BOOK REVIEW: A Matter of Truth by Heather Lyons

AMOT_cover

Not long ago, Chloe Lilywhite seemingly had it all: a prized spot on the Magicals’ Council as lead Creator, a loving fiancé and Connection, and a wealth of good friends. But the poised young woman she projected was nothing more than a façade. Her parents all but disowned her. Power plays and accusations of murder within the Council rocked her confidence. And most difficult of all, her secret, a secondary Connection to Jonah’s twin brother, Kellan, became painfully impossible to resist. Desperate to gain control over her rapidly unraveling existence, Chloe did the unthinkable: she ran away.

Now living and working in Alaska under an alias, Chloe is slowly discovering who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be. But the more she tries to leave the Magical world behind, the harder it becomes to stay hidden. The Elders are back with a vengeance, and the stakes have never been higher. Chloe finally has to make a choice: embrace her pre-ordained Fate or pave her own way in the worlds. One thing’s for sure, though—she’s finally up for the challenge.

review

“Sometimes family is more than blood. Sometimes a family is built on love.”

For someone whose comfort zone definitely does not lie in the Urban Fantasy genre, I seem to be unusually giddy every time I dive again into the enthralling world of the Fate series. And then just when you think a series could not possibly get any better, you find yourself inhaling page after page, delighting in every word, every uniquely weaved sentence, every unexpected storyline development from an author who not only consistently delivers exceptionally high quality prose, but whose writing skills are only matched by the sheer genius of her imagination. This third instalment of the series did not only live up to every expectation I had, it simply blew them away.

Chloe Lilywhite has left her entire world behind and escaped to a remote town in Alaska, a new identity concealing her past and giving her the chance to start afresh. She has abandoned the two men she loves the most in the worlds without even saying goodbye, hoping that her disappearance from their lives would help them mend their strained relationship and give them a chance to find happiness. But while her newly assumed name offers her the anonymity she needs in order to distance herself from her old life, her memories and dreams are not as kind, tormenting her and constantly making her question her decisions.

“Sometimes it’s hard to move on, when memories refuse to let you go.”

Loneliness would make her aching heart even heavier had she not found an unlikely new family who’ve quickly accepted her as their own and whose love has soothed some of the longing she constantly feels for her two Connections. Will and his father have become the family Chloe has never had at home, showing her the power of something her own parents have never given her – unconditional love. They sense Chloe’s emotional baggage but they give her the space to face her own demons, their unyielding support being the very thing Chloe needs the most right now.

The dangers of Chloe’s reality are never too far away, however, the Elders eventually tracking her down and renewing their attacks on the young Creator. With Will’s unexpected help, she succeeds in making progress in her fight against the vicious beings, but the Elders are not the only ones to find her. As her location is revealed, Chloe decides to return to Annar, not only with new knowledge of the Elders’ weaknesses, but also with less confusion in her mind and her heart.

“Connections don’t define you. Having a partner doesn’t define you. Love doesn’t define you. You have to do that yourself. You have to decide who you are, what you want, and where you want to go. But when you do find somebody you want to share your life with, it needs to be for the right reasons.”

But coming home also means facing the one she hurt the most with her sudden departure. Her time away might have helped her accept and make some sense of her conflicting feelings towards her two Connections, making her also realise the difference between them, but that knowledge came with a hefty price to pay – the pain of the one man she loves the most in the worlds.

“… forever is a really long time when your heart wholly belongs to a person who doesn’t reciprocate in kind.”

This is in so many ways Chloe’s journey of self-discovery on her path to becoming master of her own feelings. At the end of this book, Chloe is no longer a pawn of Fate – she has taken her future into her own hands and owned up to all her actions and mistakes. The romantic angle in this instalment is breathtakingly moving, we watch her choose the love of her life and fight for his affections, doing all that is in her power to become worthy of his love again. We watch their relationship gain new foundations, grow, take flight and become unshakeable. It is a sight to behold.

With the introduction of lovable new characters, new developments in their battle against the Elders and strengthened bonds between our key players, we are set on another rollercoaster ride and this time it definitely feels like we’ll need to fasten those seatbelt real tight.

I said it a million times before and I’ll say it again – this series is exceptional. Unique. Addictive. Compelling. You will become part of this world, you will grow to love these characters, you will wait for the next instalment with bated breath and you might even find yourself telling the author how the story should end. Not that I would “ever” do something like that.

 “You’re the person I’d want to be with even if there were no Connection.”

