Title ~ Fated
Author ~ Indra Vaughn
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 31st December 2014
Genre ~ Paranormal, Crime, Thriller, M/M Romance
Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can't ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he's not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.
Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can't help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant's armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price
Fated was a really good read. A story with a mix of crime, thriller, mystery, romance, angst and a touch of the paranormal thrown in too. It's a strange one on the romance side, as the way you expect it to go, from what the blurb tells you, isn't necessarily where it does, at first, because the complexities of the plot dictate the path that particular thread of the tale takes. A side of the story you'll understand more when you read it.
It's one of those novels that because of its more complicated characters and involved storyline, would be spoiled if too much, outside of the blurb, slipped out; so you guys really need to pick this up yourselves, get nice and cosy and prepare yourselves for what's happening in the town of Brightly, where Police Lieutenant ("Just Hart") Hart's world proceeds to get turned upside down and inside out when he travels back to his original home town to deal with his estranged professor fathers death and a young, now comatose, mans vicious attack which links into some odd deaths and murders he's recently been investigating within his own jurisdiction, as his home now lies the other side of 'Shadow Mountain', a mysterious area that holds myths and legends of a creature called "The Predator" and separates Brightly from his new town.
As the book opens, Hart is dealing with the confused feelings he has for his young neighbour Isaac, who openly wears his heart on his sleeve where the older man is concerned. There's approximately a decade between them, age wise, and of course Hart is conflicted about this but his attraction for Isaac is growing stronger and it's clear that the crush twenty three year old Isaac has been harbouring for the past seven years isn't going away. But when (sad) duty calls, Hart has to pack up and go ASAP, leaving Isaac to look after his house for him whilst he's away, and things simmering but still unresolved between them.
'The silence that fell was a charged one, no sound apart from the refrigerator and the aquarium filter, and Hart's barriers began to rise. When Isaac turned around, chin lifted, eyes wide with defiance or a little bit of fear, Hart inwardly flinched. This dance of flirtation and rejection had started when Isaac moved back from college two months ago. And Hart didn't know how much longer they could go on like this...'
Once he gets to Brightly, things kick off pretty quickly as Hart gets pulled into an investigation that not only makes him step back and look more deeply into his difficult relationship with his father, but introduces him to certain concepts and intricacies surrounding the mysterious deaths and murders, that push his own beliefs to the limit. Paired up with feisty female officer Freddy: another Lieutenant in the Brightly police force, who becomes his trusty sidekick and support during his stay, he finds himself facing dangers from both worldly AND unworldly sources. There are twists, turns and moments of emotionally charged drama, especially surrounding Tobias Darwin, a man who throws Hart even further into a tailspin, as their involvement makes him question aspects of his own life that he's never allowed himself to fully face up to, involving deeply conflicted feelings for the people important to him.
Like all crime/mystery storylines, there are red herrings and misdirection’s to keep you guessing and because this is only part one of a trilogy some threads are left hanging that will obviously be addressed as the series progresses. And that's the vibe the book ends on...not particularly a cliffhanger as such but definitely an emotionally charged "To be continued...."
I tend to read in genres. I find one I love and that's it...tunnel vision reading! Hence my current addiction. Before I got into m/m romance nearly five years ago, I dabbled for a short while with m/f paranormal/urban fantasy but my longest reading passion ever was with "non romance” crime/mystery/thrillers, a genre I didn't steer away from much for more than twenty five years so I find myself looking for the subtle misdirection’s in crime stories, and tend to play detective myself... Lol... Although I couldn't predict the exact reasoning of why the killer felt the need to embark on his killing spree, I did see a few things coming and correctly guessed who the 'bad guys' would turn out to be, so for me the surprise/shock elements didn't have quite the impact they probably should have. Plus, being honest I'd liked to have seen the paranormal side feature a little more strongly too as I felt that side of it was more told, not seen for the majority of this novel, but I'll hold judgement on that because I know this isn't the end and there's far more to come. Of course all those thoughts are in my own sphere of consciousness so that's why it's the rating it is for me. I predict this will be a five star read for the majority of us M/M lovers, as Indra Vaughn has woven a well written, exciting, deep, intriguing tale that despite the above musings, was still a highly enjoyable read that kept me invested in seeing just how Hart and the multi layered cast of characters who surrounded him, would make it to its "I want the next book now!" finale. With the hints we're left with of more heart wrenching drama, emotional onslaught and intrigue to come for Isaac and Hart, I'm definitely in for the ride...and then there's the Predator? We certainly haven't seen the last of him....
