Tag: Black Jag series

Guest Review: Black Surrender by Lorie O’Clare

Posted August 13, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Black Surrender by Lorie O'ClareJudith’s review of Black Surrender (Black Jag #3) by Lorie O’Clare.


The wildcat of the VicMoran litter, Rafe isn’t too convinced the newly discovered laws are for the best. Especially when they would prevent him from chasing down Anna Hunter. He’s had a taste of her and now he wants the entire meal. Anna knows better than to let any of the other jaguars know her true feelings about the documents all jaguars are honor-bound to follow. She’s not into suppression. No one is going to put a leash on her or demand she behave a certain way simply because some ancient jaguar prophesied the laws be followed in order for survival. Anna knows how to survive. And she knows what she wants—whom she wants.One night of incredible sex changes Rafe’s and Anna’s lives forever. Now the documents that put a thorn in her claw need to be saved from jaguars out for profit. Rafe and Anna have no problem fighting to save all jaguars. But they’ll be damned if they’re going to quit enjoying what they both know is right.

Having read and reviewed the first two novels in this series, I was delighted to read this third novel that further expands the story of the VicMoran litter of three panther brothers. Ran and Raul are both mated now and with their mates are living in peace in a panther-shifter colony in Costa Rica. Rafe is now and always has been sort of the “free spirit” of the three and while any one of a number of unmated females would like to catch him and tie him down as their mate, he only has eyes for Anna Hunter, a young female whose two brother-littermates traveled with her from Colony, the panther community now under the harsh rule of Natasha Kalusian, the sister to Rafe’s sister-in-law. And while all panthers are excited that the ancient laws and traditions–a code of conduct recently unearthed–are now being translated and made available online, the Colony and Natasha want to abscond with them and “re-write” them to suit Natasha’s way of doing things. The leadership of the Costa Rica community is just as determined that this code of conduct will remain open for all panthers to learn.

There’s also another problem: Anna and Rafe aren’t convinced that the ancient code is really for their time. Anna especially is unwilling to cowtow to a code of conduct that oppresses her or anyone’s right to establish their own mating relationship. She and Rafe are dealing with a powerful attraction and are unwilling to allow Anna’s older littermate to dictate how that relationship will proceed. Instead, they meet on a “run” through the jungle and spend an intense night of loving. Before they can return home and “face” Anna’s brother, they are abducted, drugged, and imprisoned by Natasha’s “soldiers” in a bid to control the VicMorans. Even though it comes out that they were the wrong couple that Natasha wanted–she wanted Raul and Angela, the female who is her littermate–they are still imprisoned because Natasha has plans for Rafe, an unmated male. Anna and Rafe are rescued by an underground splinter group who are working against Natasha and her regime, but they find out that this group is also trying to steal the laws and traditions. All through these strange happenings, Anna and Rafe are falling deeper in love and becoming more and more aware that they need to make their mating official for their own protection, now and for the future.

This is a very erotic novel that is a fascinating look at a wonderful and well-developed paranormal society that is unlike any I have encountered in paranormal fiction. According to Ms O’Clare, that is her goal–to create a society that is just different enough, to cause readers to think and be aware of those differences. In truth, there are strands of truth throughout this book–the ways a society orders itself and deals with the various ways of establishing families, permanent mating, leadership, etc. And as in all societies, the way a community establishes the rules and regulations is a cause for discussion as to how the concerns of all its citizens are processed. In wolf-shifter packs the hierarchy mirrors that of wolves in nature. However, the big cats are generally loners so the building of a community with laws and traditions is certainly different. I found this rendition of a society of loners to be quite a stimulating and entertaining read.

Ms O’Clare has an extensive publishing history and has dealt with many different themes in her books. She is a fine writer and her use of language is delightful–it is surprising how some authors manage to massacre the English language in their books. Not so here. And the consistent escalation of Rafe and Anna’s love relationship makes a compelling part of this book. Somehow they must find a way to create their future as they see fit while still dealing with their families and the leadership of their community. It is a reminder that we who prize democracy must remember that any democratic society was virtually unknown 400 years ago anywhere in the world–America was long referred to as “the Great Experiment.” As these panther-shifters struggle with their own issues as a society, there is still the issue of how each couple can come together and establish their own future. I’m not sure that it is a question that was fully answered here and perhaps that is as it should be . . . the rights of the individual over against those of the society at large will probably always be a discussion that will continue for a long time to come, not only in real life but in paranormal fiction as well.

I found that this story was also about the maturing process that these two went through. First, they had to deal with the stress of imprisonment and coming to depend emotionally on each other. Second, they had to work together to find a way back to their life and their community. Third, they had to figure out what was their future together and move toward that in spite of any opposition they might face–they really already knew the nature of that opposition–and be prepared to make a stand for their independence. In the end, Anna and Rafe had no alternative but to become mature in their responses to one another and to the outside social forces that were seeking to intrude on their relationship. The VicMoran playboy was going to have to grow up whether he wanted to or not!

I liked this novel a great deal and found the story one that really grabbed my interest. I like Ms O’Clare’s writing style, the plot and story line development, and the cast of characters, some of whom had made their initial appearance in the first two novels in this series. It is a story that takes a beautiful love story and embeds into a political struggle, complete with striving factions, underground opposition, and panther-shifters who are acting without accurate information to guide their decisions and actions. It really was a marvelous soup of story ingredients and a political pressure cooker within which these shifters must live and love. There’s lots to challenge the minds of readers and romance lovers will enjoy the erotic encounters between Rafe and Anna. This is a paranormal novel you won’t want to miss.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5

The Series:

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Black Passion by Lorie O’Clare

Posted October 14, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Judith‘s review of Black Passion (Black Jag Series, Book 2) by Lorie O’Clare.

Jaguars are hunters, through and through. That lifestyle will be protected at all costs in the Costa Rican rain forest village of Guarida, where Ran VicMoran and his littermates have settled. Ran will hunt and kill as necessary to protect their peaceful way of life. Times are changing though, and danger comes on two feet.

Olivia Sancerre has endured her overbearing mother all her life. She won’t be the same manipulative woman her mother is. However, each time Olivia runs into Ran, her calm, quiet nature dissolves and she can’t seem to stop sparring with him. The more they banter, the hotter she is for the incredibly sexy, commanding jaguar.

As danger smells stronger, enemies are right under their noses and life as they know it is about to change, Ran and Olivia begin a torrential love affair. Soon they’re not only fighting to remain together, they’re also struggling with a new way of life they never saw coming.

A number of months ago I reviewed the first in this series from Lorie O’Clare entitled Black Seduction, the story of a den of jaguar shapeshifters, the VicMoran brothers, plus Angela Kalusian, who live in a community in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Angela’s littermate, Natasha, once her closest and dearest friend besides being her sister, now has decided that the coffers of the community can be enriched by “selling” her community members as mercenary killers for hire. She is bloated with the greed for wealth and power, and the VicMoran brothers and Angela are wanting no part of it. They leave, and their destination is Central America, the only other place where jaguar shapeshifters reside, deep in the heart of the Costa Rican rain forest. In the course of their journey, Angela and Raul become mates.

Now this second novel in the series picks up the story of these brothers as they have not settled in their new home. Angela and Raul VicMoran have established their own den, and the Ran and Rafe, as single males, have a den of their own. This novel is really Ran’s story and how he acquires a mate, one he is not sure he really wants but obtains in spite of his reservations about her family, especially her mother.

While the first novel was really insight more into the personal relationship of Raul and Angela and the inner workings of a family, this second novel expands on what it means to be a part of the greater community with its power struggles, its family dynamics, and how this jaguar community resolves the issues that are vital to its survival. The evil that was left behind in Colorado is now threatening them and Ran’s expertise with computer technology assists them in being prepared for the onslaught of unprincipled forces who want to capture these shapeshifters and force them to be mercenary killers to satisfy Natash’s greed and lust for power.

At the core of this story, however, is Ran and Olivia’s love story and the dynamics of their mating. Olivia is out of step with her community; she wants to be independent, determining her future for herself, yet forced to remain in her parents’ den as a single female, under the heavy hand of her overbearing mother and her seeminly passive father. Yet her desire to mate with Ran, a male who has fascinated her ever since the brothers arrived in her community, gets out of control. Even though Ran is aware of her mother’s penchant for being in charge (a position that is not favored throughout the jaguar community), Ran is drawn to this beautiful feline and mates with her. He is distressed at her unwillingness to be cooperative with the rules of the community and resists moving forward with the mating process. Yet his desire for her does not fade, and in spite of all his efforts, her scent remains on him–proof positive that she is already his mate.

