"Shape Shifter Romance with an Interesting Twist!"
HOLD ONTO THE NIGHT combines paranormal elements,
mystery, and an environmental message. The hero is not the
usual type of shape shifter. Rather than having been born
with his abilities, he has acquired them as penance for
past wrongs. Five years ago he'd arrived in the rain
forest, his arrival had brought with him a disease unknown
to the native Indians nearly wiping them out. Now he is
tied to the rain forest, his old life forfeit. He is
resigned to his fate. He lives only to protect the
environment and the people he has come to care for. He will
not allow the outside world to intrude. He will not allow
others to make the same mistakes and share his fate. He is
solitary, unable to share his life with anyone. He hadn't
realized how lonely he'd become until now, until the woman
had come to search for oil, to tempt him.
The heroine, Kathleen Dawson, of Dalco Oil, is determined
to finally make her undemonstrative father proud. She had
become a geologist rather than a botanist to impress him.
In spite of her father's admonition that the terrain of the
rain forest is beyond her experience, she has arrived ahead
of her crew to prove herself. She is determined that she
will be the one to discover the oil this rich land
promises. She is alone with the exception of a handful of
natives to assist her.
The natives are superstitious. Signs have been appearing
that the legendary Jaguar Man is displeased with this
venture. Kathleen is determined to proceed. She doesn't
believe in a man who is human by night and animal by day.
Against his better judgment the man stalks her. Something
about her is irresistible. He takes a chance, intent on
warning her in person to leave this place.
Kathleen awakens from a drug-induced sleep to find herself
in the lair of a unique specimen, a man of rare power and
beauty yet rugged and primal in nature. She is intrigued
but determined not to heed his warnings. Realizing the
futility of this action, he returns her to her campsite and
instead frightens her workers away, leaving her alone. He
hopes this will make her leave but she is one determined
woman. She believes that her experience in the cave was
only a dream. She will work alone until her crew arrives.
She will prove herself if it's the last thing she does.
Abruptly the rainy season begins making her leaving a moot
point. The hero must choose between letting nature take
it's course or saving the drowning woman and making her
understand the consequences for her actions before sending
There is something strange between these two lonely people
with opposing goals. When they touch they can read each
other's feelings, feelings that become more and more
intense the more time they spend together. She sees the man
only by night. By day she is shadowed by a black jaguar.
She finds that she doesn't fear the animal; she can read
his intentions as well. It is almost like he speaks in her
mind. The jaguar protects her when the man cannot. Can the
Jaguar Man legend be true? Can he convince her to see his
point of view? Can he bear it when she finally leaves this
place as he tells her she must? Can she bear to leave him
I thought this was an interesting twist. A man cursed by
magic, bound to the land he had planned to exploit,
protecting the lives of people the he's harmed, until his
penance is paid. In teaching Kathleen a very important
lesson he learns one of his own. It is a fascinating tale
in which Ms. Michaels weaves a message for us all.
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 7, 2001