Author: Nalini Singh
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: February 25, 2014
San Francisco is under threat from a violent gang…a gang that has no idea who they’re challenging. The DarkRiver pack of leopard changelings has already claimed the city as their territory, and they will fight with wild fury to protect its residents. Emmett, a lethally trained leopard soldier, isn’t about to let outsiders muscle in on his home ground—especially when they target a human named Ria.
Emmett has one word for the smart stranger with her curvy body and tough spirit: mine.
Possessive, dominant, unyielding in his demands and desires, Emmett is unlike anyone Ria has ever before met. But while the sexy leopard changeling makes her body ignite, his kisses molten and his touch addicting, she’s no pushover and she has a few demands of her own. This leopard has met his match...
This is the series prequel...Before Lucas met Sascha (and all hell broke loose), Emmett met Ria (Lucas' human executive assistant in later books) and fell—hard—like changelings do.
It was sort of weird reading this prequel when other stories (later stories) were published before it, but it was like a nice, quick, funny, and sexy blast from the past with a bigger focus on the human woman, suddenly finding herself in the sights of a hungry leopard, and her quirky family, instead of on the DarkRiver pack and the changelings.
I loved Ria, I adored her grandmother, and I even loved Ria's (sometimes) overbearing parents once they got over the fixation of getting her married to the 'perfect suitor'. And while Emmett was adorable, despite Hawke being my all-time favorite changeling (sorry, Lucas), I do have a preference to the leopards, I still found myself enjoying scenes with Ria and her family more.
I guess the story was just too short (being a novella) to convey everything Emmett had to offer—beside the obvious—and really push the romance through, because I felt kind of cheated we didn't get more. But I know it's tough to cram everything needed—character introduction, attraction, romance, suspense, and just a pinch of drama—into a story less than 100 pages long.
So, despite the lack of 'story' (in lack of a better word), I'm giving this 4 stars. Because I can. And because I liked it.