As a little girl, all Leaf Hatathli dreamed of was growing up and having a family of her own, but fate had something else in mind for her. Instead, she’s spent her life as a mercenary working for the Goddess, acting as her hand of justice in a world torn apart by the reappearance of magic. It’s a lonely business, and Leaf had given up on the idea of ever being someone’s beloved. After all, who could love a woman who’s possessed by a sex demon?
When Mir DePaul, Alpha of the Shiraz Pride, is captured by slavers he never expected rescue to come in the form of his true mate. And he certainly never expected his mate to be a Shadow, a human sharing a body with the spirit of a demon. He shares his body with his tiger spirit, and they both know their mate when they see her. Even if she refuses to believe it. They’ll do everything they can to convince Leaf and her demon that their love is real…as soon as they escape the contingent of death wizards hunting them down.
Everything has a price, and Mir will do anything to keep his mate safe while she tries to save the world from an ancient evil that threatens them all.
In a world full of sex witches and lust demons there is a lot of hanky panky going on, so fair warning you may have some clutch your pearls, or vibrator, moments.
Subterfuge is the name of the game as this book opens. Leaf has to tone everything she does down to conform with the purist regime around her. She has one goal, bid on and win the Shiraz Pride’s alpha at the auction.
His glamour is holding, he looks like a weak, somewhat sickly boy. Not the powerful Alpha he is. Even thought he may actually be ill from the magic draining collar they have on him.
Okay, so from the moment Mir awakens without the collar and realizes the woman who saved him is his mate, there is lots of sex. I mean LOTS of sex! Very Hot Sex between Mir and his mate Leaf. It doesn’t help that her demon is a sex demon and feeds off the act.
However the whole mate thing throws Leaf for a loop and she protests right from the start.
There is some language in this scene but it made me giggle and trust me when I say it was hard to find a scene I enjoyed without sex in it.
He took a step closer, then another, until he stood before her, tall enough that his chin could easily rest on top of her head. “Long black hair that refuses to be tamed by any brush, big brown eyes dark enough for a man to lose himself in, and the most beautifully made body I’ve ever seen. Ample breasts, thick thighs and hips, a body that curves perfectly into mine and cradles me in softness. You have skin the color of richly polished bronze, and thick, old scars on your chin and forehead. Without a doubt, you’re the most striking woman I’ve ever seen.”
Flushing, she tried to step back, but he merely followed her. “That’s kind of you to say, but I know I’m not exactly a guy’s first choice in a beauty pageant.”
The gleam of his fangs in the porch light coming through the window made her heart race. “I’m not lying to you. It’s all I can do to keep my hands off your spectacular curves.”
She sighed, then reached past him to flick on the interior lights. “It’s just my demon. He makes me sexually irresistible to men I feed from. Your attraction to me isn’t real, and I’m sorry I manipulated you like this.”
“You think I want you because of some bullshit glamour?” He bit out each word with a click of his teeth. “I want you because you’re my mate.”
“Mate?” she squeaked out. “Wait, what exactly do you mean by ‘mate’?”
He gave her a beaming smile. “I mean, you’re the woman the Goddess created for me as my perfect wife. You’re my mate.”
Her mouth went dry and tingles prickled over her scalp as the hair on the back of her neck went stiff and her entire world shifted on its axis.
His enchanting blue cat eyes narrowed and his jaw flexed. “No?” She stumbled back until she ended up slumped against the wall. “You must be wrong. The Goddess isn’t cruel. She wouldn’t stick you with someone like me. You deserve a sweet and kind Twin Soul woman who can give you a family. I can’t.”
His nostrils flared. “Why not?”
“Because I just can’t!”
The thought of having a family with Mir sent a pang of longing through her, and she had to grit her teeth against the useless need to have what she could not. Babies, homes, and holidays with a family were no longer things that she could have, thanks to both her demon and her job. She’d racked up her fair share of enemies during her career—mostly spent running women and children to the border of Canada or the Tribal Nations. Not every woman born into the fractured United States accepted or could live with the distorted and warped biblical laws in place. Sure, the cities were a refuge where women still had some rights, but in the country it was a different story. People had twisted the words of the Christian bible to suit their lifestyle, had justified their need to keep women subservient to men with scripture. Even if they had to beat the sin out of the women. Of course, many women thought that was bullshit, and Leaf was there to help them escape. As a result, there were many, many pissed off husbands and fathers that would love to get their hands on Leaf and make her suffer.
She also knew for a fact that the National Association of Manimal Hunters had a six hundred-thousand-dollar trophy on her pelt. Well, since she didn’t have a pelt, on her skin. If they ever caught her, she’d be killed and stuffed just like the Twin Souls they hunted, mounted like a trophy in some museum or private collection.
“Leaf, why do you think you can’t have a family of your own?”
“Because my life is too dangerous, too unstable for a family.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Not with me around.”
Her eyes were probably bugging out of her head as she stared at him. “You are unbelievable.”
“Get used to it, mate.” Giving her an imperious look, Mir crossed his arms across his bare chest, flexing in a mouthwatering display of ripped muscles. She admired the dark claw marks scarring his pectorals. “We will discuss this later. Feed me, woman. Preferably naked.”
Her jaw dropped at his arrogant order, and she almost slugged him before she saw the slight smile lifting the corner of his lips. “Tell you what, your highness? You can forage for whatever you want in my kitchen, but if you think I’m making you a sandwich, you have the wrong girl.”
Ann Mayburn. TurningLeaf AnnMayburn eARC (Kindle Locations 623-657). Honey Mountain Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Trying to get Mir back to his pride becomes quite the challenge. Between her demon and the mating drive, these two have issues staying apart. There is plenty of other action too.
Battles to keep Mir free. Topped off by the request of the Dark Goddess combine to make this a page turner.
I just hope there’s a bit less sex in the next one. That demon is quite insatiable.
I really enjoyed reading this world, the characters are unique and well thought out. I can’t wait to see what she has planned for the next book in this new series.
4.5 Contented Purrs for Ann!
With over forty published books, Ann is Queen of the Castle to her husband and three sons in the mountains of West Virginia. In her past lives she’s been an Import Broker, a Communications Specialist, a US Navy Civilian Contractor, a Bartender/Waitress, and an actor at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. She also spent a summer touring with the Grateful Dead-though she will deny to her children that it ever happened.
From a young Ann has had a love affair with books would read everything she could get her hands on. As Ann grew older, and her hormones kicked in, she discovered bodice ripping Fabio-esque romance novels. They were great at first, but she soon grew tired of the endless stories with a big wonderful emotional buildup to really short and crappy sex. Never a big fan of purple prose, throbbing spears of fleshy pleasure and wet honey pots make her giggle, she sought out books that gave the sex scenes in the story just as much detail and plot as everything else-without using cringe worthy euphemisms. This led her to the wonderful world of Erotic Romance, and she’s never looked back.
Now Ann spends her days trying to tune out cartoons playing in the background to get into her ‘sexy space’ and has accepted that her Muse has a severe case of ADD.
Ann loves to talk with her fans, as long as they realize she’s weird, and that sarcasm doesn’t translate well via text.