"Touching Fate swept me away in a world of magic, adventure, and sexy romance, where not everything is as it seems, and fate, while written in the stars, isn't always fixed. A spellbinding tale of love and choices...and did I mention the hot European accents??" - Rachel Harris, NYT bestselling author of The Fine Art of Pretending
Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn't. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift-with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person's fate.
Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday-and Reese's is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death...only to find the one person who can save him.
Aster doesn't know that the hot Dutch guy she's just met needs her help-or that he's about to die.
But worst of all...she doesn't know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.
The Fated series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 - Touching Fate
Book #2 - Cursing Fate
Book #3 - Seeking Fate
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Fated Series
By Brenda Drake, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Brenda Drake
All rights reserved.
It looked like the house had swallowed an entire art store and thrown up the supplies all over the lower level. Aster Layne hugged her physics book and stepped off the final stair. Bent over colorful poster boards on the floor, her twin sisters were painting over-punctuated sentences.
"Um ... I guess I didn't get the memo." Aster tiptoed around the land mine of wet signs. "What are we protesting this week?"
Violet, one of the twins, glanced up. "It's not a protest. It's for our birthday party. Besides, you wouldn't protest anyway. You don't care about the environment."
"Now that's just hurtful." Aster pretended to look appalled. "I care. I recycle."
Violet harrumphed as she dunked her brush into a glob of pink paint on her palette.
"Hey, is that my pen by your knee?" Aster glared down at her.
"Yes," Violet said, busy at her task. "And why do you even care? You have like a million of them in your desk. It's crazy."
"It's not crazy. It's a collection," Aster said. "Just put it back when you're done." On the floor at Aster's toes was a neon-pink sign with large bubble letters spelling out Come Join Us For A Party On The Beach To Celebrate Violet's And Iris's Sweat 16 Birthday On April 8.
Sweat? she thought. Someone needs an education.
Her lips twitched into a devious smile. "'Sweet' is spelled wrong."
Iris leaned over to examine the poster. "Daisy did that one. I knew we shouldn't have let her help."
"What do you mean? Hers is better than all yours put together." Aster could feel the burning anger rising within her. The twins were always messing with Daisy, and her youngest sister was too sweet to fight back, so over the years Aster had become her protector. It was Aster and Daisy against the twins. Aster knelt down and grabbed a brush, dipping the tip into the green paint that matched the letters on the board. She looped an e over the a and darkened the other letters. "See, you can hardly tell."
"That's horrible," Iris said. "We'll put it at the pier. No one will care down there."
"You're inviting all of Ocean City?" Aster snickered. "That's just crazy."
"Don't be silly," Iris said as if the seven or so posters sprawled all over the living room weren't evidence of her calculated plan to outdo Marsha Simmons's recent party. "Mom said we could put one up in the shop, one at church, and some around the neighborhood. Whoever comes, comes."
Aster rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that'll be a small affair."
Iris glared up at her, the sarcasm in Aster's voice not going unnoticed. "You're such a snob."
"I just can't figure out how you come up with such great comebacks." Aster laughed and ducked into the kitchen, the smell of buttery goodness tickling her nose.
Fourteen months had passed since Aster had had her Sweet Sixteen. It had been a quiet occasion — dinner on the deck overlooking the ocean with paper lanterns, with just her family and her best friend in attendance. No pomp and circumstance like the twins' birthday was sure to be, much to her mom's disappointment. Her mom loved to throw parties to show off her elaborate flower arrangements.
But Aster was sick of everything floral. From her and her sisters' first names to the many vases around the house holding the season's best blooms, she was sick. It all felt overdone. But her mom made good money selling flower bouquets to overeager men wanting to show their affection to anticipating amours. Her ideal would be for a guy to give her one simple long-stem rose or something. Not red. Not pink. Just white. A sign of purity. Pure love. That would be special to her.
Aster shook her head at the thought. Pure love didn't exist. And every relationship she'd ever witnessed was evidence to that belief. Her grandparents' marriage was the exception. They'd met just out of high school and never spent a day apart from each other until Gramps had a heart attack on the deck steps leading down to the beach. He'd only been fifty-three.
Whenever a breeze came off the waves and whistled over the deck, she could smell Gramps in it — a mixture of salt and sand. He'd always taken a morning plunge in the waves, no matter the season. To get his heart pumping, he'd said. Gram would tease him that it was because he didn't want to take a conventional shower.
