While I generally do not review erotica, an author friend of mine — MeiLin Miranda — contributed to a paranormal erotica anthology at the end of last year and was kind enough to toss me a review copy.
I (idiot that I am) completely forgot about her email, and only recently unearthed it during a spring clean-up of my inbox. Oops! Needless to say, I decided to skip cleaning my room in favour of writing up a long overdue review!
Like A Moonrise
This bite-sized collection contains six erotic shapeshifter tales.
What struck me most about the collection was the diversity between the six stories. Not only do they cover different kind of shapeshifters/werekin (including werewolves, werefoxes, wereponies, and other), but they also span a wide range of sexualities, including straight, gay and lesbian relationships—although I’d say gay couples dominate the anthology. As such, it’s pretty safe to say there’s something for everyone in Like A Moonrise.
I particularly enjoyed the opening story, “Fears-Moon-Woman” by MeiLin Miranda, in which Rabbit Runnels (a werehare) has unwittingly killed another shapeshifter and must deal with the consequences. A very poignant tale, and — unlike most of the other stories — did not have a HEA, ending more realistically, if a little bleakly. While there is shapeshifter erotica, this story also offers something more, delving into the deeper issues of being a shifter in a predominantly human society.
The other story that really stood out for me was “The Moon, Reversed” by Catt Kingsgrave. Set during the Ancient Roman/Celtic period, this was, for me, the hottest story of the bunch. The story follows Leontius after he captures his ex-slave Nechtanus, a wolf shifter. During capture, Nechtanus bites Leontius, forging a connection between the two that neither can ignore. Throughout the story, the world-building is incredibly captivating, and Kingsgrave’s writing style is highly evocative.
The fourth story in the collection, “On The Run” by Kyell Gold, was light-hearted and sweet, following a gay teenager who is afraid to reveal his true nature to his human boyfriend. The final story, “The Winter Prince” by Aoife Bright, also showed promise; I enjoyed the historical setting, but was less convinced by the relationship development between the protagonists.
I’m not a huge f/f reader, so “Cycles” by Marie Carlson wasn’t really my cup of tea. I did find the initial build-up interesting, as the main character prepares for her first transformation (a process that takes several months and causes severe mood swings), but I did not find the payoff satisfying.
Rakelle Valencia’s “Werewhat” was perhaps the most PWP of the bunch. The story follows a guy’s first transformation into a werehorse, and how he runs into another (more experienced) werehorse while out running who takes him under her wing. While the scenes were steamy, I would have liked more backstory, and was left feeling a little unconvinced by the scenario.
Overall, however, I was impressed by the quality of the stories and the publication itself. Each story was long enough to sink into, with “Fears-Moon Woman” and “The Moon, Reversed” leaving me hungry for more. An ideal read for those interested in trying new authors, without having to commit to an entire novel.
In sum, recommended for fans of erotica and were-creatures. This collection has something for everyone — as long as you’re not particularly fussy about sexuality.
Interested? Snap up a copy for $4.99 from Smashwords.