LifeMate Connections: Eryn
ImaJinn Books (31st March 2007)
An alternate universe is ripe for one-night stands until love strikes in Keri Arthur’s novella.
NOTE: There a multiple typing errors in this 145-page book. Admittedly, it’s a small press who may not be able to afford a copy-editor, but there are so many – and even a slightly different name is used once – that it really becomes annoying.
Put simply, it’s a paranormal erotic romance with a mystery. Women outnumber men ten to one, though this isn’t explained. However, there is a one-child policy, but I’m not sure if that’s the reason. Long-term relationships are frowned upon, yet bars are set up for fertile women looking for a life mate. Both women and men are screened for fertility and diseases first. LifeMate Connections is kind of like a brothel, but without prostitutes. In the bar, you can meet people, and if things are going well you can root upstairs (though some don’t wait that long). Since there’s a lot of unprotected nookie, I’d imagine abortion rates would be high, yet the A-word is never mentioned. Do you only become pregnant when you want to be? Why isn’t this explained?
Eryn James is a medical secretary by day who the police have asked to become bait. Five women who’ve been to LifeMate have been murdered; Eryn looks similar and she’s a shifter – though I’m not sure if it was explained how she met the police and how they know she’s a shifter. But Eryn’s not just a shifter – she’s a beagle shifter. Okay, that’s something new, and it causes for perhaps unintentional hilarity:
“Tough. I’m not a screamer.” Though she had been known to yodel on occasion. It was an unfortunate side effect of being a beagle shifter.
The only beagle I know is Brian Griffin, and I don’t remember him ever yodelling, so this was news to me. Seemingly it can happen during climax – who knew? The man who might be able to make Eryn yodel is Grey Stockard, who could well be the murderer. Not that this stops Eryn from shagging him – after all, she figures he’ll answer her questions while he’s vulnerable. But do you really think that someone with great physical control during teh secks won’t spill his secrets? Hmm…
The problems I have with this novella are obvious, but the mystery itself is actually quite interesting. The author brings in some originality that saved a story that otherwise wouldn’t have worked for me. To say more would be spoiling. Is it worth the high cover price? Not for a novella, dude – try to find a discount somewhere, and then you’re talking…