Aster swallowed the lump in her throat that always sprang up whenever she thought of him and focused on the woman he left behind. "Hey, Gram. Smells good in here," she said, shuffling across the tiled floor.
Gram's eyes traveled over her. "Those shorts are kind of short, wouldn't you say?"
"And that's why they call them shorts," she said, dropping her book on the table.
"You'll get cold."
"It's sixty-nine out."
"When it gets dark, it won't be," Gram countered.
Aster moaned, snatching her sweatshirt from the coat rack on the wall by the back door.
Gram grabbed a handful of flour and sprinkled it on the doughy mound she'd been kneading on the counter. "You know, dear, you shouldn't tease Iris as you do. She isn't the type for it."
"Yeah, but she's such an easy target."
Amusement lit Gram's eyes. "That she is, but nonetheless, go easy on her. Lord knows that boy of hers isn't so kind. She doesn't need her own family poking fun at her."
"I thought she broke up with him." Aster grabbed a roll off the cooling rack by the stove. "She's been hanging out with Wade a lot lately."
"She has. He's such a sweet boy, too. I'm thrilled she's finally realized that." She wiped a stray hair from her face. "But she's having a difficult time breaking up with that other one." Gram never mentioned his name, and she usually overlooked the error of people's ways. But Iris's boyfriend was such a douche bag, he tested Gram's ability to forgive him.
"All right, I'll try to be nicer to her," Aster said. "So where's Daisy? We were supposed to pick up Leah five minutes ago."
"She went with Aunt Roselyn to her doctor's appointment," Gram said, digging her fingers back into the dough. "She's having an ultrasound and might find out if the baby's a boy or girl. They should have been back by now, though." She glanced over at the clock on the oven before turning to Aster. "Now see, you're such a sweetie to Daisy. Taking her to the boardwalk when no one else will. Why can't you be like that to the others?"
"Because you don't see how they treat Daisy." Aster popped another piece of roll in her mouth. The flaky goodness melted on her tongue, buttery and sweet at the same time.
"I know and see all, but two wrongs don't make a right." Gram rubbed at her nose with the back of her flour-caked hand. "Don't throw the first stone, you hear?"
"Why do you always assume it was me who started it?"
Gram frowned, flipping over the mound of dough. "Just know, one day you'll realize how precious a gift it is to have sisters."
"Okay. But if we're all about speaking in proverbs here, the twins should do unto Daisy what they would like done unto them, or something like that." Aster tossed the last bit of the roll in her mouth. "And, if I knew the price of a roll was going to be a lecture, I'd have bought one at the bakery."
"Only it wouldn't be nearly as good," Gram said, thinning the dough with a rolling pin.
Gram was right. Her rolls were like crack. The ratio between Gram baking good batches versus bad ones was a million to one, and that happened only because the heating element in her old oven sometimes overheated.
"Have a peppermint, dear." Gram was always pushing those round mints that Daisy called candy cane babies.
Aster picked one from the bowl on the table, unwrapped it, and popped it into her mouth.
A car door slammed, and then another right after it.
"There they are," Gram announced as if she hadn't seen them in years.
Daisy entered the kitchen, struggling with several shopping bags, one of which had a stuffed giraffe's head sticking out of it. "I swear aliens have taken over Auntie Roselyn. She bought so much blue stuff, I may puke." She dropped the bags on the table.
Gram gasped, slapping her cheeks, a flour cloud puffing in front of her face. "Oh my, finally, a boy!"
"I know, isn't it exciting?" Aunt Roselyn squealed, waddling in with more bags. "I have to email Herman. He is going to be thrilled. I sure hope he gets his orders home in time for the big arrival."
"I'm going to put some shorts on," Daisy said and darted up the back stairs.
"Hurry, you've got five minutes or I'll leave your as —" Suddenly remembering Gram was in the room, Aster thought better of her last word. But clearly, Gram was still in the euphoric haze of finding out there would be a boy entering the long line of double-x chromosomes in the family.
"Great news, huh?" Aster raised a brow at Gram when the older woman didn't answer her. Knowing Daisy's five minutes would be fifteen, Aster sat at the table and flipped open her physics book. Ever since Daisy had turned fourteen, she was obsessed with her looks. Or rather looking older.
"What?" Gram finally muttered a response before the rolling pin slipped out of her hand and clunked onto the counter. "There's so much to do. We have to repaint the room ... oh and new bedding ... blue ... yes ... blue ..." She slowly ascended the back staircase.
