This post includes reviews of the currently available books in the Soulmates series:
- Soulmates (#1)
- Tested (#2)
Soulmates (Book 1)
One of the good things to come out of this crazy era we live in is the ability to connect with people we otherwise might not meet. I’d seen this book in my perusal of the Kindle Unlimited offerings but wasn’t feeling a paranormal romance at the time. Less than a week later, I shared a podcast with the author and knew without a doubt I had to give it a chance.
Rancourt pulls together three very different supernatural characters who simultaneously live up to expected tropes while also bucking every expectation. The initial connection between Trajan and David is less romance and more sheer physical attraction that grows into a certain fondness through their shared experiences (and a hefty amount of danger). Throwing Connor into the mix seems like a recipe for unnecessary angst, but he genuinely wants to do his best by the other two men. His presence ends up being what all three men need to succeed in the drama they find themselves in, as Rancourt deftly blends the romance element with the needs of the external plot.
My only serious quibble with this book is that Rancourt does some amazing worldbuilding, but almost too much of it is behind the scenes. I had trouble getting into the beginning of the story because it took a while for me to figure out whether this was an “open” or “closed” supernatural world (i.e., does everyone know that the nonhumans exist). This uncertainty distracted me from the characterization and plot until both of those grew strong enough to keep me invested.
This novel ended up being a fabulous vacation read and exactly what I needed. I already can’t wait to check out the next in the series.
Tested (Book 2)
Like the first book in this series, Rancourt weaves together two conflicts that have different impacts on the three main characters to this nontraditional paranormal romance set in a heavy urban fantasy setting. Connor and Trajan might be back together, but they carry enough wounds from their previous experience together that it’s easy for them to pretend to keep the focus on David, a young werewolf who would otherwise not have a pack. Even though not having a pack is supposed to be the worst thing for a werewolf, David has truly come into his own in this new reality of his life as he collects friends and allies. However, this book still centers primarily on Connor, as his involvement in helping to solve a series of murders slowly peels away secrets he’d tried to keep from his lovers.
Ultimately, however, Connor can’t keep running from his past. And this time, he can’t fake his death to save Trajan. The overall conflict that will link all the books in this trilogy acquires more definition, and I can’t wait to finally get more of Trajan’s backstory as the full story comes to light.
But until then, this book is a solid middle-trilogy installment filled with mystery, sexiness, and a lot of the worldbuilding I was missing in book 1. I’ve definitely become invested in these characters, and I look forward to continuing to watch David manage his cantankerous lovers as much as I look forward to final reveals of the rest of Connor and Trajan’s secrets.