5stars

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addtogoodreads

✤ ✤ ✤
Fate – Reading Order and Purchase Links
AMOF_new_cover
Beyond Fate_Cover
amatterofheart1_322x500
AMOT_cover
Buy A Matter of Fate (Fate #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy Beyond Fate (Fate #1.5): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy A Matter of Heart (Fate #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy A Matter of Truth (Fate #3): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
✤ ✤ ✤
The Author

Heather_pic_croppedHeather Lyons has always had a thing for words. She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.

Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: A Matter of Truth by Heather Lyons

You must be tired of me by now raving about this series, but it’s truly not my fault – it is THAT good!!! As we brace ourselves for the third instalment on 5 November, I thought you’d enjoy a little teaser and it just happens to be one of my favourite scenes in the book. As you may know, Chloe has left the Magical world behind and escaped to Alaska where she is doing her best to move on and forget those she misses the most, but… it’s her birthday and… Enjoy the excerpt! ♥

AMOT_cover

Not long ago, Chloe Lilywhite seemingly had it all: a prized spot on the Magicals’ Council as lead Creator, a loving fiancé and Connection, and a wealth of good friends. But the poised young woman she projected was nothing more than a façade. Her parents all but disowned her. Power plays and accusations of murder within the Council rocked her confidence. And most difficult of all, her secret, a secondary Connection to Jonah’s twin brother, Kellan, became painfully impossible to resist. Desperate to gain control over her rapidly unraveling existence, Chloe did the unthinkable: she ran away.

Now living and working in Alaska under an alias, Chloe is slowly discovering who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be. But the more she tries to leave the Magical world behind, the harder it becomes to stay hidden. The Elders are back with a vengeance, and the stakes have never been higher. Chloe finally has to make a choice: embrace her pre-ordained Fate or pave her own way in the worlds. One thing’s for sure, though—she’s finally up for the challenge.

excerpt

Minutes later, functioning on autopilot, I’m on a bus across town, until, nearly an hour later, I find myself on the outskirts of Anchorage. It takes another hour before I locate a payphone. Thanks to cell phones, they’re hard to find in the wild. I’m an idiot, because this is the stupidest, riskiest thing I could possibly do, but I keep telling myself it’ll be just this one call. I just need to hear him say one thing. Just hello. It’ll be enough to help me get through the coming months. Maybe it’ll recharge me and my resolves rather than weaken me—because I’ll know I did the right thing if he sounds happy, that everything I’ve done and gone through will be worth it.

My hands tremble when I pick up the receiver. I force myself to take a breath before I clean the black plastic with an alcohol wipe. I drop my coins twice before I get them into the phone. My heart jackhammers in my chest, but, as nervous as I am, I’m bursting with excitement, too.

One word. I’ll take just one word. He’ll say hello, maybe once, at the most twice, and then he’ll hang up. I won’t say anything in return. Better yet, if I’m lucky, I’ll get his voice mail. I’ll get a whole bunch of words then.

Each button is pressed slowly. The call will go fast; it needs to tide me over for months. The ringing in my ear competes with the thundering in my chest. His phone is ringing. Gods, I’m going to pass out. My breathing, my heart—everything is fast and hard right now. I’ve got to get myself under control. Can’t have him think I’m some deep breathing stalker or anything. Can’t raise any of his flags.

Two rings.

Three.

“Hello?”

The butterflies in my chest break free. My ribs open up, my skin parts, and that muscle in my chest flies right on out. Jonah! Jonah’s answered and he’s said hello! He sounds . . . well, not happy, but tired. Which could be work or—

Elation morphs into searing pain. I miss him. I ache for him so much right now that it takes me physically biting my tongue until it bleeds so I don’t answer him back.

If I could, I’d say: I love you I’m sorry I miss you I want you I made a mistake I wish you nothing but happiness are you happy please tell me you’re happy that everything I’ve put us through is worth it you deserve so much more than a broken girl like me are you happy Jonah do you miss me have you moved on is your life good please tell me that this has all been worth it please please please—

“Hello?”

Everything around me hazes. I can’t see my surroundings. Why is it I always break down in payphone booths?

A dial tone fills my ear.

addtogoodreads

✤ ✤ ✤
Fate – Reading Order and Purchase Links
AMOF_new_cover
Beyond Fate_Cover
amatterofheart1_322x500
AMOT_cover
Buy A Matter of Fate (Fate #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy Beyond Fate (Fate #1.5): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy A Matter of Heart (Fate #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Buy A Matter of Truth (Fate #3): coming 5 November 2013…
✤ ✤ ✤
The Author

Heather_pic_croppedHeather Lyons has always had a thing for words. She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.

Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Other books in the series or related posts:

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond Fate by Heather Lyons

There are always two sides to every story . . .

