Title: Zodiac Shifters #18: Passionate Roar: Leo
Author: Solease M. Barner
Publishing Date: 25 July 2017
Story Line Concept: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Story Development: Zero
This is the story of Landon, King of a pride of lions, who also happens to be the Zodiac Leo, and Davina, a lioness abandoned as a child, who raised herself mostly on the streets. She turns out to be a whole lot of special. Landon runs in to Davina while he is on his way home to his pride. The pride elders have told him he must choose a mate or loose his Kingship. Landon will not allow it, and heads home to tell them all to shove their heads up their ass. On the way, he stops at a diner, and Davina is there working. Once he sees her, he pretty much forces her to come home with him. He has a hard on for her the whole trip, but they don’t do anything until he is home. Then they just kind of fall into a sexual relationship. All of a sudden, there is this prophecy that declares Davina the Zodiac lioness because of her special coloring. The prophecy stated she would be abandoned and raised away from the pride, only to find her mate in the Zodiac Leo. Apparently, her parents abandoned her because they knew of and believed this prophecy. Davina must also fight other lioness in order to get to mate her Leo. The entire story is first person, switching between Landon and Davina.
Okay, I will say this story line had serious potential, and no actualization. OMG! It was seriously the most painful Zodiac Shifters story I have read; actually make that the most painful book I’ve read in a long time. There were the obvious typos, but while that usually takes from a story, the writing in this was so bad that it didn’t even matter that there were typos. The flow was awkward at best. The love story between Davina and Landon made absolutely no sense. They meet, he essentially kidnaps her which she hates, she doesn’t want to be part of the pride, he doesn’t want to mate with anyone, then they have sex which is orgasmic for both of them. He thenabandons her for the day, she gets pissed, he apologizes, they have sex again, and he finally stays the night with her. The next morning his mom expects her to start cooking his meals for him, then there is this prophecy, then he tells her she must fight for him with other lionesses from the pride because he let his mouth run when he shouldn’t have. She absolutely refuses to fight and tries to figure out a way to leave, but the very next day she is totally fine with fighting for him. She gets poisoned by one of the females during the fight, and as a result comes in to her powers and burns that female to death. Then they mate, get pregnant, and of course, they will live happily ever after. Oh, and he brings her her parents, and all is forgiven even though she has spent her whole life hating them for abandoning her, but of course, it is fine, because the prophecy said so.
I know this is fiction, but come on! The basic premise of this story has a lot of promise. The idea of it could have been taken and made into an amazing story. Instead, it’s a haphazard plot of events that make no sense. The characters lack any depth to themselves. Landon is at best an arrogant ass, and Davina has absolutely no personality. Yes, it was a very short piece of work. At only 89 pages, I would even categorize it as a short story rather than a novel, maybe a short novella, however, it’s absolutely no excuse for such poor quality of writing being actually published.
Some may say this is a rather harsh review, and it is by far the worst I’ve had to give. That makes me so sad, because when I review or edit a manuscript, the first thing I want to highlight are the positives of the piece. Second, is to address basics, like grammar or simple typos. Lastly, to engage and pick apart the actual plot and flow of the story to help an author bring about their absolute best. When I wrote, the hardest part for me was being criticized, and so I always take that memory into every book I read and review. It’s why I haven’t been reviewing the books I read for a long time. Reviewing now is an exercise in personal growth for me. I really wanted to like this book. From the very beginning, though it was hard, because Landon from the start is simply not a personable character. The first person viewpoint is awkward. I’m not saying that this author is a lost cause, no way! This story really does have potential. Some simple alterations could really help the flow and outcome of the entire story. One, start with the prophecy, even if the characters themselves are unaware of it at first, make sure the audience is. Second, Landon is too arrogant for first person, at least if you want anyone to really like him. Davina, as a character, needs more depth, and she needs to freaking pick a lane. She is so flip floppy; I wouldn’t want her to rule anything! Those are just some basic alterations that would take a book that is okay at best, to great. Want it to be amazing, it needs to be longer, more detailed, and edited.