Jump Start, Too Late
Tanner’s Scheme by Lora Leigh is another one of those books which is in the middle of a series. I’ve skimmed the previous books, but the characters in those books somehow never seemed to hold my attention. Here, the characters seem so out of control that you can’t help but look.
In this alternate world, Breeds are genetically engineered–deliberately created to be super soldiers for a military purpose. But their training was abusive–in order to drive any humanity out of them. The series takes place after the existence of the Breeds have been exposed and while they are fighting for equal rights. Scheme Tallant is an assassin and a double agent ultimately working for the pro-Breed faction. Her father, however, is a high-ranking member of the Genetics Council who wants to destroy the Breeds even if it means getting rid of his own daughter. Tanner Reynolds is a feline Breed who doesn’t hesitate to kidnap Scheme for revenge against the atrocities the Genetics Council had visited upon his kind.
The characters were interesting on a psychological standpoint. Even saddled with several fears, Scheme somehow survived her father’s brand of brutal conditioning and torture. Tanner is an almost irredeemable cad with anger issues. Most of the time he was channelling those old-school contemptible alpha heroes with Scheme perilously on the edge to succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome. It wasn’t so much as the two characters trying to trust each other as Tanner trying to break Scheme in. At least she didn’t completely give in (that would have been uber irritating) as she didn’t give up trying to find a way to escape him.
Things really jump-started about two-thirds of the way through when Tanner’s twin brother Cabal shows up. Then it was all action and craziness. This is one of those novels where I ended up preferring the secondary character over the main ones. Scheme and Tanner were just plain nuts. Cabal, however, seemed more mysterious and complex and not as high strung as his brother. I’ll take a pass on Leigh’s other books, but if she decides to write more about Cabal, I’d probably read it.