Turning Leaf by Ann Mayburn
Series: The Awakening
Published by Honey Mountain Publishing on March 26, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy
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As a little girl, all Leaf Hatathli dreamed of was growing up and having a family of her own, but fate had something else in mind for her. Instead, she’s spent her life as a mercenary working for the Goddess, acting as her hand of justice in a world torn apart by the reappearance of magic. It’s a lonely business, and Leaf had given up on the idea of ever being someone’s beloved. After all, who could love a woman who’s possessed by a sex demon?
When Mir DePaul, Alpha of the Shiraz Pride, is captured by slavers he never expected rescue to come in the form of his true mate. And he certainly never expected his mate to be a Shadow, a human sharing a body with the spirit of a demon. He shares his body with his tiger spirit, and they both know their mate when they see her. Even if she refuses to believe it. They’ll do everything they can to convince Leaf and her demon that their love is real…as soon as they escape the contingent of death wizards hunting them down.
Everything has a price, and Mir will do anything to keep his mate safe while she tries to save the world from an ancient evil that threatens them all.
In a world full of sex witches and lust demons there is a lot of hanky panky going on, so fair warning you may have some clutch your pearls, or vibrator, moments.
Ann Mayburn’s Iron Horse MC Series is a huge favorite of mine so I was excited when I found Turning Leaf. A paranormal post-apocalyptic page-turner, it was nothing like I thought it would be. This was a sexy adventure with lots of suspense that I had trouble putting down.
The worldbuilding was fascinating and involves a goddess waking up from a long sleep and realizing her children had been very bad. Because she woke magic came back into the world among other things causing chaos and fear. Usually, in books like this the deity ends up not having a lot of character, but that wasn’t the case here. Although we never get to meet her in person, you could tell she had a distinct personality and could get very angry but she had a sense of humor too. She loved her people, and the evil that permeated the world saddened her greatly.
Leaf is a shadow, which means at some point in her life she took on a demon. Shadows work as assassins for the goddess. She is sent to rescue Mir, a twin soul (a person who shares his body with an animal), who is the alpha of the Shiraz Pride. Mir had been captured by slavers and the last thing he expected was to be rescued by a shadow who turned out to be his mate which should have been an impossibility.
Leaf was everything I expect in a kickass heroine. As an assassin for the goddess, she had serious skills and could take care of herself. Her dedication to what she’d been called for was admirable considering when she took on her demon all her hopes and dreams for the future crashed and burned. I also liked her demon who was just as badass if not more than she was. She didn’t have an easy relationship with him, but had learned to live with him. She also had to learn to live with the fact that her demon fed off of sexual energy meaning she had to keep him fed. The fact that the demon liked women and she was partial to men also had to be dealt with.
Mir was quite the alpha tiger and I adored him. It shocked him at first that his mate was a shadow, but he didn’t skip a beat. He accepted the mate the goddess gifted him without hesitation and had no doubt it would all work out no matter how impossible it seemed. He was alpha to his core, but also let his woman be the badass little assassin she needed to be without too much fuss on his part.
As for the bedroom, Mir knew how to make his woman purr and he did it over and over again. When a twin soul finds their mate, a heat kicks in, and when the mate happens to be a shadow that has a demon that feeds off of sexual energy you can ratchet that heat up to a mating frenzy. These two were scorching hot together but I did find myself skimming after what felt like the fifty gazillionth coupling. The author showcased her impressive writing talents by incorporating as much worldbuilding as she did in between all the sexy times.
Turning Leaf was fast paced, suspenseful, full of action and adventure. Ms. Mayburn built a world I want to know more about and inhabited it with characters that were fascinating to me. There is an HEA but also an ongoing story arc that has me wanting the next book now.
Rating: 4 Unexpected Stars
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