Well from the look of things up there I'm pretty sure that you know what's going to happen. Ellora's Cave, check. Naughty Nooner, check. Lame, recycled a bazillion times cover, check. Time to tear it a new one, nope.
What? This freebie offering from the cheese cave isn't getting a new one? Really?
Well, of course not. You see because I'm Michael C. Laney, Master Vyle himself, and I'm all crazy like that! You never know quite what I'm gonna do 'cause, I'm all crazy like that! I say what I want, when I want and how I want, 'cause...
(Wait for it...... wait for it....)
...I'm all crazy like that!
You see this isn't the first story from Ellora's Cave that I liked. That honor actually goes to Vonna Harper's His Voice, His Command. Now if you know the story in question here you might say, "Well, hey, doesn't it fall slightly into that category of puppy dogs and fairies and unicorns and kitchen sink shit you despise as well as being erotic romance cheese?"
Yeah, just a little, but so what. I do like a good "erotic romance" story, when it's fairly well written, has a good story, and works, Ray Sostre's Their First Night Together for example.
Again, my opinions and tastes, the shit I say, my ratings system, and all that shit are all based on one thing, and if you've seen Give Me Turkey Necks!, then you know what that one thing is.... This guy is a nut... a total headcase, whackjob, cat hoarder who's got the papers to prove it, in addition to a letter from President Jimmy Carter.
But anyway, I'm getting pretty far away from the item at hand, and that is a short story by the name of Shapeshifter's Craving by Lee Pearce. It's the story of Kate, a princess, and her bodyguard, Aidan, in a quasi-magical land filled with shapeshifters, and in a kingdom where princesses banging their bodyguards is considered the norm, even to the point where "the King" pretty much expects it. In the beginning Kate has never used a bodyguard for pleasure, but like Ling in Kung Pow, Enter The Fist she quickly gets over her shyness. (Maybe even a little too quickly.)
Now for such a short story there's a great deal of information to take in, and the reader is dropped into the middle of a world of the author's imagination without much warning. It's high school writing for the most part, but we're talking B+ quality high school writing that shows a great deal of potential, and with several other authors I think Ms. Pearce's biggest mistake is limiting her story to such a short format. With expansion I feel that Shapeshifter's Craving would make a great novel.
Is it cheesy? A little. And it's definitely rushed, but I still found it interesting, and even a little endearing. Kate is a shapeshifter who has not chosen a particular animal form, so for the period the story covers she has the ability to become any animal. She also has a power which even she, at first, has no idea that she wields. Aidan has a little secret of his own, and together they work to explore the possibility of a life outside Kate's somewhat sheltered upbringing.
Is Shapeshifter's Craving the greatest, by no means, but there's a great deal of potential there, which is more than I can say for a lot of writers, in several genres, who crank out whatever and slap a price on it to make a few bucks. Lee Pearce is probably on the right track, and I can't wait to see her tackle a story in a larger format, because she has the imagination to actually tackle something over four or five pages. I give Shapeshifter's Craving Three and a Half Stars, and look forward to what Ms. Pearce has to offer in the future. On several sites this story has gotten mixed reviews, a fair share of those negative, however, once you sift through them it's apparent that most people found issue with the length of the story more than anything else.
You can find your copy of Shapeshifter's Craving here:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shapeshifters-craving-lee-pearce/1021787537
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shapeshifter039scraving-423735-144.html
Again I lurk forward to reading more from Lee Pearce in the future.