Release Date: Dec. 6, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
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.
Lawe’s Justice opens with a horrifying memory of the Breed Lab where Lawe and his brother Rule grew up – a memory of their mother being cut open and studied while alive. The story then jumps to present day where Breed Director Jonas is investigating a rogue Breed who is killing human researchers who were involved with similar experimentations. Meanwhile, we meet Diane, a human mercenary hired to find three individuals (victims) that fled from the lab. Jonas, the perpetual interfering manipulator, sends Lawe in to debrief Diane, knowing that she is Lawe’s mate.
Diane and Lawe have lived the past several months trying to avoid one another, knowing they were mates and not yet ready to deal with the commitment that comes along with being mated. Once together, they realize they can no longer fight their attraction. However, Diane refuses to be protected and “placed on a shelf,” and fights to continue as a warrior and solider in the fight to protect all Breeds.
The story was a bit tough to follow at first – all these names tossed at the reader without much detail to back up the action. All I could figure out for the first few chapters is that the rouge Breed, Gideon, was chasing after the same people Diane was looking for. I’d say it wasn’t until I was about a third of the way through the book until I started piecing together who Gideon and Diane were searching for and how they all fit into the larger picture.
What blew me away with this book was the intense an emotionally raw dialogue between Lawe and Diane. She poured our her heart and soul to him over and over. Diane is a strong woman who refuses to be treated with kid gloves. She wants Lawe to stop protecting her and fight along side of her. She is full of fervor and refuses to give up her fight. Her internal struggles were passionate as she acknowledged her physical and emotional desire to be Lawe’s mate, which felt in direct contrast to her drive to fight and be free. Diane’s heartfelt pain drew me in and had me hoping for Lawe to change as well.
Diane also shared some beautiful moments with Jonas’ mate, her sister Rachel. These interactions also highlighted Diane’s inner turmoil as she watched her sister stand along side her mate and seemingly in opposition to Diane.
However, at around the 70% mark (I read on Kindle), I noted that Diane’s honest and heart-wrenching dialogue was getting to be a bit repetitive. And then she started coming off as whiny. I became disinterested in her feelings and just wanted the story to progress.
Speaking of the story… Once I figured out (I thought) who everyone was, who they were trying to locate, and why they were searching (Gideon for revenge, Diane to help find a cure for her niece), and I thought the parties were getting close to locating them, things started falling apart for me. It seemed like there were new players every few pages and I got very confused.
And the ending… I was not happy. For a book that started out so strong, the ending was pretty weak. There was no conclusion in the story for the hunt for the missing lab victims – not even a satisfying lead. I understand the need to have a strong story arc in a multi-book series, however in this case, the entire book was about the hunt and it lead nowhere.
Lawe’s Justice was probably a 4.5 star story for about two-thirds of the book, and then it went downhill for me. Diane was a breath of fresh air, and I adored the conflicts she and Lawe dealt with. However, their friction grew tiresome and the story just wasn’t that strong in the end.
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)