All Rowan wanted was a normal senior year. To fade into the background of her classmates. Instead, her entire world has been turned upside down. Words she never thought she would utter are now a part of her everyday life. Shifters. Powers. Bonds.
Comfort comes from the five fated mates who would do anything to protect her. Their connections are deepening, yet Rowan isn’t convinced all of them want her. Holden has secrets. Vaughn comes to her rescue in one breath and cuts her to the core with the next. But Anson, Lucas, and Keene will do anything to make their bond work and to convince Rowan that she’s all they’ve ever wanted.
They’re all trying, but each new development leaves Rowan reeling. As they realize just what kind of gift Rowan has, they discover it’s impossible to know who to trust.
Because there are those who lurk in the shadows, forces that want the power Rowan has humming beneath her skin. And they will stop at nothing to get it…
If you haven’t read the first book in this series, STOP, go back and read it. This book begins where that one left off.
In the last book things went overboard with Rowan’s adoptive mother in front of her adoptive father. Rowan was becoming delirious with fever and Holden realizes what’s going on and his father offers for Rowan to stay with them while her father gets her mother settled where she can get help for her grief.
Now the reason Rowan was fevered was because of her being apart from her mates, although that reaction was early in comparison to the way it normally is. She also shifts for the first time in this one, also early since she hasn’t been in contact with a pack for a year.
At the end of that book, Vaughn protects Rowan from three rogue wolves and is severely wounded. Rowan puts everything she has into healing him and passes out.
This book starts as Rowan wakes, she’s been out for a week. The major thing at this point is when she healed Vaughn their bond formed. She now has the bond mark. A star with five points and a triangle in the middle, one of those points is filled in.
Now for the record here, for the bond to form it doesn’t have to be sexual. At their age it’s a matter of connection on a deep emotional level.
Vaughn didn’t want that link and while he’ll do what he needs to keep her safe and healthy he’s determined not to get closer. It obviously took a lot for Rowan to heal him, he really was close to death. It also proves how strong her healing gifts are.
Rowan is still mad and confused after seeing Jasmine and Holden kiss. He insists it surprised him and he pushed her away. He doesn’t want her that way. They are supposed to be friends, nothing more. Apparently, Jasmine has different thoughts on that matter.
She’s going to need to practice shifting so it becomes easier as well. They know she’s powerful and after that thwarted attempt to kidnap her, security is going to be an issue. Of her bonds, the ones she can be sure really like her for herself and not just some bond are Keene, Lucas and Anson. Although Anson’s ex Sadie isn’t giving up the fight just yet.
Then there’s the fact that Mason had to register her since she’s shifted. He was able not to do that until it actually happened. Now the Quad is coming to their pack to test her.
The Quad is the top four wolves in terms of power and gifts. They are the final say on every judgement referred to them by the council.
They are coming to verify she’s a healer and see if she possesses any other powers.
This is a favorite scene.
I stiffened, my hands going damp. The guys moved in closer, and Ivan didn’t miss the action. He raised a single brow. “I asked you a question, young lady.”
I swallowed hard, using Coby’s tip to look at his nose instead of his eyes. “I’m not hiding anything that I know of.”
Ivan let out a harumph. “We’ll see about that.”
He extended a hand to me. I stared at it for a moment before slipping mine into his. Ivan’s eyes flared as he held on. I hurried to pull my hand back as he studied me with a thoughtful expression. “Very interesting.”
His reaction had the woman stepping forward, extending her perfectly manicured hand. “I’m Cinna.”
“Rowan,” I said with a small dip of my head.
Her shake wasn’t long, but there was a wariness in her expression as she released me. She glanced at Ivan. “There must be an explanation.”
Kaleb moved forward next. “Nice to meet you, Rowan. I’m Kaleb.” His expression was neither warm nor cold, but there was an assessing quality that had me fighting not to squirm.
“You too.” I reluctantly extended my hand.
Kaleb took it, his jaw going slack for a moment. He quickly covered it, releasing my hand and stepping back. “I’ll be damned.”
“What the hell is all the fuss about?” Gregor asked as he strode towards me.
There was something about the way he moved, the hardness in his stare, that had me taking a step back. Vaughn’s hand found my lower back. “We’re here,” he whispered.
Gregor’s eyes narrowed on Vaughn. “Remove your hand so I can get a clear read.”
Vaughn scowled at Gregor but did as he commanded.
Gregor didn’t wait for me to meet his shake, he grabbed my hand before I could raise it. His eyes widened, and the grin that stretched across his face was nothing less than terrifying. “This is going to be fun.”
