Leigh, Lora. Bengal’s Heart. (New York: Berkley, 2009). ISBN – 9780425229026.
Main Characters: Cabal St. Laurents and Cassa Hawkins
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) – the story of Noble Chavin and Haley
- 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
- Lion’s Heat – (Feline Breeds – Lion Breeds) – story of Jonas Wyatt & Rachel – (to be published in April 2010)
Description from Book:
Reporter Cassa Hawkins has always supported Breed rights, believing they should be allowed to live free of fear and prejudice among the humans. A reasonable woman couldn’t think otherwise, especially not in the presence of Cabal St. Laurents, a spectacularly muscled Bengal. The epitome of the male animal, his sensual growl can fire up Cassa’s vulnerable body faster than a flame. Yet neither can ignore the nightmare unfolding around them . . .
The Breeds have been incriminated in a series of violent murders and accused of hiding a vicious serial killer. Cassa and Cabal must discover the truth. But as hunter becomes prey, are trust and passion enough to keep them alive through the night?
Reading this book was a rather interesting experience for me. I enjoyed the book – as I do with all of Lora Leigh’s Breed books. However, I will say that in this instance, I thought that the storyline somewhat overshadowed the romance. I’m not sure if this is because the story line was stronger than the romance or because I didn’t connect as much with Cabal and Cassa as I have with previous characters. If I had to choose, I would say that it is probably because Cassa and Cabal (and their relationship) didn’t resonate as strongly with me as some of the others. Do I know why? Not really. I thought the romantic/sexual tension between the two was excellent. I bought their attraction for each other. Maybe it was that Cabal never really gave any decent explanation for the fact that he stayed away from her for 11 years. It could have been that I didn’t see the need for his legendary sexual exploits that happened when he knew who his mate was. It could also have been because I thought Cassa should have confronted Cabal years previously – she wasn’t the type to sit meekly in the background. Or, it could be a combination of all of these things.
I was much more into the story of Patrick/Azrael and his quest to find his child. I enjoyed that we saw more of Jonas and his bizarre machinations. I liked the primal breed storyline – and think that I actually paid a bit more attention to Cabal after we found this out. I had hoped that the fact that he was a primal breed might have part of his reason for staying away from Cassa, but this wasn’t mentioned.
So, this book certainly is a worthy addition to the Breed series. I like the turns in the series arc and can’t wait to learn more about Azreal, the primal breeds and, of course, Jonas.
One thing of note, I SO have to agree with the following comment about this book by Tracy over at Book Binge:
I have to say I was a little disappointed when Jonas’s mate was revealed and it was kind of done nonchalantly. I guess I’ve been waiting to find out who was going to be able to handle that man for so long that I was underwhelmed when it was told in such a ho-hum manner. Hopefully Jonas’s book, which is up next, will be better than the reveal.
There has been a great deal of buildup for Jonas’ character over the years. He is an incredibly dynamic character. We do find out definitively who his mate is in this book. The reference is rather off-hand – somewhat as if this is just an accepted fact among the Breeds. Because the reveal was so matter of fact, I was kind of expecting something between Jonas and his mate in the epilogue (rather than his bizarre conversation with Douglas Watts) – something that would help set the stage for Jonas’ book, Lion’s Heat (due out in April 2010).
Read first August 4, 2009