Fated Mates: an MM Paranormal Romance Charity Anthology, Section 3

Fated Mates
is a Paranormal Romance Charity Anthology from some of your favorite MM authors!

It features new, exclusive stories from Kiki Clark, Mia Monroe, Louisa Masters, Kelly Fox, Sheena Jolie, Jennifer Cody, Nikole Knight, Vinni George, Chloe Archer, Meghan Maslow, Lee Colgin, Kelex, H.L Day, Grae Bryan, AJ Sherwood, Michele Notaro, Lisa Oliver, Ariana Nash, Michelle Frost, and JP Sayle.

All royalties will be donated to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and the ACLU's Drag Defense Fund.

With there being 20 amazing authors in the Fated Mates charity anthology, the reviews have been split up into sections. The reviews here are for Section 3.

~ The Crow King’s Mate by Jennifer Cody

University is a strange experience, but I’ve managed to make it as weird as possible by accidentally befriending a flock of crows that like to hang out on campus. Anyone would have started feeding them if they knew how vengeful crows can be. I was worried about getting pooped on! I wasn’t going to find myself an enemy of the birds, but now I’m more like a friend. 
Ok, it might be more serious than that, but they’re the only creatures I can talk to about the professor on campus that I might have a teeny, tiny, itty bitty crush on, and they’re only a little judgmental about it. 

The Crow King’s Mate is an 18k word MM paranormal romance featuring the grumpy king of crows and his fated mate, a clumsy, sweet, shy college student who’s made friends with his murder.

Jacquie’s Review:

Adorable. The Crow King's  Mate was absolutely adorable.

Amos is so sweet and caring. Feeding the crows and learning their names and crushing on his professor.
Corvin was exactly what Amos needed and was all in from the start.

Loved the pack dynamics and hope for more in that world

Rating: 5 Stars

Nicole’s Review:

Jennifer is hands down my favorite author, so you have to take this with a grain of salt. I absolutely adored this short, though. Amos is the weird nerdy kid on campus who feeds the crows. He also has an unhealthy obsession with Professor Corvin Bloom. Amos has all the fun quirks we can expect from Jennifer's characters, but Corvin is surprisingly stoic. I really enjoyed the different take on real animals integrating with the shifter pack/roost. There are some wonderfully steamy scenes, and a fantastic setup for a lot of future stories with all of Amos' crow friends that I hope she chooses to follow up on!

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Dual POV. Amos befriends the ravens on campus which makes him odd, and when his former professor starts to take an interest Amos can’t deny his attraction to Corvin. Amos is more important to Corvin than he realizes, and Corvin wants to make sure Amos stays no matter what. A humorous and spicy duo as always from Jennifer Cody.

~ Fate's Treasure by Grae Bryan

Mal has no good reason for why he’s uprooted his life to settle across the country in a remote cabin in the woods. Just like he has no good reason for why he’s so drawn to his one handsome, mysterious neighbor. All he knows is one touch from Alistair has his skin burning in a way he wants more of, and at night he dreams of fire. It should be off-putting, or at the very least concerning…So why does he want nothing more than to leap into the flames?

Jacquie’s Review:

The sweetest fated dragon mate story! Mal is so lonely. He thinks he's content but when he happens upon Alistair he's drawn to him like he's never been to anyone before.

Quick paced, the story works through its world-building pretty fast. Some steam and a lovely HEA

Rating: 5 Stars

Nicole’s Review:

I love Grae's Vampire Mates series, and was so excited to see what she would do with Dragons. She has such a fantastic way of world-building and I was not disappointed. Mal has always been a loner, a little standoffish and unsettled. After a cross country move Bacon, his dog, leads him directly to his neighbor Alistair with the stunning violet eyes. While there are only two characters, there is a huge story here. I loved the passion even the little interactions between them had. I really hope Grae does more in this world!!!!

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Dual POV. When lonely Mal befriends his unusual neighbor he finds that he is the cherished treasure that Alistair has been waiting for. Alistair is such a sweet dragon and waits patiently for Mal to accept him. Nice and cozy romance.

~ Deader Than Dead by HL Day 

Necromancer, John Averill’s day just got ten times worse. One more job, his boss says. Well, that job sucks, because not only does he find himself with a gun pointed at his head, but the man he’s been hired to raise temporarily from the dead is none other than his fated mate…the man he’s been searching for all his life. Their love story is over before it ever began. Or is it? 

Fate still has a few tricks up its sleeve, and the impossible might just become possible. Deader than Dead is a 29k Fated Mates paranormal novella featuring villains who will stop at nothing to get what they want, a stolen artifact, kidnapping, betrayal, lies, and two men determined to overcome death itself to be together. Content warning for death and mention of suicide.

Jacquie’s Review:

I'd very much like more of this world. Of John and Bellamy raising the dead together and working for Cade, if they can forgive him, or someone else.

I really loved how things worked out and the world-building in the novella.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Nicole’s Review:

John the necromancer dreams of meeting his mate, and countless first dates have him disappointed and lonely. Finding his mate on the job is his worst nightmare. Bellamy wasn't necessarily a good person in life, but he lived by a code. I really liked the unexpected twists this story had. On top of their chemistry, they worked really well together to get themselves and Cade out of the situation Bellamy inadvertently caused. 

