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Posted October 10, 2012
I read J'Tar in one sitting. Shay created an incredible fantasy world through sexual descriptions that left me riveted to my kindle screen. Previous to this, I never thought that you could use a relationship as a vehicle for world-building. But when the dynamics, politics, and magic involve shape shifters and how humans view them, it becomes a wonderful way to do it without resulting to an infodump. Shay does this with skill and finesse.
So what is J'Tar? To put it simply, J'Tar is a title given to a half man half jaxtar (cat) being who protects the Zanath. They are partially sterile (they can only impregnate women if they do so while in cat form) and are forbidden to marry. The J'Tar in this story (named Curran) is a real stud in both cat and human male form. Basically, everyone wants this beast. But he only wants one person, Amara, a virgin who has reservations about her overwhelming lust for Curran, because she's basically prejudiced. She's just like everyone else in that the "half cat" part is a real deal breaker. But when Curran's brother drugs her and Curran and basically makes them get it on so that they can marry and another J'Tar can be put into her womb, she realizes that it isn't so bad because it's just Curran in another form. And the whole cat thing makes for some great erotic descriptions.
The thing that ultimately makes this a great read though isn't just the sex. It's the underlying statement that a long term relationship can only happen if you accept 100% of your mate. I would hope that people that read this book understand this fact. Too many people try to change their boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife, and you just can't do that. You need to take the good with the bad and learn to appreciate the entire person. Otherwise, love just won't last.