His whole life, Jonah Whitecomb has strove to meet everyone’s expectations of him: the perfect student, dutiful son, loyal twin, accomplished surfer, and powerful Magical. But behind his carefully composed façade hides the truth of how his family has fallen apart, leaving Jonah more often than not feeling adrift. To complicate matters, he fell in love long ago with a girl in his dreams, one he’s never told anyone about, including his twin brother.

Just when life seems its bleakest, Jonah discovers that Chloe is real. Wanting to finally reach out and grab happiness for himself, he embarks on a journey to track down the girl of his dreams, only to find that happy endings aren’t always guaranteed, the best laid out plans can go horribly awry, and sometimes, you have to simply let yourself go along for the ride.

review

“When you fall in love with somebody, you shouldn’t have to share them and that feeling they inspire in you, not even with your twin brother.”

In another stunning instalment of the Fate series, we get one more reason to fall helplessly in love with this unique world that Ms Lyons has so skilfully woven for us, and this time he get to hear Jonah’s voice. This is not a continuation of the story, this novella only covers the events from the first book in the series, but it gives us a deeper insight into all the characters as we watch Jonah and Chloe meet in real life all over again.

Jonah has been dreaming of Chloe since he was a young boy, the two of them having grown up in each other’s dreams, fallen in love for the first time, while neither of them ever suspected that the other could be real. Once Jonah learns of her existence, he is determined to find her and willing to use anything in his power to do so. As his search progresses and the closer he gets to her, the more he realises that he has been in love with her for a very long time. That love drives him forward, everything in his life slowly changing once he embraces the strength and irrevocability of those feelings.

“My girl. The girl I’ve been in love with my whole life. CHLOE IS REAL, CHLOE IS REAL, OH MY GOOD GODS, CHLOE IS REAL.”

But as we already know, things don’t go as planned once they lay eyes on each other, Chloe’s shock from realising that the boy she had dreamt all her life was real and not knowing he had those dreams too keeping them apart long enough for the other Whitecomb twin to take notice of her. And fall for her.

We watch the rift between the twins slowly take shape and intensify as Kellan and Chloe’s relationship moves along. We feel all the emotions that run through Jonah while he watches the love of his life fall for his brother, we can taste his anguish, confusion, jealousy, anger, and eventually his downward spiral towards bottomless depression.

This insight into Jonah’s mind gives us a much deeper understanding of this complex young man who maintains a calm and collected façade for the whole world to see, but who silently struggles every day with feelings on inadequacy, the burden of imposed responsibilities and the desire to have at least the most important person in his life as just his own. So many gaps are filled this way, one of the crucial ones being the source of the dysfunctional relationship between the twins and their father. It makes us understand them better and love them even more for the persons they have become, despite their loveless upbringing.

This is a story of love, heartbreak, sacrifice and, ultimately, choices. Once more, Ms Lyons’ superb prose is hard not to take note of, every word expertly placed, every puzzle piece further completing a truly magnificent product of this author’s endless imagination. I love this series, I love returning to it instalment after instalment, and I am forever hungry for more.

Beyond Fate is not to be read without first reading A Matter of Fate as many events that drive the overall storyline are skipped in this companion novella or just referred to in passing.

“I wanted one thing, one person, who wanted—loved—me… Jonah. Not one of the Whitecomb twins.”

5stars

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addtogoodreads

✤ ✤ ✤
Fate – Reading Order and Purchase Links
AMOF_new_cover
Beyond Fate_Cover
amatterofheart1_322x500
AMOT_cover
A Matter of Fate: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Beyond Fate: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
A Matter of Heart: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
A Matter of Truth: coming 5 Nov 2013…
✤ ✤ ✤
The Author

Heather_pic_croppedHeather Lyons has always had a thing for words. She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.

Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of A Matter of Fate and A Matter of Heart, please enter below. This contest is administered by InkSlinger PR and it is open internationally.

Enter Giveaway here

Other books in the series or related posts:

BOOK REVIEW: A Matter of Fate by Heather Lyons

Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn’t a normal teenage girl. She’s a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she’s a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she’s to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course.

That’s nothing compared to the boy trouble she’s gotten herself into. Because a guy she’s literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to.

Chloe’s once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible.

review

“A flower blooms inside my chest. No, an entire garden of lovely, precious feelings forms. I am lightheaded, deliriously happy. And he knows it, because his gorgeous smile mirrors the sun before he kisses me.”

