Desert Isle Keeper
“He was a totally sexual creature. Handsome as sin, sensual as silk. His name was Rejar…”
For those who haven’t read it yet, I suggest you begin and finish Rejar while listening to Loreena McKennitt’s new CD, The Book of Secrets. You will then understand for the first time perhaps the full measure of the expression “anticipation”. I did, while vacationing in Florida and momentarily forgot (and couldn’t care less) I was on the beach, facing the ocean, savoring the breeze, basking in the sun surrounded by tall, long-haired blond Swedish studs. . . Instead, I was with the Familiar, the man who would be feline and human, the man in lust with all women but in love with only one.
I was Lilac, the timid yet the bold; the Regency woman who would not place herself on the “marriage mart” for the sake of avoiding spinsterhood, the one who would not take herself all that seriously; the one who was chosen by a greater power to be his mate for life, the one who received (without asking for it) the “I choose you over every other” pledge instead of the one making it.
There is not a corny line, nor word nor letter in this story. It is innocent and humble yet filled with knowledge and experience.
I felt I was there in 1811 when Rejar casually walks in a house full of guests, the toast of the ton wearing nothing but a red silk robe. I saw the rebellion and disdain in his eyes when he witnessed how hypocritical “civilized Englishmen” believed themselves to be while they disrespected humanity and desecrated life. I felt his loneliness for being somewhere he didn’t belong. I smiled at his sense of humour, at his “I can get away with anything and don’t I know it” attitude. I was afraid of him, knowing him capable of killing to protect his family and even more afraid he would willingly give himself to a woman at the cost of his own life. I ached when he tried so hard to be loved for his ambivalent nature and not just for his sex, and understood his anger when he pinned Lilac to the wall, ordering her to lift her skirts, impaling her like a swan caught in a hunter’s net. . . terrified of losing her. I became part of the story, part of Lilac and part of that need both had to be desired, to be possessed, to be. . .at one with one another.
I understood: it wasn’t the machismo acting out either, it was the Familiar; the loyal, the instinctive. And the one afraid he couldn’t be there to protect her if she was too independent. He was trying desperately to show his love; it was the strong, the stubborn, the one respectful of his traditions as well as those of others, but dependent, so utterly dependent on the love of the woman he chose above all others.
It looks like Dara Joy found her own Duncan MacLeod and delivered him to us on a “familiar” platter. When I returned to the autumn clouds of Montreal, I did not take back with me the feel of the burning sand beneath my feet nor the tall and lanky GQ men from the beach. I took Rejar and looked for him here in my home and yes, even in the eyes of my own Bichon Frisé.
I applaud you Dara; you have crafted a witty, sensual and poignant persona. But I curse you for you have awakened a desire I have yet to find the Rejar to assauge. . . .
This book is every other writer’s nightmare. It is well written, no sagging middle, no big misunderstanding plot, no “I hate you, Milord, and hope you get quartered and burned at the stakes” lines. It has no lingering descriptions of everything or prolonged psycho-analytical conversations a character has with himself. The dialogue is quick and to the point. The story is utterly funny and serious. The sex is. . . well. . .inventive, to say the least, definitely an NC-17, not at all rude, just sensual to its utmost degree.
Thank you for sharing Rejar with us Dara. I would rather have known him even if only on paper than not have had the experience at all.