unraveling the threads of fate coverRating: 4.75 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Alex Coleman has a “gift.” In his case, it’s the ability to see the threads of fate. A red thread tying two people together means they are destined to fall in love. A black thread tying them together means that one person is going to kill the other. Now, for the first time, Alex is seeing his own threads… and both his red thread and his black one are tying him to the same man, Bishop King.

Bishop and Alex first met as teens and became close friends. But when tragedy occurred, the two boys were torn apart and haven’t seen one another in 13 years. Alex understands why Bishop walked away, but he was the only person who really cared about Alex and losing Bishop was hard. Alex’s home life was awful, with a drug-dealing, abusive father who was doing all he could to bring Alex into that life. When Alex finally couldn’t take it anymore, he left home, taking his baby sister with him and scraping to get by and raise her on his own.

Cali is now a happy teen and Alex is a teacher at her school. When Alex notices with horror that Cali’s best friend has a black thread attached to her finger, he knows she is destined to die. Alex is determined to somehow change the girl’s fate and the only person he can think who might be able to help is Bishop, the man he is destined to love and who will one day kill him. Alex often dreams about the people whose black threads he sees and can tell what is going to happen to them in the future that leads to their death. Bishop has a gift as well, and his lets him enter other people’s dreams. If the two team up, they may be able to maneuver through Alex’s dream and figure out who is going to kill Cali’s friend and stop it before it even happens.

As the two men work together, they begin to rekindle the friendship they once had. As much as Alex was crushed when Bishop left years ago, he also knows his own life was too much of a mess and he was too dependent on Bishop to have made things work back then. But now, both men are stronger and they are falling hard for one other. Their gifts are even getting strong as they work together. But changing fate doesn’t always work out like you plan, and the further along they get trying to stop disaster, the more dangerous things become. The red thread tying Bishop and Alex together in love has proven true, but it will take all they have to prevent the black thread of fate from finding them as well.

Any book from Alice Winters is a treat and I am a super fan of the author’s work. But every once in a while, one of her books just really hits me even more than the others and Unraveling the Threads of Fate just drew me in and wouldn’t let go. This story is fascinating and twisty and perfectly complex without being overwhelming, and has just the right dose of Alice Winters’ humor to tie it all together. I really loved every minute of it and just tore through this story.

Winters sets things up intensely right from the start, revealing that Alex’s love and death threads both tie to the same man, a man he loved in the past as a teen. Then, on top of that, Alex suddenly finds out that one of his sister’s friends is fated to die, and he knows he must do something, anything to stop it. So we have excitement from the very beginning and it just escalates from there. There are so many twists and turns here, little breadcrumbs dropped in one place that circle back around again later to tie things together in unexpected ways. In addition to the present day suspense element, we also learn more about what happened years ago that tore the men apart. It is slowly revealed in flashbacks told from both men’s POVs and it works really nicely integrated into the rest of the plot. Looking back at the story, I am just so impressed at how Winters puts all these pieces in play, keeping everything spinning perfectly until it all comes together. It really is masterful and Winters just excels at this type of suspense story.

The book has a nice lovers reunited vibe, even though Alex and Bishop were never actually together as teens (though Alex had fallen for Bishop). But we get to see these men who have this complicated past find their way together and it really is lovely. They are sweet and silly together and there is a lot of Winters’ trademark humor that works well. This story isn’t as high on the humor scale as some of her work, and I think it is just the right balance to fit well with this story. A lot of the humor is based around the fact that Bishop is absurdly rich and is mostly incompetent about anything to do with taking care of his home (he doesn’t know how to turn on an oven, for example, because someone has always cooked for him). He is also used to just throwing money around to solve his problems, a fact that Alex needles him about endlessly. Bishop could have come across as too out of touch or spoiled, but somehow Winters makes him charming. He is aware of his faults, he is kind and caring, and he uses his money to take care of people whenever he can. There is just a fun sweetness to the couple that then works well as they team up to help stop all the tragedy unfolding.

I really just loved this one and found it one of my favorites from Winters’ incredibly impressive catalog. While I think Winters is best known for her humor, what I find most impressive is how incredibly well she writes suspense and this story is a great example. I loved the way this supernatural element of psychic gifts gets woven in to create both this mystery, as well as this built in personal conflict between Alex and Bishop. This one will definitely be one of my favorites of the year and I highly recommend it.

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