31 January 2014

Lora Leigh: Breeds Series Reading Order

The Breeds series by Lora Leigh happens in an alternate world (ours, btw), but in the future. As far as I can glean—as of this writing, I'm still on the third installment of the series—the actual stories happen several decades into the future. The experiments started during the present though.

A Breeds Primer

The Breeds are genetic experiments, their genes a mutation of human and animal DNA. The species involved are lions, tigers, cougars, wolves and coyotes. (An in one instance, eagles might've been included.) They were created by the Genetics Council, a secret group of scientists, investors, politicians and uber wealthy men who wanted a private army of deadly assassins to dismantle their enemies.

Designed to be cold-blooded killers, they're gorgeous, smart and deadly. The kink in their makeup appears in maturity. They couldn't kill people in cold blood. Unknown to their creators, coded into the animal DNA is a sense of honor and justice that no amount of assassin training can eradicate.

A series of escapes and rescues plunges the Breeds into the normal, ordinary world of humans. But not before they've endured cruelty, betrayal, rapes, and all-around harsh conditions. Their creators believe they don't have a soul because they were created from test tubes, they weren't conceived, despite the fact that human mothers served as their surrogates.

The linchpin of this super-sexy series is the mating hormone, a substance shared by the Breeds to potential mates. Once their partner gets it, there's no stopping the scorchin' hot matings. The law of this universe dictates that the partners have to make love as often as they can. It's Mother Nature's way of ensuring the Breeds' survival and continuity.

The thing is, the Council is after mated pairs. They want their children. If they failed to have cold-blooded killers in the first generation of Breeds, then the second generation will. No matter that they might have the same honorable DNA...though they're betting it'll be a watered down version of their parents'.

Note: All synopses that follows come from Goodreads and Ms. Leigh's website.

Breeds series reading order

1. Tempting the Beast

Callan Lyons is a genetic experiment. One of six fighting for freedom and the survival of their Pride. Merinus Tyler is the reporter who will tempt him, draw him, until the fury of the “mating frenzy” locks them into a battle of sexual heat there is no escape from. Deception, blood, and the evil Genetics Council are hot on their trail. Callan will use his strength to try and save them both…and do all in his power to keep his woman in the process.

Read my review

2. The Man Within

He had protected her as a child, filled all her teenaged fantasies and stole her womanly heart, only to break it. Now, fifteen months later, the news has released. The man she loves is one of the genetically altered Feline Breeds who have shocked the world with their presence. He’s also her mate. The mark on her neck attests to that. The fire that rages in her heart and in her body further proves it. But he hadn’t wanted her then; does he really want her now?

3. Elizabeth’s Wolf

Dash thought himself alone, a soldier, a fighting machine and no more.  Elizabeth made him realize he was a man. Danger surrounds the woman his soul marked as his mate, death and blood and a treachery that goes beyond even his worst nightmares. But he will protect her and what she claims as her own. He was created to kill, trained to do it efficiently, and only a man bound to her, heart and soul, will have the strength to save Elizabeth and her prized possession.

4. Kiss of Heat

Kane, a relentless warrior, lost more than his heart to Sherra in a night of mating passion that marked them both for life. But news of her death ripped his soul apart. For years he has fought to avenge the death of the woman he loved more than his own life, by revealing the deceit and cruelty of the Council that created the Breeds. But Sherra didn’t die. In a cruel and evil twist she was convinced by her sadistic handlers that the man she had given her body, heart and soul to had betrayed not only her, but the child she carried—and lost. Amid the rapidly escalating violence against the Feline Breeds, Kane and Sherra learn that there’s more to mating than just the “heat”, just as there’s more to love than just the sex.

5. Soul Deep

The vote for Breed Law is coming down the pike. Kiowa’s job is to watch Amanda, the President’s daughter—look, but not touch. Just make sure the Goof Troop, the Secret Service detail assigned to protect her, do their job until the law is passed. But when they don’t and the bad guys move in to take her out, Kiowa reluctantly slips in to the rescue, snatching her away to safety. For a man who’s had nothing, Amanda Marion is food for the hunger that has tortured him, the reality to every dream Kiowa never dared believe in. What he feels for her is more than heat, more than love. She breathes life into his hardened heart, melting the icy chill that has protected him all his life, and touches a part of him that he thought had died—his soul. And now he’ll kill anyone who tries to take her away from him. But the one person he can’t fight is Amanda, and when she wants to leave.

6. The Breed Next Door

Lyra’s neighbor can’t be for real. A man that stares at home baked bread like he’s never tasted it. Who chops his lawn up with the powerful weed eater and lawn mower he has. A man that makes her hormones stand up and scream every time she sees him. He cut down her rosebush, and he’s breaking through her reserve to invade her dreams at night. But Tarek Jordan is much more than he seems. A Breed Enforcer with a plan. First, find the Council Trainer he’s tracked to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and second, claim the woman he knows belongs to him alone. Until the danger that shadows his life begins to shadow hers as well, and then Tarek knows, he can’t wait to claim the woman his heart and soul burns for. His next door neighbor will have to accept him as he is, and now on his terms, rather than hers.

