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REVIEW

"Shape Shifter Romance with an Interesting Twist!"

HOLD ONTO THE NIGHT combines paranormal elements, romance, 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 her home.

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 behind?

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

SUMMARY

Dr. Kathleen Dawson is a geologist heading an advance team for a large oil company. She is investigating rumors of a large oil deposit in the rain forest of the interior of Costa Sierra in Central America. Being independent, she's feisty and demanding of herself. She has worked hard to get where she is in her profession. Her world revolves around her job.

In the jungle at dusk she is stalked. She awakens from a dart-induced sleep in a fog, unsure of where she is except that she is in a cave. A man stirs in the shadows and moves forward. Through the haze she meets the man the Indians of the jungle refer to as the Jaguar Man. The legend says he's a man at night, a jaguar during the day. He rules the jungle, protecting his domain against the outside world.

 

Hold Onto The Night
by Shauna Michaels

Imajinn Books
July 1, 2000
Available: November 8, 2006
ISBN #1893896110
EAN #9781893896116
192 pages
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