Author: Leigh Evans
Release Date: December 24th, 2012
Publisher: Martin’s Paperbacks
Pages: 344 (Paperback) | 368 (ebook)
Genre: Paranormal | Young Adult | Fantasy
Series: Mystwalker #1
Read: from Decemner 6 to 11, 2012
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9781250006400 (Paperback)
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…
Disclaimer: I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Okay, so I’ve bumped it half a star. I guess I just couldn’t decide myself whether to give it 3 cups or simply a full 4.
The Trouble with Fate is Leigh Evans wondrous debut and tells the story of Hedi Peacock (previous known as Helen Stronghold) who is half Were and half Fae. As a child she witnessed her parents being killed by their own race and her twin brother taken away from the human world. She’s left alone with her lunatic aunt who’s a pure Fae and a moody medallion called Merry. As she grows, she has to hide her real identity from everyone. She works as a barista at the local Starbucks and lives a harsh life as best as she can. Until, one day, everything turns upside-down and she’s face to face with a difficult journey.
Her aunt is kidnapped and she’s attacked by a young Were who, she finds out, not only is working for the recent Alpha but is also after a powerful medallion which can open the gates to the Fae realm. She finds herself in need of help and finds it in the last person she could think, and wish, of: Robson Trowbridge her childhood crush, former neighbour and full-time Were.
Together they need to figure out what does the Alpha wants from Trowbridge medallion and Hedi’s aunt. What became a saving task soon turns into a suicide mission and both Trowbridge and Heidi’s lives will depend on their own choices.
However, Hedi has a yet another secret she’s been keeping, even from her aunt; she’s a Mystwalker. She can walk on the realm between the real and the unreal and walk into people’s dreams.
The beginning of the book was a bit slow for me and I found myself struggling to keep pace with it. The language was, perhaps, a little bit too tricky and difficult for a foreign person like me to keep up with. The background story Hedi tells us was too fast to accompany and it was also too mixed up with the present situations. It was like I was getting closer to a hurricane. However, as soon as I got the rhythm and became sensitive and understood Evan’s writing, the storm calmed down and it all started to flow easily for me. I got hooked and by the end of the book, I didn’t even know why I had found this hard to read.
Hedi is a confused, troubled and complex soul who has to battle with two distinct beings inside her. She’s neither Were not Fae; she’s the two of them together. She has the magic power of a Fae but also the instincts of a Were. She struggles with both, not sure which one of them she truly is and not wanting to embrace only one being.
She’s not the typical heroine we find in paranormal romances; she’s a virgin, wears glasses, is awkward and sometimes makes some terrible choices. She never thinks about herself and is always worried about the others… well, she does have her moments. Let’s say that despite those two paranormal beings inside her, she’s very human within.
Robson Trowbridge is some sort of fallen hero. As a werewolf and son of the previous disease Alpha, it was supposed for him to be in charge of the pack but lost his right for his uncle the moment he became the prime suspect on his family’s murder. He lost himself with his sorrow, alongside his fingers, and found refuge in drinking and bars.
Seen from Hedi’s perspective, he’s no longer the dreamy boy who played the guitar in the backyard she used to spy on. He’s pretty much a pathetic attempt as a Were and a man.
Hedi’s initial hatred towards Robson goes back to the night her parents died and she was left alone, hidden on a secret hideout. Trowbridge didn’t saved her, didn’t tried to save her brother from going to the Fae realm and Hedi found it was easier to have him as the person to blame for all bad things in her life – for having to hide her true supernatural identity.
On the other hand, her feelings for him never changed, they only grew, and having to work with him in order to save her aunt awoke feelings deep within her she never thought she could or would feel.
I guess the reason why I decided to bump half a start to this book is exactly that: the character’s flaws. They weren’t unrealistic and vague; they were very individual, truthful and complex in their own way. They weren’t perfect, didn’t had perfect lives and sometimes their choices would bring unhappiness rather than contentment. You can feel all sort of emotions towards them from compassion to hatred and still look at them as someone you could be living with next door.
The relationship between Trowbridge and Hedi was complicated, tricky and intricate though there were clear moments of passion. Hedi doesn’t fall immediately in love with Trowbridge since she already had a crush on him since she was a child. Instead, we see her emotions develop deeply as she fights and resists the obvious attraction she has for him. And vice-versa.
And, there’ll be some spoilers here – you’ll be warned, this blooming physical attraction between both characters as the story flows brings me to the only part in the book I was taken aback and found myself a little bit uncomfortable since it was a completely bizarre and awkward moment: the sex scene.
I admit that I’ve read several sex scenes in several books and I thought that after reading 50 Shades, nothing would shock me anymore or would be weird enough for me but, Hedi and Trowbridge’s first night together was one of the oddest, wackiest things I’ve ever read. I mean, she’s a virgin who doesn’t tell him that and he’s a werewolf whose carnal instinct is, well, sharp. But never did it cross my mind that she would back up the moment he entered her and he would swell inside her and be stuck!
The trouble with backing up during sex!!!
Yes, he got stuck inside her and only when she allowed her inner-Were to be free did they managed to go forward with the moment. Yah, it might not sound too much but reading the entire scene was embarrassing not only for me but for the characters.
I do believe that was one of the reasons I didn’t gave this book 4/4,5 cups!
I also felt that the Mystwalker power Hedi has wasn’t that explored. She allows herself to wander once in the book – apart from the past experiences she mentions – and I didn’t fully grasp the true meaning of being a Mystwalker. I do hope to understand it better in the sequel (The Thing About Weres) and to see her escape more often to that realm in order to comprehend it.
And the other reason I gave this book 3,5 cups was the ending. I swear I’ve been cursed by someone. When Hedi was face with the choice of saving Trowbridge or let him die, I was literally crawling under my skin. Hopefully, the beginning of the sequel will bring some leverage to my feelings.
Evans created an amazing paranormal romance with flawed and human characters, a plot that gets thrilling in each chapter, a world-building that allows us to enter her Canadian spirit and seizes our attention with each development. We find ourselves panting in want and craving for the continuation.