Friday, October 10, 2008
***½ Tanner's Scheme by Lora Leigh. Contemporary paranormal romance.
First, I just have to say a word or two about the reviews calling the heroine of this book promiscuous: get a freaking grip. Five lovers by the time a woman is 30 isn't by any stretch of the imagination promiscuous. I'm having a hard time getting over that. It's readers like that who push the whole virgin heroine thing by making authors and publishers think that's what we all want. Okay, I'm not going to hijack my review with a rant. I'll post the rant on Monday for Smart Bitches Day.
Anyway. Tanner's Scheme is the third Breed book by Lora Leigh. I haven't read them in order, and maybe it would have helped if I had--though I wasn't at all confused even though I'd only read two Breed novellas before ("The Breed Next Door" in Hot Spell (#16) and "In a Wolf's Embrace" in Beyond the Dark)
Scheme Tallant (I had a hard time getting over that name, by the way) is the daughter of General Cyrus Tallant, a man responsible for innumerable atrocities against the Breeds. She's long suspected that her father had killed her mother, but the last straw was when he forcibly aborted the child she conceived with the assassin her father had paid to sleep with her. Since then, she's been working undercover for the Breeds.
Bengal tiger Breed Tanner Reynolds has been watching Scheme for years, ostensibly because she's her father's daughter and highly placed in his organization, but also because he can't stay away.
Everything comes together (or falls apart, depending on where you're standing) when Scheme discovers her father's plan to kidnap the only naturally born child of Breeds. Knowing that her father will realize she has the information and her cover will be blown, she contacts Jonas, the Breed security chief, and asks for asylum, then attends a party she knows he'll be attending.
Only Jonas doesn't show up. And when Scheme goes back to her hotel room (she knows better than to return to her own home), Tanner is there. And then her father's favorite assassin and her one-time lover shows up to kill her. Tanner saves her life, then kidnaps her and keeps her prisoner in his underground lair (heh).
It's a nice conflict--neither can trust the other. Tanner believes Scheme's cover--after all, her signature is on a lot of kill orders--but he still can't help being attracted to her. And Scheme knows there's a spy in the Breed organization, and Tanner fits the profile. More, she's afraid that her instinct to trust him is just her libido speaking. Exacerbating matters--Tanner is more drawn to Scheme than he's ever been to any other woman, but he knows she can't be his Mate, because he hasn't felt any of the symptoms of mating heat. So he assumes she must be his twin brother Cabal's Mate. Which doesn't stop him from having sex with her--after all, he and Cabal have shared women before.
Then there were the scenes describing what Scheme went through at her father's hands. They were chilling, to say the least, and made her father a great villain. He was actually pretty well drawn--I believed he thought he did love his daughter, even as he tortured her, and planned to kill her.
There's also nice suspense in trying to figure out who the Breed traitor is, and some emotionally wrenching scenes involving Cabal.
And there are a lot of steamy scenes. A lot of them. And some of them are pretty darn steamy. But there are a lot of them. So many that I just started skimming after a while, because they all started to seem the same. I'm not a prude, but two-thirds of the sex scenes could have been cut with no loss to the story whatsoever. I'd have kept just three--the ones that were most important to the story line: the first one, the one where Tanner ****spoiler**** finally realized she's his Mate****, and the one that a few readers complained about: ****spoiler**** the one with Cabal ****. That would have made each sex scene stand out, instead of just turning them all into background noise, and would have raised my rating a half star.
One other thing I didn't care for was the fact that Tanner had been watching Scheme for so long. Not just keeping an eye on her, but watching her via hidden cameras--watching her have sex with other men, watching her masturbate, etc. That's not sexy; that's creepy. But being a firm believer in redemption, I could have gotten over that... except that Scheme didn't mind at all. Wha??
Bottom line: if you're reading the series, there's no reason to skip this one. It certainly didn't convince me to look for more of her books, but if I run across one, I'll give the series another shot.
Categories: Books, 3.5stars, ParanormalRomance