7. Megan’s Mark

Cursed with the extraordinary power to feel other peoples’ emotions, Megan Fields has tucked herself away in a remote corner of New Mexico, working as a small-town sheriff’s deputy. She finds solace in the silence and heat of the desert. But when Breeds begin dying on her watch, Megan realizes that the secrets from her past can’t stay buried forever. Someone is out for blood—her blood. An arrogant Feline Breed, Braden Arness broods with feral intensity. His mission to solve the mysterious murders brings him to Megan, a woman who accosts his senses like no other. Only with him can she let down her guard—and surrender to the insatiable hunger that wracks her body. But as they team up to hunt the elusive killers, Braden and Megan find themselves becoming the prey.

8. Harmony’s Way

Harmony Lancaster is of the Lion breed, created to be a huntress with a thirst to kill. But the way she seeks justice outside of the law makes her a liability to her own kind. Yet she also possesses information that they need on the existence of the First Leo—who holds the precious secrets of desire. To save her life, Harmony is paired with Sheriff Lance Jacobs, who tries to tame the killer within her, while protecting the gentle woman he longs to possess. But a dangerous cult leader, bent on destroying the Breeds, could change the way Lance looks at Harmony forever.

9. Tanner’s Scheme

After the Feline Breeds’ main base is attacked, Tanner desires revenge. So he kidnaps Scheme Tallant—the daughter of a one-time high-ranking member of the Genetics Council. But when Tanner discovers that Scheme herself is a target of her father’s ruthless mission, his vengeance takes a back seat to saving the life of the woman he hopes to claim as his mate.

10. Wolfe’s Hope

Hope believed Wolfe was dead, but he was only waiting for the right time to claim her. The scientist who created him, Hope’s mother, has forced his hand. She wants her creation back, and she wants any children he may breed on her daughter. He is a man whose DNA was altered, infused with the genetic code of the wolf. His unique genetic makeup has created a male unlike any other and will make itself known in the most surprising ways. Now Hope must convince her mate she hasn’t betrayed him, and they must defeat the plans of a scientist gone mad.

11. Jacob’s Faith

Jacob left Faith six years before, unaware that the mark he left on her also left her in an agony of sexual heat that never dimmed. Now Jacob and Faith are together again, but surprises lurk around every corner and dangers as dark and deadly as their very creation surround them in more ways than one.

12. Aiden’s Charity

The forces of survival and destruction swirl in the darkest corners of men’s minds. The nature of the beast cannot be harnessed, and survival is the purest of all instincts. Survival of the species itself goes soul deep.  But can the human heart accept and adapt as easily? Can Charity bestow the love and the acceptance that has always been a part of her, to the man whose very survival depended on the hardening of his heart, of his soul? And can Aiden maintain that cruelty now, in the face of the sacrifices she made? Only time and nature can tell.

13. In a Wolf’s Embrace

Matthias Slaughter and Grace Anderson were meant to mate. To love. Until Grace catches Matthias in the act of assassinating a suspected council scientist. She knew he was dangerous, knew he wasn’t the sort of man she should love. She expected him to kill her as well. She didn’t expect the man he revealed himself to be, or the love she can no longer deny. But there are other forces determined to take Grace from Matthias. Forces that just might succeed in destroying what is left of the man within him.

14. Dawn’s Awakening

The runt of the lab she was created in, Dawn Daniels endured years of torture by her pride brother and the council soldiers. Finally freed from her torment, she’s now a Breed Enforcer, in control of her own life. Until she’s assigned to protect the one man destined to be her mate—and realizes it’s far too easy to lose total control…One of the Breed’s most important supporters, Seth Lawrence has spent years trying to forget Dawn, knowing that her lost innocence has made it impossible for her to get close to anyone. But suddenly neither of them can find the strength to fight the overwhelming passion between them. At least until the most brutal tormenter from Dawn’s past reappears—and threatens to destroy their newfound love, along with their lives.

15. A Jaguar’s Kiss

Jaguar breed Saban Broussard has a job to do. His assignment? To protect the first teacher chosen to teach breed children. And protecting Natalie Ricci is exactly what he’ll  do. With just one kiss and his touch, the mating phenomena begins that will tie her to him forever. Unless her ex-husband manages to get them both killed.

16. Mercury’s War

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.

17. Christmas Heat

Noble knows that Haley is his mate but he's content not to do anything about it. After all, they haven't shared the mating kiss yet. His life as a Breed Enforcer could put Haley directly into the Council's crosshairs. But a year into discovering she's his lifemate, danger starts stalking Haley. She has seen a spy in Sanctuary, the home of the Feline Breeds, and the powerful men behind it will stop at nothing to stop her from testifying against them. For Noble, it was time to make his mate his own.

18. Coyote's Mate

For six years Anya Korbin worked with Del-Rey Delgato—the genetically altered rebel known as the Coyote Ghost—to free a group of coyote women kept in her father’s lab. As Anya matured into a woman, she and Del-Rey grew close…but then he broke his promise and killed her father. Now she must deal with her animalistic desire for the one who betrayed her.

