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REVIEW: Kiss of Heat by Lora Leigh

From the desk of guest reviewer, Jaili.

Dear Ms. Leigh,

Kiss of HeatWhen I saw that Kiss of Heat is Book 3 in Feline Breeds series, I assumed that it would be a standalone, anyway, just enough for me to get into the story easily. I mean, how hard could it be to catch up? Pretty easy, I’d say, but I had no idea how wrong I was.

Kiss of Heat is the story of Kane Tyler and Sherra who have enough issues to fill a six-piece luggage set. From what I gather so far, Sherra has a serious grudge against Kane Tyler for not honouring his promise he made to her some years ago. For not returning to save her from a pit of nightmares. And for not being there when she alone endured a few more nightmarish incidents at a secret lab. For reasons unknown to me the lab blew up, killing everyone inside. Including Sherra.

But of course, Kane learnt six years later, Sherra survived the bombing and went to live on a compound built like a fortess against a malicious organisation known as the Council and some people who believe ‘freaks’ like her shouldn’t live.

While Kane and Sherra dealt with their issues and emotions about each other, they struggled to clamp down a wave of violence against the compound as a series of attempts to – as far as I can see –" kidnap two pregnant women and a little wolf-girl named Cassie who might be valuable for the Council. As the violence intensified, Kane and Sherra came to learn that there was more to being mates than a mind-blowing shagathon.

If my summary is muddled, it’s because I’ve never managed to grasp what was going on with the background story behind Kiss of Heat. When I read this story, I spent more time struggling to figure out relationships between various characters, how and why this or that happened, and what they were supposed to be than going along with the story. If I read this right, Kane Tyler is the brother of one of pregnant women and Sherra is the sister of Taber [or Callen?], a quick-tempered bloke, but I was never sure if I was correct. Basically, there is a strong sense of assumption that a new reader like me should know who’s who, what’s what and why’s why.

This is rather frustrating because I honestly wanted to follow Kane and Sherra’s story, but I was too distracted by so many questions about their world to feel their anger, despair, angst, lust, fear, sense of belonging, and other emotions they had for each other. I mean, it took me a while to figure out who Cassie is and that she’s a little girl, not a woman who’s lusted after Kane.

I wish there was a notice that readers ought to read Feline Breeds books in order or that there would some background details in the beginning of Kiss of Heat for readers like me to catch up quickly. In fact I was told that there are actually three series that take place in this present-day universe and that all books in these three series are closely connected.

I’m sorry to say that Kiss of Heat, as a standalone, is far too confusing for me to enjoy, let alone to grade. I think faithful followers of your series would enjoy it a lot more than readers like me who know next to nothing about the series.

Perhaps it would be nice if you’d be more sympathetic by including, either, a basic guide to back of your next story or some background details in the story itself to clue us in. That would be very much appreciated. Thank you. C+.

Sincerely,

Jaili aka McVane

34 Comments

  1. Karen Scott
    May 23, 2006 @ 07:49:12

    Jaili, (g) with Lora’s Breeds books, you really have to read them in order, otherwise they probably wont make sense. The entire series is notorious for being read out of order, but if you go on her site, I think she lists the order in which they need to be read.

  2. Tara Marie
    May 23, 2006 @ 09:33:27

    I’ve read 3 Lora Leigh ECs. In order to get me to read another, this would have needed to be an A . Not a fan and after reading this review I’m still not going to give her another try. I was going to make a comment about hot pokers being stuck in my eyes, but thought that might be a little over the top–LOL.

  3. Jayne
    May 23, 2006 @ 12:57:36

    I know that EC has a notice by some of Jaid Black’s books that says they need to be read in order. I think it even lists the order. I’ve not read too many EC authors. Is this common with that publishing line?

  4. Dana
    May 23, 2006 @ 21:16:52

    I’ve read five books in this series and I still don’t get why the people running those labs/attacking the compound are so over the top evil. They seem to have no motivations that make any sense. And I can never remember how the characters relate to each other because the characters just aren’t memorable.

  5. Maili
    May 23, 2006 @ 22:42:54

    Karen – now you tell me. There was no note that it has to be read in order and this annoys me. Reading this was like watching a film that has already been on for an hour. Bad form, I say! :D

    Tara Marie – lol! What are those three LL books you read?

