Leopard’s Scar by Christine Feehan
A Leopard People Novel #14
November 29, 2022, by Berkley
Animal attraction takes over in this exhilarating Leopard novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
The moment Meiling sees Gedeon she knows he’s a leopard shifter—just as she knows she can’t trust him. Meiling doesn’t take chances, life has taught her better than that. So why does she find herself rescuing this deadly, gorgeous man, when she knows she’d be better off leaving him to die?
Gedeon is used to women throwing themselves at him, not throwing his injured body over their beautiful, deceptively strong shoulders and carrying him to safety. He might be embarrassed, if he wasn’t so aroused by the very thought of this feisty lotus blossom.
As they strike up a working relationship that suits them both, Gedeon starts to rely on Meiling for just about everything. But when her hidden nature rises to the surface, the connection that links them shifts into an all-consuming desire. And neither will escape unmarked. . . .
Her body shook as if she had tremors that were uncontrollable. There was no fixing that, so she just accepted it, as she did anything she couldn’t change, and looked around her. The cabin was gone. Flattened. No, it was a hole in the ground. The forest around it was gone, the trees lying in piles of rubble and leaves everywhere. It looked like a war zone.
She started to turn away when she caught movement under one of the stacks of leaves and branches. It was a human leg and arm moving, the arm trying to throw the branch off the leg. She heard the curse. The groan. The branch settled back over the leg. The man cursed again, and she heard the raw pain in his voice.
Gedeon. Meiling closed her eyes. Naturally he would live through it. He was a leopard and probably had more than nine lives. If she helped him, he would most certainly reward her by killing her. He was Amur. What else would he do? If she didn’t help him, she would forever remember him taking on all those horrid men to free the women. She would never get the sight of him kneeling on the porch weeping from her mind. The latter two things didn’t fit with him being Amur leopard. Now she was the one cursing.
She made her way back to him, picking her way through the debris. “I’ve got a gun, and if you make one wrong move, I’m going to shoot you right through the heart. Do you understand? If you just behave, I’ll move the branch, leave you your clothes and you can go on your way.” Meiling made certain she didn’t speak until she could do so without the slightest tremor in her voice. She was still shaking like a leaf, but he couldn’t see her—at least she hoped he couldn’t.
There was a small silence and then she heard him sigh. “Lady, get the hell out of here while you can. I’m blind. My leg is broken. The branch is too heavy for you to lift, and I can’t help you with my leg like this. I’m naked, by the way. If you did manage to get me free, I got a good look at you and I weigh three times your weight. How are you going to get me out of here? On your back? That’s ludicrous. No doubt there are men on their way right now to see what the hell happened to their moneymaking operation, and you don’t want to be here when they get here. If by some miracle you did manage to save my life and I regained my eyesight and didn’t die of infection, I’d have to hunt you down, which I’m very good at, and kill you because I don’t leave witnesses. On top of everything else, my cat hates everybody and I’m pretty damned weak right now and I might not be able to hold him back. So get out of here.”
“You really aren’t telling me anything new other than the eye thing and broken leg. If you aren’t going to be useful, less talking, please. I’ve got to figure this out fast.” She put his clothes down and considered the branch. It was large, but it was mostly the angle that was going to give her trouble. If she dropped it on his leg a second time after she picked it up, it was going to cause considerably more damage.
She was strong, and unfortunately, the moment she showed him just how strong she actually was, he would guess she was more than she seemed. That meant the moment she could, she would have to run. She’d planned on doing so anyhow, but that knowledge would double his incentive for coming after her.
She caught ahold of the end of the branch, lifted and maneuvered it off his leg, closing her ears to the sound of his hastily cut off groan. The branch was cracked in several places and made horrid creaking and cracking noises, threatening to break into several large pieces, the offshoots shivering, throwing twigs and leaves raining down. She didn’t hesitate at all but kept the thick branch moving until it was completely away from Gedeon’s body. When she dropped it to the ground, it did break into pieces.
For the first time, she allowed herself to look at the man’s face to see if he was telling her the truth. His gorgeous jade-green eyes were definitely damaged in some way. Hastily, she tore a strip from his shirt, soaked it in the water from her backpack and slowly approached him.
“I’m going to tie this around your eyes. It’s all I’ve got at the moment to help. Then I’ll stabilize your leg to move you.”
“Why aren’t you afraid of my leopard?”
“I have a way with them. Is he acting up?”
“As a matter of fact, no.”
Meiling did feel a little smug at that. He sounded shocked. She wasn’t that surprised. She did have a way with large cats.
“How the hell do you think you can move me?” Now he was back to irritable.
“Does it matter? I’m getting you out of here unless you’d rather I leave you the gun and you take care of doing yourself in. Otherwise, stop whining and let me get this done. I don’t want to be here with you any longer than I have to.”
“I have to hand it to you, little doll, you have guts.”
Excerpted from Leopard’s Scar by Christine Feehan Copyright © 2022 by Christine Feehan. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About the Author:
Christine Feehan is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the Carpathian series, the GhostWalker series, the Leopard series, the Shadow Riders series, the Torpedo Ink series, and stand-alone romantic-suspense novels. Learn more online at www.christinefeehan.com.
Skeptical of any book by a white author that uses the words “feisty lotus blossom” in the description.
Eww, I missed that.