Christmas Heat – Lora Leigh

This novella is to be found in the anthology THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS CAT.

Back Cover Copy:
Not available

Haley McQuire is a librarian in the small town near Sanctuary, the Feline Breed compound. When she unintentionally overhears a conversation in Sanctuary’s library that is not meant for her ears, this puts her life in danger.
Noble Chavin is a Breed Enforcer who has known deep down for over a year now that Haley is his mate but he chooses not to act on it because he can’t bear to take her right to free choice from her. After an attack on Haley’s life things change though and he takes on the responsibility of protecting her. Secluded in Haley’s mountain home they wait for an assassin who is sure to come after Haley but while waiting the Breed mating heat can’t be ignored despite both their efforts to do just that.

Haley is smart, tenacious and she is not unfamiliar with the Breeds and the issues that surround them. She has a fascination for Noble that she at first doesn’t want to acknowledge as love but all her actions contradict this.
Noble to me was a different kind of Breed than I’m used to. He was less commanding and truly did honor to his name because despite his need for Haley he lets her decide whether to answer to the mating heat. Although he was less forceful that didn’t mean he was less dominant or less powerful. The way he puts Haley in control by some measure was truly touching and gave this Breed novella a very different vibe compared to the other stories in the series.

For a short story there’s an abundance of secondary characters making an appearance here and there. Of course Jonas and the Vanderales once more leave their calling cards but Lora Leigh also opened a can of Breed Enforcers in this novella, along with a very intriguing human law enforcer: sheriff Zane Taggart. He’s a character I wouldn’t mind seeing a book about in the future.

Again, as with all the novellas in this series, this story was too short for my taste but even in the little amount of pages she had available Lora Leigh provides a lot of relevant information and expands the Breed world, adding to the ongoing plotline throughout the series. She managed to surprise me with the storyline about the assassin sent after Haley. First she let my mind go in one direction, speculating like crazy but then she ties the loose ends and comes with more intriguing information, taking it into a totally different direction. I should have seen it coming but I was too busy speculating.

Though this novella was definitely of more than average quality with the continued story arc and Noble and Haley as great primary characters, it was clearly a novella meant to tie some loose ends after DAWN’S AWAKENING and MERCURY’S WAR and a preparation for the next batch of Breeds and future developments in their ongoing story arc. Nevertheless it contained all the elements I love in this series including lots of fuel for speculation and anxious anticipation for what’s to come.

Quotes:
Her touch was like electric pleasure. It shimmered over his flesh, dug talons of exquisite need beneath if, and left him tight, tense, torn between stopping her and begging her for more.

Haley felt her shoulders jerk from the bed. Her eyes opened, widened, unseeing, her senses dazed as the most exquisite feelings tore through her. Sharp and vibrant, a race of liquid flames, white-hot destruction and dark, primal pleasure.


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