Alfie is convinced that rich-boy Shay had something to do with the death of his parents, and he’s determined to expose the truth. As it turns out, upon first meeting the only truth to come to light is the fact that these two are fated mates.
What’s it About?
You’re a beautiful monster, and fate has bound us together for life.
After the murder of his parents, the rules of high society dictate that omega werewolf Shay find an alpha mate—and fast. While struggling with his overwhelming grief and being forced into a marriage he’s never wanted, his courting celebration yields yet another nightmare when fate makes an unfortunate appearance.
Alfie is a gossip reporter and alpha werewolf who latches onto the same theory as everyone else; that Shay is responsible for the deaths of his parents. When Alfie sneaks into a courting party to get a look at the guilty young man for his column, he expects to see a murderer, but finds his fated mate instead.
Despite mutual disdain, Shay and Alfie are now inescapably entangled—all while a double homicide remains unsolved.
As their affections grow, so does the danger to their lives. Shay and Alfie might be fated, but can love conquer suspicion, grief, and the threat of death?
Sara Dobie Bauer is an absolute queen when it comes to creating paranormal worlds filled to bursting with a slew of characters we love to love. I’ve read several books from this author, and with each new read I’m surprised at the fact that no two are alike in terms of their fantastical elements. Sure, there’s usually always at least one character featured who seems like a clone of Timothee Chalamet (expect plenty of pics and gifs below), but I’ll take that any day of the week. If the title didn’t give you enough of a hint, we’re diving deep into the world of werewolves in Fate of the Moon. It’s a world that, on the surface, seems fairly standard. Alphas, omegas, fated mates, claws, fangs, full moon, we’ve all seen it before. However, the author inserts a few unique details that successfully set this apart from your typical werewolf paranormal romance. Firstly, the fated mate connection is one that can be tested scientifically, and results show that Shay and Alfie’s blood connection is off the charts. As if their sultry glances and shivering tingles of electricity weren’t enough to know for sure, the test proves these two are meant to be.
This is also a world wherein the omegas are essentially characterized as trophy housewives to be seen, not heard, by their alphas and the rest of society. As a wealthy omega, the expectation is for Shay to carry and birth a multitude of pups after marrying his fated mate. But where’s the fun in doing what society deems “proper”? Shay is still reeling from the recent grisly murders of his parents, and is just a shell of his former self. However, his fated connection with Alfie slowly starts to bring him out of this morose shell to be the unexpectedly outspoken and opinionated omega he’s always been. Alfie is certainly a possessive alpha who wants to claim Shay as his own, but that doesn’t mean he’ll keep him restrained to the household to carry his pups. He supports his feisty little omega to do whatever he wants, especially if it brings a spark of life back into him. Alfie is an outsider to this society of wealth, so he has no reason to scoff at what others would declare to be unacceptable behavior by his omega. The author presents us with a few twists to traditional paranormal werewolf romance traits, and as a couple we see how Shay and Alfie pose a twist to the traditional outdated rules that this world represents.
The Fate of Our Mates
All of us romance novel lovers out here have undoubtedly come across a fated mate novel before, and we’re probably pretty familiar with the intense connection which can draw paranormal mates together. It might be a tingly feeling that something is up in the universe, or a massive shockwave of realization. What I particularly enjoyed about this read was that while the call between Shay and Alfie was strong enough to bring them together from separate rooms of an immense mansion, and they even had to take medication to lessen the electricity pulling them together, they didn’t immediately fall into love with each other. It’s not as though they resist the call of their bond, and indeed both can acknowledge that it’s a foregone conclusion they’ll be tied together forever. It would have been easy for the author to have these two jump into bed fairly soon after meeting to quell the intense desire simmering between them, or to have them both fully on board and appreciative over the fact they’ve found their one true mate.
