Erryn reviews ‘Fated Hearts (A Shadow Bound Novel)’ by Garrett Leigh. The ebook was published September 10, 2019 and is 256 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Dan Calley. It was released April 21, 2020 and is 6 hrs and 50 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’m a newly converted Leigh/Calley fan.
“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.”
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I admit I don’t know a lot about shifters. There’s a huge market for the books, to be sure, but it isn’t one I’ve dipped my toes into very often. Since I love Garrett Leigh, Dan Calley, and the collaborations between the two, I was happy to leap on this book. I don’t regret having done so, but it didn’t capture my attention the way the contemporary books have. That being said, I’ll say a few things.
I liked the instantaneous connection between Devan and Zio. Aside from the explosive hook-up, the men have little in common. One is an older reborn healer from a Slovakian pack – sent to care for a pack at war. One is a young soldier grieving the loss of a good friend – the pack’s former healer. The relationship between the two men is forbidden by both of their packs, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling the tug. The pull. The demand of their bodies to mate. I’ve read about fated mates and I think it’s a great idea. Love at first sight, right? Or, in many cases, first smell.
There is a lot going on in this book – from the politics to the pack dynamics to the actual war going on. Through it all, Devan and Zio fight their attraction. At times that makes them quite snarky – being horny will do that to a guy. And as for the shifting – I always wonder what happens to the clothes? Don’t mind me, I’m an eminently practical person.
I enjoyed this story and there are more to come, I assume. The war has expanded to vampires and I can only imagine the turmoil that will bring. Dan Calley is one of my favorite narrators and for a good reason. He has a deep resonant voice that is well-suited for the dark world these shifters inhabit. Be they wolf or tiger, the danger always lurks. I’ll certainly be interested in seeing where this series goes.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.