Wild Thing by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Plumeria
When Dr. Lee Porter returns to his old family homestead for some much-needed R&R from the fugue states that have plagued him and ruined his career as a professor of geology, he finds a sick feral man in the barn one cold night, and nurses him back to health. The attraction once Will recovers is mutual, but Will is more feral than Lee thinks.
Will loves his new packmate, even if the poor human can't grasp what being a pack member means. Then, when Will witnesses what really happens during one of Lee's fugues, he knows it's much worse than Lee thinks. He's shifter sick, and must embrace his heritage as a shifter of an unknown type, and learn to live as a Wild Thing. Or he will die... possibly in the jaws of his lover.
Geologist and paleontologist Dr Lee Porter returns to the land left him by his Aunt. Lee grew up in foster homes after the death of his parents, but he never forgot the years he spent visiting his grandmother's farm near Yellowstone. All of his life, Lee has suffered what he calls fugue states, where he loses minutes or hours of time, and often seems to awaken in strange places, having no memory of what he did to get there.
In another part of the park a coyote is dying. The coyote, who tells us his name is Will, drags himself away from his pack, so he can be alone in death. He finds shelter in a structure he recognizes as being a 'monkey thing' built by the strange two legged creatures who live in such structures. The barn is warm and dry and he sleeps, only to be awakened by Lee the next morning. By then Will has shifted to his human form, and Lee finds an injured human man who he tends to and nurses back to health.
Thus begins a relationship between Will, the shapeshifter and Lee who finally learns the meaning of his mysterious fugues. They're tied to who he really is, and who his long dead mother, Bernadette Byrd-Porter, aka “Birdie”, was. As Lee and Will become lovers Lee finds out about the secretive feral people that have long been legend in these parts.
Wild Thing is a short piece, barely fifty pages. If you're looking for a lot of hot sex, this isn't the story for you. The sex, when it occurs is explicit enough, and hot, but it's not the core of the book. That core is the growing relationship between two people who share more than they realize. It's a light-weight, fun piece ideal for a quick late night read when you don't want anything too mentally taxing. I recommend it, especially if you like shapeshifter stories.