Gram always amazed Aster. Instead of collecting stray cats, she collected stray humans, all taking residence in her six-bedroom beach house. She could have sold the place for a few million, but she never would. Aster suspected Gram felt Gramps's spirit in the place, too.
Aster and her mom, sisters, and aunt weren't the only ones living with Gram. There was an older woman (somewhat ancient, actually) named Tillie living in a small apartment attached to the garage. From the kitchen's French doors, Aster could see Tillie hunched over, supporting her weight on her cane as she watered the large planters flanking the entrance to her apartment. No one ever spoke to Tillie but Gram, and Tillie never spoke.
"Ready," Daisy announced. "You studying again? It's spring break. There's no homework during break."
Sighing, Aster stood. "The brain can never rest, especially when it comes to quantum entanglement."
Daisy blinked. "What's that?"
"Well, if you split two entangled particles, they remain connected. So, if you spin one, the other one will instantaneously spin in the opposite direction no matter how far away —"
"Okay, mind overload," Daisy stopped her. "You don't have to give me a full-on definition."
"Well, you asked." She shook her head. How she wished just one member of her family understood her fascination with science. Aster scooped up the Bug's keys from the counter and yanked open the door, then instantly jumped back. Leah was on the other side, her fist in midknock. "Crap! You scared the shit out of me," she said. "I thought I was driving?"
"Right." Leah didn't look at all happy, flipping a blond braid over her shoulder. "Just like you were going to pick me up a half hour ago?"
If Gram saw Leah's shorts, she'd be more stunned than finding out Roselyn was having a boy. The shorts barely covered Leah's butt cheeks.
Aster's best friend, Leah, had all the confidence in the world. She never let anything prevent her from achieving her goals, not even a missing eye, which could hardly be noticed when she wore her usual prosthetic. When Aster first met Leah, it was like bringing two opposite charges together — they stuck.
"Come on," Leah said. "I'll drive. There's hot boys to destroy."
"We're not destroying boys today," Aster said. "You promised. Girls only today. Besides, it's Wednesday. All the hot guys go on the weekend."
Leah talked the talk, but she didn't walk it. She fell in love too easily, and her heart broke even easier. She didn't have a destructive bone in her body. Besides, Aster had had her fill of guys lately. Having just recently broken up with her newest loser, she didn't want another opportunity to show her apparently poor judgment in boyfriend material.
Aster tossed the keys back on the counter and followed Daisy and Leah out the door. Iris's jerk of a boyfriend, Josh, squeezed by them on his way in. Blocking his way, Aster turned her most menacing glare on him.
He glared back at her. "Are your meds malfunctioning again?"
"Be nice to Iris, or else," Aster said. She would kill to see his smug face turn to agony after Iris broke it off and crushed him.
"Or else what? What are you going to do?" He pushed by her.
"You don't want to find out," Aster called after him before dashing down the sidewalk to Leah's Ford Focus, thoughts of sampling deep-fried food on the boardwalk dancing in her head.CHAPTER 2
The salty breeze rolling over the boardwalk reminded Reese Van Buren that he needed another drink. Possibly something with alcohol. But alas, he had forgotten he was in America where the drinking age was twenty-one, and not eighteen as it was back home in North Holland. And the last drinking establishment they'd visited had confiscated their fake identifications since the cards were undoubtedly suspect. He was almost tired of traveling and partying since leaving Europe with his travel mates.
Reese did, however, enjoy the openness of American girls. It was a refreshing change from the closed and overly scheduled young women of his village. With it being spring break, the American girls were ready to have a rollicking time. He'd had no problem convincing Henry, Jan, and Lars to go on this adventure with him. All he had to do was play a YouTube video of girls going wild on the beaches during spring break, and they eagerly packed their luggage.
"Explain to me again, why are we in Maryland?" Lars towered over the locals and tourists on the boardwalk, his athletic form weaving through the crowd. "We could be drinking with the masses on the Florida beaches."
"And romancing the girls," Henry added, glancing back with a scowl on his face. Henry was the only English one in the group. Reese had roomed with Henry at Le Rosey, an expensive boarding school in Switzerland. It wasn't as though Henry was utterly handsome. It was his confidence and his accent that attracted the opposite sex.
Jan, Reese's cousin, rubbed his pudgy belly. "All the amazing smells around here are making me hungry. Might we get a bite?"
"You didn't have enough to eat on the drive?" Henry smacked the back of Jan's head. "All our supplies are gone."
