Heather's Reviews > Bengal's Heart

Bengal's Heart by Lora Leigh
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Feb 27, 12

bookshelves: alpha-hero, erotica, pnr, scifi, annoying-heroine, boring, mediocre, breeds
Read from February 22 to 26, 2012

Inspite of seeing the low rating for Bengals Heart, I read the teaser chapter that was in a previous breeds book and couldn’t help myself. Unfortunately, I should have saved myself the time. Bengals Heart is the most disappointing Breed novel I have read to date, full of plot inconsistencies and not to mention, BORING. It took me a couple of weeks to finish which is unheard of for me. I just didn’t feel compelled to read it in a couple of sittings the way I normally do with these books.

Cabal St. Laurents is a Bengal Breed. We know from other novels that he is the brother of Tanner, and that he and Tanner often engaged in a little ménage with their bedmates…before Tanner was mated. Now Cabal has to face up to his own mating. Ten years prior, he lived in a lab with his fellow breeds, and was subject to all manner of sickening experiments. At the very beginning of this story, Cabal and his “lab family” (I say that because tigers in the wild do not live in prides or packs the way lions and wolves do, they lead very solitary lives, so “pack” or “pride” would not be appropriate to use) are supposed to be rescued from the labs but instead a traitor puts them all into a huge bit full of swirling razor blades that come at them at all directions. Everyone but Cabal is killed. Cabal is able to get out and attacks the traitor responsible for the torture, Douglas Watts. Cassa Hawkins was Douglas’s wife and had no clue that he was evil or what he was plotting and she tried to stop him from hurting the breeds but failed. Cabal appears to kill Doug but keeps Cassa alive and informs her that he owns her. She tastes a drop of his blood in the midst of this which sets off, you guessed it, the mating heat. Because Cassa and Cabal are mates.

Ten years later, Cassa is a reporter who won’t leave the breeds alone. She lives on Sanctuary and reports on the goings on of the Breed community, secretly hoping to redeem herself from failing to help the Breeds before. A rogue Breed is on the loose and is killing humans, more specifically humans that were part of “The Dirty Dozen”, a group of evil people who set out to track down missing and escaped breeds, to return them to the torture labs. The killer keeps sending Cassa pictures of every murder. This aggravates Jonas Wyatt, a Lion Breed leader who wants her keeping her nose out of Breed business. Jonas assigns Cabal to keep an eye on Cassa, knowing full well that they are mates. And so the familiar dance begins…

The only thing I actually liked about this story was Dog’s character (I can’t wait for his book…and who knows, it might be one in the same with Cassie’s ;) and the back story with the killer searching for his son, which I found intriguing and would like to hear more about. Other than that, I had multiple problems with the characters and story.

1. Cassa was incredibly childish and foolish. I appreciated her independent nature but there were far too many “She knew she should tell Jonas and Cabal but …” type of moments where she knowingly puts herself in danger, because of a combination of wanting Cabal’s attention (what a stupid and dangerous way to get it!) and having somewhat of a death wish due to her guilt. And it’s not like this is a woman who knows how to kick ass or has amazing skills that could get her out of trouble. She has neither, so essentially she was just a problem child that Cabal had to babysit.

2. At first I liked Cabal, and I really appreciated that he was written as being somewhat more thoughtful and resigned to Cassa’s behavior, than some of the other breed males have been portrayed with their mates. That all went out the window though in the last quarter or so of the book after Cassa was kidnapped. It’s understandable that Cabal would be very upset but he pretty much lost all of his sensibilities and became much more of a mindless animal that didn’t care what happened or how he interfered with the other mission.

3. It’s stated clearly, multiple times in the story, that Cabal has always known since he first encountered her, that Cassa is his true mate. But we know that he also was a bed hopping playboy that had been with dozens of women since that time. This does not exactly fit well with the paradigm that LL has been running for the past 20 books or so; that once they find their true mate, Breeds are monogamous and faithful for life. In prior books, mates just couldn’t stay away from each other physically, for that long, and I think they even say such in this book. And what’s more, it’s never explained just how or why Cabal slept with all of those women, considering it’s supposed to be painful for mates to even be touched by a member of the opposite sex. Everytime Cassa gets angry with him because of this, he never has a real answer for her and eventually she just seems to forget about it, and I guess we are supposed to do that too. And yet, Cabal says that he would have killed any man he suspected Cassa had shared her bed with in the last ten years (when she was with no one…yeah, that’s right, she had to go a decade without getting any. Pretty effing lame.) What’s with the double standard? I thought LL was a little more grown up than this.

4. Other reviewers have mentioned this but there is indeed at least one area in the story where the killer is referred to as a “she” but in the end the killer is a male breed. Also, I thought the fact that LL called the killer “Death” made it confusing, because if I’m not mistaken, “Death” was Harmony Lancaster’s codename, in Harmony’s Way. Perhaps this exacerbated the confusion of the killer’s sex/identity?

5. We are told that (view spoiler) Also, its mentioned that another side character in the story loses his breed mate years prior and yet is able to remarry and have children with someone else. Supposedly, Breeds and Breed mates are unable to be with anyone else again, even if their partner has died, due to the physical pain of touching another, and the massive emotional pain of losing a mate. When this anomaly is brought up, someone else points out “how little we know” about the mating heat and its long term effects and what it’s capable of. Seriously? Ten years or more have gone by since the Breeds came out of the closet to society and for years prior to that, research on the mating heat has been happening…and yet we don’t have this figured out yet? It just seems like a little late in the game to be creating such factual inconsistencies. I’m starting to think she just deviates from her model whenever she wants to and puts in under the label of “we still know so little” to cover her ass.

6. I think the idea of there being (view spoiler) I just thought it to be a little on the gimmicky side.

I really hope the next Breed book I read will be better. I have read almost all of them but I’m starting to see why people are complaining about the recent lack of quality storytelling in the series. Maybe Stygian’s Honor will be better.
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