Title: The Leopard King
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Ars Numina
Publication Date: September 28, 2016
Synopsis: Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.
Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.
Fierce. Loyal. Determined.
Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.
At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.
I absolutely adored Pru. She reminded me so much of myself when the book started. A bit shy, the type that likes to stay in the back and didn’t want to be noticed and lets her friends be the more bold outspoken ones. She is incredibly kind and caring, takes care of her pride mates and makes sure that everyone is okay. As the book goes on and she gains more confidence, but she is so self-conscious because she has been a Latent (someone who isn’t a shifter) for most of her life and had been treated different, and she really starts to come out of her shell. She gets more bold, outspoken, and really just becomes more amazing. I really just can’t say enough about how amazing of a character that she is.
I really liked Dom as well. Even though he was a bit of a jerk to Pru at the beginning we had learned that he was in a self-imposed exile because he was still mourning his lost mate who was brutally murdered three years ago. Once he comes back to the pride though he start to see Dom become the man that he was before, a strong intelligent, and kind leader. He can sometimes be an insensitive when it comes to Pru, he often assumes that she knows how he feels and doesn’t make it clear to her how he feels, and he doesn’t realize how self-conscious that she is so it causes some friction between them. But he is seriously a very, very well written alpha male hero. He is not the type that is a caveman and forbids Pru to do things that he doesn’t want her to, even when she goes out into situations that put her in life-threatening danger.
As for them as a I couple they are seriously a great one, they have problems. They were friends before, Pru was best friends with Dom’s first wife, Dalena, so that often makes things a little awkward. And then there is things with Slay, who was Pru’s ‘lover’ (things are a little more complicated there but I don’t want to spoil things. I really love Dom and Pru as a couple and I rooted for them from the beginning, even when they had their ups and downs I knew that they were perfect for each other. The scene at the end was so sweet and had me crying a bit.
There are a lot of amazing secondary characters, who we will later see as main characters in books, and I am really excited for their books. There are some secondary characters I loved and some that I didn’t like at all. I am going to let you make your own opinion on them though.
Paranormal romances are not usually my favorites to read and I normally read them when I just need something light and fun to read because a lot of them don’t have a lot of world building or plot and tend to focus more just on the relationship/romance. That is not the case, at all, with this one. Man is that so far from the case with this book.
Aguirre did such a great job balancing the romance and plot with this one that sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was reading an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance. The plot is such a huge part of this book that without it the book would be flat and bland, but the same can be said about the romance. The book starts with Pru bringing back Dom for the signing of the accord then end up with a conspiracy which turns into a bombing and a battle and a war. It’s just so complex and you never know who to trust, who is working against Dom and the pride. I just loved it!
Again as with the plot most world building in PRN’s aren’t that complex but Aguirre out did herself with this one. The worldbuilding in this book is so well thought out and amazing. We are given the details of it in the book and it’s not given to us in a boring way either, it’s done in a very interesting way. I really loved all the detail that she went into for this book. I am the type that wants to know EVERYTHING and Aguirre went out of her way to give me a lot of information for the type of book that she was writing. I seriously applaud her for that.
I am seriously in love with this book, the characters, and the world that Aguirre has made. I am going to be impatiently waiting for the next one. If you love shifters and good romances definitely check this one out, it is well worth the read!
I received an ARC of this book from Ann Aguirre. This in no way affected my review.