"I have to maintain all my sexy curves." Jan shimmied, running his hands over his sides.
Jan would eat anything, especially if it was slathered in barbecue sauce. He'd acquired a liking for the stuff after sampling it at a roadside diner. Reese didn't much like the taste. It was too spicy for him.
"You were all given an itinerary," Reese said, turning slightly to search the buildings flanking the boardwalk. "We'll arrive in Florida in a few days. Plenty of time to partake in the spring break festivities. At the moment, we must find that photo booth. The lady said it was in this vicinity."
"It feels as though we're on a race around the world," Lars said. "Why must we rush everywhere?"
It was very much like that. A race to see the places Reese would never get another chance to see. He was determined to distract himself from thinking about his future demise. He had only three months to live, and he planned to do it in a drunken stupor where no one knew who he was.
Just a quarter of a year.
The days were like sand in the hourglass of his life, slipping away from him. He never fully got over the sinking feeling he'd had when he first learned of his imminent demise. He contemplated suicide, but thought better of it. His parents would never forgive themselves. Nor would Jan.
Jan gave Reese a concerned look. Reese returned it with a brave smile. Jan was the only one who knew Reese's troubles. Even his parents hadn't learned that he had discovered the truth — that Reese had uncovered their secret.
"There it is," Jan shouted as though the others were across the boardwalk and not standing right next to him.
The four took turns getting head shots in the booth. They were to meet up with Jack, a scoundrel for certain, who could forge identification cards for them. Satisfied with the outcome of the photographs, Jan and Lars set out to locate Jack's bumper sticker stand at the end of the boardwalk. Jack had asked that only two of the friends meet him. He didn't need a group around him raising suspicion.
Excerpted from Touching Fate by Brenda Drake, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Brenda Drake. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! This was such a quick and fun read that I absolutely devoured in no time at all! I loved the synopsis and thought that the idea of a girl that loves science having a "very unscientific gift" tied together with a guy who is cursed to die on his eighteenth birthday would make for an interesting read, and it definitely did. Aster never imagined that a fun tarot card reading would turn into her having the gift of a fate changer- one who can alter someone's fate for better or for worse. Nor did she ever think that she would bump into the person that she was fated to be with on the same day. Reese is fated to die on his eighteenth birthday thanks to a family curse that takes the lives of firstborn sons and never expected to run into a fate changer who could possibly reverse his curse and save his life. His plan? Trick Aster into falling in love with him so she'll have to change his fate. The problem? Reese has fallen in love with Aster and can't bring himself to trick her into saving him. The other problem? Aster's fate changer powers are wrecking havoc in her life, and she doesn't feel safe changing fates anymore. Will fate rip apart the two lovers or is there a way to remove the deadly curse? What really drew me to this book was that it was described as one that you could read in one sitting. I've been on the lookout for a quick read or two, and Touching Fate fit that description perfectly. It was very fast paced, and a lot happened in what felt like a really short period of time, but I think that this book benefited from the quick storytelling. That being said, I did find it difficult to really connect with any of the characters that I encountered and I couldn't really allow myself to dive as deeply into the story as I would have liked. I certainly didn't dislike this book, I rather enjoyed it, but I just couldn't fall in love with any of the characters or the world like I wanted to. Speaking of characters, let's talk about the ones in this book. Aster was quite sassy, and very independent, which were probably my two favorite things about her as a character. She cares for her family, takes care of her sisters, and has pretty much sworn off guys after her last relationship crashed and burned. That is of course, until she meets Reese, and ends up wanting her entire life to revolve around him. In a book with tarot cards, magical powers, and a family curse that kills firstborn sons, I found the romance to be the hardest thing to believe. Initially, Reese's intention is to trick Aster into falling in love with him, which definitely rubbed me the wrong way and made me dislike him as a character. Another thing that bothered me was how quickly the two fell in love. The very first time that Aster and Reese meet, she walks off thinking about his six pack abs, amazing blue eyes, and "dark blonde hair that brushed his brows just right." I thought it was incredibly cheesy and even rolled my eyes over the interaction. However, the reason behind the insta-love was explained later on in the book, which allowed me to believe it a bit more than I initially had and eventually root for the two lovers to end up together. Read the rest at: http://underthebookcover.blogspot.com/2016/11/book-review-touching-fate-by-brenda.html
