Lifemates by Aline de Chevigny
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (72 pgs)
Other: M/F, Ménage
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
Benton Chaser was the black beaver of his clan. Seeing the pain and suffering his father experienced when his mother was killed. He refused to accept the laws of the clan and find his one true mate. Preferring exiles to the pain he knew was in store if he gave in and the revenge he got seducing the wives of the men who ripped his family apart.
Until he met a feisty Widow name River Maples, who gave the wild animal on her property sanctuary and greeted all men with the barrel of her shot gun. He'd tried everything he could think of to approach her and could only succeed in his were-beaver form. Yet he can't deny the pull he feels towards her, could she be the one thing he'd been running away from for the past hundred years?
Bagging a beaver has never been so much fun as reading about one falling in love.
Benton is a lovesick beaver who yearns to reveal himself to his lifemate. That comes with all sorts of problems because she doesn’t know a thing about him. Least of which is that he can walk as a man. I like a hero in a quandary. Poor guy has to contend with a smelly suitor, a stalker and a future mate who shoots men first rather than talk to them. He sure has his work cut out for him. I found Benton charming even though his dialogue was a bit stilted. I also enjoyed reading how proficient he is with a woman’s body. He certainly knows how to please.
River is a woman of her time – a pioneer. She knows her way about a musket and isn’t afraid to use it. A reader gets to know her a bit and gradually understands why she is the way she is. It takes guts to make the choices she has. It also takes trust, and a leap of faith, to allow a handsome stranger into her life, never mind her heart. She has a secret though; one that she thinks is a killing blow to any future marriage options. Yet hope springs eternal, and she is not so jaded or cynical that she gets mired in bitterness, because she certainly could have. I’m glad the author sidestepped that landmine.
I personally felt disgust and was squicked out at the stalker’s other choice meat to focus on when the initial prey was removed. I think Benton had a narrow escape and I’m glad of it. I couldn’t even drum up any sympathy for that character’s ultimate demise. I just know that it’s eventually going to be a bad ending, but sometimes there’s just no accounting for taste.
Lifemates is a fun, entertaining paranormal romance with a unique shifter species that I’d really like to know more about. There’s a family dynamic hinted at that I’d like to see explored more and I enjoyed this story enough to wonder about other books by this author. I’m glad I read this book, it made me smile.