Book Reviews

Leopard's Spots: Part Two by Bailey Bradford at Pride Publishing

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / BDSM / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 24-March-2020

Book Blurb

Gilbert


One sexy snow leopard shifter finds his mate and more, now Gilbert Trujillo just has to convince Jihu Warren to trust his instincts and give them a chance to be an unexpected family.


Gilbert Trujillo has watched his two older brothers, Tim and Isaiah, find their mates. He's not sure he's ready for such a commitment himself, even if he does kind of envy them at times. His life is about to get a lot more complicated, and if he can survive and protect the ones he loves, Gilbert just might have more than he ever dreamed possible.

 

Jihu Warren hasn't known much in life other than that he was to be used to further his species. Amur shifters were bordering on extinction, and a breeding program had been established decades ago. Jihu's desires were of no consequence. He sees no way out, no hope, until he hears rumours of Bae, a half-brother he's never met, who escapes from the demands of the lepe. Given hope, Jihu fights for his freedom and in his search for Bae, he runs into a sexy snow leopard shifter named Gilbert Trujillo instead, and Jihu finds out there are some things, and some people, worth risking everything for.

 

Fate throws Gilbert and Jihu together, with a twist. Jihu's senses have been altered by the injections given him while in captivity at Chung-Hee's lepe. He doesn't know who to trust, and will have to depend on himself rather than using the enhanced senses he normally has.

 

Together, he and Gilbert, along with a new family Jihu is quickly coming to love, will have to battle the shifters who want Jihu back at almost any cost.

 

Esau


Sometimes what you don't want is exactly what you need.


Esau Walraven is a loner in a family filled with togetherness happy people. A shifter, it has taken him years to come to terms with that aspect of himself. He used to resent being different, but now he has come to appreciate it, and even embrace it. He's still not thrilled about being around people, but when his family asks for help, Esau is there to give it.

 

Ye-sun Warren helped his brother escape from their cruel grandfather. It didn't matter that Ye-sun had never met that particular brother, it was the right thing to do. Added to that, he has a nephew, a sweet baby boy who shouldn't be used as a pawn. Ye-sun's decision to help them costs him, with his grandfather punishing him in cruel ways he thought would kill him. Abandoned and left to die, Ye-sun is an angry, hurting Amur shifter.

 

When Esau and Ye-sun meet, the sparks fly. Esau tries to reject the mate-bond, but when he gives in, taking the innocent man first as they are leopards, then as men, he swears to himself he will not feel anything but lust for Ye-sun.

 

But Fate has a funny way of making sure her plans are followed…

 

Sullivan


Sullivan Ward thought going away to college would be exciting, but he had no idea what adventure lay ahead for him.


Sully Ward was excited about going away to college. A little worried, but mostly excited. He had no idea what an adventure was awaiting him.

 

In San Antonio, Sully would find a friend, and lose him. He'd find a mate, and lose him, too—but not for long.

 

Bobby Baker knows he's a contrary wolf shifter. He likes things to be on his own terms, and even when good things happen, unless he's made the decision for them to happen, he can be a total ass.

 

When he meets his mate, the connection is hot, scorchingly so. It still pisses him off, and he acts like a fool because of it.

 

Sully won't let him go so easily—and neither will someone else. Someone is out to cause Bobby trouble, and they succeed in hurting someone Sully cares about when trying to get to Bobby.

 

Unless they work together, they will lose the most precious thing in their world…

 

Wesley


Letting go of the past is the hardest thing these two men have to learn to do.


Wes Ward made a mistake—a few of them, to be exact. He felt abandoned, forgotten by his older brother, Sully, once Sully found his mate. Wes let anger and loneliness influence him, and he tried some things he shouldn't have. Getting busted by his mom was probably the one thing that saved him. Getting sent to stay with the brother he thinks forgot about him might be an unmitigated disaster.

 

Or it might be Wes' salvation. In San Antonio, he is forced to confront the things he has done, and his childish reasoning for it. It isn't easy, but after a spectacular blow-out with Sully and his mate Bobby, Wes finally begins to try to get past his issues. When he meets a skittish, sexy man at the homeless youth shelter where they both volunteer, Wes thinks he's found more than he ever thought he'd have.

 

Armando has been hurt too many times to count, but the last time almost cost him his life. He's carried unwarranted anger around for over two years, refusing to make peace with Sully or Bobby, so to find himself attracted to Sully's little brother Wes is a shock.

 

 

First edition of 'Gilbert' published by Pride Publishing, August 2012.