19. Bengal's Heart

Reporter Cassa Hawkins has always supported Breed rights, believing they should be allowed to live free of fear and prejudice among the humans. A reasonable woman couldn’t think otherwise, especially in the presence of Cabal St. Lawrence, a spectacularly muscled specimen of the Bengal breed. The epitome of the male animal, his sensuous growl can fire up Cassa’s vulnerable body faster than a flame. Yet neither can ignore the nightmare unfolding around them. The Breeds have been incriminated in a series of violent murder, and accused of hiding a vicious serial killer. It’s left to Cassa and Cabal to discover the truth. But as hunter becomes prey, are trust and passion enough to keep them alive through the night?

20. A Christmas Kiss

Jessica was caught betraying the Breeds and she's now awaiting her fate under Breed Law. Even though she was drugged by the man she least expected to betray her, under Breed Law, they have to destroy her. The only thing that's standing between her and death is the fact that she's Hawke's mate. Hawke has to find a way to clear Jessica’s name as mating heat scorches them both.

21. Lion's Heat

Bad boy Jonas Wyatt's personal assistant, Rachel, has had a child—an innocent new life that has been put in grave danger because of Jonas' perilous games and calculations played in the shadow-world in which he lives: the dark and sensual world of the Breeds. Now, Rachel is making only one demand of Jonas: that he finally take responsibility and deliver on the protection that only he can give. Jonas has known for a long time that it is destiny that Rachel become his mate. He can sense it. He can also sense her reluctance. And for that, he refuses to claim her. He wants her on love alone and not because of the urge of the mating heat. But it is Jonas' destiny to claim her. And he will have his way.

22. Styx's Storm

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.

23. Primal Kiss

When the bad boy lion breed, Creed Raines, crashes the family cabin while Pharmaceutical CEO Horace Engalls' daughter is vacationing, it sets off a series of events that even Creed couldn't have imagined beginning. Mating heat blows sky high, hot and overwhelming, and reminding him of all the reasons he had fought to avoid it. Especially with the shy, though incredibly stubborn decidedly willful, much loved and cherished Engalls Princess, Kita Kita Engalls. But for Jonas Wyatt it could be a blessing in disguise, because only Horace Engalls knows the true scope of Phillip Brackenmore’s evil. And only by holding Kita hostage to the truth Jonas demands, will it ever come to light. But can mating heat bloom and became the fiery tendrils of love when Kita suspects her breed has betrayed her?

24. Navarro's Promise

Mica Toler’s best friend is the wolf/coyote hybrid breed, Cassie Sinclair. And now Mica is being drawn into her world in ways she had prayed she never would be when the charming wolf breed Navarro makes good on the promise he made her on a dark, explosive night. The Breeds guaranteed that no harm would come to Micah Toler but they never allowed for her sensual fascination with Navarro Blaine. Aloof, cool, and mysterious, he draws her in as no man ever has. But Micah never wanted this. She had her own dreams, her own desires, and being stalked and seduced by a wolf breed wasn’t part of that plan. Now she knows her life is in danger. What Navarro knows is that she’s his mate and that the breeding and training that created him is being peeled away in his desperation to claim a woman that refuses to be claimed.

25. An Inconvenient Mate

Isabelle Martinez was instantly fascinated by the sexy Coyote Breed she met at the bar, but her sensual flirtation with him was cut short when she saw the man who'd attacked her arrive at the bar. Breed enforcer Malachi Morgan was entranced by Isabelle's mix of shyness and boldness, and he was determined to chase and play with his sensual prey. But he could tell she'd been hurt before by a man, and he vowed that Isabelle was now his to protect and love, even as if it meant going against her family and his orders.

26. Lawe's Justice

Diane Broen's lived to protect her younger sister Rachel from harm. But now that Rachel has been mated off, Diane's occupied herself with less fulfilling tasks at the Genetics Council—until she's paired with a new team member, a Breed male notorious for his attitude, and a touch that makes her recoil. Lawe isn't thrilled with her either. A lion at heart, he prefers a lair of solitude. When it comes to females, he'd rather snarl than purr. And while fate may have paired them to fight on the same team, neither is willing to admit to the obvious: the mating heat between them is positively incinerating. It's only when danger threatens that they make a hotter-than-hell connection—one so explosive it could destroy them. Or, as providence reveals, bind them together, forever.

27. Stygian's Honor

Window Rock, Arizona, is the last known location of Honor Roberts, who vanished when she was just thirteen. It was her only sanctuary from the Breed research that would surely have ended in her death—one such insidious experiment should, indeed, have killed her. That she lived is both a miracle—and a great mystery. Stygian’s mission is to find Honor Roberts, no matter the cost. Now, with the help of Liza Johnson, assistant to the chief of the Navajo Nation, he is closer than ever to his goal. But will the discovery of Honor Roberts mean the destruction of the mating heat that has developed between Stygian and Liza?

Read any one of these yet? Share your insights and feedback on any one of the stories in Lora Leigh's Breeds series in the comments below!
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