This is my first Brenda Drake book and I LOVED IT!! This is a different kind of paranormal since we delve into the world of tarot card readers and fate changers. Aster doesn't realize her power until an innocent day at the boardwalk with friends reveals her undeveloped skill. The day is even more eventful since Aster meets Reese who is cursed and needs a fate changer desperately or he will soon die. Aster's ability has consequences she doesn't realize until it is too late. And as expected - she feels completely betrayed once she finds out Reese played a hand in luring her into this situation. But how can she let him die knowing she can help? But how can she help him knowing that his curse will be transferred to her family? There are twists and turns in this one and I felt the paranormal aspect was very well done. Can't wait to read more about the Layne sisters. **Copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the chance to read and review Touching Fate by Brenda Drake! This fun and interesting story kept me entertained. Alternating points of view with Reese, a young man with a family curse which will make him die on his eighteenth birthday, and Aster, a young woman who unknowingly has a family curse that can change people's fates. The two meet at a local carnival and Reese discovers that Aster is a fate changer. Since his family has known about the curse, Reese realizes that Aster can change his soon-to-be future fate. At first, he just wants to get to know her so that she will help him, but they fall in love with each other. Aster discovers her family curse because of a psychic at the carnival and her grandmother eventually explains everything to her, after tragedy has already struck. Aster's grandmother has kept the curse a secret to protect the family, but she learns that this was narrow minded. Some swearing and a small sex scene that is vaguely detailed - just a heads up for people who might not want to read that. The story's cohesiveness and charming characters made me a happy reader - 4 stars!
"Touching Fate" is a YA fantasy romance about Reese and Aster. Reese has been on a quest to find a Fate Changer, a rare person who can alter another person's fate through their connection to tarot cards. Reese happens to be in town when he locks eyes with Aster, and they feel an immediate connection (there is some insta-love here). Aster is coming from a bad break-up though and resists. Reese knows he must find and get her to fall in love with him so that she can break the curse which has haunted his family for generations and will kill him. Although Aster resists at first, she is soon all-in on their relationship- and Reese finds that he is too. However, they both learn that there are dire consequences to changing fates, which makes Reese's original plan a non-starter. The question becomes if there is another way and whether they can overcome this powerful magic to save Reese- without having any unintended consequences. Overall, it's a fantastic and quick read, driving you quickly through the story and connecting you to both Aster and Reese. I liked the idea of balance and consequences- there are no easy solutions here. Aster and Reese's relationship really grew on me too; despite the insta-love at the beginning, they take their time to know each other better (although there are many secrets between them) before moving forward with their relationship. It's a YA book, but I would recommend it only for older teens, as there is mentions of their physical relationship (though not explicitly described) and discussions of death and mortality that might be too much for young teens. I can easily see following this series, especially since we only got to know a few of the side characters (like Aster's sisters which are basically described and then left to mystery). As part of Entangled's Crave series, they are made to be quick, fast-paced books that can be read in "one sitting" (though I found it to be a weekend read, as it still took me a few hours). I like the style- you still get a complete story with developed main characters but without any filler. This was a delightful and suspenseful fast-paced fantasy book about love and the power of love to overcome the obstacles. Readers of YA fantasy who also love romance will really devour this book! Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Brenda Drake never fails to amaze me with her originality and creativity, and this book is no exception. Touching Fate presents us with an intriguing world of tarot cards and fate changers. I love the characters so much and especially love the difficult moral choices with which they are faced. Reese is adorable, and I love his relationship with Aster. I can totally see why she falls for him! It is a fun and fast-paced read. Highly recommended for anyone who likes stories with fascinating worlds and hard choices.
This is definitely written for teenagers. Point blank, not much else to say. Just a bunch of teen hormones and…giggling….UGH. I probably should not have read this. I am NOT saying that it was a bad book, because it’s not. All I’m saying is if you are an adult you probably won’t get into it. I didn't like it but I gave it three stars because if I was a teenager, which is the age group it is in, I would probably like it a lot better. *I received a complimentary copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
TOUCHING FATE by Brenda Drake is a fast-paced, intense young adult novel with a unique concept. Aster can change people’s fate. Reese has a centuries old curse. When they come together? The dynamic is explosive! I loved this book and the characters within it. Aster is a no-holds-bar seventeen year old girl who has a strong voice and a slew of endearing qualities. Her journey is an intense one and I loved following her through it. Her love of her crazy family is what drew me to her first (because she has an awesome family dynamic that is realistic and entertaining) and the more I learned about her, the more I knew I’d cheer for her till the end! Reese has an awesome and authentic male voice which I find so refreshing in young adult novels. Add to that his dark fate and we’ve got one broody boy that is irresistible and totally swoon worthy. Brenda Drake has an incredible ability for nailing voice and creating amazing character dynamics. The two main characters are absolutely unique, with their own set of problems and goals, but when they come together it’s electric. And without giving too much away, I’ll just state that as the book goes on, you think the stakes for them can’t get higher, but they do. Drake also constructed a world which displayed realistic teenagers, which adds an authenticity to the plot that readers can relate to. Drake has crafted a novel that will make you laugh, fall in love, gasp, and then catch your breath. TOUCHING FATE is a must read that will keep you flipping pages all night.
