Burning Wild by Christine Feehan

Burning Wild, the third book in the Leopard Series from Christine Feehan (2009), isn't at all what I expected. The book is much deeper and more emotionally interesting than I expected from a Feehan book.

There's a nice build-up where we learn about hero Jake's abusive childhood and the intial two years that Jake and heroine Emma live together in a platonic relationship. They're raising two children together--his son from a woman who dies while pregnant in the same car crash (different car) where Emma's husband dies and her daughter from her husband. While pregnant, injured from the crash, and poor and alone, Emma goes home from the hospital with Jake, who pulled her from the car and manipulated her into trusting him, and his premature son.

Fast-forward two years to the major portion of the book, when Emma's ready to love again, and Jake is ready to love for the first time.

There's plenty about Jake learning to control his leopard self, Emma blossoming, and fun side characters who live on Jake's ranch with them.

I'll note that, though not a major part of the book, the sex scenes are very, very graphic and violent. I suppose the rationale is the animalistic, leopard part of their nature, though I can see where the sex scenes could fall slightly on either side of the consensual/rape dichotomy, depending on the reader's personal perspective. I didn't care for that part of the story at all.

My overall personal rating of Burning Wild is a B+.


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