Friday, October 4, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR, book three in the Immortals in Alameda series by Jaye Shields

Already a big fan of Jaye Shields’ Immortals in Alameda series, I knew I had to read SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR to complete the series. When Jaye told me that this was actually her very first book, I considered that as I read it but soon discovered that her talent was there from the start.

***I purchased this one for my own personal reading but am presenting an honest and unscripted review.


Michelle looks like the girl next door, but she can grow some wicked claws and fur, too for that matter. Hiding out in a small island town, Michelle guards her secret—that she’s a were-jaguar.

Duncan had spent the last eighty years being eternally young, and eternally lonely. Being a vampire has meant a meaningless existence, so when he discovers a were-jaguar in town, Duncan sees her less as a freak, and more like a gift.

Throughout her life, Michelle faced constant betrayal, but Duncan refuses to leave her alone. Together, they venture to Mexico where the ancient Mayan past holds the key to her existence. But when Duncan realizes an Aztec army of vampires needs Michelle’s blood to perform an ancient ritual, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her. But falling in love could be the most dangerous game—for Michelle, it could mean the greatest betrayal.

*              *             *             *              *

Michelle lives a quiet life, always hoping to not be noticed for fear that her past will catch up to her. She goes to school, searches for a job to help pay her bills, and enjoys a romp on the beach through the anise that grows nearby. By romp, I mean on all fours, the sea breeze rustling her black fur, and the scent of anise filling her nostrils and sparking her animal nature with a desire to roll in it – like any cat would enjoy. Michelle is a were-jaguar and can’t afford for anyone to learn her secret for when her adopted parents did, they sent the government to kill her.

Duncan is a lonely man. His eighty years of living as a vampire hasn’t been the most wonderful existence. He’s never grasped his more dangerous side, he hates having to feed on humans and only does it when he absolutely has to and then only takes a little. When he discovers a beautiful black jaguar stalking the beach, he’s intrigued enough to find out more. His discovery lightens his life, his heart, and draws he and the beautiful Michelle, whose existence as a jaguar now becomes of paramount importance for him to protect, into danger that threatens both of their lives – both alive and dead.

SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR by Jaye Shields is actually quite amazing. I love how she conjured a vampire who even as he thinks of himself as a monster is actually a gentle soul and a gentle man. He despises feeding on humans and so never ingests enough blood to fulfill his own abilities. He seeks out animal blood from butchers rather than suckle his sustenance from strangers in alleys. At times, you simply forget that Duncan is a vampire at all. But when it matters most, Duncan finds his warrior side and just as Michelle taps into her animal, he becomes her greatest defender.

I love how Jaye incorporates her knowledge of Mayan history and archaeology into the story extending the adventure while tapping into the past to merge with the present. Her characters are as full-bodied as if this was actually written as the third book in the series rather than being her first. Where I see the debutante in Jaye is when it came to the sex scenes. In SECRETS OF THE FOG and SECRETS OF THE SKY, she was easy and comfortable with the sexiness of her characters but in SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR, we are treated to a more pan to the clouds in the sky kind of sexuality. We never actually experience Michelle and Duncan consummating their desire but are instead teased with the idea. This is perfect for those of you who appreciate a more timid level of sexuality in your romances.

SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR works excellently as a stand-alone, as well as part of the Immortals in Alameda series, so go ahead and indulge in an adventurous journey to find Michelle’s roots, the meaning of her existence, and the danger that surrounds her people. I highly recommend SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR by Jaye Shields because it’s an amazing story that demonstrates the raw talent that this extraordinary author has had from the beginning.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR, an Immortals in Alameda novel by Jaye Shields, Crimson Romance, available now in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links or cover below for purchasing information



vicky dittmar said...

Great review!!!!! Secrets of the Jaguar is my favorite of the series. I have already read it four times!!! Can't get enough!! Love it!!

Amy Valentini said...

Thank you. I'm glad you agree with my review and so glad you enjoyed SECRETS OF THE JAGUAR so much. It really was amazing. I know Jaye would love to hear that you've read it 4 times. :-)