Hello my wonderful bookish friends! FIGHTING FATE, the sequel to Shaila Patel’s 2017 debut novel Soulmated, is FINALLY OUT TODAY and I’m so excited for you all to read this amazing series. I have my review, a fun interview, and an excerpt to share with you, so let’s get to it!
Joining of the Souls #2
5 ★ – BREATHTAKING, HEARTFELT, AND A LOT OF FUN
PUBLISHED BY East Girl Publishing APRIL 5, 2018
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY, ROMANCE
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Empath Liam Whelan is determined to protect Laxshmi “Lucky” Kapadia, the girl he loves, at all costs–even if it means breaking her heart to keep her alive. Stopping the joining cold means Liam’s life is in danger from the Soul Seekers and the ruthless Minister Gagliardi who now has designs on Lucky. Liam has no choice but to find the strength to fight his desires, fight the joining, and fight fate.
After the unthinkable happened, Lucky’s “hallucinations” have been working double-time. Heartbroken and plagued by doubts, she meets a man who gives her a mind-blowing explanation for her predicament. Her apparent savior provides her with an escape from her hell: run away with him or return to her drab existence and watch Liam move on with her heart in his hands. All Lucky ever craved was to be in control of her own fate, but when her only choices fight against her heart, can she find the strength to battle for what she wants?
I LOVED Soulmated and have been eagerly waiting for months for the second book. When I finally got an ARC for Fighting Fate, I was beyond excited to continue the series and get back into the fascinating world of empaths. However, I didn’t get to it right away since I had other books to finish for blog tours and reviews.
As soon as I read the first page of this book, everything came rushing back to me and it felt so damn good being with Liam and Lucky again. Fighting Fate was even more breathtaking, heart-wrenching and completely electrifying than the Soulmated! Shaila Patel without a doubt knows how to create the best emotional chaos that will have you undeniably hooked turning page after page after page.
The ending in Soulmated left so many unanswered questions and my heart breaking into pieces. I was really looking forward to learning more about empaths, some lighthearted moments, more steamy kisses and playfulness, and of course MORE of Liam. Well, let me just say that Shaila gave me more than what I was expecting and threw in some amazing thrills and chills and twist and turns.
The writing was fantastic! The characters continued being awesome and the villains perfectly played their roles —they were manipulative, menacing, and creepy. The plot was amazingly fast-paced, suspenseful, exciting, and emotional. And the romance… swoon swoon swoon!!! I honestly could not get enough of this amazing story and found it extremely difficult to find a good place to stop. This book was a masterpiece and I loved that every moment just felt so real — real pain, real sadness, real hope, real love — just REAL EVERYTHING. Definitely be prepared to be overwhelmed with so many FEELS… because Shaila’s writing style is wonderfully evocative, utterly incredible and so beautiful!
Like in the first book, the chemistry between Liam and Lucky was satisfyingly adorable and heartwarming. I think they’re so perfect for each other and I thoroughly enjoyed all their interactions. Their romance was super swoony, cute, and sexy. They were playful, honest, confused, infatuated, fearful, guarded, protective, loving, sweet, determined and could not get enough of each other. Soulmated or not, Lucky and Liam acted like teenagers who were hopelessly in love, but also deeply cared about each other. That certainly took me down memory lane and gave me the BEST FEELS! Their story may be fiction and fantasy, but their emotions were real, raw and relatable — And that’s one of the many reasons why I love this series so much. I can connect with the characters and their stories, and share their experiences and feel all their emotions as they go through them.
With gorgeous writing that will keep you intrigued, delicious chemistry that’s nicely balanced with heat and sweetness, and complex characters you can’t help but love, Fighting Fate by Shaila Patel was an absolute joy to read. It’s undeniably fascinating, romantic, thrilling, and so heartfelt leaving you breathless and impatiently waiting for the next installment. I know I AM!
If you’re looking for a heart-stopping edge of your seat YA romantic fantasy, then I highly recommend you add this to your TBR.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Shaila Patel is such an amazing and talented writer and I am so honored and excited she took the time to do this interview. Thank you Shaila! I loved reading your answers and I hope you had fun with my questions!!
So without further ado, let get started with this interview… (oh hey that rhymes…)
Describe the Joining of Souls Series using ONLY GIFs. Give me 3-5.
Which character in this series are you most and least like?
I’m probably most like Moira, Liam’s mum. She’s not only the type of mother I strive to be—logical, calm, rational—but she’s also an intellectual with strong reasoning skills. (Translation: I’m pretty nerdy.) I do have an artistic side too, so there are times when I identify with Lucky, but not only because of the dancing. I also had a very over-protective, traditional mother like hers. I’m probably least like Patrick, Liam’s father. He’s more spontaneous and cares less about what others think of him.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is the ability to tell stories and create tangible worlds that other people can enjoy. My least favorite thing is the self-doubt and the resulting need for outside validation that what you’re creating is worthy.
If you’re not writing books, what would you be doing for a living?
I’m actually doing it now! I manage our family business during the day and write at night. I’m also a pharmacist by training, so I could always return to that profession if I wish to.
If you were a superhero, what would your name be and what power would you have?
Lol! I love this question! I’d call myself Lady Love, and I’d go around changing hate and negativity to love and positivity. I’d also have a sidekick called Drink Slinger who could make my love potions 😉
What was the last Young Adult book you read and absolutely LOVED? Why?
