The curse that imprisoned the Lady of the Beasts’ warriors is broken. Their mates are safe from Hades, but not their human friends. As the only unmated warrior, Stavros retreats to the Louisiana bayou. Better to be alone than put anyone else in danger.
Then he senses a presence in his woods. It’s a woman stalking wildlife with her camera, a woman who has unwittingly put herself on Hades’ radar—for she is Stavros’ mate.
Wildlife photographer Toni Richards doesn’t need any man to be her hero. But when three suspicious men try to kidnap her, she’s shocked when the rare jaguar she’s been tracking leaps to her rescue—then morphs into a man. An incredibly sexy man with a jaguar tattoo snarling across his back.
Despite his better judgment, Stavros can’t keep his distance, even though he knows that when the time comes, much will have to be sacrificed to foil Hades’ plans. Stavros prays Toni will forgive him for what he must do to protect her soul.
I have been a fan of Ms. Walters ever since I discovered her Legacy and Tapestries series almost four years ago, and later her Project Alpha series. I have read a few of her other books, but tend to reread these three series when I’m in the mood for her writing. Because of this, I completely missed the beginning of the Hades Carnival series and never got around to checking it out. So even though Lure of the Jaguar is the seventh book in the series, I jumped at the chance to review it because I’ve read enough of this author’s work to feel confident that I could read it as a standalone. And while I absolutely enjoyed Lure of the Jaguar without having read any of the prior books, I now have six books to add to my to-be-read list because I want to read about Stavros’s fellow warriors, how they each met their mates, and how the curse was broken.
It’s apparent from the very beginning how well matched Toni and Stavros are. Stavros exhibits the natural instincts and behaviors of his jaguar counterpart – observant, patient, predatory, and comfortable surrounded by nature. As a wildlife photographer Toni shares those same traits, she just happens to hunt with a camera instead of claws or a sword. With Stavros being a shapeshifter, the speed at which his and Toni’s relationship moves forward is not surprising as we’re dealing with mating instincts. While it’s true that as a human Toni doesn’t possess the same mating instinct, Stavros’s presence affects a sense of calm and safety she has not experienced in a very long time, if ever. This sense of belonging is only outmatched by her sexual attraction to him and these two are HOT together! And that mating scene…oh my! Ms. Walters does a wonderful job of weaving the sex and romance around a good bit of action and while it’s not as intense as some of her other books I’ve read, it’s still an impressive amount of action for a novella. I loved the way the book ended and have now added the earlier books to my wishlist and hope to read them all later this year.