by Dara Joy

May 1999
ISBN: 0-505-52337-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Lovespell
Mass Market Paperback

Rejar, (first introduced by Dara Joy in her book Knight of a Trillion Stars), is a difficult hero to describe without spoiling many of the surprises that lie in wait for the reader! He is one of a species known as the Familiars, from a far off world, and it is through a series of bizarre coincidences that he lands on the seat of a carriage in 1811 London! The carriage is occupied by Miss Lilac Devere and her aunt Agatha, Lady Whumples, but they are not terribly concerned because - well - Rejar is a large cat! Yes, this sleek black feline with one gold and one blue eye quickly becomes the beloved pet of Lilac Devere, who can't believe how well she sleeps now that she has a warm weight next to her at night.

Of course the virginal Miss Devere hasn't a clue that her large snuggly cat is actually a very large and sensual man who wants to do a heck of a lot more than snuggle with Miss Devere. Much of the interest in this novel lies in seeing the Regency through the eyes of an alien visitor - for those of us historical romance readers who routinely drop in on Prinny's goings-on at Carlton House, or peek at a Wednesday soiree at Almacks, this perspective is fresh and charming, even though it is a no-holds-barred look at early nineteenth century London with its disease, poverty, horror, and death; as well as art, music, and literature. Occasionally, we forget that the Regency was also a time of social upheaval and that the majority of the citizens of England at that time were struggling to survive! Rejar observes it all and is quite horrified at the savagery he sees. But he knows that Lilac is his mate and so he must stay and woo her.

There are a lot of customs for Rejar's people to follow when finding a true mate, and Lilac has no idea at all of what she has become entangled with. Rejar assumes a new identity and, as a human, pursues the woman he will have as his wife. Their dance is full of twists and turns, and even when thoroughly bedded (and Familiars have a tremendous reputation here, as well) Lilac is hesitant to let herself go and give her heart to this strange and occasionally frightening creature who holds her in such a sensual thrall. And thrall it is, too, because Rejar is probably the most accomplished lover in several galaxies - poor virginal Lilac can kiss her pantalets goodbye when Rejar goes on the offensive!!

Unlike Lorgin's tale, this story revolves around humans and human reactions; Rejar is stuck here on Earth learning about us, as opposed to Deana, Lorgin's wife, who travelled with him learning about new worlds. However, the values of love and loyalty, family and self-sacrifice run true and the climax of the tale puts just about all these virtues to the test. This is an enormously satisfying novel - Lilac is spirited and intelligent (even though she does dither a bit at times), and is a good match for Rejar. However, Rejar certainly steals this story with his sparkling personality, straightforward honesty, and unabashed sexuality. Rejar is a character that stays with the reader long after finishing the book. Be warned, after finishing this enchanting tale, you may never look at a cat the same way again

Reviewed in December 2001 by Celia.

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