I'd like to start out by saying that this is my own personal opinion. It is not meant to offend, insult, or encourage anyone to take my opinion to heart. I believe that you should take what others say with a grain of salt because what one person likes doesn't mean another will and vice versa. I know that there are quite a few movies out there that have been box office hits that I can't stand, but the critics loved. So please take the time to read the story yourself and form your own opinion.
I can never think of enough to write here, so I decided to start throwing in reviews of books that I have read, good and bad. I figure this may actually be something some would be interested in reading. :)
Blood of a Leo
The basic premise of the story is about a young man named Leo who's kidnapped and held as a blood slave by a group of vampires. While in their grasp, he's brutalized, raped, and drugged. He escapes the vampires during a moment of confusion and ends up with a lion shifter named Maddox, who turns out to be his mate.
Though the recent influx of shifter and vampire stories since Twilight hit has been a bit on the annoying side, the story was well written and flowed well. I do like the fact that she made vampires back to what they were originally intended as, evil. She captured the cruelty and taunting quite powerfully. I could actually feel the contempt and hatred they held for humans as other than a food source.
I do understand that in fiction you can pretty much make anything possible, however, I prefer my stories to have a bit of a realistic twist when it comes to things that would traumatize a human. When someone is raped and brutalized, it is not an easy thing to overcome. There are scars, outside and inside, that do not heal and may never heal. Despite the lion shifter being his mate, I still feel his ability to get over his abuse so quickly was unrealistic. Granted the story was only 158 pages and as a writer myself I know that it is difficult to cover as much as you would like to sometimes, but perhaps lengthening the story and adding in a bit more regarding Leo's struggle to overcome the cruel treatment or skipping over part of the torment detailed in the first 25 pages and adding in more of Leo's healing process may have made it a tad more enjoyable for me to read.
One of my biggest pet peeves about reading m/m romance is when almost every single page has a sex scene. I'm as big a perv as the next m/m romance reader, but I do like story with my sex to make it one big amazing package to read. I like that Hawkes did not make it page after page of sex even after the pair engage for the first time. I felt that there was a true connection between Leo and Maddox and their initial 'contact' was sweet and tender rather than going for that all out 'f*** me now' factor.
All in all, the book was one I would give around a 3-star rating and worth reading at least once. Oh, but I do have to say the cover is gorgeous. I find that one of the biggest factors to capture my initial attention is the cover and the artist who prepared the cover for Blood of a Leo definitely has an eye for what makes a cover 'POP'.