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 rescue Coyote women being held in Anya's father's laboratory. As Anya grew into a woman, she and Del-Rey grew close, but on the day of the rescue he broke his promise and shot her father.
Filled with rage over this 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 and trust him again. As they stealthily maneuver to bring the freed Breeds to safety, one question remains supreme: Can Anya and Del-Rey survive their own heat?
I really don't know what Lora Leigh does to make these Breeds novels so enticing, but they just keep on grabbing our attention and shoving our reading noses into these pages. In so many ways the plots are not really different--a Breed male finds his mate--she may or may not be a Breed herself--there are barriers of one sort or another to their mating--they gradually resolve these barriers and their feelings--they live happily (or sort of happily) ever after. Yet, in spite of the plot similarity, these stories seem to have an intrinsic life of their own that makes each one just different enough that they are enjoyable and continually interesting.
Certainly, Del-Rey is just a rough and tumble guy that is very set in his ways, has some rather curious attitudes toward his animal breed and the way his kind are allowed to act, and he has a very checkered moral code that Anya can't seem to get past and which she constantly challenges. That he is "taken" with her from the very first is evident. That he has his own ideas of how this particular rescue is to be worked out--one that is quite different from Anya's--is also evident. His reasons for doing things seem quite convoluted at times. And those reasons and those actions continue to erect barriers between him and Anya, barriers that are so significant that for the first time ever, a mate has requested Breed Council permission to live officially apart from her mate. Boy, are there trust issues between these two!!
I think this story is exactly what it advertises: the story of Coyote's mate, Anya. It is the chronicle, in a sense, of her growth into herself, her acceptance of their differences, her willingness to love him even when he hurts her down to the core by denying their mate status, his denial of her leadership capabilities and her organizational genius, as well as her never-dying hope that they can be equals in leading their pack. Yet Coyote seems unable to look beyond his limited understanding of what a Coya really can be, all in the mistaken idea that by denying her place at his side he is protecting her. Only when her life is truly in danger, not only from their common enemies but from his own pack members does he recognize that he must grow as well.
I think this is a very emotional story and I found myself really becoming involved with Anya and her anxieties and hurts. To have her put down in such a way at one point was terribly hurtful and I admit that I felt that hurt in my own gut. None of us like to feel that the person we love with all our hearts doesn't share that level of respect that will enable that love to survive. It came across very overtly in this story.
So if you have read some of Leigh's Breeds series but not this book, please get a copy at your bookstore or library. It is worth the time.