My name is Natasha and I’m a closeted paranormal/urban fantasy junkie. There, I said it. I don’t share this normally about me because I am very picky in my reading choices when it comes to this particular genre, but once in a while a book comes along that makes me want to shout it out from a mountain top for everyone to hear, skywrite it for everyone to see, for everyone to know that I have found a precious little gem. What could only be explained as a well-kept secret among those who have read and loved it, this book will keep you glued to the pages from start to finish, with never a dull moment in sight, never a scene that won’t provoke one deep emotion or another in you. Immaculately written, original and engaging, emotional and touching, this book is truly the full package.

Chloe appears to be just an ordinary seventeen-year-old, in her last year of high school, with the usual issues of a teenager – parents who pay very little attention to her, meddling but loyal group of friends, boy trouble. But nothing in Chloe’s life is ordinary. We learn very early on in the story that there is a whole race of beings whose existence is kept secret, a race of Magicals spread over seven planes of existence, comprising of a number of different beings as well as Humans. Their history is deeply entrenched in human history, their actions influencing and often determining the course of events throughout time.

“Our kind is responsible for influencing the course of events within our world and beyond. According to legend, Magicals have been around since the beginning of time, charting courses for the civilizations they populated. All of the major events which have occurred over history of the Earth can be traced back to Magicals.”

Each Magical is gifted with specific powers, determined at birth but their full extent only developed during Ascension, a transition that each Magical goes through once they turn eighteen. Nothing about a Magical’s life is accidental, every aspect of it determined by the almighty Fate.

“Everything about being a magical is preordained, set in stone. From the moment of birth, a Magical learns of their craft from a Seer and whether or not they’ll join the governing Council. There’s no room to manoeuvre, no room to change course. Everything is dictated by the nebulous yet all-important Fate.”

Chloe is a Creator, the most powerful of all Magicals, with the ability to build up and destroy civilizations at will if needed. Because of her great power and her future role in her society, Chloe has always had a mapped-out life, with no freedom to make her own choices one day or deviate from what she is told her priorities should be. But Chloe struggles with such responsibilities. She wishes she could choose her own path in life, simple things such as which university to attend, what to study, what to make of her future. Whom to marry.

What no one knows about Chloe is that since she was a little girl she has been dreaming about a boy named Jonah. He was more real to her than any other person in her life – he was her first real friend, her first kiss, her first love, the only one who knew everything about her. They grew up together, creating shared memories night after night, their bond only getting stronger over time. And then after more than a decade of shared dreams, one day he just disappeared and never came back to her, causing her to fall into depression and making her question everything in her life.

“Jonah isn’t some random high school crush to me … This is the person I fell in love with before I could read. My best friend. The person I’ve trusted with tragedies and victories. The person who knows all of my deep, dark secrets. He is my heart.”

Until he just walks one day into her classroom. With a twin brother called Kellan. What follows is much more than just a teenage love triangle – Chloe’s inner battle over her feelings towards both brothers confuses her, troubles her, tears her apart. While her Connection to Jonah is unquestionable and solidified by the memories they share, her attraction to Kellan is just as primal and impossible to fight.

“…that’s an amazing thing, at seventeen, to be so sure of someone. To know that they will always be there for you, that they will always accept you as you are. So many people never find this, seventeen or seventy. So many people search their entire lives to find someone to share their existence with and fail. But not me – I’ve found my home.”

Chloe finds herself torn between two opposite things that her heart is telling her to do, all the while fighting for her life and the safety of those around her. By creating a magical new world for us, a reality that incorporates mythology as well as fairytales, Ms Lyons gives us a myriad of loveable characters that are as fantastical as they are ‘human’. They make mistakes, follow their hearts, show faults and insecurities, and fight for what they believe in. We are given a lesson in forgiveness, living in the moment and appreciating every second, about how imperfect love can be and still be worth fighting for.

“Love isn’t always clean and pretty – sometimes it’s messy, cruel, and confusing. And sometimes, it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. But then, the beauty of love is that it’s very strong, and when it’s real, it’s worth it.”

We are shown that it is the little things in life, the small off-path diversions, the new experiences enriching our lives that really count, regardless of how clear our destination is. The journey we travel to reach that destination can be just as important as the destination itself.

An absolute pleasure to read, a book you won’t be able to put down, a story you will hope it continues. If you are a fan of authors such as Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Kate Lauren or Becca Fitzpatrick, to name a few, you will enjoy this story immensely. Or if you just want a spectacularly and responsibly written book, a story that will move you, shake you, make you believe in fairytales again, look no further. This is that book.

“… today is all about this moment. Because that’s what life really is all about. A series of moments strung together. We do our best to deal with what we have at any given second.”

5stars

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Other books in the series or related posts: