One sentence summary: Martin rescues Calum, a wildcat, from a snare and the story goes downhill from there.
When Martin Lowrie rescues a wildcat from a snare, he thinks a few scratches and a tetanus jab are the worst consequences he’ll have to face. But then he meets the enigmatic and strangely compelling Calum. He spends the night with the handsome, unsettling Irishman and discovers Calum’s secret: he’s the wildcat Martin rescued, in human form. But Calum’s not the only werecat in the village, and the others aren’t so keen to risk Martin revealing their secret, no matter how much Calum wants to protect Martin from harm.
Martin Lowrie is vacationing in Scotland, but on his way to a Bed and Breakfast he spots a feral cat caught in a snare. As he releases the cat, he gets scratched. He hurries to the owner of the B & B for some first aid, dripping blood. He gets patched up, but makes an appointment to see the local doctor for a tetanus shot the next day as a precaution. Outside the doctor’s office Martin spies a handsome man. Later at a small pub, Martin again sees the man whose name is Calum – he is a photographer traveling about taking pictures of cats. Calum invites Martin to his home and they have sex; afterward, they cuddle and fall asleep. But just a few hours later, Martin wakes to the sound of angry voices. He goes to investigate and sees Calum talking with the owner of the pub, a young girl waitress, and the owner of the B and B. They are angry about the possibility of Martin exposing secrets in their little village. It seems that Calum was the feral cat Martin rescued and the injuries he sustained could lead to an infection and a possible profound change in his life.
This story didn’t work for me on any level. I can’t discuss many of the reasons because those would constitute spoilers but I can say that it seemed as though the author over used adjectives. Quite often Martin was ‘shocked’ at something said or a look in his direction, not just ‘surprised’. As he walks through the village, he feels people staring at him as if they could see he is gay and will be stoning him soon. He enters the village church, but retreats when the pastor hurries to him with that ‘evangelical gleam in his eye’. The B & B owner looks like a sheep with her white hair and small body, and the woman talks endlessly and doesn’t cook very well. The doctor is disappointed that the tetanus shot doesn’t cause any pain for Martin. Lots of strange observations.
The last half of the story deals with Martin waiting for the full moon to see if he will survive the shapeshifting change to a werecat. (Luckily we don’t have to wait a few weeks for this to happen, just a few days.) And Calum doesn’t inform him of anything; they don’t talk, touch or have sex. Calum doesn’t guide the conversation so that Martin will ask those necessary questions about the change. The waitress from the pub shows up to see if he survives the change, and all of a sudden Calum tells Martin that he might not survive the transformation. Martin is understandably angry, but he has no time to take that anger out on anyone because the moon starts peeking over the horizon.
I did like the description of the metamorphosis from human to cat. The story ends with Calum and Martin back in human form, grateful for the successful change, but this ending is too late to salvage the story.