Jamie defies his parents—one the alpha of their pack and the other the seer–in order to be with Ian, his mate. But Jamie’s mother has already seen a mate for her son and it isn’t Ian, but rather the next alpha who will lead them after Jamie’s father’s death. Regardless of the prophecy, Jamie knows that he and Ian are also destined for each other—even if that means their time together might be short. Ten years is all they have together until Ian is killed by a wild animal and Jamie is left to his grief. Wolf mates don’t do well when their other half dies—often they quickly follow the one that was taken from them into death. However, Jamie has a second mate and Kenneth is determined he will have his chance to help heal the man he loves and lead their pack into the future.
Kari Gregg delves deep into the world of wolf shifters and gives it her own unique spin. Two Fates hinges on the idea that a wolf can have not one, but two fated mates and explores how that can be possible. This is a highly emotional story with some intense moments, including the death of Jamie’s first love, Ian. Jamie’s anger and bitterness over how he and Ian were treated by his parents and the entire pack spills over into his grief that spans over two years. We are reminded more than once that most wolves follow their mates into death, but the pack is determined to right the wrong they did to Jamie and keep him alive in order for him to mate again, this time to the new alpha, Kenneth, who will succeed Jaime’s father as leader. But Jamie’s sadness and grudge against his pack runs deep and Kenneth has his work cut out for him if he is ever to win the man over.
There was such gritty realism in the author’s descriptive passages explaining Jamie’s feelings, including the way in which Jamie’s resentment of how he and Ian were shunned burned deep inside him and prevented him from dealing with his grief. Kenneth was incredibly patient and kind—the quintessential alpha, in my book. He was a leader who knew what he wanted and was determined to get it. There was no rush to make Jamie miraculously fall in love with Kenneth or suddenly accept that the pack was now trying to atone for their wrongs. Instead, his journey played out in deeply emotional and sometimes gut-wrenching scenes until the final chapters.
In fact, I felt that it was the ending of this novel that was the least effective. It felt like a mad rush toward a clean and neat happy ever after rather than opting to leave it as a happy for now and allow Jamie to continue to struggle with a new mate and his tangled feelings for him. Gregg had taken such care to allow her characters a realistic amount of time to deal with all the changes in Jaime’s life and then it seemed as though the ending was tacked on in order to assure us that everything was going to work out. That was a bit disappointing after such a rich and well planned out story line.
Two Fates certainly broke new ground in the shifter genre. It gave us a look at the inner working of a pack that lived on the cusp of modern life, but clung to the old ways despite that fact. The story was a beautiful reminder that love can strike twice in one’s lifetime if we allow our heart to guide the way.