Fated - Indra Vaughn *** 3 undecided stars ***

Hmm, I'm not sure how to rate this to be honest. There were stuff I liked and stuff I didn't like with the story.

First of all, I had trouble getting into the story, because the more I read the more confused I got.

The blurb tells of Police lieutenant Hart and friend/neighbor Isaac Lasko, who is in love with Hart, and the mystery of the Predator and several murders. Hart thinks Isaac is too young for him, though, and feel Isaac can do so much better than a fucked up, beat up cop. He's been aware of Isaac's long time crush on him, so he's kept him at arms length for years, with their friendship intensifying for the last months, but Hart hasn't let it come to anything, because of reasons I listed earlier. Hart has to go to the neighboring town to bury his recently deceased father and clean out his childhood home where his father has lived up until he died. Hart and his father has been estranged the past ten years, and part of the story is Hart coming to grips with the loss of his father. At the same time he starts investigating deaths (and one victim in a coma) that might be connected to a possible serial killer case he's working on in his home town. He pairs up with the local investigator, and start figuring out whether the myth about the Predator holds true or if it's something else.

What confused me concerning the blurb in relation to the story is that there is a brief scene in the beginning with both Hart and Isaac, that is to say in Chapter 1 (0-2%). Isaac doesn't show up again until much later in the book (percentage in spoiler) 63%, except a few phone calls between Hart and Isaac. Hart on the other hand meets a doctor at the local hospital, whom he fools around with, both kissing, making out, and fucking. (!) All the while thinking of Isaac and feeling he did Isaac wrong, even though they're not together. I really didn't like this, I got confused because the blurb promised me Isaac and all I got was this Toby guy who comes on to Hart, and plays an essential role in the mystery part, but it felt like he really didn't belong. And if he did, why did Hart and Toby have to hook up? It got really annoying. Where the heck is Isaac? When Isaac *do* show up, though, it's BOOM, insta-love. As if I hadn't read (length in spoiler) over half the book about his qualms with getting together with Isaac! Now Hart's reservations suddenly doesn't matter? *frustrated*

So, the romance part of the story didn't work for me at all. I feel the blurb threw me off the scent of this book, and I used a long time, if ever, getting it back, because the longer I read, the more I yelled "Why am I reading about Toby?" with increasing volume in my head. I think Hart and Isaac came together too easily when if finally happened too.

The mystery part was a bit better. I think. But this too also revolved a good deal around Toby, the doctor.

In short, this book is about Hart, the kinda fucked up cop, who is trying to sort out both his life, his relationship with his father and what he left behind, his relationship with Isaac, at the same time investigating murders and a dark myth connected to the looming mountain (Shadow Mountain, the series name) separating the two towns, at the same time having a fling with Doctor Toby, who might or might not have something to do with the murders and the myth.

I was tempted to give this book 2 stars and be done with it, but I ended up with 3. Because despite of what I've whined about above, the writing was excellent and I grew to like Police Lieutenant Hart, with the first name he refuses to reveal, even though he frustrated me with some of his actions. I liked the way the author made the Shadow Mountain almost its own character. I was curious to see how the myth and mystery resolved. I also liked Hart and Isaac finally getting together. Isaac had been pining for Hart for so long, and it was sweet when he finally got the man of his dreams. I also liked Isaac's tattoo.

So, do I recommend it? 

What I do know is that I've already started #2 Fragmented. So there has to be something with this series...
It's probably the spooky mountain that holds lots of secrets...