Monday, April 5, 2010

Wild Thing by Lena Austin

TITLE: Wild Thing
AUTHOR: Lena Austin
PUBLISHER: Changeling Press
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 17k)
GENRE: Gay paranormal erotic romance
COST: $3.99

Lee Porter is retreating to the house in Yellowstone he inherited from his grandmother in hopes of recovering from the sleep disorder that has completely disrupted his life when he discovers an injured feral man in his barn. He tends to Will’s hurt leg without realizing Will is actually a coyote shifter, but the attraction between them is definitely worth acting upon…

Humor is such a tenuous thing, especially in the written word. I don’t take risks with humor very often, not unless an author has proven him/herself to me, because it often falls so completely flat. I only wish there were more warnings on blurbs and books when it’s not immediately obvious.

In this story, Lee arrives at his house in Yellowstone, wondering if he’s going crazy. He’s been experiencing blackouts, losing time and ending up in weird places. It’s cost him his job, as well as his boyfriend, and he’s at his wit’s end. He finds an injured, naked man in his barn, one the reader already knows is a coyote shifter who has crawled away from his pack to die. He treats Will, classifying him as one of the feral people who are known to populate the area, without knowing about the shifter side. Will’s command of English is weak, but there’s a certain charm to his naivete that actually worked for me. Lee’s predicament is easy to figure out in the grand scheme of things, but the two men have chemistry, and I was excited to get into their relationship.

Then, they had sex. And I got yanked out of it. It wasn’t because of the characters, but rather, the author’s choice of terminology. Sphincter will never be sexy. Honestly. Especially twice in so many paragraphs. But the sentence, They were both riding the joy wagon to glory with every stroke up and down., made it worse. The problem is, it was very likely meant to be tongue in cheek. Because from that point forward, the whole tongue in cheek tone of the story began snowballing, from the prose to the twists in the plot. The reveal of what was going on with Lee was both predictable and corny, though I fully expect some people would consider it clever or funny. For me, however, I was so busy rolling my eyes and getting yanked out of the sensuality, it never worked, and ultimately spoiled the sweet charm of the set-up.

The book is actually the second in a series, and while the characters stand on their own, as well as the well-developed setting, the paranormal aspects aren’t quite as well explained. Readers of the series will probably enjoy it, though, as would readers who enjoy this author’s humor or writing style.


6/10 – While there’s a certain charm, most of the tongue-in-cheek tone didn’t work for me, while some of the terminology really turned me off

Hero #1

6/10 – Never fully fleshed, though definitely a nice guy

Hero #2

7/10 – Sweet in an otherworldly kind of way

Entertainment value

5/10 – Enjoyed first half much more than the second, as soon as more of the humor and sex scenes started, I lost interest

World building

7/10 – The physical space is well realized, but the paranormal aspects tend to rely upon the first story



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