Unraveling the Threads of Fate – Alice Winters
Some people are born lucky.
Then there’s me, destined to be loved by the man who knows my darkest secret.
My gift has followed me my entire life—the ability to see the threads of fate. I can see the red thread tying together two people destined to love one another.
But my gift has another side to it. A darker side.
I can also see a simple black thread tied to the fingers of those who aren’t aware of it, connecting them to the person destined to kill them. And when I look down at my own finger, I can see the red thread stretched over to Bishop King. The man who is my soul mate.
But then why is the black thread also wrapped around our fingers?
Bishop is sweet and caring, and I can’t stop my heart from loving him. I just need to thwart fate before it separates us forever.
I swore to never let myself be drawn back into Alex’s world, but the man is funny and charming and the moment we’re together I fall back into the familiarity we shared as teenagers.
I know this time is different; he’s hoping that I can help him walk through his dreams to figure out how an innocent girl is going to die.
While his dreams tell of the future, mine allow us to find the truth. But what happens when we save a life and change fate–will it affect our own future? I can’t keep myself from falling for Alex, but what if helping him leaves one of us dead?
Unraveling the Threads of Fate is a standalone romance with action, mystery, humor, and a happy ending.
I was introduced to the red string of fate via anime. This is a belief that two people meant to be together are linked by a red string tied around their pinkies. So I was ridiculously excited for this Alice Winters standalone novel that features the magical threads.
Unraveling the Threads of Fate is a story of a high school teacher, Alex, whose gift is the ability to see the red strings. It has a neat little twist wherein he can also see the black strings linking people to those who will kill them. To make Alex’s life even more exciting, a.k.a. hellish, his red string AND black string are attached to the same person, Bishop King, his billionaire high school friend. The man is both a hopeless crush and the last person he wants to see.
The world-building reminded me of another urban fantasy series by the author, In The Mind, where people have gifts. The writing doesn’t dwell too much on the hows and whys. It’s just a given that some people have gifts. Bishop’s gift is the ability to walk dreams.
The chapters switch between past and present with brief glimpses of the future. One thing that soon became apparent is that everyone’s got MAJOR daddy issues. Young Alex was manipulated by his drug-dealing father to run drugs. The teen also had to take care of his baby half-sister because his dad couldn’t be bothered. Bishop has his own rich people problems to sort out with his dad.
The book is humor, mystery and suspense with the romance seamlessly falling into place without too much fanfare. It’s driven by the MCs’ desire to stop the deaths of people close to them with the past events heavily impacting the present.
As much as I loved the concept, I wasn’t completely blown away. The beginning to about 60% was really riveting! The plot was tight and fast-paced. I loved how Alex and Bishop learned to make their gifts work together, turning from grudging partners to secret superheroes who saved people from untimely demise.
I’d also like to commend the author for hitting the sweet spot for her trademark humor vs. moving things forward. We got the hilarious snark for snark gags but toned down and short enough that they don’t distract from the plot.
However, the last 40% sorta meandered and lagged. These are the parts where they had to save more people and settle their daddy issues. It would have been exciting, except I got impatient for the story to wrap up because it’s becoming long drawn out.
As for the strings, I loved how they were used in the story, especially Alex and Bishop’s connection. They were changing the course of fate by saving people, but were they really?
Unraveling the Threads of Fate took a deeply romantic concept of soulmates, turned it upside down, and gave something of a Schrödinger dilemma. All in all, a funny, suspenseful, surprisingly gritty tale tying past, present, and future together.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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Necessary Evils: Moonstruck – Onley James
Atticus Mulvaney is the eldest son of eccentric billionaire, Thomas Mulvaney—a role he takes very seriously. Atticus takes everything seriously. Like his brothers, Atticus is a psychopath, raised to right the wrongs of a broken justice system. Unlike his brothers, he’s not very good at it.
Jericho Navarro is no psychopath, but he is a vicious killer. Like Atticus, he also has a secret life. To most, he’s just a mechanic. But to a ragtag group of social misfits, he’s Peter Pan, teaching them to eliminate those who prey on the weak with extreme prejudice.
When Atticus and Jericho come face to face over a shared enemy, their accidental meeting ends in an explosively hot hookup neither can forget. But they have nothing in common. Atticus is a buttoned-up closeted scientist and Jericho is a man on a mission, determined to find and punish those responsible for the death of his sister. Still, Jericho can’t stay away. And, truthfully, Atticus doesn’t want him to.
As Jericho’s mission begins to bleed into Atticus’s life, two separate but equally brutal families will need to learn how to fight together to take out a common enemy. But no amount of brute force can show Jericho how to scale the walls of a psychopath’s heart. Can Jericho convince Atticus that, sometimes, the couple who kills together stays together?