Instead, there’s effort at work here. The author takes the time to establish a foundation for these men to get to know each other, support one another, and naturally let a bond beyond that of fate to take hold. That’s not to say they are without temptation, and indeed we even get a bit of dream-induced grinding going on at one point, but on the whole we have to wait until the very end of the novel before they fully consummate their relationship. When that moment does ultimately come (pun absolutely intended), I remember initially feeling a sense of whiplash over the fact that we are constantly switching back and forth between Shay and Alfie’s points of view throughout the entirety of the scene. As it progressed though, I realized it was really the only way to do the scene justice by showing how these men are a cohesive unit rather than one taking the lead over the other as the primary character. Fate might have brought them together, but it is only through friendship and respect that they truly fall for one another.
The formation of a bond between Alfie and Shay certainly takes center stage with this read, but there was another element beyond their establishing romance which was dealt with in a rather remarkable fashion. This would be the “black sludge” which was a characterization of Shay’s grief and depression over the loss of his parents. It’s a constant presence in Shay’s new world, and essentially an intangible villain in its own right. This “sludge” might never take on a corporeal form, but the threat it poses to Shay is just as a real as a killer trying to choke the very life out of him. It calls on him to give up, to let the sludge take over his body so that he can feel a release into nothingness. It’s seemingly better to feel nothing than the unbearable pain upon reliving the discovery of his dead parents in the safe space of their home. When Alfie comes into the picture we see how their mating bond connects the sludge to him as well, demonstrating how this depression can seep into every corner of Shay’s life to impact those he cares about the most. And yet, it is because of Alfie that Shay learns to control the sludge, to allow his happy thoughts of Alfie to keep the sludge at bay, but also how to draw upon it as a tool to elevate his own strength and overcome any potential external obstacle. The black sludge was an incredible window which allowed us to explore the emotional turmoil of Shay’s anguish.
Beyond the romantic development between Shay and Alfie, as well as the sludge threatening to destroy them, we still have this outstanding matter of an unknown killer who brutally massacred Shay’s parents. Unfortunately, this rather crucial part of the story is kind of pushed to the background to focus on some of these other elements we’ve already discussed. I remember at one point in the story the biggest stress facing both Shay and Alfie was the fact that they would be attending a fancy gala together for the first time since the story broke about them being fated mates. I couldn’t help but think, “umm…guys? Shay’s parents were killed about 2 weeks ago and the killer is still out there. Maybe skip this one? Go to a pet store or something?” Of course, immediately after having that thought the mystery killer decides to make a reappearance in a big way, but it still felt as though the murder element of the plot was placed on the back-burner longer than was necessary. It also would have been nice to see Alfie’s journalistic side come to the forefront to brainstorm potential suspects and scenarios with Shay, and see them work together as a team to bring the killer to justice.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: I would just like to put out in the universe the desire that all of us readers have for this to be turned into a series so that Shay’s best friend, Tanner, can get his very own love story with his alpha. We need it!
Would I befriend the heroes? Shay and I would definitely be buddies. He likes to bake cookies, he makes ravioli…I just know we’d have a ton of fun in the kitchen. Alfie can watch 🙂
Would I date the heroes? If this novel has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t become between two fated mates, so I’m gonna let these two enjoy their happily ever after together. Not gonna lie though, I wouldn’t say no to Shay’s butler.
Final Impressions: The true success of this novel lay in exploring the emotional impacts of grief and depression. The angst and intensity surrounding the murder mystery aspect of the plot either needed to be dialed up a few more notches, or it should have been removed entirely by having Shay lose his parents from something like a car crash. As it stands, the various plot points of their romance, shirking societal expectations, wealth, the murder and the sludge were all kind of fighting for prominence, and it resulted in some elements being unfairly removed from the spotlight. That being said, I absolutely adored how everything came together in the end, especially as we see Shay fully break free from the standard trappings and labels of what it means to be an omega. Even Alfie couldn’t be characterized as a stereotypical alpha, and their joint dismissal of society’s expectations is what made them stronger as a couple that could step out and face the world together. I believed in them as a couple, and if this should ever turn into a series I hope we see them again down the road.
Smut Level: We may only get one sex scene between our heroes, but we do get a wee bit of phone sex thrown into the mix. Sure, I would have liked to see Alfie get a bit more alpha with the dirty talk, but I’ll take what I can get.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Carnation Books. 377 Pages.