ORDER A COPY: The Trouble with Fate: A Mystwalker Novel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publishing Date: December 24, 2012
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
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…
Helen Stronghold believed her father when he told her that “Strongholds Hold Strong.” At least she did until the night her werewolf father and her fae mother were killed and her twin brother was kidnapped and taken to the Fae world of Merenwyn and the portal between worlds were closed and locked forever.
Helen, now going by the name of Hedi Peacock, is trapped in between worlds. She is blocked for every going to her mother’s people in Merenwyn. Being half fae, she is unwanted by the father’s were pack. Hedi is forced to hide in plain sight and live among the humans. Never getting close to anyone since the touch of a human male will burn a female fae, a sort of mystical birth control to keep humans from muddying the fae lines.
The only ones Hedi has in her life is her Aunt Lou who reluctantly raised her after being trapped here as well, and Merry, the charmed amulet that her mother gave her just before she died. But Aunt Lou has started show signs of decline, a sort of Fae dementia.
When Hedi leaves for her job this morning, she thinks the worst thing that could happen to her is the mental pictures her aunt keep bombarding her with as she declines further. That is until she finds out her Aunt has been taken by the Alpha werewolf. He wants a fae amulet and he thinks Hedi’s aunt is his best chance of obtaining it. Hedi doesn’t have it, but she knows where it is. The last time she was it was the night her parents’ died. It was hanging around the neck of the Robson Trowbridge, son of the then Alpha, and the boy Hedi had loved from afar.
But before Hedi can save her aunt, she has to pull Trowbridge out of the bottle of alcohol he is hiding in and help him find the man he should have become before that tragic night that took not only Hedi’s family, but Robbie’s as well.
It took me a long time to read this book. I had a lot of trouble getting into this story. I don’t know if this is the first of a series or a trilogy, but there is a Book #2 coming out in July. This would definitely qualify as a set up book and didn’t really pick up my interest until maybe the last 100 or so pages.
I felt no emotional ties with the characters, nor did I feel any real emotion build between Robbie and Hedi. One minute he is calling her a kid and telling her to go away and suddenly, he has to have her. The first sexual encounter between them was awful, and it just went up to awkward from there.
It is a personal pet peeve when fae or witches in the story can’t use their magic. What makes them cool then? They’re just people who could have been cool. In this story, Hedi tamps down both her fae side and her werewolf side and is not only uncomfortable with them, but whenever she uses her magic, her hands are left severely burned and she collapses into unconsciousness. She’s like having a one shot pistol.
Trowbridge was such an anti-hero that I just couldn’t pull up the interest to root for him. He was maimed the night his family was killed, including his wife, so I am confused why he didn’t mate with his wife. According to him, they tried to bind to each other, but there was never any magic between them.
I will say that Leigh Evans knows how to leave you with a cliffhanger and I will have to debate whether or not I am curious enough to continue the story now that the foundation has been set down.
Received ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
“Do you want to talk here or outside?”
The lights on the stage behind him turned from red to purple-pink. “The discussion’s closed.” He jerked his chin in the direction of the shadowed doorway. “Take off, kid. You should have been long gone by now.”
“How about that drink, honey?” said the brunette.
“Go away or lose those extensions,” I snapped.
“Give us a minute, will you?” Trowbridge sent her a brief smile. Oh yeah, send a smile out to the cheap seats. “Then I’ll see about buying you a drink.” Even her ass looked sulky as she left.
“Okay, I’ve been thinking.” I said. A lie, I’d been soul-traveling. But I’m always doing that, aren’t I? Lying to Trowbridge. Dropping balls.
Trowbridge had gone back to studying the line of drinks in front of him. “It’s always good to try something new.”
New is not always good I briefly closed my eyes, and banished Threall. When I opened them he was studying me with his head tilted to one side. “I’ve been trying to come up with a plan that solves all my problems, but you know what? I’m no good at that. I’m good at finding things. Food. Jobs. Money for the rent. I haven’t had time for plans. I just run from problem to problem, plugging up holes the best I can. This time running isn’t the answer, and stealing isn’t going to work, because I don’t even know where to find Scawen’s Alpha.” I swallowed to loosen the knot in my tight throat. “Help me, Trowbridge.”
“I have helped you.” With a small frown, he reached for the first of the three shots of Jack lined up on the bar. “You’re alive, wandering around the world spreading some more Stronghold bad luck. This is the last time I’m going to tell you. Get a box, put the piece in it, and send it to Creemore. Then take your round little ass as far away from here and me as possible.” He raised the drink in a salute and downed the glasses’ contents in one gulp. “I’m done. You’re too much work. I’ve lost my invisibility, my van, and most of my cash. I’m down to my last pair of jeans.”
But he still had his soul.
“You keep showing up at the worst times of my life, but you never do much good, do you? You just take in the scenery and walk out again. How’s that feel? I inhaled slowly through my nose, and steadied my voice. “I need help, Trowbridge. I need someone who can guide me through this. Someone who understands the Creemore pack intimately. Someone who knows the Alpha, and the way his mind works, and is strong enough to stand up to him.”
The thin blue vein pulsed under his eye. Its beat was the only thing he couldn’t control His mouth, his eyes, even that telling muscle in his jaw, they had shut down, but he couldn’t control the flutter of the pulse under this skin. “Do I look suicidal? Give him what he wants. That’s all you can do.”
“I can’t.” It came out the way it felt: near desperate.
I studied his unyielding face and then said in a hard voice, “If you can’t be Robbie Trowbridge anymore, can’t you at least be Jacob Trowbridge’s son?”