WITCH'S SOULMATE took me by surprise—in the best possible way. I definitely recommend that PNR/UF lovers give this book a try. Unusually dialogue-driven, it is a highly enjoyable story which offers various myths and legends (such as the sacred feminine
) as the possible origins of witches and their soulmates while taking the reader from San Diego to Europe to South America.
Being a little *cough*
older, I admit that I was a bit hesitant when I first learned the age of the main characters (Jade is 21 and Peter is 24). However, after reading only the first page (um, screen) of Chapter 1, I remember thinking "this could be good..." and quickly forgot about age. The story took off as soon as Jade accidentally runs into her soulmate—whom she had hoped to never meet. (And boo me all you want, but I rather liked that she hadn't "saved herself" in the interim.)
Being soulmates, there is instant attraction/love between Jade (who, of course, understands) and Peter (who is at first confused but quickly brought up to speed). But the insta-love is transformed into something more solid and believable by the story's end because over the ensuing months hiding from Arrow hunters while seeking a possible solution, Jade and Peter have the time to get to know each other and resolve any doubts about the "realness" of their metaphysical attraction. And as another reviewer mentioned, Peter also had to adjust to being the "weakest link".
The first person POV of Jade and Peter (alternating by chapters) was very effective; it drew me into the story right from the beginning and maintained a sense of immediacy as the story unfolded. I especially loved that most of the critical back history and other information came through dialogue so that I learned about things at the same time as the other characters, with most of the narrative limited to movement and scene transitions.
Lastly, the secondary characters who help Jade and Peter are interesting and developed enough with their own tragic circumstances to provide the basis for the next book of the Living Energy Trilogy. I rarely say this but I truly can't wait to read book #2 especially since I know that Marion, Jade's aunt, will be the heroine.
COMMENTS: I was provided with a copy of an uncorrected ARC. Consequently, my rating reflects only my enjoyment of WITCH'S SOULMATE, without consideration of the technical side of this book. Overall, it was well-written but I did note that a thorough editing/proofing would be required (especially for certain errors which may or may not be due to English not being the author's first language). I only hope that the publisher, Crimson Romance, did Ms. Cohen and her book justice in the end.