First edition of 'Esau' published by Pride Publishing, October 2012.

First edition of 'Sullivan' published by Pride Publishing, December 2012.

First edition of 'Wesley' published by Pride Publishing, February 2013.

 

Book Review

Gilbert

This installment is book five in the wonderful 'Leopard's Spots' series and features Gilbert Trujillo, younger brother to Tim and Isaiah, whose stories have already been presented. This story returns us to the Amur leopards and their strange breeding program which one of the protagonists, Jihu Warren, has been subjected to along with some strange injections which prevented him from accessing his shifter nature. I was excited to see where the author was going to go with the Amurs and their hateful leaders.

Gilbert has watched both if his brothers find their mates and, yes, he's starting to recognize he's lonely and having a mate would be wonderful. He's also only twenty-three, though, and because he's pretty shy he doesn't really have friends outside of his family. Gilbert is sweet, like a gentle giant. He likes to take care of the people he loves and he looks forward to the day when he'll have his own home and family. Who knew he was going to find it so soon?

Jihu has been seriously abused. Sent from his lepe in Wyoming to his grandfather's lepe in Colorado, he's been in the forced breeding program. Being gay made breeding with a female a rather disgusting concept, but methods were used against his will and a female got pregnant and carried his son to term. When they tried to force him again, he refused and fought, so his grandfather had him chained in a cell. Escaping, his only thought to get his son out of there, Jihu is helped by Ye-sun, another half-brother. Jihu was given clothes, a car, and a way to get to Bae, his half-brother who defied their grandfather.

Meeting up with Gilbert at Isaiah and Bae's home is scary for Jihu as he isn't sure of his welcome, what they will think of his son, and the fact that he didn't think he could be lucky enough to get a mate, so the whole situation is a little overwhelming. Making it even worse is that Bae's lepe, where Jihu just escaped from, is destroyed in a wildfire. Along with Bae, Isaiah, Jihu, Gilbert, and assorted cousins, they all go to see if there are any members of Bae's family left alive. Running into their evil grandfather was not part of the plan, but he wants Bae and Jihu back for his sadistic breeding program.

I really enjoyed this story and I am glad the excitement and story lines are continuing. Gilbert and Jihu were so sweet together and, very, very hot. I really liked that some resolution occurred in terms of the breeding program and that the main characters coming up in the next two stories were introduced. I'm excited to see where Ms. Bradford will be taking the series next!

 

Esau

'Esau' is book six in the 'Leopard's Spots' series and in case I haven't mentioned it yet, these books really should be read in order. There's too much history and characters at play to be able to fully understand it if you try to read as a stand alone. Of course, this is just my opinion. I knew I was going to really like this installment because it picks up almost near the end of the prior book and just runs with the story line. I had been intrigued by Esau before so I really wanted the opportunity to get to know him better.

Esau is older than his cousins, early thirties, and has some sadness in his past. He swore there would never be a mate for him, that he wouldn't deserve one, and that spending his time mourning his lost love was how his life was to be. Fate, of course, has a different idea for his life. When Esau accompanies his cousins to help look for surviving members of Bae and Jihu's family after the forest fire, he smells the most intoxicating scent. He follows it and discovers Ye-sun, his mate, and brother to Bae and Jihu. This scares him, a lot, and in his stupidity he runs Ye-sun off. Esau knows he has to get Ye-sun, but in accepting his mate, he'll have to deal with memories and emotions he's buried for a long time.

When his grandfather discovered Ye-sun helped Jihu escape with his son, Ye-sun is tortured quite awfully, and then left chained up to die in the forest fire. Ye-sun escapes though, and runs as far away as he can, until suddenly he smells something amazing that triggers his desires. Ye-sun is just as surprised as Esau to discover they're mates. He doesn't know how he feels about it, either, because his trust has been betrayed so often lately, but at some point he'll need to learn to trust again so what better way than to start with his mate.

This story was different from the last few installments in that the focus here was far more on Esau and Ye-sun's burgeoning relationship. I really liked that because it brought the series back to its basics, which is two men, suffering from life's hardships, but finding each other and a love to stand the test of time. Looking forward to Bobby's book next!

 

Sullivan

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh, Bobby. Felt like I waited forever for your story. From the moment he appeared in a 'Leopard's Spots' book, I was well and truly hooked. His contrariness that just makes him needle people all the time, for some strange and bizarre reason, I found very attractive. Then I had an image in my head of Sully being this shy and retiring sort of young bottom. I really couldn't wait to watch these two mix it up.

