Judith’s review of Falke’s Renegade (Puma Nights #3) by Anna Leigh Keaton & Madison Layle
Veterinarian Heidi Falke can tell that something isn’t as it seems when she rescues an injured jaguar. Black jaguars aren’t native to the area, and as a Falke, Heidi knows that some men can walk in the shape of a beast…literally. She won’t let this seductive shapeshifter leave without getting some answers.
Javier Montero is on a mission: find the shapeshifter who killed his family and get the justice he deserves. This unexpected detour won’t put him off for long, and what he has with Heidi can’t be anything more than sex–even if it does feel different from anything he’s ever known.
With Javier, Heidi discovers passion she never thought possible. She wants their connection to lead to a future together. Javier made a vow never to mate again after his loss…but if he wants to keep Heidi in his life, he’ll have to decide how far he’ll go for vengeance.
What must it be like to be the only female born into a family of puma-shifters in the last 150 years? It is the plight of Heidi Falke and has put her life into a mold that is uncomfortable and one that holds limited prospects for the future. She is greatly loved and deeply respected for her brain and her achievements as the community veterinarian. But she has two fathers who are focused on her well-being and with whom she resides, and older brothers, one of whom is her alpha, who growl and spit every time she goes anywhere near a male they don’t approve of, especially another shifter.
Now she is responsible for caring for a shifter–a jaguar who has been shot and seriously wounded, a man who has lost his mate, his unborn son, and his twin at the hands of an assassin bent on destroying all shifters. He is a very honorable man and one who recognizes the attraction between him and Heidi but who is determined to be true to the memory of his “one,” his mate. Yet Heidi knows that finding a mate for her will be next to impossible and she is going to make some memories while she has the chance.
This is the third in a series of novellas about a shifter family in the American Northwest who are treasured by their community, who have come to be respected and the part of the lives of humans who live shoulder to shoulder to the Falke family. Heidi’s brothers live in committed polyamourous relationships and they have borne children that are the loves of Heidi’s life. Yet unless she meets a shifter mate she knows that she will never have children of her own. It is a layer of sorrow that pervades her life, a sense of loss that is always there. Javier brings some loving, some joy, a deep sense of appreciation for who Heidi is, but his determination to remain true to his wife’s memory keeps that sadness in Heidi very much alive.
I have liked all these novellas and have found them interesting as the authors have developed a community that lives with pumas yet has so little awareness of the true dimensions of the family. Now they are bringing in another kind of story into the mix, a female shifter who cannot shift herself and who will remain barren all her life unless she mates with another shifter. It’s a different twist on the paranormal/shifter story and testifies to the creativity of the writers as well as their ability to keep the tensions, the consistency in story telling quality alive after telling two other tales in the series. There are always common denominators in shifter romance fiction, but from time to time there are authors who give us another twist, another zigzag in the legends and the telling thereof. So it is with this short novel. It’s fun reading, not taking up too much time but yet sufficiently long to develop the characters and the scenarios in which their story unfolds. I know I was delighted when this latest addition to the series appeared and those who like the writing of this team will be equally pleased.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.
This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.