Styx’s Storm (Breeds #22)

Styx's StormBy Lora Leigh

Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 5, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

To save innocent, young Storme Montague from the claws of Breed slave traders, Wolf Breed Styx is forced to claim her himself-on the condition that Storme will no longer be a virgin by night’s end. And though Storme’s defenses are up, Styx will free her-in ways she never expects.

Goodreads Summary

Storme Montague is on the run from Breed and Council alike; she holds a data chip that may contain information about Breed DNA, their aging and mating genetics, all a part of a secret project that her father and brother were a part of when they worked at a Breed Lab.  The 14-yr. old Storme was there the day the lab was liberated and saw a Coyote Breed rip her brother’s throat out before her father pushed her to safety, telling her she’d know who to give the chip to, never knowing he meant that he’d sent a team of trusted Breeds, including Jonas Wyatt.

Wolf Breed Styx Mackenzie has been tailing Storme for more than two years, never able to get a fix on her until he brushes up against her in a bar one night.  Rescuing her from a band of Coyotes who’d also tracked her down, they end up sharing a night of passion, but when Storme thinks she can leave, she finds out that Styx has betrayed her and called in the Breed troops to force her back to the Breed compound until she gives up the chip.

To say I’m conflicted about both this review and the future of the series as a whole is an understatement. I have mad love for the series.  I’ve stuck around for 22 books now, so I must, unless I’ve got a masochistic streak; actually, considering the last couple of books, I’m wondering.  I’ve tossed this poor review around for more than a couple of weeks now and I guess it’s time to lay it down and just try to be as diplomatic as possible (oh boy), because I really do want to review it and do it fairly.

I like Styx.  He’s funny and cute.  He’s not particularly over the top alpha, which I’d say was weird for Leigh, but Jonas discovered his softer side (snorting here) in Lion’s Heat; he’s back to tall, sexy and evil here, but it’s a case of TLTL for me now.  I think she’s trying hard for the strong sensitive type now?  He’s got some funky genetics with the mixed wolf and Robert the Bruce thing going and I really didn’t understand the bit about his grandfather and the aging business, but sometimes the extra plot bits are hard to follow in some of these Breed books, so I give Leigh a pass there.

It was nice to see the return of so many familiar Breeds, bringing the story back to Sanctuary.  I like all the get-togethers, like in Dawn’s Awakening, when the gang was all together.  They’re a good bunch when they’re working for a good cause.  I’m not sure exactly what the cause here was, because this was one convoluted non-plot about a data chip that went nowhere, but hey, they all came out for it.

Oh god, Storme.  I get that she has huge baggage from her brother and father’s murders and from her father’s sort of backhanded parenting skills.  I think that her intolerance with the Breeds stopped being a character issue after the first few chapters though and actually became the plot.  Not an area of conflict.  It seems to comprise the plot, because nearly the entirety of the book is all about Storme and how much she hates, except when she’s having sex with Styx, which she’s not sure she should hate.  As a character flaw, it’s something her relationship with Styx would help her overcome; as a plot point, it drags on and makes for an uncomfortable read.  For once, I was grateful a book was short.  You have no idea how much that pains me to say about a Lora Leigh; I’ve read some of her books so many times, they’ve fallen apart.

I completely flipped for Dawn’s Awakening, Coyote’s Mate and Mercury’s War, the three back-to-back best Breed books I think Leigh has written to date, but the next was for a Breed I wasn’t invested in and then came Jonas’ let-down and now this (to be fair, I’m not all that invested in Styx either).  Cassie, Elizabeth and Dash’s daughter from Elizabeth’s Wolf, is another Breed that shows up here and has a sort of cult following among the series faithful, and poor Leigh has been pestered about her book for years; she’s only about 18 “now,” so if/when that book happens, it will be a long time coming.

I’m at a loss about where I am with the series.  The next Breed book up is Navarro’s Promise, and it’s for another Breed I care nothing about (he was in Storme’s father’s lab) that popped up seemingly out of nowhere.  I’d like to see some books about characters that I already know and have feelings for: how about Rule, Lawe, Brim or the delicious Dane?  Yet on the other hand, it’d be the death-knell of the series for me if they ended up with a treatment like this.

My Rating: D

Barbara

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