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Posted October 8, 2010
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Schartz pens an exciting futuristic tale with Red Leopard, Book Two, in the Chronicles of Kassouk. Terek, a human, leads the mutant council of Princes while King Dragomir is off planet. Yaman is a traitor to the council, secretly contacting a Godd named Gayla. When Gayla and Terek meet, a powerful attraction is forged, but then they're thrown into a deadly game for control of the planet. Will their differences keep them apart?
After the citizens of Earth destroyed their planet, what was left ventured out and settled on New Earth. (Kassouk) The Godds are an alien race, which lost their ability to reproduce. They came to Kassouk and mated with human females, making the mutants. The Godds left eighty years ago, but still patrol the quadrant. Gayla, a Godd, is sent on a scientific mission to look for a red crystal, which is a powerful hyper-conductor.
Yaman, a mutant, left the council and went to Yalta, which is rich in the red crystal. He intends to rebuild the old Zerker fortress and take over the planet. He reaches out to Gayla with the crystal.
Terek and the mutants suspect Yaman is up to something. Terek goes to investigate and is taken hostage. While meeting with Yaman, Gayla's crew under General Kyril stages a mutiny. Gayla along with Terek are forced to mine the red crystal. Terek and Gayla work together to free themselves from their confinement as they struggle to tame their attraction to one another. Both realize that Yaman and Kyril have to be defeated. Will their attraction help or hinder their important missions?
Schartz gives a crisp account in "Red Leopard." There's plenty of action and adventure. Even the cats get in on the action, including Terek's leopard, Rascal. The plot is tight, slowing down in the just the right places for the reader to catch a breath.
Schartz's imagination and creativity continue to shine in this, the second book of the Chronicles of Kassouk.
Red Leopard has an exciting cast of characters. Terek was raised in Kassouk, but has a Zerker background. He's firm in his beliefs and convictions, and he's not afraid to fight for them. His attraction to Gayla is dangerous and forbidden, yet there's no fighting it.
Gayla is different for a Godd, smaller, less pigmentation, and deemed unworthy to procreate. Yet Gayla is fearless in the face of adversity. She's strong, emotionally and physically, yet Terek stirs feelings in her she's never known. Giving into the passion between them means forsaking her world. Her choices are not easy.
The novel is sophisticated for romance readers. Schartz's love scenes are intense and tasteful. Red Leopard offers plenty of excitement, adventure, and love from the first page to the last.