The ups and downs of this rocky romance, complicated by a manipulative mom, outside pressures from those seeking to capture and imprison the jaguars, form the core of this novel. I think Ms O’Clare has a true story teller’s heart and yet in this second novel I think the words got just a little bit away from her. Unlike the first book, she lost just a little of her edge, efficiency and economy of word usage and the passages containing internal dialogue, especially over the problems with Olivia’s mother, just seemed to get away from her. Now this may be more about me as a former English teacher than about the author. I am more than willing to acknowledge that. It may also be about the fact that the context of the first book was the excitement and suspense of fleeing Natasha, while this second book has a more communal setting and feel about it. But in spite of what I felt was a little overload of verbage at some points, I think this is a really good story and a very enjoyable one. I like shapeshifter stories anyway so was fascinated with the fictional society that O’Clare created. It was inventive and brought in the tension often encountered when two males are interested in one female, the part played by the larger community in the process, and the internal family dynamic. The loving was certainly hot, but I felt it was well balanced within the context of the wider community. I was quite taken with their interdependence. Would that humans could work so well together.

So I can recommend this novel as one that feline shapeshifter fans as well as romance fans would most certainly enjoy and find readable and stimulating. I give it a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

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Guest Review: Black Seduction by Lorie O’Clare

Posted May 22, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Judith’s review of Black Seduction (Black Jag Book 1) by Lorie O’Clare

Raul VicMoran and Angela Kalucian will not tolerate what Colony is doing to their kind, the jaguars. One of the leaders in the community is making arrangements with the humans to sell their services as mercenaries. Hired Killers. To hunt, capture and eliminate someone else’s prey. The level of humiliation is too strong to endure.

After fleeing Colony, Raul and his tow male litter mates travel through the mountains, south into the desert and finally the jungle as they work their way to Central America, where the only other known colony of jaguars live. Raul and Angela’s love for each other blossoms during their trials and ordeals while traveling. Angela also comes to respect all three VicMoran males to the point where she feels protective of them. Raul knows in his heart, without any doubt, Angela is his female. No one wille ver challenge him for her. But for one night, in the complete blackness of the Costa Rican jungle, all three VicMoran males will share Angela, truly bonding the four of them together for life.

I know there are shape-shifter cats of one sort or another in paranormal romance literature, but I just have not encountered too many of those stories. This is my first “jaguar” story and I am impressed with the notes that the author has included in the preamble to the first chapter. She is one of those authors, even when writing paranormal tales, that takes seriously the need to know the natural habits of the animals in question before putting them into a shape-shifter novella. Thus we encounter Raul, Ran, and Rafe—all VicMoran litter mates and who are long-time residents of Colony, a gathering of jaguars outside of Central American and carefully hidden from the nearby human towns and villages in the Colorado mountains. Now several of the leaders of Colony have taken it upon themselves, without any consultation with the other litters, to decided to sell the services of their powerful males as mercenaries to clean up the dregs of human society. The lure of power and vast amounts of money have even brought Angela’s litter mate Natasha over into the group who is advocating this radical new direction for the shape-shifters.

Now Colony is divided to the point that blood is being shed at the hands of the leadership. Agree, go along, or die! Raul, his brothers, and now his mate are determined that they cannot stay. In the dark of the night the leave and over a week’s time make their way to the jungles of Central America, the warm, humid and welcoming darkness of the Costa Rican jungles. It is here that they will pursue their futures, and establish their home and families. Angela has grown to feel that Raul’s brothers are hers as well. She will work to find them worthy mates. But for one night the four of them share their love and lust as they bond with each other and with their new land.

This is a somewhat “dark” story and is based on the theme that societies, even animal shape-shifters, have to decide where their morality lies. These jaguars are aware of their own powers but are unwilling to become assassins for the sake of money. They are hunters but only for their own food. They want to be a part of the cycle of nature, not hired guns at the whim and will of humans who are willing to sacrifice even their own humanness for the sake of greed and power. This is a short, fast read, but I think the underlying themes are poignant and pertinent to what all of us must decide—what are the values that define who we are and how will we act on those values in times of crisis. It is also a look into the love and loyalty with the litter—the mating process and Raul’s willingness to allow Angela to grow and become a mature jaguar before claiming her as mate, even though he has loved her for years. This story is about family and the bonds that bind them together, the strength that sustains families in time of crisis. I liked it a lot. Well written, good information about jaguars in general, and a very erotic, fun tale.

I give this novella a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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