by Becky Flade
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Shamed investigative journalist turned tabloid scribe Maggie O’Connell convinces her editor to let her go to Minnesota to research alleged werewolf sightings. Her first night in the woods, she gets trapped in an old sleeping bag, unintentionally attracts the attention of a bear, and is saved by the most unlikely of heroes: the very wolf she had come to investigate!
When she meets horse rancher Aidan Gael in the town market days later, she recognizes his eyes as those belonging to her champion.
Aidan tries desperately to avoid her; he both fears Maggie and fears for her. Neither man nor beast can resist her curious mind and courageous heart. One kiss threatens to break Aidan’s tenuous self-control but furthers Maggie’s resolve.
Danger lurks at every turn. The curse Aidan fights to keep secret is only one of the obstacles that will test the strength of their bond. Together they will navigate the violence of both nature and of man in pursuit of their destiny.
“You get that from playing poker?” Aidan asked. Maggie smiled before answering. People always underestimated what could be learned at a quiet game of Texas Hold’em.
“Sure. Johnnie Carson is reckless, can’t bluff to save his life, shoots for the moon on every hand, and cheats to compensate. Red plays the odds, his risks aren’t as risky as they seem; he keeps it close to the vest and bluffs like a pro. Barry’s ego is his downfall. He’s too busy playing at being better than everyone else to bother playing better than anyone else. Old Man is cautious; he bets small even when he’s got the best hand. He gains the least but loses the least and seems all the happier for it. And Sly,” Maggie’s smile grew from ear to ear, “is aptly named. That man is one sly card player. Honest to a fault too, except when he’s bluffing of course. But that’s not dishonest, that’s just strategy.”
“You got them all pegged to a T.” He laughed. “Maybe I should play sometime?”
“I already know what kind of card player you’d be.” At his blank stare, she smiled. “You’d want to play it balls to the wall, but you’d put instinct in check and take the safest, quietest hand, make the most reserved bets, and fold rather than risk chance.” She saw his walls come down like she knew they would, and was irritated at herself for doing it. But she hadn’t lied. He reached into his pocket and pulled out enough to cover both their orders and a decent tip.
Y’all this book has all the feels. I didn’t know what to think when I pick this series to read. I’ve never read Ms. Flade before so I went into it with my eyes and heart wide open. I’m so glad that I took the chance. Aiden and Maggie have my heart. Truly. This book opens up with the bear incident and never really stops after that. There is a lot of push and pull between Aiden and Maggie throughout the book. I’m surprised that Ms. Flade took that route in the romance department. Most readers like the romance between the characters to be nice and sweet with only a black moment towards the end. Ms. Flade doesn’t do that. She throws curveballs in the story and one, in particular, is heartbreaking for me. It was a bold move and I applaud her for taking that chance.
Between Sly, Stella, Jenna (love her and her book is last) and Maggie’s Irish nanny, the secondary characters are perfect. They don’t intrude but only enhance the romance. The villain, unfortunately, fell a bit flat for me. A bit too one dimensional for me but that’s just me. Otherwise, the suspense element is top-notch. Between the hunters, the wolves and the end, just wow. I, also really enjoyed the setting of the book. Small towns always get me but there is something about a small town in Minnesota that I just connected with.
I won’t spoil the book right now but Maggie’s interactions with Gealach, the wolf are sweet. Those scenes sealed the deal for me. Every single one of them. Right up until the end. I NEVER saw that coming but I’m glad that it happened that way. This is a story that has paranormal elements but with a twist. Ms. Flade does an excellent job with the element. It’s not over the top and its plausible. My heart kinda broke for Aiden when it was all said and done.
Overall, the start to the series is awesome. We get to meet most of the secondary characters that will be around for awhile. We know about the weekly poker games, the diner and that the mall is about an hour away. I loved that Ms. Flade sets that up for the reader. I am very happy that I get to see Aiden and Maggie in the next books. They stole my heart and I’m grateful for that. I will definitely also look into Ms. Flade’s backlist. Oh, wait…I already did and she wrote a Spice Brief!!!! Oh.My.Goodness. I LOVED those back in the day.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A city girl, born and bred, I tend to place my stories in and around southeast Pennsylvania, or at least have a character or two from the area. Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor, three beautiful daughters, my son-in-law and two grandsons. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.
I’d love to have you visit with me at any of my virtual homes or write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The book will be on sale for only $0.99.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Fated-Souls-1-Becky-Flade-ebook/dp/B07XWF65XJ/ref=sr_1_1
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Becky Flade will award a randomly drawn winner a $20 Amazon/BN GC.