Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Fated Hearts
Author: Garrett Leigh
Series: Shadow Bound #1
Heroes: Zio & Devan
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Fox Love Press
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: “He’s not a wolf.”
Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in.And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.
Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.
Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.
“I won’t let him die.”
I’ve been wanting to read Garrett Leigh for years now and while I have a few of her books in ebook and print, I haven’t gotten around to reading anything but when I saw she had a shifter story coming out? I jumped on that right away! And I will say, I can’t believe I waited so long to read one of her stories! I absolutely loved her writing style and she definitely had a way of bringing me into the story and getting me invested in these characters. And what characters they were! Zio and Devan were definitely polar opposites because while Devan is calm and collected, Zio is broken and volatile. He’s hurt after losing his best friend and finding out someone is coming to take her place really does a number on Zio. Finding out that same person is someone he’s insanely attracted to just makes Zio unpredictable. With Devan, I loved that he was willing to help the wolves but also that he understood where their animosity was coming from. He tried so hard to ease his transition into the pack and I loved that he was willing to help no matter what. Even when the wolves were so hostile, he put his life in danger to help and heal them. I loved him as a character but I also really adored the relationship Zio and Devan developed. Now, it’s not as fleshed out as I would have liked but the things they’re forced to go through really cemented the bond that was just waiting to be formed. It was interesting to see their roles reverse as the story progressed because while Zio starts off not wanting anything to do with Devan, as they get farther into the war and their bond is revealed, it’s Devan that tries to distance himself from Zio while Zio just wants to embrace the bond.
I struggled with my rating on this one because while I loved this book, it also aggravated me so much that I had to put the book down at times because I was so freaking mad. So, I waffled between a 3.5 and a 4.5 rating and am ultimately going with a rating in the middle. Why did I struggle with the rating? A few reasons… for one, it was way too smutty for me. For Zio not wanting to be involved with Devan, I expected to see less smut but nope, there was still a ton for my tastes. But what aggravated me the most was the whole situation with Devan not being able to shift and then not being able to claim his mate. It really pissed me off because the people who were telling him not to do those things were his alphas who, correct me if I’m wrong, are supposed to be caring for their people. How is not allowing one of your pack or clan to shift or claim their mate, taking care of them? You’re telling me, as an alpha, you couldn’t have found a way around the whole situation? You’re telling me, you couldn’t have made it known that Zio and Devan were mates and that’s why Devan was in the area? It really pissed me off that no one tried to do anything to get around the situation but instead put Devan through torture, physically and emotionally. It just really pissed me off and I get why they didn’t want these things to happen but I don’t understand why no one tried to fight back on it or tried to find a way around that.
All in all, I did really love this book. I loved the characters and I loved that they struggled in this time of war. Certain things did piss me off to no end but the fact that I was so angry really brought home to how much I did enjoy this book. If I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did and I wasn’t so invested in these characters, I wouldn’t have cared what happened to them. I’m definitely looking forward to see where this series goes from here and hope this won’t be the last we see of Zio and Devan.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*