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Single POV. John is a necromancer that has been waiting to meet his fated mate, but when he finally does he doesn’t expect him to be already dead. A hint of sorrow and yearning, this story has some action and adventure for Bellamy, a thief, and the necromancer that will raise an army of dead to keep him. Loved the suspense and easy acceptance of the connection between John and Bellamy.

~ Words Not Necessary by Lisa Oliver 

Rocky Anderson, high magic user and a Wielder of the Magic Sword, needed an anchor immediately. Stuck on the border of Poland, with no way to even read his magically encrypted messages on his phone, he was desperate enough to try using magic without the grounding presence an anchor would give him…and got soundly told off by a young homeless girl in the process. A young girl who had a brother, who was an anchor. 

For Neo Brecht, life was getting desperate. As an anchor, no one would give him work because he didn’t speak. But because he had anchor marks, no one else would give him any other work in case he was needed to anchor for a high magic user. Magical laws determined he couldn’t use the powers he had for personal gain, and yet without work, he had absolutely nothing at all. Until his sister returned with a mountain of a man bringing pastries and coffee…ah, coffee. 

Fated mates they might be, but Neo wasn’t going to let Rocky shirk his work. There was a vampire feasting on anchor blood and he wasn’t showing any signs of stopping. But Neo’s gut was warning him there was something off about the case, too. Was their happy ever after going to be cut short before it had even begun? 

* * * Author’s Note For readers who are already familiar with my work, the events of this story are a prequel to the Magic Users of Greenford Trilogy, therefore, the old rules regarding anchors apply. 

Hug the ones you love and enjoy. Lisa xxx

Jacquie’s Review:

I'm fascinated by the world Lisa Oliver has built and want to read more about this couple and other mage and anchor pairings.

Rocky was perfect for Neo and giving him a voice was so sweet!

Rating: 5 Stars

Nicole’s Review:

This is a prequel to the Magic Users of Greenford Trilogy, which I have not read. Lisa did a fantastic job bringing us into this magical world. Rocky is a high magic user, and basically magical law enforcement. Neo is an Anchor that nobody wants to be associated with. Rocky gives me bid daddy vibes, and Neo was so cute in his adoration. I will definitely be reading the trilogy soon!

SNik's Review:

Prequel to the Magic Users of Greenford trilogy. Dual POV. Nero is an unwanted magic anchor and is struggling to survive, but when his sister brings magic user Rocky to meet him, there is more than just a magic connection, they are meant to be together. As they pursue a rogue vampire, they learn to work together while Rocky patiently woos the special man that is his mate. Sweet, with Nero being an equal partner to Rocky in all ways.

~ Meghan Maslow - As the Raven Flies:

“Even though you’re just a bird, I accept you as my mate.”I, Abraham Williams, raven shifter extraordinaire, am not impressed. Not with the pronouncement. Not with the fated mates fairy tale. And most definitely not with sinfully sexy Michael Kashto, the arrogant dire wolf shifter in the thousand dollar suit. I’ve got no time for guys who look down their noses at me or think I should be grateful for scraps. I’ve come a long way from an unwanted, scared kid to a man I can be proud of and others depend on. When I took this job protecting a friend, I knew it would be dangerous. Accepted the risk. Only I didn’t expect the assault to target my heart instead of my body. And fellow bodyguard Michael Kashto takes no prisoners. Forced proximity has never been so forced.

Jacquie’s Review:

Having missed out on the Charm City Chronicles, I have to admit to being a little lost with this novella. It was action from the get go with Abe trying and failing to hook up with someone other than his fated mate.

From there, the push and pull kept me interested, but more than that, I wanted to know what was going on with the sugar factory and all of the attacks. While not all of that was clear, there is enough resolution.

I liked Michael and Abe together.

Rating: 4 Stars

Nicole’s Review:

This was by far the longest of the novellas, and it had a lot going on! Set in Meghan's Charm City Chronicles world, she had more than enough world-building for those unfamiliar with the previous story. Abe and Michael definitely start out as enemies, guarding and playing with their same boss. Not to mention that Michael is terrible with his words, and seems to offend Abe at every turn! I really liked how sweet their story turned, and how protective they both were of each other, even when they weren't getting along.

SNik's Review:

Novella from the author’s Charm City Chronicles. Single POV. Abe has been at odds with fellow bodyguard Michael for a while, and it certainly doesn’t change when Michael declares that they are mates. Abe is a raven shifter and he knows the dire wolf Michael looks down on him, so he refuses to give in to their attraction. They work together to rescue some kids, and reconcile that they could actually have something really good together while fighting bad guys in the fun Charm City. This universe and it's characters are lovely.

Alyssa P's review:

Meghan Maslow’s story was an addition/spin off from Maslow’s Charm City Chronicles series. As I have read this series main character Abraham or Abe, the Raven shifter, is a body guard with others. Turns out he meets Michael, a wolf, who ends up being his mate. As they meet they eventually end up working together their heat and chemistry throughout the story become endearing.

Fated Mates is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.