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. The description grabbed me right away. It was so unlike anything I previously. The book sounded so good, I started reading it immediately. WOW!! I'm soooo glad I picked up this story. It was better than I even hoped! This book rocked! The author pieced together a wonderfully original and compelling young adult book. A story centered on gypsies and tarot card magic was refreshing. It was a unique take on fate and curses. I couldn't put it down! Everything about this book was worth the read. There wasn't even a downside or complaint when I finished the Touching Fate. Overall, this book deserves five glittery stars and more. This young adult story is a must read for fall 2015!
The moment I saw this book, I was intrigued. Putting together a girl who can change fates and a guy who is cursed sounded like a perfect recipe to me, and it certainly met my expectations. I liked that the book had a very realistic feel to it, I almost kept forgetting the fact that there was magic involved because it was so believable. In the beginning I felt that the relationship between Aster and Reese was a little forced. I'm not sure why I felt this way and I can't really put my finger on it because I don't mind when characters are attracted to each other right away. Anyway, as the story progressed, I stopped noticing it and was fully engrossed with the plot. There was a lot of tension building up to Reese's 18th birthday and I think the author did an excellent job with the way everything fell into place -like a carefully planned puzzle. I think readers will not be disappointed with this creative and original story. On a totally unrelated note, when Aster starts changing fates, she gets an infinity symbol on her skin. I love this!!!! I almost want to get a tattoo of it... who knows, maybe I will. *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I really liked this book. Aster and Reese were good characters, and I even enjoyed some of the secondary characters like Leah and Jan. I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I think Brenda did a great job with the characters. Dual POV can be hard to pull off, but she did it. I think Reese was pretty true to how a guy would think/act. My one problem with the book was that it felt a bit rushed, especially the romance part. I think if it would have been a longer book, it would have been better. That way there could have been some more suspense and more time for the characters to get to know each other. The story was fantastic. I thought it was really interesting, and unique, to read about a fate changer. The execution of Aster’s journey through learning she could change fates until the end was great. One other minor thing that detracted a little bit from the book was some of the language/dialogue felt a little off to me. It felt like it was trying too hard to sound like a teenager and overreached a bit. There were some loose ends that came up throughout the story, so I’m assuming they’ll be addressed in future books. I’m not sure if the next book in the series will be told from both Aster and Reese’s POVs again, but I can’t wait to keep reading. When’s the next book coming out? Final note: A good start to the series. It was a little predictable and a little fast paced, but it was an interesting story. I’d definitely recommend it.
This was a first read for me by Brenda Drake and I was really surprised at how well I liked it. I am usually not into the tarot cards and all that psychic stuff, but this story had me hooked from the beginning. Brenda did an excellent job combining romance, suspense and drama. I was hooked from the very beginning and could not wait to find out what was going on with Aster and Reese. Aster is a young lady that was not into all the psychic stuff and was just going about her life until her friend and one of her sister's get her to have a tarot card reading. What they don't know is the ability that Aster has to change the fate of things and who they happen to. It took awhile for the girls to really figure out what was going on. In the meantime, Aster has meet Reese. Reese is from Holland and has a curse on him, but Aster does not know this. Reese wants to get to know Aster because he knows that she can change the fate of the curse that has been put on his family. While Aster is trying to figure out how to keep from hurting her family and involving them in the fates that she is able to change, there are several situations that happen and scare Aster. The suspense and action in this story keep you turning the pages. I was really into this story and did not want it to end. Will Aster be able to change the fate of Reese's family curse or will she find out what he is using her for and let him take the fall? You need to read this story to find out!! Such a great read and just the right amount of everything to make a great story line. I can't wait for more from Brenda!!