    Jayne – no, there was no note that it has to be read in order. Just that it’s Book three. I made a mistake of assuming that while a book is part of a series, it still can be read as a standalone. Obviously not in this case.

    Dana – oh, no. I had considered reading the whole series, but since we share a similar taste, it looks like I’d be wasting my time if I did go for it. Thanks for the heads up, mite.

  6. sybil
    May 24, 2006 @ 08:58:25

    tara really sometimes you make it too easy for me…

    ::adds LL to list::

    I think I have read the first two Breed books haven’t made it this far.

  7. Dana
    May 24, 2006 @ 11:00:43

    Maili: I don’t entirely dislike the series. It’s just that a lot of things that annoyed you about this book are present through out the entire series. If you want to try another one I recommend sticking with the feline breeds. They are slightly better than the wolf ones.

  8. Tara Marie
    May 24, 2006 @ 14:21:48

    My three LL’s:

    Marly’s Choice
    Sarah’s Seduction
    Heather’s Gift

    When I bought these at the UBS, the owner said these were her most popular of all the EC books she sold.

    Three brothers who like to share women, which I wouldn’t have had a problem with, but the author needed to justify what they did by bringing in an abused childhood subplot that required them to show their love for each other by using each other’s significant others. There was a certain yuck factor to the whole thing.

  9. Sheila
    May 25, 2006 @ 08:37:54

    I happen to LOVE Lora’s books. I read them out of order and happened to get what was going on. Some people just have no imagination. As each book came out I devoured it, craving to learn more about these elusive Breeds. I conragulate Lora on her awesome books and impatienly wait for the next one.

  10. Gloria
    May 25, 2006 @ 08:42:56

    The breeds books are in numerical order at EC and on Lora’s website for a reason-because they are to be read that way.

    Lora Leigh has given readers (including my self) an exceptional view into a fantasy world, filled with suspense and really steamy sex. Everyone has their own opinon, and this one is mine.

    The August brothers-are another well known series, where she takes us deep into the hearts of these men and makes us understand why the hurt so deep. It’s a wonderful series that will have you crying, and leave you breathless at the same time.

    I recommend ALL OF LORA LEIGH’S BOOKS.

  11. GLORIA
    May 25, 2006 @ 08:52:31

    THE BREED SERIES ARE IN NUMERICAL ORDER ON THE EC AND LORA’S WEBSITE AS WELL-BECAUSE THEY ARE TO BE READ IN ORDER. LORA LEIGH HAS TAKEN READERS INTO AN EXCEPTIONAL WORLD OF EXCITEMENT FILLED WITH SUSPENSE AND HOT STEAMY SEX. THE BREEDS ARE A MUST READ! AND INFORMATION IS SLOWLY UNRAVELED IN EACH OF HER STORIES. THE AUGUST BROTHERS ARE ALSO AN AWARD WINNING SERIES- LORA TAKES READERS ON A RIDE WITH THREE MEN WHO HURT SO DEEPLY-BUT FIND A WAY TO BOND, AND SUCCEED IN HAVING A FUTURE FILLED WITH HAPPINESS.

  12. Jane
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:05:16

    Dear Commenters, I would recommend that you try to a) pace your comments farther apart if you intend to impersonate more than one person or b) get a friend to comment for you so that the admins don’t see that you have the same IP address. Learning a bit of subterfuge can help you be a more effective fangirl.

  13. GLORIA
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:34:22

    Thanks for the compliment-I’ll make sure Lora knows I should be writing her blurbs. Now Jane, as far as the August brothers are concerned, Lora has built her books in fantasy, so realistically it’s not as if a cop is going to go knocking down on their door. And furthermore, in a fantasy world I would commend these brothers for finding a way to heal themselves, and if you ever find the time you should read AUGUST HEAT. It tells the tale how the August brothers truly heal.

  14. Sheila
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:49:43

    yes I admit I am posting for Gloria, she’s going to try once again and hopefully it will work for her.

