Title: Nudging Fate
Series: Enchanted Occasions 01 / Dreamspun Beyond 20
Author: E.J. Russel
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel (224 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th May 2018)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.
Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?
Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.
When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.
Review: Nudging Fate looked and indeed was a very sweet romance which is based on a comedy of err… little white lies and miscommunication. When I saw the author’s name, I had initially thought that I had read a cowboy story Dreampsun Desires by the same author which I enjoyed, but alas, the book cover that I had in my head was a book by BA Tortuga and that EJ Russel doesn’t have any books published is Desires anyway. So, no idea what I was thinking, and I didn’t let that stop me from diving in.
The thing that really did draw me in for Nudging Fate was what appeared to be a heavy Norse mythology influence. (I blame the book my sister had called Indiana Jones Explores the Vikings. I’ve been fascinated with them ever since and the mosaic of Jörmungandr, the World (Midgard) Serpent, really hooked me).
The book itself follows Anders Skuldsson, he’s an event planner for the supernatural world, the company being called Enchanted Occasions. He loves his work and is very good at what he does. However, because of who and what he is, Anders can manipulate the fates of people. He is therefore under orders to never do so or face a harsh punishment from Odin himself. The story finds him knee deep in planning the choosing of a Prince’s consort by a series of dates and challenges that makes it like a royal version of the Bachelor. All Anders’ orders came from the now absent Queen. However, when he meets the Prince, Anders is immediately attracted to the man and pretends to be one of the contenders.
Little does Anders know that Prince Reyner is actually Conall Oddstone. The Prince’s bastard, illegitimate brother who had been conceived after the Queen’s Consort had a love spell cast. The outfall from that one event has left both the Prince and Conall deeply affected, especially when their father was transformed into an Wyvern as an act of revenge. Conall has masqueraded as his brother numerous times but only when the queen absent as she is the only one that can see through their deception. Conall hates the pretending, especially when he starts to fall for Anders and Anders is under the impression that Conall is his brother Prince Reyner.
With a pain in the butt brother and something running afoul in the games that would choose Reyner his consort, Conall and Anders still manage to steal time away to fall in love. But when the truth comes out, it turns out that this entire situation is far more complicated. There isn’t really a cliffhanger. Anders and Conall get their HEA. Yet, I would like to know the fate of some of the minor characters (and hope they find love) after the havoc that was wreaked between the games and the coronation of the new king.
To be perfectly honest, part of what happened at the end was perfectly predictable. To a certain extent, the whole of the ending was predictable. And that is probably the only reason I didn’t give this one a 5/5. Despite being enjoyable, the drama was a little flat. Regardless, I am looking forward to more from Enchanting Occasions and I would love to have a little resolution for one minor character in particular.