Title: Fangs with a Heart (Chain of Fate #2)
Author: Tempeste O’Riley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Page Count: 236
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Lynx shifter Trace Wilson’s fun-loving exterior hides a heart scarred by severe domestic violence—a heart that might not ever trust another male, fated mate or not. When Trace moves to Seattle to take his place as trainer and council representative to the Glacier Rim Tribe, he discovers his mate is the vampire prince Sasha Tolstoi, leader of the Konstantin Coven. It’s not something Trace is ready to accept. Not now, maybe not ever. But if there’s one thing Sasha knows how to do, it’s how to be patient, especially when his fated heart is also his perfect sub.
When an outside force threatens the fragile bond slowly forming between them—and nearly kills Trace—Trace’s instincts shift into high gear. Sasha is powerful, and that means he has enemies, among them several rival covens and an uncle determined to force Sasha into a marriage with a vampire princess. But why involve the lynx Trace in their maneuvering? Finding the culprit won’t be easy, and it will mean building trust—a slow and difficult prospect for someone who’s suffered as much as Trace. Finding a way to move beyond the past, and to love, before those out to finish Sasha can destroy either, is a race the two fated hearts have to win.
Second book in the Chains of Fate series. I felt this could not be read as a stand-alone – book one, Whiskers of a Chance, provides the background and introduces the characters for book two. I enjoyed book one despite a few quirks; sadly, I struggled with book two and came away mostly frustrated.
Trace was nearly killed by his previous mate. It was my understanding that finding one’s mate was a rare and precious thing (despite nearly everyone in the book finding theirs), and the bond increases the protectiveness. So, this is not actually the case and Baast is NOT always right in Her choice of Mates?
I also didn’t understand why everyone was pushing Trace into a relationship he wasn’t comfortable with. The Shifter was traumatized, nearly died, yet the answer was to pair him up Which leads to the question, why didn’t Sasha date Trace and earn his trust and regard?
Repetition, repetition, repetition. Too much explaining about how shifters and vampires don’t get along, among other topics, left me annoyed. Which was interesting, because with all the talk, talk, talk, Sasha and Trace don’t. Everyone else is talking, except our MC’s.
Sasha being a Dom kinda came out of left field. I would have liked to have seem some set-up to this either in book one – beyond the one paragraph that he took Jason to an BDSM club – or as part of building Sasha’s character in book two. And a small concern, if Vampire Prince’s are Dom’s, there’s then the assumption that the Princesses (because that’s what a Prince marries, right?) are all Subs. My apologies, but I find that a bit offensive.
The whole deal with Jason and Keith’s kit, Sean, being a shifter when “technically” he wasn’t, felt blown out of proportion and cluttered the storyline between Sasha and Trace.
I thought there was too much similarity between Keith’s father and Sasha’s uncle: Fangs felt like a rehash of Whiskers, where Keith is trying to rescue and protect his sister and nephew, but in this case, the Sasha is rescuing well regarded cousin from the abusive Uncle. Once the Evil Father-figure is removed, both books end the same way.
Ultimately, this book left me more confused and frustrated than entertained. The numerous plots conflicted with each other by bringing in too many characters and issues and detracting from what should have been Sasha’s and Trace’s story.