I yanked my hand out of his grasp, not caring that the action was rude.
Gregor turned to Mason. “You haven’t been entirely honest with us, Mason. You downplayed her power. Lying to the council is a punishable offense.”
Holden stiffened at my side, and I slipped my hand into his, squeezing hard.
Mason didn’t show the slightest hint of a reaction. “I would never insult the council by lying. I informed you that she was powerful, our first healer in centuries. If you’re sensing something else, please loop us in.”
Ivan leaned on his cane, surveying the room. His gaze kept returning to the guys at my sides. “There’s a prophecy in the old texts. That a wolf will come along to reveal the rot in the shifter community. She will have five mates and untold power. She will burn out the sickness among us and truly unite the packs.”
Holden’s grip on my hand tightened, and Vaughn pushed into my other side.
Ivan took a few wobbly steps forward. “Has your bond been revealed?”
I glanced at Mason hoping for some sort of instruction.
“Look at me,” Ivan barked.
My head snapped back in his direction. “Yes.”
“Show us the mark,” Gregor demanded.
Anson let out a low growl, and Lucas grabbed his shoulder, pressing down hard.
I released Holden and lifted my T-shirt a fraction while tugging on the hem of my sweats.
Cinna let out a gasp and whirled on Mason. “Do you think you can pull one over on us by faking something like this?”
“It’s not fake,” Mason said calmly.
Kaleb studied me with that same assessing stare, as if he were trying to put all the puzzle pieces into place. He moved forward, slowly extending his hand. It hovered over my mark but didn’t touch. “It isn’t fake.” His eyes tracked over the five points of the star. “It also isn’t complete. Do you know who your mates are?”
“You’re looking at them,” Anson said, his voice hard.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Gregor barked. “The feral wolf is in her bond?”
Vaughn bared his teeth at the Quad member.
Gregor took a step back. “This has to be rectified.”
“There’s no rectifying fate, Gregor. You know that. This bond is destined. You can’t break it,” Mason said.
Gregor’s expression blanked. “There are ways.”
“Has her gift been explored?” Kaleb asked, breaking into the conversation.
“She has healed herself and two of her bond mates,” Mason informed them.
Cinna picked an invisible piece of lint off her dress. “We need to test her further.”
Test? What did that mean? I instantly pictured the Quad hurting people just for me to heal them.
Ivan stepped forward, and for the first time, I saw a hint of sympathy in his gaze. “We need to know what we’re dealing with. If you are the one the texts are talking about.”
“We also need to know if Mason is instructing you properly. The Ridgewood pack might not be the right place for you,” Gregor said.
I lifted my gaze to his. My wolf demanded I not back down. “This is my home. My family. I’m not going anywhere.”
There were low growls of assent around me.
Gregor glared in my direction. I could feel his power pressing down on me. He was trying to make me submit. To defer to him and his decisions. It wasn’t going to happen. I kept my eyes locked with his. No matter how much power he threw my way, I forced my chin to stay up and didn’t look away.
“Incredible,” Kaleb whispered.
Gregor let out a growl. “How old is she?”
No one said a word.
Gregor turned to Mason. “I asked a question.”
Gregor grinned with delight. “You’re an orphaned wolf shifter who has not yet reached adulthood. You’re under the council’s care.”
I trembled but did my best not to let it show. I was so tired of adults thinking they knew what was best for me. I stared at Gregor. “One week. I have one week until I’m eighteen. If you try to take me away from here, I’ll be gone the instant that week is up, and I’ll make you pay for it.”
Gregor prowled towards me. “You think you know this game you’re playing at, little girl. But you have no idea.”
Hale, Tessa. Mark of Stars: A Parnormal Reverse Harem Romance (The Shifting Fate Series Book 2) Kindle Locations (1486-1535). Kindle Edition.
Now the Quad is one issue, Sadie is another, and then there’s her adoptive father. He shows up on the eve of her eighteenth birthday to take her away from the ‘cult’.
I kind of feel sorry for Rowan, she’s been thrown into a whole other world and is trying really hard to adjust to her new environment.
Mason’s people find Rowan’s mother and that’s yet another shock. She does have some answers though, not exactly what Rowan wanted to hear.
It’s one thing after another, but there’s plenty of love, laughter, fun and there’s sizzle in this book as well.
I am already reading the final book in this trilogy.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Author of love stories with magic, usually with more than one love interest. Constant daydreamer.