  15. gloria62676
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:50:11

    ah dear sweet jane–yep call me the fan girl, but guess what somehow my computer at work won’t let me post directly, so I have a friend that’s doing it for me. And yep I’m a huge fan… and what? I’m pleased to be one. Lora is sassy, smart, and a wonderful writer. Do you see the stars in my eyes yet? **snicker**

    Gloria

  16. Gloria
    May 25, 2006 @ 09:56:28

    ah dear sweet jane–yep call me the fan girl, but guess what somehow my computer at work won’t let me post directly, so I have a friend that’s doing it for me. And yep I’m a huge fan… and what? I’m pleased to be one. Lora is sassy, smart, and a wonderful writer. Do you see the stars in my eyes yet? **snicker**

  17. Janine
    May 25, 2006 @ 10:12:50

    In regards to LL’s breed series, I have to say I haven’t found another series that I stalk a much as I do this one. It’s hot, imaginative and the emotional connection between the the main characters is solid. Can’t stand books that are all sex, and LL’s breeds may be steamy, but there’s alot more between those pages. I read them in order since i’ve been grabbing up each one as they are released. I highly recommend it!

  18. Lindsey
    May 25, 2006 @ 10:18:04

    I would think that a reviewer would be more aware of the fact that if a book is numbered, then it’s a given that it is the THIRD book of a series. Do your homework before spouting off. I usually use this site to get the latest ideas on books. Not anymore.

  19. Maili
    May 25, 2006 @ 10:42:38

    Let’s see – I lack imagination, intelligence, logic, and what else? Everything, I suppose. I’d better toss myself off a cliff, then. :)

    To clarify: I have already said in my review that when I noticed that it’s Book 3, I assumed that – since other authors tend to ensure that each book in their book series would be a standalone enough for anyone to catch up – it’d still be a standalone, but obviously I was wrong and I believe I repeatedly acknowledged that in the review.

    Secondly, thank you to a couple of those for sharing your views on why you enjoy the series. I’m pretty sure that many agree with you and that’s all it matters, right? Thanks.

  20. Jayne
    May 25, 2006 @ 11:04:47

    Let’s see – I lack imagination, intelligence, logic, and what else? Everything, I suppose. I’d better toss myself off a cliff, then.

    Well Maili, I guess that makes you a tosser, ‘eh? And yes I know what that means in Britspeak. ;)

    To clarify: I have already said in my review that when I noticed that it’s Book 3, I assumed that – since other authors tend to ensure that each book in their book series would be a standalone enough for anyone to catch up – it’d still be a standalone, but obviously I was wrong and I believe I repeatedly acknowledged that in the review.

    Well, I’m about to try a book that Jane says already has one prequel and a short story before it. So I’m probably going to be tossed off the cliff next if I say I don’t like it.

  21. Jorrie Spencer
    May 25, 2006 @ 12:49:05

    Well, Maili, it was your review that finally tipped me over the edge. I’m going to try a Lora Leigh book. Given that that is the case, I’m a little irked that some fans are being so rude here! They’re not exactly doing Lora Leigh any favors, imo.

    Of course, my dilemma now: which Lora Leigh to try first.

  22. sybil
    May 25, 2006 @ 13:33:13

    So who was it that needed an example of what rabid fan girl meant?

    I must get popcorn, such weeks in romanceland call for lots!

    Thanks for the recs, god knows if I haven’t already read them and heh liked them *sorry jane* I would be running out to buy them. RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

    U guys rock!

  23. Solaine
    May 25, 2006 @ 13:41:26

    Jorrie – I’m usually the odd man out on ths one, but my favorite series from Lora Leigh is actually the Legacies series. I think those stories are just more interesting. My least favorite is the Bound Heart series, those are pretty unoriginal and boring.

    However, I think starting with Book 1 is necessary for any of Lora Leigh’s series, because she always builds on the stories in each book. EC should definitely take note and make sure that readers know to read the books in order to avoid spoilers and I think Maili has a good point about Kiss of Heat being confusing without knowing the backstory.

    That being said, I also got burnt out on Lora Leigh’s Breed series. Her characters became a bit redundant and I didn’t see much growth in their relationships beyond the obvious “you’re my mate, let’s get together”, but I think it’s because a) I binged on her books and b) at one point she was putting out stories around once every two weeks, trying to meet the demand and sacrificing quality for quantitiy. (She actually had to pull her Legacies series because they found inconsistencies with the plotlines).

    I think Lora is worth the read, i just don’t think everything she writes is gold.