Jessica Pennington’s Love Songs & Other Lies. I adore second chance romances, and this one also threw in an interesting setting: a traveling reality show of battling rock bands. The writing was gorgeous and beautifully done. It’s also an upper YA book that deals with characters at the end of high school as well as a year later. It was a nice balance of young adult and new adult. Also, I happen to be writing a contemporary series where the heroine is eighteen and where the story spans both young adult and new adult themes, so it was interesting to read from the writer’s perspective too. We need more books that cover this period of time!
If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Do what you want! There are no rules about being a writer—you can make your writing career into anything you want.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the negative feedback (if any)?
I do read them—even though everyone says not to! The good ones are obviously very encouraging and supportive. They feed my artistic soul, and I’m so thankful there are people out there who want to read MY book! As for the negative ones, I know I’m not going to please everyone. Sure, they sting, but readers are entitled to their opinions. I’ve been lucky enough not to have many that were outright mean, hateful, or hurtful. They’ve been constructive for the most part, and I take those as lessons to help me improve my writing where I can. There will always be things I can’t change, but I depend on my self-respect to not take the harsher criticisms as personal attacks.
Which author(s) have inspired your writing?
I learn so much from different authors and every book I read, but if I had to pick who has inspired me consistently—to enjoy the storytelling, to enjoy the words…to be better—it would have to be Jennifer Armentrout, Kelly Oram, and Julie Anne Long.
What advice do you have for new writers?
Learn to cope with constructive criticism. Mope and wallow, if you need to, but find a way to shake it off quickly and move on. Humility will go a long way in preventing those words from hurting you.
Thank you so much Shaila for this wonderful interview!
Under the cover of her porch, I returned her bag to her. We moved apart. With the connection broken, she let out a shuddering sob. The pain of separating from her hit me square in the chest. I wanted to hold and comfort her, but I was already making a dog’s dinner of this just by being here. This would set her back—set us both back.
She turned away from me. Her hand shot up to her mouth, and her shoulders shook. I instinctively stepped forward, but all I could do was curl my fingers into my palms to keep from touching her.
“I miss you so much, Liam,” she said, the words choked out between hoarse cries. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be weak.” She slapped away her tears and turned to face me. A bolt of lightning cracked nearby. I couldn’t stay. The tingling was pulling us together like it was some sort of magnetic current.
“You’re not weak. I miss you too, Lucky.”
Her eyes grew cold in an instant. The fury of the sandstorm I sensed from her made me gasp, and I stumbled back. “Jaysus, Lucky.” We were crossing interpretations again. I was reading her emotions as air metaphors instead.
She barreled toward me, her hands balled up, apparently unaware of the effect her anger had on me. “You have no right to miss me. You left me!” She beat her fists against my chest, and I had to grab her by the wrists to stop her.
“Are you thinkin’ this has been easy for me?”
She wriggled free from my grip. “Whose fault is that?” she yelled above a roll of thunder. I didn’t want her to see the pain on my face, so I turned away, holding myself up on the white, wooden railing. The whirlpool of her anguish surrounded me, making my head ache.
I took a deep breath and lowered my voice. “Lucky, I broke my promises to you. For that, I’m truly sorry. But I had little enough choice. None of that changes my feelings for you.”
“I’m not The One, so it’s time to move on. Is that it? Regardless of how you feel? Of how I feel?” Her voice cracked. “You’re a coward.”
I heard her fumbling for her keys. She’d be inside soon, and I’d rather be fighting with her on the porch than be without her.
“So where next, hmm?” she asked. “North Dakota? Vermont? Ooo, I know. You should go to India. You could play this game for the rest of your life!”
I turned to face her. Her sarcasm was brutal, but I deserved all that and more.
She tried to unlock her door, but the keys slipped from her grip. She stooped to pick them up, but her fingers were shaking so badly, she dropped them again.
“Dammit!” She crouched a second time and sucked back another sob.
I swept down and set my hands over hers to steady them. Taking the keys, I unlocked the door, followed her inside, and bundled her in a blanket from off the sofa. Lucky didn’t protest. We stood there, dripping water on her mum’s carpet, staring into each other’s eyes. Grabbing fistfuls of the covering around her neck, I gently rocked her, tugging her closer, fighting the craving to kiss her. My breaths came out fast and shallow, and only clinging to the material with both hands kept me from sneaking a touch of her soft skin. If I didn’t leave now, I’d stay because I didn’t have an ounce of the strength she had. Maybe I was the coward she’d accused me of being.
4.5 ★ – AN ADDICTIVE AND FUN READ
PUBLISHED BY MONTH9BOOKS, LLC JANUARY 24, 2017
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY, ROMANCE
PAGES: PAPERBACK 300
As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever-after, Shaila Patel’s younger self would finish reading her copy of Cinderella and chuck it across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. SOULMATED, her debut novel and the first book in the Joining of Souls Series, was the winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards for Young Adult. Book 2, FIGHTING FATE releases April 2018. She loves craft beer, tea, and reading in cozy window seats—but she’ll read anywhere. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or gushing about her favorite books online.
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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and getting to know Shaila Patel. Don’t forget to add this amazing series to your TBR or just grab your copy today!