Author: Leigh Evans
Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
I HAVE TWO WORDS FOR WEREWOLVES:
My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…
Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…
What I’m talking about:
Hedi Peacock (formerly Helen Stronghold) has been mostly alone and “on the run” (while hiding in plain sight) for all of her adult life. After witnessing the brutal deaths of both parents, Hedi was taken in my her Fae-born Aunt Lou. They lived by scraping by and thieving when necessary (or even when it wasn’t), worried that Hedi’s former were-pack would kill her if they found out she was still alive.
Lately things have gotten a lot worse for Hedi because she is being pulled into her aunt’s nightmarish dreams, sometimes even when Hedi is awake. And after her aunt is kidnapped, things hit rock bottom. With no one else to turn to, she must trust Robson Trowbridge, the boy from her childhood that broke her heart.
The Trouble with Fate is the exciting first book in Leigh Evan’s new urban fantasy series. The story is told from first person point of view by Hedi, half Fae and half werewolf. I really like Hedi. She is FAR from perfect: she steals, has a temper and is pretty grumpy on her best day. She leaves a trail of destruction in her wake and doesn’t apologize for doing what she needs in order to survive. She isn’t nobel – she didn’t confront those that killed her parents, and when trouble arises, she looks for the easy way out, but she is loyal. And like a true UF heroine, she shines when she needs to and steps up when it counts.
The book is filled with substantial world building in the early chapters. The details are fairly extensive and intricate, but it works because of the way it is present to the reader from the first person POV of Hedi. Since Hedi is half-fae and half-wolf, the reader is brought up to speed on both sects. We are also introduced to Hedi’s magical medallion, Merry, which is a sentient being: a spirit trapped within the gold. Although Merry cannot talk, she has ways to communicate her feelings with Hedi.
Robson Trowbridge is the son of the former werewolf pack leader. Hedi has felt “more than a crush” for him, sensing there was a special connection, since she was young. So when he off and married someone else when she was a youth, it broke her prepubescent heart. We find out early on that Robson left his pack shortly after Hedi’s parents were killed because his family, to include his wife, was also killed that same night. Due to Robson’s remorse over losing his wife, it was hard for me to root for Robson and Hedi’s union at first.
However, as the pair spends time together, we inevitably find out the duo’s history, to include Robson’s relationship with his deceased wife, isn’t as black and white as we were first lead to believe. The couple have chemistry, which is at times simultaneously sexy and hilarious. I was laughing out loud when the pair consummate their relationship. The passion is high, but for the first time I think I’ve ever read, our virgin heroine doesn’t feel that “exquisite pleasure pain,” she hurts and wants to stop intercourse! It “ruined” the romantic and sexy feel of the moment, but it was great!
Although the couple experience passion and attraction, there is a lot of doubt in Hedi’s heart which surfaces during some of the more intimate moments. She does not like her wolf half, but doesn’t realize that she will never be whole until she accepts that the were is part of HER and not a separate entity residing inside of her. Trowbridge wants all of her… Which includes her were half. Hedi’s self-discovery is a moving journey.
As delightful and engrossing as the first half plus of The Trouble with Fate was, there were parts that I didn’t enjoy so much. The first comes right at the midpoint of the book, when Hedi astrally projects to the land of Fae dreams, Threall. The whole trip was confusing, and the reader is burdened with even more mythology and background which doesn’t appear relevant to the story at all. I felt it went on way too long without much of an explanation of why Hedi even benefited from going there. All it did was raise questions that don’t get answered, which seemingly have nothing to do with this story.
The other part of the book that I was not overly fond of was near the climax of the book, and then at the very end. As Robson and Hedi begin to unravel the truths behind the current kidnapping and what happened all those years ago, the pair are captured and tortured. A lot. Things become overly bleak; I felt no hope at all. And it just seemed to get worse and worse, almost repetitive. There was a fabulous battle scene and some great action, but then things got dark again. I was not happy with how the book ended.
Overall, I enjoyed The Trouble with Fate, but it was a bumpy ride. The first half of the book was full of great information, and I enjoyed getting to know Hedi, Robson and their histories. However, at the midpoint, I found Hedi’s trip to Threall confusing and distracting. After the focus shifted back to the primary story and we got to watch the couple grow, I was hooked again. However, once the pair was captured, I found it to be extremely long-winded, and a tad too gruesome. I was left with little to no hope, and the story kind of ended on that note.
I certainly want to read the next book because I did enjoy large chunks of The Trouble with Fate. I hope that the second story will address some of the loose ends that left me frustrated with this book.
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)
The Trouble with Fate