Review: All Along by Willa Okati

All AlongRating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Nathaniel wakes up the morning of the big game to find his soul mark appearing.  But it isn’t until later that day, when he finally meets Abram, that he realizes who his mark is for.  After the reunion of his brother Robbie with Ivan (from Now and Then), Nathaniel finds a quiet spot, knowing he can’t go back to his room.  It’s then that he and Abram meet up again.   A conversation and some kissing later, Nathaniel feels Abram’s soul mark.  But Abram tells him they can’t be mates and Nathaniel, confused and hurt, runs.

Abram is a widower.  He already found and loved his mate, only to have lost him, and his mark has faded into a scar.  Though he’s drawn to the adorable Nathaniel, he knows it’s nothing more than infatuation.  No one before has ever had two soul mates.  He’s convinced that his mark and Nathaniel’s only match now, and that Nathaniel’s is still developing.  Against his better judgement, he starts a relationship with Nathaniel, even knowing they aren’t fated to be together.

Abram eventually decides the best thing for Nathaniel would be to push him away.  When Nathaniel realizes that his mark has changed, he goes to tell Abram that the older man was right.  Before he gets a word in edgewise, Abram says some awful things to get Nathaniel to hate him and move on.  But almost immediately after Nathaniel leaves, Abram realizes that his mark has changed too.  Now he has to salvage the damage he’s caused or lose his second chance at love.

This book was like a wonderful payoff for me.  Throughout the Soulmarked series, from the very first book, we have been privy to the information that Nathaniel had a mark and wasn’t telling anyone who is mate was.  And I’ll be honest, I didn’t even look at the blurb for this book before I read it.  Just before I opened the book, I thought to myself that I hoped Nathaniel’s mate was Abram.  And when I saw that it was, I couldn’t wait to find out how Okati brought the two men together within the confines of the world she had created.  I can tell you that I was not disappointed in the least.  This was a satisfying conclusion to a wonderful series, and All Along is probably my favorite book of the bunch.

This book takes us on the same journey that we’ve been on since the beginning.  It starts the same day that the first book begins on, and we get to see little bits of the other storylines as the plot progresses, this time colored by Nathaniel and Abram’s perspectives.  I loved this aspect, as it felt like we were getting the payoff from all the little clues Okati had dropped previously.

Nathaniel is a sweet and gentle young man, with a good dose of stubborn thrown in.  I’ve always loved his character, and I loved getting to know him better and what was going on in his head.  His connection to Abram was palpable, and even with this twist of Abram having a soul mate before, he was still certain that Abram was the one meant for him.  I loved Nathaniel’s practicality about the situation.  He attempted to research this phenomenon, trying to figure out how he could possibly have a widower for a mate.  And even though Abram thought it was impossible, Nathaniel was willing to take what he could get from Abram, hoping that, with time, Abram would come to realize the truth.

Abram, for his part, was saddened by the fact that he couldn’t have two mates.  There is a part of him that still loves Callum of course, and always will.  But he comes to adore Nathaniel very quickly, and knows that Callum would like Nathaniel a lot.  He also knows that Callum would want him to move on and find love again, even if he wasn’t mated to that man.  What I loved here was that Okati took the world she had created and expanded it even more.  With the mark developing even further, changing to be bigger and more elaborate, it showed that Abram and Callum were meant to be together for the time they had, and now Abram was meant to be with someone else.  It fit in beautifully, and I loved this turn of events.

And the epilogue?  Guys, it was fantastic.  I love epilogues that tie everything up in a neat little bow and this one did it in spades.  Not only did we get a fantastic conclusion to this book, but it gave us finality on the whole series.  Everyone from the previous books was back, it took us back to the place where the whole thing began, and it was just wonderfully done.  I finished this book with the satisfaction of a great read.

If you’ve been reading this series, then this book is going to make you happy.  And if you haven’t, I suggest picking them up.  They definitely need to be read in order, as there are bits that weave through the entire series, but it’s definitely worth it.  A fun and interesting twist on fated mates, Okati’s Soulmarked Series really fits the bill.  I enjoyed this book, and the series, immensely.

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