Moonstruck is a high heat, intense psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a fumbling, sexually confused maniac and the dominating, unapologetic gang leader who can’t stop tormenting him. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, more killers than you can count, and enough explosive chemistry to level a city block. This is book three in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.
More Mulvaney madness today. Couldn’t get enough of this crazy family!
Moonstruck is the 3rd book of Necessary Evils, a series about a family of serial killers meting punishment to fellow monsters. The family was founded by Thomas, a billionaire and a genius psychiatrist, who adopted seven boys, Atticus, August, twins Asa and Avi, Archer, Aidan, and Adam. They were carefully selected and trained to be highly accomplished individuals in various fields by day and deadly vigilante killers by night.
Now August might be my favorite Mulvaney, but I have a soft spot a mile wide for my grumpy Atticus. He was the first to be adopted and, therefore, felt pressured to make Daddy Mulvaney proud.
Atticus tries so hard to be perfect but always felt like he’s coming up short. Like his brothers, the man is an over-achiever. He is both M.D. and Ph.D. The thing with Atticus, trained killer that he is, the man actually hates killing (because it’s unsanitary). And by his brothers’ accounts, isn’t very good at it.
On one of his assignments, he stumbles upon another killer, Jericho Navarro, in what was perhaps the most perfect meet-cute for a pair of murderers ever! Bossy mechanic Jericho promptly latched on to the grumpy ginger, recognizing the man’s submissive nature from the get-go. Gives him the most adorable nickname you can give a psychopath, “Freckles“.
“I’m not letting you go, Freckles. I’m just not. You can call it a business arrangement, an affair, a kidnapping, some kind of midlife crisis. But whatever you call it, you’re mine. And I protect what’s mine.”
I’m not a fan of dirty talk and, man, Jericho has a mouth on him! Other than that, it was a lot of fun watching Atticus’ prickly submissive nature meshed with Jericho’s affectionate dominance. It’s not just Atticus’ submissiveness. Jericho was also quick to recognize and appreciate everything good about his man.
“Do you think I want anybody else? Nobody compares to you, Freckles. You are this weirdly perfect combination of impenetrable and vulnerable and I can’t fucking get enough of it.”
The family’s reactions to their relationship were one of the best parts. Atticus’ brothers could be such asshats sometimes, so watching Jericho defend his Freckles gave me great satisfaction. He even called Thomas out for his treatment of his eldest son. Jericho goes declaring he wants to be Atticus everything, including be his proxy killer. And sure enough, he holds true to it. As Thomas puts it, Atticus found himself a good one!
I was so happy for my favorite grumpy ginger getting his HEA. Atticus’ special ability is mimicry. He’s used to mirroring other people, but he rarely gets to be himself. I loved how he took the courage to embrace his truth and proved he could be just as good as his brothers.
The scenes where Atticus eats granola bars while complaining about his paper not being front page in JAMA, and Jericho, fresh from a kill Atticus gifted him with, soothing his prickly man, is most definitely a very Mulvaney brand of endearing. It pretty much screams TRUE LOVE Murder Husbands-style. This is a trope I couldn’t get enough of, and watching these two serial killers falling in love is like the best thing ever!
Atticus slipped his thigh between Jericho’s, snuggling closer to tuck his head against his chest. “I know. I don’t like killing, but I’d kill for you, too.” Jericho’s stomach fluttered. “I know, Freckles. I know.”
Also, Atticus and Jericho cuddled and watched Labyrinth!!! ☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆
The story is part romance and part mystery. The mystery involved Jericho’s missing sister. I wasn’t as invested in this as I was with the other books. It wasn’t as strongly delivered compared to the first two books.
Also, the series started dark but is leaning more towards steamy and humorous in this 3rd installment. I would have preferred a bit more darkness to offset that, the way the 2nd book, Psycho, perfectly balanced fluff, steam, and dark.
The case was, however, a great way to bring everyone together. All hands were on deck to solve it, including Jericho’s crew of young killers. These guys are awesome! They need their own spinoff. Jericho’s brother, Felix, will have a thing with Avi. So excited for the twins! Just a teensy bit disappointed they won’t be sharing. The plot also spent time building up Aiden and Thomas’ story. Hoo boy, I am beyond excited to see how this works!
Moonstruck continues the wonderful and worthwhile tradition of giving the Mulvaney brothers their HEA. Atticus and Jericho’s relationship might have started with murder, but it certainly breathed new life to a mimic who learned how to be himself and found his perfect match in a man who was his opposite.
The story is equal parts a very swoony insta-love romance, a riveting found family saga, and a crime procedural handled by vigilantes who love to get their hands dirty. I might not be completely over the moon about everything, but I definitely love this book to bits!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Mulvaney tradition starts with the youngest, Adam the supermodel serial killer, and his feisty person, Noah, in Unhinged. It continues with the psycho and the psychic, August and Lucas, in Psycho.
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