and feelings. I don’t know about you, but I like my bad-boys dark, broody and mysterious. Put too many words into their mouths and the appeal wears right off.
This book really drove these archetypes home throughout the narrative. I could understand why the characters were written this way but it didn’t gel well for me.
I was bored reading this book. And again, this was a well written, solidly planned out and executed book. I think it really just boils down to personal preference. If you like all of the things that I have just described, together with first time super rough sex (which made my vag hurt just reading about it), then go ahead and give this a read. If you are more like me, and want characters that deviate from the usual tropes, then have a look at my suggestions below.
My rating: 3½/5
Buy Cat’s Lair (Leopard People) on Amazon.
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