Awaiting Fate by J.L. Sheppard

Believe it or not, this book has prompted me to add a new category to my side-bar: paranormal romance! I’m sure many of you will be tickled pink at the new addition. By the way, I totally meant to post this at 1:30pm, and instead it went out at 1:30am. Oops!

The Synopsis

awaitingCain Thaler’s lived more than four hundred years fighting rogue immortals, avenging the family he’d lost. It’s all he’s needed, all he’s wanted. That changes the fateful day he lays eyes on his fated mate. Olivia Waden, a werewolf princess, is nothing like him. Unwilling to give her up, he sets a plan into motion: ignoring his need to claim her, he befriends her. Despite Cain’s best efforts at friendship, Olivia has fallen hard for him. It is him she dreams of, him she wants as her fated mate. But she is sure he doesn’t feel the same way. In way over her head, she has no option but to run away from the only man she’s ever loved. Will Cain find Olivia before it’s too late or will their differences tear them apart?

Initial Thoughts

If you ever want to read a romance novel featuring an intense and possessive alpha male, all you have to do is pick one up featuring werewolves. It’s pretty much a guaranteed alpha-fest, what with all the marking and the mating going on. Even though Cain is a demon, he’s fallen in love with a werewolf princess, and has all the same signs of mating jealousy common of werewolves. By now you all should know that I’m always up for a nice slice of alpha-male with whipped cream on top, but goodness gracious, paranormal guys really need to learn to calm down when it comes to their females. Maybe a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine and some Enya music is in order.

This book definitely had a lot of sexual build up, as Cain immediately recognizes Olivia as his mate when they first meet, but he waits over 5 months to tell her they are fated. Olivia has just recently discovered that there are species other than werewolves, and he doesn’t want to scare her off to the fact that her mate is a demon. Even after she learns that Cain is her true mate, he waits even longer before marking her because her exceedingly protective werewolf brother isn’t aware of the fact that his baby sister is gonna be shacking up with a demon for the rest of her life. And you thought your household had tense family dinners.

Trust Issues

An interesting, and yet extremely annoying, facet of this book was the lack of trust between Olivia and Cain. She’s always had a crush on him, but believes that because Cain has never revealed he is her mate, the two aren’t destined to be together. After all, alphas go a little crazy if they aren’t constantly possessing their mate, and she’s been in the designated friend zone for over 5 months. She has fallen for him so hard that she decides to run away to get over her unrequited feelings. He follows her, and ultimately declares they are mates (not the buddy buddy kind). The problem is that she thinks his infatuation for her will wear off, and he is convinced that every time something becomes too difficult, she’ll run away.

At first, it was a unique predicament to have, which they ultimately resolved with some naked bedroom activities. However, a couple of chapters later they start fighting over the exact same thing. Seriously, I think they bring up and resolve the whole “will she run away” argument about 5 times throughout the entire novel. After a while I remember thinking, “Are they really still arguing about this?” tiredMissed Opportunity

Having so many different immortal species in one novel was definitely interesting, but overall I think there were two crucial missed opportunities which could have added extra layers of depth to the book:

1. Too many similarities between species. We’ve got demons, werewolves, fairies, and just about everything in between, but aside from how they transition out of their human form, they are all basically the same. They are immortals, they have mates, they are fated to find their mates, they are ridiculously possessive once they find their mates, and they all mark their mates via biting. In addition, they spend so much time in their human form that you don’t really get to witness how they are truly distinct. Cain changes a few times, but Olivia is pretty much always human. Now if we had had a little werewolf/demon sex scene, that would have been different! Although to be fair, if I transformed into a hairy beast with large fangs and claws (aka my true form after a long, cold winter), I’d probably stick to my human form as much as possible too. werewolf2. Lack of suspense. Throughout the novel there are multiple references to this major war brewing behind the scenes between the immortals and another species called Malums, yet the entire book focuses on the mating love story between Cain and Olivia. I kept waiting around for some ultimate good vs. evil fight scene, but in the end all we get is a tussle between Cain and Olivia’s brother. In addition, all of the interesting facts about Cain’s troubled past as a demon orphan, and his current battles against the rogue immortals are all mentioned in passing, without any real focus on the events taking place in the other dimensions. Don’t get me wrong, I love tales of romance more than the next single female, but whenever there is the opportunity for a little added suspense, it should definitely be taken. Hopefully we’ll see more action in the following books.

*An ARC was provided for an honest review*

Should you read it? If you want to read about a sexy, possessive alpha-male who makes some questionable decisions in regards to claiming his mate, then yes. If you want some action to go with your romance, then you won’t find much of it here.

Series: Fated Immortal series, book 1. I’d probably give the next book a go. There are a few other interesting couples featured in book 1, and I hope they become the focus of the following books in the series.

Smut Level: Overall it was a pretty hot and steamy read, with more description of the foreplay than the act itself. Lots of biting. Grrr.

Get it on Amazon: This book just came out today, so click here to get your Kindle copy for $4.99.

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