Alligators, snakes, even the occasional large cat preyed upon the unwary. Strange lights and mysterious sightings of everything from ghosts to vengeful creatures haunted the bayou at night. It was easy to get turned around, to get lost in the endless sea of grasses and the mist-covered cypress trees. One misstep and a man could sink below the ground and never find his way to the surface. Remy Boudreaux loved the bayou.
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With Bijou, he gets the story and the heroine that I wished for. I will freely admit that the GhostWalkers is my favorite series by Feehan, and the others pale in comparison, so I make sure my expectations reflect the fact that all the redoubtable Ms. However, I am always very happy to get my hands on another book by her, since I just plain enjoy her writing.
She has some interesting stories with characters I fall for and burning hot and emotional love stories. The characters are almost all natives of this region, and based on my short visits to this part of the United States, I felt like I was taking another trip down there and enjoying it, taking in the sights and sounds. Additionally, the feel of family is strong in this novel.
Bijou, who had just about the most dysfunctional childhood ever, needs a family like this, full of people who watch out for each other, even as they give each other a hard time. Bijou is the daughter of a notorious, yet beloved rock star. He failed her beyond measure as a parent, scarring her self-esteem and sense of confidence, despite her incredibly beautiful looks and formidable musical talent of her own. I really liked her character. Remy and Bijou have a long-standing and deep bond from an event a long time ago, when he saves her life as an eight-year-old, but their lives go in different directions.
Remy is quite older than Bijou, but in some ways, she has as much to teach him and he does her. Remy needs to learn the language of love that Bijou speaks. Growing up the way she did, how could she? Remy knows intellectually that Bijou is clueless on their shared leopard heritage. So a good chunk of the book is about them exploring their relationship and coming to understand just what it means on both sides to be together paired to the murder mystery.
Bijou and Remy had great chemistry. The love scenes are quite scorching. There is no question that Remy is a sexy beast though! I like how Feehan uses the love scenes to show the different aspects of their relationship: primal, affectionate, deeply emotional and fiercely intimate, and even playful. I also appreciated how Feehan presents the leopard nature. She gets the aspect of this big cat right, and it fits in with this story of human leopard shapeshifters.
In some ways, this story reminded me of the film Cat People, but with a much happier ending that I always wished for. I can only give this in the four stars region because I feel like this story could have been longer.
I felt like I missed something when it ended. Maybe I am just very rapacious when it comes to books by this author. She gets me hooked and I hate when the ride is over too soon. The story moves along at an expansive pace, and before I knew it, things were wrapping up. It focuses on the Boudreaux family and the specific group in the Louisiana bayou. Some of the original guys show up in cameos, which was cool. I did think the mystery was quite suspenseful and the aspects of the murder was kind of gruesome and disturbing.
The killer was not the person I expected at all Well, I got this sick suspicion later on in the story and was hoping I was wrong. Although not a five star book, it was higher in the four star range, because I enjoyed reading it immensely, and I tried to savor reading it. I could have done with more book, as I said earlier, so that takes off from my rating. I loved Bijou as much if not more than Remy, which is saying something.
Overall rating: 4.
Leopard People Series
Leopard's Prey (2013)