Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-915-8
Fantasy Romance, 2008
I wonder what kind of lions Paige McKellan is basing her WereLions on because I am pretty sure a lioness in real life doesn’t require two male lions to tend to her. Maybe Ms McKellan is just taking some creative license so that she can come up with a ménage à trois story. If we stick to real life, after all, it would be a single male lion monopolizing a pack of female lions that have to hunt and take care of the kids while the male lion lazes around all day, eats, and sleeps around. That won’t be too romantic, will it?
Anyway, in Claiming Their Mate, the awkwardly punctuated WereLions do things in two, at least when it comes to their private lives. In this alternate Earth where weres live side by side with non-weres, our heroine Jules Kingston is the new Lioness of her Pride and she is therefore required to pick two Leos to put her ovaries to good use and pop out three million or so babies for the Pack.
Brothers Gabe and Luke Beckett, WereLion ranchers and ex-military men (no, really), decide to be Jules’s mates. Jules is at first reluctant to give up her life to be a baby machine, but you know how these stories are. After all that lip service to independence and free will designed only to prolong the story, she experiences a double dose of the well-hung Beckett WereLions and ends up opening her, er, arms wide open to embrace her new life.
In other words, Claiming Their Mate is another clichéd take on the tired threesome formula, although Ms McKellan has to exclude the man-boinking-man aspect of the formula for obvious reasons here. Lots of hormone in bloom, lots of sexual urges that seem more biological than emotional, and a rushed declaration of love that feels as real as everything else about the story. This is a paint-by-numbers story. You will know what you are getting here, and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that is a good thing. Me, I’m moving on. Ask me tomorrow whether I can even remember the title of this short story.