Reviewed by Melissa Brus
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Finding your destined mate can be an overwhelming experience. Add in cultural miscommunications, vastly different expectations, and a murder or two, and life becomes, well, worthy of a book! When Tally Bastille attends a business conference in Japan, the last thing he expected was to find his other half. So when he sees the amazing person in rainbow suspenders leading the children of the conference on an adventure, he is immediately spurred into action to make his future happen as soon as possible. Unfortunately, not only does Haru Tanaka not believe in fated mates, but thanks to that last bottle of sake, does not remember meeting Tally much at all. Tally’s persisitence does lead to them moving forward in a marriage. The miscommunications between their cultural expectations causes so many issues it is truly heart breaking. Not only do we have issues from differences in Japanese vs. American attitudes and behaviors, but then traditions from their Native American and Japanese families are not always easily blended. And if that is not enough, their animal halves are vastly different as well. This last, their animal half, is what becomes a much bigger issue as the murder count begins to grow in the small town in Wisconsin where our couple is beginning their married life.
Martinez and McKay take on a lot in this novel. They introduce these characters and their respective cultures seamlessly. Haru is also agender and that adds another element to the interactions with them and others in this story. This is a great introduction into these characters. Their journey is not an easy one. I was in tears, or close to it, for much of the book. It is not a simple read. The prevalence of both Japanese and Native American terms can make it difficult to follow at times. But it is so worth it to push through those moments. At the end of this story, my only disappointment was that I really wanted the next one to know what happens to Tally and Haru. I really want them to get their happily ever after.