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REVIEW: “Fated” by Indra Vaughn

ABOUT:

Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can’t ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he’s not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.

Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can’t help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant’s armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price.

 

REVIEW:

I’m not surprised I liked this book because it ticks all my boxes: from mystery (with a cop, hello!) to supernatural to comfort/healing to romance…yes please!  Fated is an all-around super strong start to a series about the unexplained happenings in two the towns situated around the mysterious Shadow Mountain.

Hart is a complicated man who’s carrying some baggage, including the guilt associated with a broken relationship with his father. As a cop, Hart is working a series of weird–but possibly related–murders in his community. On top of all that, he’s working super hard to ward off the advances of the younger Isaac, who lives across the street from Hart. Oh, sweet Isaac! What can I say, except this kid has so much love to give!

Buuuut…I feel like I barely got to meet Isaac before he and Hart are separated when Hart is called “home” to the other side of the mountain to deal with the death of his father. Naturally, all hell breaks loose while Hart is there, including a new murder Hart is asked to help investigate.

Poor Isaac, gah.

Fated is filled (filled!) with mystery and, ironically, that was my one and only beef with the story. I thought the author spent a skosh too much time leading me down different rabbit holes so that I might think this character or that character was the bad guy. On the one hand, the who-done-it was awesome, but on the other, Isaac spent a pretty large chunk of the book off-page and pining for Hart, which left me wondering at various points exactly who Hart’s love interest was supposed to be. (‘Cause, um, Hart’s a bit of a Tom cat, if ya know what I mean. ;) That sexy bastard.)

Even though the mystery is complicated–OH! And it includes a paranormal component that’s really intriguing and cool!–I still felt like I got to know and care about the characters, especially Freddie, Hart’s temporary crime-fighting partner. She’s so feisty and funny and just an all-around tough cookie. The world definitely needs more Freddie!

Reading this book, exploring the mystery, all of it was a real treat.  I’m told this is a trilogy, and I can’t WAIT for more. You should know that Fated ends with Hart and Isaac forming a fragile bond (bless!), but beware: it’s HFN with the insinuated, unconfirmed hint that trouble is brewing for these two. (I’m biting my nails over here!) Shadow Mountain is not nearly ready to show all her secrets just yet!

 

RATING:  3.5 STARS

BOOK INFO:

Title: Fated (Shadow Mountain #1)
Author: Indra Vaughn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 284
Release Date: Dec. 31, 2014
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner, AReAmazon

 

 

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