I liked Lion Heart, Doranna Durgin’s second paranormal romance featuring her Sentinels shapeshifters, a bit more than the first book–possibly just because I found the scenario that brought the lead characters together more fun this time around.
Joe Ryan is a Sentinel in exile, believed to have been involved with the death of his former partner. But troubling fluctations of power are happening on the mountain where he’s living, and so Lyn Maines is sent in to investigate them along with Joe. It doesn’t take her instincts long to decide that Joe is innocent, although her more rational brain must be dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion, along with admitting her attraction to him. Of course, then they have to actually convince the other Sentinels, so that they can all band together to face the actual threat on the mountain.
Overall I found the insistence on Joe’s guilt, not only from Lyn but from the Sentinel power structure, kind of thin; there was a lot of “guilty until proven innocent” going on here, and what glimpses we got of the actual backstory involved didn’t let me come away with any real impression that Joe had bothered to do anything at all in his own defense. That however was my only real beef with the book.
Lyn winds up having decent reasons to be a bit more obsessive than other Sentinels might have been in her investigation of Joe, and I particularly liked that her animal form is an ocelot. That struck me as nicely unusual for a shifter-based story, and the descriptions of her interactions with Joe in his mountain lion form were nicely detailed; I was totally able to envision their distinctly differently-sized feline forms. There’s good continuity here with the events of Book 1 as well, with some followup to the actions of that story’s antagonist.
Overall I’d actually call this a bit more than three, but not quite up to four, stars.