If you liked the first book in the Breeds series, you’ll like this second installment… maybe a little bit more. The formula is the same, but now the characters and world-building are familiar. On top of that, we’ve got a second-chance-at-love story, giving us a reason for the connection between our hero and heroine.
Taber and Roni have had something between them for more than a decade. She was only 11 when he found her alone and terrified in the woods. And ever since, he has made it his mission to protect her. As they grew up, their feelings for each other grew into something more than friendship. Finally, they were going to act on their attraction, when someone came between them.
Without getting into the particulars, I’ll tell you Taber marked Roni, but they never sealed the deal. Each thought they had been rejected by the other, and they went their separate ways. It’s now more than a year later. Taber and his fellow Pride-mates have gone public, and now the world can recognize the mark he left on Roni, making her a target. They must reunite for him to protect her.
There is much angst to be found here. Roni is still hurting over what she thinks is Taber’s rejection. But now, with his kiss, she has gone into heat for him. Her body wants him more than ever, but her heart rebels.
There were a couple of times I took pause on the issue of consent here. I did a little in the last book, too, to be honest. Roni really has no choice about whether she will be with Taber sexually. We’re told that in her heart of hearts, she really does want him, and I acknowledge that. But it did bother me that he willfully took her choices away. At least in the last book, Callan didn’t know what he was doing. Taber did.
That aside, the sex is hot (though a bit over-the-top with all the creaming and clenching of the lady bits and spasming of the womb) — it’s also quite frequent. I felt there was a little more character development this time around and I did believe in the emotional connection between Roni and Taber.
I’m still a bit annoyed that Lora Leigh is teasing me on the Sherra book. It seems we won’t get her story until book 4. Maybe I’ll skip ahead.
The Man Withinby Lora LeighRelease Date: October 28, 2004Publisher: Ellora’s Cave