Posted by: Jennifer | February 5, 2009

Coyote’s Mate – Lora Leigh

Leigh, Lora. Coyote’s Mate. (New York: Berkley, 2009). ISBN – 9780425226339.

Main Characters: Anya Kobrin & Del-Rey Delgado

Related Works: This is one of Lora Leigh’s the Breeds Series. See Lora Leigh’s Breed Chronology. This series includes the following:

  • Tempting the Beast – (Feline Breeds #1 – Lion Breeds) – story of Callan Lyons and Merinus Tyler
  • The Man Within – (Feline Breeds #2 – Panther Breeds) – story of Taber and Roni
  • Elizabeth’s Wolf – (Wolf Breeds) – story of Elizabeth and Dash Sinclair
  • Kiss of Heat – (Feline Breeds #3 – Snow Leopard Breeds) – story of Kane Tyler and Sherra Callahan
  • Soul Deep – (Coyote Breeds) –  story of Kiowa Bear and Amanda Marion
  • The Breed Next Door(Feline Breeds – Lion Breeds) – (part of Hotspell anthology with Emma Holly, Shiloh Walker, and Meljean Brook) – story of Tarek Jordan and Lyra
  • Megan’s Mark – (Feline  Breeds – Lion Breeds) – story of Megan Fields and Braden Arness
  • Harmony’s Way – (Feline Breeds – Lion Breeds) – story of Harmony Lancaster and Sheriff Lance Jacobs
  • Tanner’s Scheme – (Feline Breeds – Bengal Breeds) – story of Tanner and Scheme Tallant
  • Wolfe’s Hope – (Wolf Breeds) – (part of Primal Heat anthology with Sherri L. King, Lori O’Clare, and Jaci Burton) – story of Hope Bainesmith and Wolfe
  • Jacob’s Faith – (Wolf Breeds) – story of Jacob and Faith
  • Aiden’s Charity – (Wolf Breeds) – story of Aidan and Charity
  • In a Wolf’s Embrace – (Wolf Breeds) – (part of Beyond the Dark anthology) – story of Matthias Slaughter and Grace Anderson
  • Dawn’s Awakening – (Cougar Breeds) – story of Dawn Daniels & Seth Lawrence
  • Jaguar’s Kiss – (Feline Breeds – Jaguar Breeds) – (part of Shifter anthology) – story of Noble Chavin & Haley McQuire
  • Mercury’s War – (Feline Breeds – Lion Breeds) – story of Mercury Warrant & Ria Rodriguez
  • Christmas Heat – (Feline Breeds – Jaguar Breeds)(part of The Magical Christmas Cat anthology with Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, and Linda Winstead Jones)
  • Coyote’s Mate– (Coyote Breeds) – story of Anya Kobrin & Del-Rey Delgado
  • Bengal’s Heart– (Feline Breeds – Bengal Breeds) – story of Cabal St. Laurents and Cassa Hawkins – to be published in 2009
  • Lion’s Heat – (Feline Breeds – Lion Breeds) – story of Jonas Wyatt & ???????????? – to be published in late 2009

Description from book:

He always knew he would betray her . . .

Anya Kobrin was only sixteen when she first came to Del-Rey Delgado – the genetically altered rebel known as the Coyote Ghost. For six years they plotted to free a group of Coyote women kept in Anya’s father’s lab. As Anya matured into a woman, she and Del-Rey grew close . . . but on the day of the ambush, he broke his promise and shot her father.

Filled with rage over the betrayal, Anya discovers an even stronger emotion is consuming her mind and body – the animalistic desire known as mating heat. Though Del-Rey feels it with the same intensity, Anya questions whether she can forgive him or trust him again. As they stealthily maneuver to bring the freed Breeds to safety, one question reigns supreme: Can Anya and Del-Rey survive their own heat?

My Thoughts:

All of Lora Leigh’s books are a must read for me. So far, I have yet to be disappointed with anything she writes (ok, I will admit that I am sometimes disappointed with her shorter stories that appear in anthologies, but only because I wish they were longer). This is still the case after reading Coyote’s Mate. While all of the breeds have animalistic tendencies, the coyotes are considered to be the most dangerous and heartless of them all. They were bred to be killers and were often used to keep other breed species in line. This is only the second of Leigh’s stories about a coyote breed – Soul Deep being the first (and still my personal favorite – I love Kiowa). In this book, we see the coyote alpha, Del-Rey Delgado, trying to establish an established pack for his brethren much like those already formed by the feline and wolf breeds. It is a rather difficult undertaking for Del-Rey – and is complicated by his relationship with his mate Anya.

Anya and Del-Rey met when she was just sixteen – in the wilds of Siberia. She came to Del-Rey hoping to be able to free the coyote breeds that she had been raised with in a Russian lab. The process was much more difficult and time-consuming than she had anticipated. In fact, the coyotes are not actually freed until Anya is 22. During these six years, Anya and Del-Rey worked closely together. So much so that Del-Rey knew he would take Anya with him when he liberated the captive coyotes. So much so that Del-Rey needed to punish Anya’s family for allowing her to undertake such a dangerous role in the liberation.

Anya is devastated when the attack to free the coyotes comes without warning. She doesn’t have time to get her friends and family to safety. In fact, Delgado takes Anya captive and warns her father (after shooting him) that he will kill Anya if her father doesn’t cooperate. To complicate matters, Del-Rey stakes him claim on Anya while flying out of Siberia with the rescued coyotes. He lets his people know that Anya is him, but also kisses her which unleashes the mating heat.

In order to help make sense of what has happened to her, Anya fights back at Del-Rey. She petitions the breed ruling cabinet for a separation from her mate. Del-Rey agrees and goes out on missions for the next eight months rather than getting his coyote house in order. While it probably would have been better for his pack if Del-Rey had stayed and acted as alpha, his absence gave Anya a real chance to grow and become a fitting second-in-command. Of course, her leadership would be challenged by some serious pig-headedness on Del-Rey’s part. For all of his leadership abilities, he found out the hard way that he really needed Anya to help make his pack a true family that could work together and prosper.

One of my favorite things about this book was the inside look at the political nature of a developing group. Del-Rey has some serious misconceptions about the best way to lead his people and a stubborn desire to run his pack as only a military unit. Anya sees the softer side of things and definitely refuses to give up in the face of some pretty tough situations. Fortunately, she does get through to Del-Rey in the end.

Another thing that I wanted to comment on here is that as this series continues, Leigh is definitely developing much larger story arcs –  ones that are starting to transcend the confines of individual books. This wasn’t always the case. Most of the earlier books had themes and over-arching storylines. However, they all stood along. I noticed this pattern starting to change with Mercury’s War – in which the actual resolution of the suspense plot took place in the next story. In Coyote’s Mate, I definitely got the impression that there wasn’t really a resolution. Sure Anya and  Del-Rey found their HEA, but there seems to be big trouble for the breeds. Anya and Del-Rey were only able to win what seems to be a very minor skirmish. By the way, this isn’t necessarily a complaint. I am certainly caught up in many of these types of series. I will say that this can sometimes leave me with an hollow-type feeling – mostly because there are definitely things that I would have liked to have seen resolved and don’t necessarily want to wait to see how things go. But, wait, I will.

Read first on February 3, 2009

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