Buy it Here
A word from Indra Vaughn
It’s nine p.m. and I’ve had a pretty long day today. A good one! But a long one. My three-month-old kitten woke up my three-year-old son, because the kitten likes to suck on the seam of his pajama bottoms for some reason. Only she usually waits until about 6.30 am, but not this morning, oh no. This morning it was 5 am and once Bam Bam is awake, there is no putting him back to bed. Out of desperation I tried giving him the iPad and let him get into bed with me, but this usually results in me being banged over the head repeatedly with said iPad while he excitedly yells: “CHECK YOUR EARS? CHECK YOUR EYES?” (He likes Doc McStuffins…)
So I dragged myself out of bed at 5 am and gave him cheerios, a banana, and a frozen waffle. (That’s all the breakfast I can conjure at that hour, don’t judge me.) Now, I gave up caffeine about two weeks ago, so as you can imagine, I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself at this point. It’s still super dark out. Mr. V, who can sleep through the loudest of tantrums (yes, sometimes mine), is still sound asleep upstairs, the dog is snoring in his bed (even he hasn’t stirred, and he’s usually dancing up and down by the time I get up), the cat has disappeared again (the little shit), and Bam Bam is more awake than ever.
He wants to do all the things. Go to the basement to play ball, make play dough dinosaurs with glasses (no, really, it’s a thing), ride his scooter on the drive, go to the playground while I freeze my ass off, bake cookies and bring them to his friend across the street. We do all these things before noon and I feel a little bit superhuman to be honest. It’s one of those parenting things I never expected. Just how full your days become, it’s amazing. What did I used to do with my time? It’s not like I write less these days. And I still faff about on the internet as much as I used to. So did I become more efficient or do I just function on less sleep?
I think it’s a bit of both, and I think this is why pretty much every main character I’ve written since Bam Bam was born is a sleep deprived insomniac.
Another theme that seems to come back in my books is the loss of parents. In The House on Hancock Hill, Jason had lost both his parents and it shaped a large part of his life. In the Shadow Mountain series, Police Lieutenant Hart lost his mother at a young age and his father dies as the first book begins. I guess it’s on my mind. I still have both my parents but they’re not so young anymore, and they’re in Europe while I live in Michigan. It’s a long way to go if something happens, and yes, sometimes it keeps me awake at night. I don’t think it matter how old we are. Losing a parent is a fear that never goes away, and it never gets easier.
I’m not really sure what my point is here, apart from being tired while I watch Star Trek (to boldly go where no one has gone before… why does that sound dirty all of a sudden?) and I try to gather my thoughts into something coherent regarding this book. It’s different, I think, than my usual work. Less all about the romance maybe, although it certainly is the golden thread that holds the three books together.
I really wanted to write a mystery, and you know what? I loved that part. Absolutely loved it. Some of the research I had to do was less than savory (I’m pretty sure I’m on some list or other thanks to that car bomb research… You lot will vouch for me, won’t you?), but the writing and plotting part of it? The. Best. The paranormal part just flowed out of the story, almost unintentionally. And then there is Isaac, the guy who just won’t give up on our stoic hero. (There’s spoiler in this paragraph, but you might not get it until the second book *grins*)
So this series is in my own very humble opinion the best thing I’ve written so far. It’s very special to me, not least because some of it was extremely difficult to write. There will be parts readers won’t like, there will be parts readers will (hopefully) love. In the end all I can do is put it out there and hope it touches someone’s heart. I’m eternally grateful for all of you readers who keep supporting their favorite authors and who are willing to give new ones a try.
I probably seem all over the place in this post, and if I do, I apologize. My guard is down .and there’s just something about Jean-Luc Picard’s voice that makes me all mellow ;-)
Have a wonderful 2015, guys. May it be full of good health, success, and most of all love.
Meet Indra Vaughn
In 2008 Indra Vaughn packed up everything but the kitchen sink... no, that’s a lie. She left everything behind apart from her books and moved from Belgium to Michigan.
She now lives in the suburbs of Detroit with her dog who thinks he's a toddler. Indra’s professional background is in Nursing and Chinese Medicine, but she prefers to spend time making up stories about mysterious men and their unrequited love.
Indra is gifting an e-book from her backlist to one lucky reader (not including Fated) all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.