Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Mercury's War"

Synopsis from BN:

Nothing matches Lora Leigh’s latest entry in the series about genetically altered Breeds with feline DNA—and the humans who awaken their desire.
Someone has been slipping the Sanctuary’s secure information to a pharmaceutical company. Now it’s up to Ria Rodriguez to pose as a clerk and uncover the leak. Yet she has no idea of the danger she’s about to encounter—or the passion she’s about to ignite in one of the greatest Breeds ever created.
My Review:
From the very start, I've been hooked, addicted to the dark, sweet Breeds books. Mercury's War is no different. Full of energy, interesting and strong characters, sizzling love scenes and very emotional moments, suspense and even a bit of mystery, Mercury's War, along with all of her other Breeds books, if a perfect read for any romance lover.
Some women who have read Leigh's Breeds books say that they quit the series because they felt that the books kept repeating themselves, the sex scenes were too graphic and occurred too often, and they felt that the mating heat and alpha male heroes sometimes went too close to that fine-line between passion and rape. I understand that each person has their own opinions, and I respect that.
But for those of you who see reviews that include any of the above reasons for why NOT to read the book, please, don't listen to them. Or at least give at least one of her books a chance before you say 'I agree with...' Here is what I have to say about this subject:
Yes, Lora Leigh's books, not just her Breeds Series but all of her books, are very heavy in the explicit erotic sex scenes. It says so in many of the reviews, and that is what she is well known for writing-- amazing, but very steamy, romances. If you can't stand reading books that are this explicit, that's fine *Once again, everyone has their own opinions!*, but make sure that you are not just passing up her books because you are under the impression that by 'explicit and sex-filled' it really means 'Straight-out Erotica/Porno', because I can promise you, it's not. I've read erotica before, from different authors and different genres. In general, erotica is usually 80 percent sex scenes, 10 percent action and 10 percent romance. Of course, this varies depending on the book, the author, and how well written the book is. Now, I'm not trying to diss these books, but I am trying to prove a point, so please, stick with me.
The difference between full out erotica and the unique blend that Lora Leigh does is very important, and if you read one of her books, you should be able to identify the difference. During the love scenes, which may be a bit more numerous than in most regular romances I'll admit, Leigh combines more than just hot sex, more than just demanding desires and wants. She adds in a heavy dose of true, honest-to-goodness love. The hero and heroine are not just humping each other constantly like bunnies, their love making, while very erotic, has emotion to it, beyond simple desire. I can't explain all of the feelings that run through them during these scenes, but if you read it, maybe you'll see what I'm trying to explain. They love each other, the kind of love that fairy tales and happily-ever-afters are made of, and their love is shown through not only words and glances, but also physically. It's not just sex, it's something more, something that I'm sure a lot of us wish that we had, or maybe you already do and you understand.
And as far as the alpha males and mating heat...Well, this is another thing that unless you read the books and experience first hand what it's like for the characters, you may, incorrectly, assume that this somehow forces the couple to need each other's bodies. Not true. In fact, Elizabeth, the mate to the very first breed, said such to Ria in Mercury's War. Though I can't remember the exact quote, it went something like this:
"In every mated couple, you see the same thing: love. It's not just a chemical, hormonal, or phenomenal bond between them. No, there is always something deeper there, and you can see it in their eyes. The public can believe what they want, but it's not just something that was artificial forced upon any of us."
Can their protectiveness, their devotion and love for one another sometimes get a little bit hard, (to some it may even seem exaggerated) and almost, but not quiet, out of control? Yes, BUT if you read the whole story, not just these parts where they *usually the male* is about to lose control of his emotions and self-control, you see that he can't harm her because their bond, their mating, goes so deep, involving not only the human part and emotions but also the animalistic needs and nature. Unless we're talking about some of the evil guys in it, the men never rape the women, nor vise-versa. Even if it may seem like they are 'fighting' each other, it's not the same thing. For the Breeds, who are very much in touch with the animal inside of them, mating requires two strong and independent people coming together. The beast doesn't want a weak mate, someone who will let him walk all over her. No, they want someone who will fight back, will challenge them on occasion and spice up their life. Maybe it's just me, but I do not see this as rape of any kind.
And the only thing that all of her books in the Breed Series have in common is the fact that each pairing goes through the intense mating heat, falling in love and producing such spectacular emotions along the way that even the reader feels like they are experiencing it. In Mercury's War, there were many places in the story where I felt so connected to the characters that I felt like I was the character. I wanted to curl up and cry with Ria, mourning my 'lost' mate. I could feel the dark desire surging just beneath the surface, fighting to get free. Lora writes the stories with such emotion and depth that sometimes you can't help but 'feel' them. When she cried for Mercury, I felt like doing the same. When she realized just how deep their love and bond went, I felt it too. Now, I'm not stupid or crazy-- I realize that a book is just that-- a book. But I also know that when an author is able to weave together a world that is so believable, so real and dynamic that you are pulled right into the story and experience it from your eyes, or so it seems, she *or he!* must be a damn good writer! And I enjoy reading books like this, ones that not only pull me into the story but almost make me believe, even if only for a moment before rational thoughts remind me that it's all 'fantasy', that everything is real.
With that said, I'll move on to specifics about why I loved Mercury's War so much.
MW is an AMAZING book, a perfect example of romance writing at it's absolute best. The characters are great, strong and interesting. The paranormal theme is done wonderfully, the Breed world she's created captivating and addicting. As I've said before, the love scenes are powerful, emotionally and physically, and the romance is so touching, so gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, tear-jerkingly intense that you can't help but believe it with all your heart. And as if that wasn't enough, the plot line is always changing, some of the minor characters always switching sides and playing mind games so that you can't see the outcome until it's right there, written in front of you. The story literally takes you on a roller coaster, both emotionally and otherwise, and you'll find yourself enjoying the ride, desperate for more, always wanting more.
5/5 STARS! I do not know what more I can say about this book. It's amazing, beautiful, stunning, incredible, fantastic... The list goes on and on. But don't just take my word-- find out for yourself. I promise, you will be glad you did!


Amy C said...

I've had this one since it's release and I am waiting until I go through a bout of not so great reads becasue I know I am going to love it! I've loved them all.

The_Book_Queen said...

:) That is a good idea! It's hard not to love the sexy breeds. ;-)

Tracy said...

Oh I LOVED this installment in the Breeds series. LL did a great job and I loved Mercury!

JoLee @ Wickedly Delicious Book Blog said...

Applause!! Well said sweetie. OMG mercury is my fave Breed book. I have re-read many times. I about cried right there with Ria. Lora Leigh is an amazing author.

The_Book_Queen said...

:) I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one as much as I did. I had to go back and read my review, it's been so long since I posted this one. LOL. But reading it brought back all the memories of reading it--and I think it's time for a re-read of MW. :)