I try not to judge a book by its cover…but the blurb? That’s fair game. While the blurb caught my attention I’m sad to say Fated by Rebecca Zanetti was a DNF for me; but probably not for the reason you’re thinking. Zanetti’s world was very compelling and her characters managed to catch my attention. I have a feeling if I had made it a little further in I would have found some of the chemistry between Cara and Talen to be explosive. Unfortunately, I only made it about 3 chapters in before I was jarred out of Zanetti’s fantasy.
Marry Me! Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she’s used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But “whatever it takes” has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem.
Or Else! Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he’s there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he’s a three-hundred-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he’s had that long to practice…
Fated is the first in Zanetti’s Dark Protectors series. Her world involves two different types of vampires. The Realm is made of up ‘good’ vampires, shifters and witches while the Kurjans are the bad guys. Talen is a member of the Realm, well a prince of the Realm actually. He meets our heroine by rescuing Cara and her daughter from an abduction attempt by the Kurjans.
Right from the beginning, Fated starts off full of action and just keeps piling it on. From a midnight rescue to Cara being kidnapped in the middle of a U.S. Marshall’s office to a shoot-out at a cabin in the middle of the woods, Zanetti just keeps the hits coming. And did I mention there was an impromptu wedding in the middle of all that? Intense does not even begin to cover it.
And then, just when I was starting to get really into Fated…when I started wondering about back stories and how Cara and Talen (plus the little bit) were going to form a family…it happened. Right before, what I’m sure was supposed to be a very smexy scene, Talen uttered a phrase that completely turned me off of the whole book.
“We’re married, Cara. Soon to be mated. ‘No’ isn’t an option for you.”
Now if he had been talking about him protecting Cara and her daughter I would have been okay. Even just in the context of Cara not being able to ignore his world, I could have dealt with that. But nope. He said it in reference to sex. As in, “We’re married so you have to have sex with me.” And that was it. I was done. Now the next line does say that Cara knows he won’t force himself on her…but still. That one line just ruined the whole story for me.
I tried giving myself some space. I finished another book and then went back to Fated. But any time I read anything about Talen I just kept going back to that phrase, “No isn’t an option for you.” I had lost my connection with the hero and I kept wanting to Cara to slap his head off his shoulders.
I don’t believe that just because a man and woman are married that the woman loses the right to say no. I know some people are thinking, “It’s just a book. Get over it.” But that’s not how it works for me. I want to like the heroes. I want to respect them. And I just couldn’t do it anymore after that scene. Zanetti was probably trying to make Talen seem like an Alpha male, but in my eyes she just turned him into an intimidating bully.
Even though I like the premise of Fated, and I really wanted to find out what the differences are between the Realm and the Kurjans, I just couldn’t do it. I won’t be visiting Talen and Cara’s world anymore and I’m sad because it seemed to be a very interesting world.