  24. Janine
    May 25, 2006 @ 13:43:20

    Jorrie… try Tempting the Beast. It’s a Feline Breed book, but Callan was my first breed… and you know what they say about never forgetting your first. :)

  25. Jorrie Spencer
    May 25, 2006 @ 16:49:27

    Thanks for the suggestions, Solaine and Janine.

  26. Karen Scott
    May 25, 2006 @ 17:23:10

    Hey Jane/Jayne, you guys have arrived, you have an all out fangirly attack going on!!

    Do you recall a few weeks ago, you did a review on one of LL’s books, and you weren’t impressed? This is the reason Maili told you to brace yourself. The fangirls know where you live now, lmao!

  27. Jane
    May 25, 2006 @ 19:39:22

    You know what is surprising. This is the best review we have of a Lora Leigh book on the entire site. We are doomed if the fangirls figure out the search feature. Anyway, we’re honored to have such attention paid to our guest reviewer, no matter how uninformed and illogical she is.

  28. Tara Marie
    May 25, 2006 @ 20:19:29

    How did I miss this today? Rabid fangirls on attack.

    sybil–pass the popcorn.

  29. sybil
    May 25, 2006 @ 20:25:10

    I stocked up! Kettle corn, buttered or light?

    ::giggling over uninformed and illogical comment::

    Rabid maili fangirlie should be a button!

  30. Gloria
    May 26, 2006 @ 05:57:39

    Hmmm being from the Bronx (NY), I don’t suspect I’ve ever been called “rabid” before. But I guess I can take that as a compliment too.

    I don’t think any of the comments were rude. I think “the fan girls” were more just trying to make a point.

    Ah all is well. Opinions are what makes the world go round, it’s how you state them that matters. :-)

  31. Jen
    May 31, 2006 @ 13:11:04

    After reading all the previous postings I have to say that one thing is clear. You should always read a series of any author in order, I kind of figured that was the purpose of a series. *hhhmmm* I do love Lora Leigh’s books but I have been reading them from the first EC release of “Marly’s Choice”. I do admit that prior to a new book being released in one of her series, I will go back and reread previous books to refresh my memory on the details. The details are very important in Lora’s books. She writes with much depth and characters do not just disappear once their story has ended. This one of the things I like most about Lora’s stories…You don’t just read about a certain period of the characters life, you get an indepth view of their past and future. To me this is awesome, I love getting to follow many characters as they progress thru life, not just have their story end with happily ever after.

  32. Jane
    May 31, 2006 @ 13:57:57

    I have to disagree, Jen. I think that series books need to stand alone. An author cannot guarantee that a reader will a) know that it is part of the series or b) be willing to expend the money and effort to buy and read all of the other books.

    But when one book is so confusing that it actually deters the reader from the series, it has failed for that reader. It is not a complaint that is solely cast at this book. Both Jayne and I have graded other authors down for the very same reason: Its series book does not stand alone sufficient enough that a reader can step in at anytime and have a good experience.

  33. Jen
    Jun 01, 2006 @ 06:54:52

    I think in this case it is just better to “Agree to disagree” LOL We are looking at things that are subjective and totally up to personal choice. That can not be argued it just is…..Goodluck and Best Wishes.

  34. JJ
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 15:21:30

    :) I understand that a person might assume that any book in a series should be, to an extent, stand-alone … but I don’t understand why you’d deliberately start in the middle of a series? I have to admit a tiny, snarky part of me thinks that you deserve whatever confusion you get. :)

    Besides, my experience with EC is that the books are mostly about sex, that’s what the readers want, and expecting a great deal of plot or depth of history is expecting more than the publisher has promised to deliver.

    My one problem with her books is that she can’t seem to decide from one book to another when the public began to suspect mating heat. In one, when Callan and Merinus have been together for ten years the Felines are starting to be prepared to answer questions when they finally tell people about it, and in another, when they’ve barely been together a year, there have been TV reports about it. *shrug* Oh, well. I don’t suppose it’s that big a deal.

    I started reading her books because of the short story in “Hot Spell.” Tarek was such a beautiful character. I was completely enthralled by his fascination with everything about being human, by the way he fell in love with his new life, even as he struggled to accept that he had a right to that life and his own freedom. Whatever mistakes she has made in the other books I’ve read, I could forgive her because of Tarek.

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