When Nina Suzuki discovers the body of her best friend Janine, her world turns upside down. Things go from bad to worse when Janine’s corpse seems to transform into that of a large, brown wolf. For the first time, Nina is faced to confront all the clues indicating her BFF was not what she seemed. A letter from the dead woman opens Nina’s eyes to a strange, new world. The same letter warns of a sinister group called the Alpha Brethren, and urges her to find Killian Moon of the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island.
Killian Moon is a jaguar shifter and teen mentor at the Ursa Lodge in Northern Ontario. He may be a comfort and inspiration to confused teen shifters, but he also has a fiery past. His past comes back to haunt him when human Nina arrives at the resort, demanding to speak with him. Demanding answers. Can he trust her with knowledge that will not only change her life, but possibly endanger those around him?
As Killian begrudgingly tutors Nina on all things shifter, their mutual curiosity flares into passionate need. Once they touch, once they succumb to desire, there is no going back. Killian realizes Nina is his mate and they both begin to comprehend the terror threatening those on their shifter-friendly island. He is forced to confront the tragedy in his family and determines to protect Nina at all costs.
But can they protect everyone they love from a cult of dangerous shifters, intent on horror and destruction?
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I have read, loved, and reviewed all of the books in Rosanna Leo's Gemini Island series thusfar, and I couldn't let the latest entry in the series go by without acknowledgement here. As I was involved in the editing of this book, however, I do not feel it would be right for me to post a review of it. So despite it being a departure from what I usually do here, I asked Rosanna Leo if she would be good enough to do an interview with me about the book. She graciously accepted and sent me an excerpt to post as well. Follow me past the jump to read on :)
Me: Nina seems to be the perfect complement to Killian in many ways, from her fierce loyalty to her friend and her determination to find out why Janine killed herself, to her mixed racial heritage that echos her mixed race pairing with Killian. Did you deliberately create her background and personality with Killian's in mind or is it just a happy coincidence that she ended up so well suited to him? Have you known all along who his mate would be, or did it take you awhile to figure out who she was?
RL: Thanks Ndayeni! I try very hard to make all my heroes and heroines good complements to each other, in one way or another. Of course, in this case, Killian was around some time before Nina was, having been introduced in book 3. And yes, I did try to provide him with a heroine who would not only be a good foil, but a good partner. Whenever I start a book, the first thing I do is create the main characters. I try to come up with the two people who seem worst-suited on the surface, but who cannot help but fall for each other once they scratch that surface. As I mention in my dedication, I really wanted Nina to reflect the girls with whom I grew up, and I had friends from every color and creed. Nina is hopefully a fun amalgamation of those girls. I did need her to be determined and stubborn in order to get past Killian's reservations, but I also needed her to possess great empathy and the ability to love deeply. Killian has a lot of battle scars, and I couldn't have his heroine flaking out on him when he needed her most.
Me: We've been given hints about Killian's troubled past before when Anton dug up some details in Predator's Refuge about Killian's past that even some of Killian's friends had been unaware of, like the shed fires. Did you have the whole of Killian's background in mind when you wrote that part or was it just a general notion that fleshed itself out later in you mind? Do you think that Killian will be haunted in the future by some of the things that happen here, or by some of the actions he has to take in this story, and if so, to what extent?
RL: When I first mentioned Killian's fire-setting history in book 3, I knew I might come back to it, but didn't have him in mind as a future hero right away. Of course, as soon as I completed Predator's Refuge, that all changed and I knew Killian had to have his own book. It became immediately clear that I had to explore his history and parents and the fire-setting in greater detail, so I expanded on all those things. I thought it might be unique to have a fire-setter hero. In most romances that feature fire in any way, fire-setters are normally the villains. I wanted to topple that trope a little bit. As far as future books go, book 6 will feature Killian's brothers Percy and Byron in a menage romance, so their shared history will come up again, but Killian's story will be more in the background, as far as I can tell now.
Me: It became clear, at least to me, in Predator's Claim that there was some larger story brewing in the background of this series that was related to, yet separate from the individual couples' stories. Unless there's something I missed in the early books (which is entirely possible), did you have the whole story regarding the Alpha Brethren in mind from the start, either in whole or in part, or is it something that came to you later on as you delved further into the world and characters of Gemini Island? How did you come up with the idea for the group and their beliefs?
RL: You didn't miss a thing, Ndayeni! LOL When I began the Gemini Island Shifters series (as with all my series) I had no clue the series would take off as it did. I had no idea the villainous Alpha Brethren were coming. I was so pleased to see how readers embraced the series, but really regarded each book as its own story. However, after a few books, I saw the need for an overall story arc and this one seemed perfect. The whole Alpha Brethren concept worked as part of Killian's history and I think it works as a new conflict for all the residents on Gemini Island. As far as how I came up with the cult, I had already established Killian's parents were involved in fringe religions and this one seemed to fit the bill. I wanted the Alpha Brethren to be a vicious, determined cult led by a deranged shifter. And August Crane has assumed that role nicely.
Me: Finally, what can you tell us about the future of the Gemini Island series? You've stated in the past there will be at least one more book (I'm personally hoping for at least two more) and it's clear from the way this book ends that there needs to be at least that to tie up loose ends. What can you tell us about what we can expect to see in book 6, and possibly beyond?
RL: Well, as I mentioned, Percy and Byron will definitely get a book next and continue the struggles against the Alpha Brethren. Many readers have asked for a book on security guard Connor, a confirmed shifter bachelor, so I may have to force a mate on him. LOL Beyond that, right now it's all up in the air. I welcome feedback from my readers and always take their interests into consideration. So, folks, please share your thoughts with me and tell me what you'd like to see. As long as it feels right, I can make it happen.
Thanks Rosanna! I hope everyone reading will check out Predator's Fire. You won't regret it if you do. To whet your appetite for it, here is a short excerpt:
“How much longer do I have to wait? I want to see Killian Moon. Now.”
The feminine voice, strangely soft despite its insistence, echoed deep in his being, awakening his jaguar. The great cat roared to life, turned toward the office and inhaled deeply. Its eyes flashed in interest.
Killian breathed in at the same time, catching the scent of cherry blossoms through the door. The sweet perfume, mixed with human outrage, proved a heady distraction, making him forget why he was there. Shaking his head, he tried to dismiss the odd sensation as Ryland opened the door.
The door swung open and the first person he glimpsed was one of the clerks from reception, trying his hardest to placate the unexpected guest. “I’m sure Mr. Snow and Mr. Moon will be right back.”
And then his gaze landed on the petite human. Tapered Asian eyes, so dark and mysterious, but rimmed with circles of exhaustion. Smooth, cinnamon skin hinted at a mixed background. Wearing no makeup, she appeared younger than she must be, but her presence and keen eyes pegged her at around thirty years old. She had a riot of curly, black hair and feminine curves that ought to come with a warning. He could see it now. Beware: this woman’s body will cause insanity in men. Even as she gesticulated at the clerk, her boobs jiggled in such a way his throat went dry.
He pictured her in a corset, her breasts spilling over delicate lace edging, and almost forgot his name.
This Nina Suzuki was damn hot and his jaguar seemed to agree. The animal licked its lips, its golden gaze assessing and appreciating every detail, from her rounded hips to her come-hither rack.
Yes, the creature uttered on a frenzied breath.