Sully is twenty-three and leaving home for the first time to go to college in San Antonio. He wants away from the tiny Colorado town he grew up in and finally it's happening. He's got a disgusting apartment, but it's his, all to himself, and nothing could make him happier. Of course the very first full day he's in town, out running errands, he ends up taking a rent boy home. But, not for sex. Nope, not Sully. He's just trying to give the kid an opportunity to make a better life for himself. Getting the picture now of what kind of person Sully is?

Bobby is still the same. Contrary and rude, just because he can. But, Bobby is all for family, so when his brother calls and asks if he'll go check up on Josiah's mate's cousin to be sure he's okay and the homeless kid he brought home isn't scamming him, of course Bobby says yes. Poor Bobby has no clue he's got a date with his destiny now. And, wow, these two are seriously smoking hot together. I probably needed more ice water as I was reading. *grins* But, I was also pretty sure there was a lot more to Bobby than what I'd seen, and I couldn't wait to discover the deeper parts of his personality.

Before any real time together can happen, though, an unknown member of Bobby's wolf pack seriously harms a young man, sexually, who got into Bobby's gay club with a fake ID. Stands to reason it turned out to be Mando, Sully's young rent boy he was trying to help. Mando had run away from Sully a few days earlier when he came home to discover that Sully and Bobby had sex. No matter that Sully had told Mando they would just be friends, it seems he was still hoping for Sully's attention. So now, Bobby brings in their pack shaman to help heal Mando, tell him about themselves as wolf shifters, and give Mando the choice to come and live with the pack. And it would seem that someone is out to get Bobby by hurting those he cares about.

This was my favorite book of the series, so far. It even eclipsed 'Timothy' which had been in the favorite spot up until now. I adored Bobby and Sully. I thought they had the best mating of all of them, perhaps because they were both large male shifters, and their mating was rough, wild, and very sexy. I'm really excited to read the next book because I'm fairly certain the main characters were introduced here. Looking forward to more excitement from Bailey Bradford!

 

Wesley

'Wesley' is book eight in the 'Leopard's Spots' series by Bailey Bradford and it continues the excitement of the series' story lines and its wonderful romances. This story focuses on two young men who will need to learn the age-old lesson that you have to take responsibility for your own actions no matter how much you want to hide and try to remain a child. That's not to say that neither man has the right to feel what they do, just that they'll need to overcome their anger, hurt, and feelings if betrayal before they can move on.

Wesley is Sully's younger brother and two years have passed since Sully moved to San Antonio and mated with Bobby. Wesley was angry and hurt because Sully did a very bad job of keeping in touch with Wesley, no matter how many times Wesley e-mailed, called or texted. In his loneliness and anger, Wesley was stupid and started abusing prescription drugs. When his parents caught him, they sent him to live with Sully and Bobby. Well-meaning action by his parents, but probably not the smartest. Luckily for Wesley, before too much more damage can be done, Remus, the pack shaman, steps in and offers his home for a few days to help Wesley find some peace within himself.

Armando, Mando from Sully's story, is now two years older, and knows about shifters from living among them. He works at a GLBTQ center for homeless teens and loves his job. Armando is still dealing with repercussions from his rape two years ago, and basically he's hiding from a lot of memories, not just the rape but from childhood, too. He's done everything possible to insure no one looks at him with desire, giving up his half-starved waif look, in favor of a little more protection on his body. He hasn't spoken to Sully or Bobby in the past two years, holding on to his (unreasonable, his words) grudge and not willing to let it go. When Sully's little brother, Wes, turns up as a volunteer at the center, it might just be time for Armando to deal with a few things.

What follows is a really sweet and very tender beginning of a relationship. Wes knows Armando is his mate, and he just wants him happy, but he also knows something is going on with Armando, something that causes him to pull away from Wes. Armando only knows his libido has been woken up by Wes, regardless of the fact that Armando considers himself worthless and trash because of his history, and therefore not good enough for Wes. 

I liked this eighth installment of the series and the story of these wounded young men, one, in particular. Due to issues revolving around both Wes and Armando, there was drama, but it was handled well and I didn't feel like it dragged me down. This story was different in that Armando is human, and because of his abuse, he and Wes were a little more patient about some things than the other couples. A good addition to the series!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first editions of these books have been provided by Pride Publishing for the purpose of a review.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Collection/ 4 novels, 793 pages/214534 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-March-2020
Price $10.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/leopards-spots-part-two-box-set