Author: Elizabeth Coldwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 23 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: A cute, unique short story with an alpaca shifter.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Alpaca shifter Alfie dreams of a life beyond the petting zoo at stately Mattock Hall. He can’t explore his crush on Simon Mattock, heir to the estate and caretaker to the animals, for two reasons. One, he’s never shifted into human form, and two, Simon is saddled with a boyfriend who’s exploiting him for his wealth. But when a fire threatens both the zoo and Simon, Alfie knows the time has come to put his fears aside, make his first shift, and save them. He just hopes Simon will like what he sees.
Review: I am familiar with author Elizabeth Coldwell through her Lionhearts series, which I have enjoyed tremendously. She writes lion shifters well, and so I thought this new story with an alpaca shifter would be unique. I was certainly right about that. So often we find shifters to be violent, or at least aggressive, but Alfie the alpaca is far from that.
Alfie is an alpaca shifter at a petting zoo. Granted, no one knows he’s a shifter, and he’s never actually shifted into a human before, but he knows he can. And while he’s been at the zoo, he’s fallen in love with Simon, the caretaker and heir of the entire state. However, Simon has a boyfriend and, well, he doesn’t know about Alfie. But when disaster strikes, it’s up to Alfie to save everyone…if he can get the courage to shift, first.
Watching Alfie watch Simon through this short story was cute. I liked his shy demeanor whenever Simon was around, but when he was needed the most, he came through. There were parts that were a bit odd for me, however. After Alfie does shift, Simon’s reaction to it seems to be pretty blasé about the whole affair, and despite a very dangerous situation—which I withhold for the sake of the story—they decide to have some fun.
I do understand that as a short story, there isn’t time to get to know each other and really react to situations, but it did seem a bit rushed, and perhaps this would have worked better with more space. I didn’t have a chance to hate Simon’s boyfriend, even though I’m sure I was meant to. I just found him to be annoying and maybe the caricature of a villain. Given Coldwell’s ability with novels, I’m sure that would have played out better had this story been longer.
Do I recommend the story? I do. Despite some of my hesitation I did think it was cute, and it’s fun for the alpaca shifter alone.
You can buy Alpaca Lies here: