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The Fated #1

Touching Fate

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Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die.

But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

220 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2015

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About the author

Brenda Drake

12 books857 followers
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 70 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,153 reviews1,513 followers
November 6, 2016
When out with her friends Aster Layne visits a tarot card reader thinking it's all just fun and games, that is until something happens during the reading. When Aster touches one of the tarot cards it seems to change her friend's bad reading but as with all magic Aster will soon learn that magic comes with a price and that price is usually very bad.

Reese Van Buren's family has been cursed for centuries and now Reese is doing everything he can to escape his fate. The first born male in each generation is Reese's family is cursed to die upon his eighteenth birthday so Reese has been traveling looking to find a Fate Changer that could possibly help him outlive his curse.

Touching Fate is the first book in The Fated series by Brenda Drake. A fast paced young adult read bringing in a new twist on fates and curses with the main character, Aster, finding out that she has the ability to change the fate of those with a bad fortune during a tarot reading but doesn't find out until later that messing with fate will come with a price.

I really enjoyed the characters in this one. The book changes the POV between Aster and Reese showing both sides as the two get to know one another but have their secrets they are dealing with. There's romance and magic along with suspense on how things will work out with Aster using her abilities.

Overall, a fast paced young adult fantasy with a twist on fates and curses.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Brenda Drake.
Author 12 books857 followers
October 27, 2015
Hello everyone, I'm the author, so naturally I'm biased. But I love this story and had such a fun time writing it. It's filled with romance, betrayal, curses, fates, friendships, family bonds, and a touch of magic. What would you do if you could change someone's fate with a touch of a tarot card, but with a price?
January 19, 2020
This was another fantastic novel series by Brenda Drake. She is an amazing author whom even though she has plenty on her plate and a busy woman she still creates amazing novels that captivates her readers!❤ This one touches on the paranormal/metaphysical side and was so fun! This book had lots of sweet romance and great characters with a great plot to go with it.🌟🌟🌟����🌟 Like the Library Jumpers Series, I give this start of this series a hands down, 5 out of 5 stars!!!❤
Profile Image for Daisy Delfin.
920 reviews116 followers
January 17, 2020

Pages: 238
My rating: 2
Read other books by this author in the future: no

This book is hard to review. I actually did not like the story. Basically it’s supposed to be a love story with supernatural touch. But it is a love story gone wrong. There were so many things wrong: the family keeping life threatening secrets from the kids, Aster fooling around with the fates of others and her family instead confronting her family. Reese betraying Aster and her forgiving him without a second thought. A lot of those things are part of many romance novels, but the way the author put them rubbed me wrong.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,737 reviews222 followers
November 12, 2016
This book gripped me and I couldn't put it down. Aster is one of many siblings and all of them have forbidden to come near Tarot cards. But Aster does and by accident changes the fate of one of her friends and gets a mark in return. Soon she discovers she is a Fate Changer, with the ability to change the future of people around her using Tarot cards. But all magic comes with a price...
Meet Reese. A guy who is cursed, as all his line is. He will die when he turns 18. Only person who can change his future is Aster, if she learns how to and is willing to pay the price...

I really enjoyed this book. The narrative is very fluent, the characters are all fleshed out and I enjoyed going with them in this adventure. I also loved the role reversal: let the damsel in distress save the guy who has a curse. Brilliant ;)
There are very touching moments, too.
Profile Image for Andrea Heltsley.
Author 17 books326 followers
September 9, 2017
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. The description grabbed me right away. It was so unlike anything I previously. The book sounded so good, I started reading it immediately.
WOW!! I'm soooo glad I picked up this story. It was better than I even hoped! This book rocked!
The author pieced together a wonderfully original and compelling young adult book.
A story centered on gypsies and tarot card magic was refreshing. It was a unique take on fate and curses. I couldn't put it down!
Everything about this book was worth the read. There wasn't even a downside or complaint when I finished the Touching Fate.
Overall, this book deserves five glittery stars and more. This young adult story is a must read for fall 2015!
Profile Image for Roxanne.
1,052 reviews52 followers
November 6, 2016
Thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for a copy of the eArc in exchange for a fair review!

I receive these lovely emails from Entangled and from there I can request to review books from them. They had Cursing Fate on the list, and I wanted too, but I hadn't read the first book, but then I saw that they were offering copies of Touching Fate so that you could read and review both books for Entangled. So I jumped on that chance as Touching Fate has been on TBR since January of this year. If that seems like a long time, don't worry I have books on there from two years ago!

Aster is grounded in the physical world, she looks to science to solve things she doesn't understand. Until one day she touches some tarot cards and is literally shocked. She also ends up with a strange mark on the inside of her wrist. Reece is cursed-boy from Europe and he is in America spending his last few months with his friends when he witnesses what happens to Aster.

He immediately realizes she is a fate changer and she can change his fate so that he doesn't die. He intends to make her fall in love with him and uses Miri the tarot card reading to help train Aster so that she can indeed change his fate. As his relationship progresses, Reece realizes he might be the one in danger of being in love. Will he be able to tell her the truth? Will the relationship survive?

This was a super cute fast paced read. I was able to finish it all in one setting. I am not really sure how I felt about the main characters initially. Both of them were a tad flawed, however, I loved how Reece grew throughout the book. Also, I loved how Aster dealt with everything once she realized the true cost behind fate-changing.

Overall despite the heavy subjects at times, this was a fun light-hearted book. I am really looking forward to seeing what Cursing Fate brings to the plate! I will be reviewing that one here as well, so check back later in the month for that review!
Profile Image for Rachel Harris.
Author 15 books1,333 followers
July 8, 2015
Touching Fate swept me away in a world of magic, adventure, and sexy romance, where not everything is as it seems, and fate, while written in the stars, isn't always fixed. A spellbinding tale of love and choices...and did I mention the hot European accents??
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,724 reviews293 followers
November 12, 2015
Because it seemed he held the algorithmic key to solving the encrypted code locking her heart.

There are two different kinds of people: those who believe in fate and those who don't. Aster Layne falls into the later category. She knows her role in life, she has her routine with her friends and family, and most importantly, she doesn't believe in magic.

Reese Van Bruen not only believes in magic, but is also cursed by it. And not just a tiny curse, one that will kill him on his 18th birthday. Reigned to his fate, he's chosen to live out life the way that he wants to: traveling and having fun. He doesn't buy into the family belief that there's someone out there who holds the cure. That is until he meets Aster and discovers that she's a fate changer. Unfortunately Aster doesn't know this and Reese decides to "help" Aster discover her gift in order to save his life. What Reese doesn't know is that if Aster changes his fate, someone else's will also be changed.

Boy meets girl. Boy wants girl to save his life. Boy falls in love with girl. Pretty sure that you can see where this is going.

I enjoyed this one. It was definitely a new topic for me to read about. The whole idea of fate changing is an interesting new side of magic and the author mixes it with elements that we are already familiar with, mostly tarot cards. I also liked how the author portrayed Aster's confusion about her growing power and the difference between right and wrong. Playing with people's lives is not something that should be taken lightly and when Aster realizes what her fate changing can do, she begins to question the morality of what she's doing.

Magic, sexy European accents, fun locales...this was a good start to a series that I will hopefully be continuing.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

Profile Image for Miranda.
738 reviews111 followers
September 19, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised with how much fun this book was. I thought the plot of the story was so interesting. I have never read a book like this before, and I thought Brenda did a great job of creating a fun and magical storyline. The main male character, Reese, was so swoon worthy. I adored him and his adorable accent. He was my favorite character in this book. I also really liked the other main character, Aster. She was snarky, loyal, and brave. She tried her best to understand her powers and save the ones she loved. I really admired that.

My major complaint about this book was that the romance developed too quickly, and that was why I didn't give this book a higher rating. Aster and Reese definitely had a lot of cute moments, but they were just too sudden. It made the romance feel a little unbelievable. I would have liked to see them have more of a slow burning romance. I also felt like the romance almost took over the plot of the book. I would have liked to seen the romance dialed back a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed this book! I would definitely recommend this book to people who like YA romances mixed with magic, strong family ties, and friendship.

3.5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review.*

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It
Profile Image for Nicole.
783 reviews118 followers
October 14, 2015
I really liked this book. Aster and Reese were good characters, and I even enjoyed some of the secondary characters like Leah and Jan. I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

I think Brenda did a great job with the characters. Dual POV can be hard to pull off, but she did it. I think Reese was pretty true to how a guy would think/act. My one problem with the book was that it felt a bit rushed, especially the romance part. I think if it would have been a longer book, it would have been better. That way there could have been some more suspense and more time for the characters to get to know each other.

The story was fantastic. I thought it was really interesting, and unique, to read about a fate changer. The execution of Aster’s journey through learning she could change fates until the end was great. One other minor thing that detracted a little bit from the book was some of the language/dialogue felt a little off to me. It felt like it was trying too hard to sound like a teenager and overreached a bit.

There were some loose ends that came up throughout the story, so I’m assuming they’ll be addressed in future books. I’m not sure if the next book in the series will be told from both Aster and Reese’s POVs again, but I can’t wait to keep reading. When’s the next book coming out?

Final note: A good start to the series. It was a little predictable and a little fast paced, but it was an interesting story. I’d definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for Michelle Hauck.
Author 7 books247 followers
October 20, 2015
I'm not much of a reader of young adult, but I found the theme of Touching Fate to be so unique. I don't think I've ever seen an idea like a fate changer, using Tarot cards. That alone had me wanting to read.

The ending couldn't happen fast enough. And by that I mean that I was dying to see what happened. I was so tempted to cheat and jump to the end.

For me there was just enough romance without being all clingy and in your face. The characters remained themselves and weren't the type to get complete absorbed in love. It certainly matter to them, but I liked the backbone they showed about keeping on when times got tough in their relationship.

An enjoyable and fun read!
Profile Image for Kate (beautifulbookland).
372 reviews117 followers
November 8, 2016
Ah, I'm so disappointed with this book. I felt so sure I would love it. The whole idea of the book seemed so promising, but it just fell really short for me.

The characters lacked depth and I found the romance to be a bit unbelievable - you know something is wrong when, in a book about tarot cards and curses, you find the ROMANCE to be the unbelievable thing! I thought there was a serious case of insta-love here. I mean, their first kiss was 23% into the book! Then practically the next day they were in love.

I'm so disappointed that I didn't love this book but, hey, you can't win them all.

*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Pintip Dunn.
Author 12 books985 followers
July 8, 2016
Brenda Drake never fails to amaze me with her originality and creativity, and this book is no exception. Touching Fate presents us with an intriguing world of tarot cards and fate changers. I love the characters so much and especially love the difficult moral choices with which they are faced. Reese is adorable, and I love his relationship with Aster. I can totally see why she falls for him! It is a fun and fast-paced read. Highly recommended for anyone who likes stories with fascinating worlds and hard choices.
Profile Image for Melissa.
748 reviews134 followers
September 17, 2015
Brenda Drake definitely knows how to build tension and suspense. The more I read, the more intense it got, in part because of the 18th birthday deadline, but not only.

It brought to mind all of my own tarot card experiments as a teen, including the fact that one of my friends almost always got the death card. (But no, she didn't die on the moment she was born on her 18th birthday.)
Profile Image for Jillian Quinn.
Author 65 books1,039 followers
November 6, 2016
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for not only a very quick review, but also for my honest opinion. I'm thrilled to say that I absolutely loved this book. When I first read the synopsis, I was afraid this book would be like The Raven Boys, a book I still haven't finished to this day because it was such a disappointment. But I'm happy to say that Touching Fate is everything I had hoped The Raven Boys would be and more. I adored every second of this book and read it within a few hours.

This story is told from multiple points of view- Aster, a teenage girl with the ability to change fates, and Reese, a hot Dutch boy with a curse that will kill him on his eighteenth birthday. Through a chance encounter, Aster and Reese meet on the boardwalk in Ocean, City, and that's when Reese realizes his "Girls Gone Wild holiday" before he dies will have to be cut short to pursue Aster, the only person who can save him from his family's curse. Aster has no idea she can change fates until she touches a tarot card on the boardwalk, reversing her sister's fate.

But once she realizes what she can do, things start to take a bad turn for her family. After Aster changes a person's fate, that same fate is now transferred to someone in her family. So, when the handsome Dutch boy that Aster can't get out of her head continues to pursue her for his own selfish reasons, she falls right into his trap. But, as luck would have it, the pair are also fated for each other. Reese and Aster are both likable and I wanted things to work out for them not only individually, but also as a couple. They were cute together, and there was plenty of adorable kissing scenes that were swoon-worthy. i was a little annoyed with Reese trying to dupe Aster and tricking her into working with the tarot card reader, but in the end, I really wanted them to end up together.

I loved the ending of this book. It is wrapped up nicely with a perfect happy ending to this story. I also received an ARC of Cursing Fated, book #2 of the Fated series, and at first, I thought it was the continuation of this story, buy it's actually a new story involving characters mentioned in this book. I'm excited to read that book next.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA contemporaries, romances, or books with paranormal and magical realism. I'm posting this review on Goodreads, with a review to follow on my blog, Twitter, and Amazon.

I should also mentioned that Brenda Drake and I have followed each other on Twitter for months. She's the Pitch Wars and PitMad creator, and as a writer, I've found this to be incredibly helpful. After an editor from Entangled requested to see more of my work during one of Brenda's events, I then signed up for the blogger newsletters, and months later, I received an email to review this novel within a very short time frame, two days to be exact, and I was happy to read this book right away once I realized Brenda is the author. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Brenda is now on my auto-buy list going forward.

The review on my blog: rantandraveaboutbooks.com, Twitter @jillianquinn7, and Amazon are coming soon.
Profile Image for Suze.
1,878 reviews1,310 followers
December 20, 2016
Aster has been told to stay away from Tarot cards, but she has no idea why. She doesn't believe in psychic powers, which is the reason she tries a reading anyway. When she touches the cards something that's supposed to be funny changes into something life altering instead. Aster is a fate changer and Tarot cards are an essential part of her rare gift.

Reese will die at his eighteenth birthday unless he can find a fate changer to help him. Reese comes from an old Dutch nobility line that has been cursed many years ago. He wants someone to save him from the terrible fate that affects all firstborn sons in his family. During a holiday he meets Aster and she is the one he needs. Reese is supposed to manipulate her so that she can help him, but he finds it difficult, especially when he discovers every fate Aster changes can harm the people she loves. Will Reese die or is there another way to save him?

Touching Fate is a sweet story about magic. Aster is a kindhearted girl. She's smart, she's great at science, she has a bright future ahead of her and she also has a unique gift. Fortunately she's strong enough to handle it all. Reese is a gentleman. He's chivalrous, he's really nice and he is a good friend. I loved these two wonderful main characters and couldn't wait to find out what their fates would be.

Brenda Drake has written a creative story about Tarot cards and I loved that theme. Her main characters care about other people. While they're trying to do something good they discover that magic has a price, which is an interesting concept. I always enjoy stories about magic and had a lot of fun reading this book.
Profile Image for Molly Lee.
Author 20 books975 followers
October 22, 2015
TOUCHING FATE by Brenda Drake is a fast-paced, intense young adult novel with a unique concept.

Aster can change people’s fate. Reese has a centuries old curse. When they come together? The dynamic is explosive!

I loved this book and the characters within it. Aster is a no-holds-bar seventeen year old girl who has a strong voice and a slew of endearing qualities. Her journey is an intense one and I loved following her through it. Her love of her crazy family is what drew me to her first (because she has an awesome family dynamic that is realistic and entertaining) and the more I learned about her, the more I knew I’d cheer for her till the end!

Reese has an awesome and authentic male voice which I find so refreshing in young adult novels. Add to that his dark fate and we’ve got one broody boy that is irresistible and totally swoon worthy.

Brenda Drake has an incredible ability for nailing voice and creating amazing character dynamics. The two main characters are absolutely unique, with their own set of problems and goals, but when they come together it’s electric. And without giving too much away, I’ll just state that as the book goes on, you think the stakes for them can’t get higher, but they do. Drake also constructed a world which displayed realistic teenagers, which adds an authenticity to the plot that readers can relate to.

Drake has crafted a novel that will make you laugh, fall in love, gasp, and then catch your breath. TOUCHING FATE is a must read that will keep you flipping pages all night.
Profile Image for K.T. Hanna.
Author 22 books137 followers
October 12, 2015
Brenda creates a world with likable characters that you grow to feel for and love. The twist of fate? The touching of the cards? Absolutely well done. I liked that most of this spanned a large chunk of the school year, and that Aster and Reese actually clicked for me.

While they were immediately aware of/attracted to each other, the passage of time is quite obvious in that it takes them a while to actually fall into synch. It took me back to those moments in high school when you have a new crush, and then realize that they really could be more. The complication, the curse of fate as it were, is well handled and while I definitely came to feel more for Aster, I felt a little sorry for Reese too.

Brenda deftly weaves obstacles in the way of these two, but Aster's stubbornness and the for once present in a YA novel parents of Reese (who are quite awesome and caring, love their son and want the best for him - I know right, hard to believe) - leads to an ending that cuts it down to the wire.

Keep in mind that I don't usually read pure romance, but Brenda Drake threw in just the right amount of magic to make me a fan. The chemistry between the pair works well, as does the tension that rises due to the circumstances they face.

I'm not fond of spoilers so most of my review is vague, but suffice it to say: I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted story with a fresh twist on a cursed man's fate, and lots of heart.
Profile Image for winterthekatt.
98 reviews13 followers
October 14, 2015
The moment I saw this book, I was intrigued. Putting together a girl who can change fates and a guy who is cursed sounded like a perfect recipe to me, and it certainly met my expectations. I liked that the book had a very realistic feel to it, I almost kept forgetting the fact that there was magic involved because it was so believable.

In the beginning I felt that the relationship between Aster and Reese was a little forced. I'm not sure why I felt this way and I can't really put my finger on it because I don't mind when characters are attracted to each other right away. Anyway, as the story progressed, I stopped noticing it and was fully engrossed with the plot. There was a lot of tension building up to Reese's 18th birthday and I think the author did an excellent job with the way everything fell into place -like a carefully planned puzzle. I think readers will not be disappointed with this creative and original story.

On a totally unrelated note, when Aster starts changing fates, she gets an infinity symbol on her skin. I love this!!!! I almost want to get a tattoo of it... who knows, maybe I will.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Poulami.
336 reviews39 followers
November 14, 2016
Originally posted on Daydreaming Books.

* I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Thiiiiis.... was an okay read though I expected more, much more from it. Some things were fun and some meh but it was still a somewhat fun ride.

Aster Layne is a fate changer but she is unaware of her powers. Reese's eighteenth birthday is coming up fast and like all the other firstborn in his family, he is probably going to die on that day due to an ill-fated curse that follows his bloodline. He has almost lost all hope when he finds Aster. Will Aster embrace her powers and help Reese or are things doomed from the very beginning?

The plot was refreshing and fun to read about. But I felt things were moving way too fast for my taste. Aster finds out she is a fate changer in a tarot reading session when her best friend requests her to go in with her. When she decides to see what this new found power brings, she starts practicing with the tarot card reader, Miri but things start going horribly wrong for her when it starts affecting her own family. I definitely liked this part of the story, about how Aster discovers this new side of herself.

What I felt weird was the romance between Reese and Aster. It happened too fast and felt insta-lovey! Especially the I love you happened midway and I was bewildered! I did like the characters though, Aster was a stubborn character but she cared about the people she loved. Reeses's motive was to change his fate and then take off but when he begins to fall for her, things start to change. Despite the flaws, I enjoyed how things were executed during the last episode.

Overall, Touching Fate was an okay read. The plot and the characters were fun but I didn't get invested in the romance. The writing was smooth and easy to read and it was fast paced. This book was a short and a quick read and I did enjoy the overall ride.

Recommend it?

Profile Image for Suz Jay.
916 reviews45 followers
August 23, 2018
“All Aster’s relationships (three to be exact) started off like fusion and ended up like fission—she and a guy would collide, releasing so much energy that they’d become unstable, making their relationship susceptible to outside influences (like other girls), and they’d split up. She desperately wanted to overcome her attraction to rebellious guys. She even made a pact with her mom—the next guy, she’d date against her type.”

Aster touches a tarot card and ignites her inherited power to change fates. While she’s helping people, she keeps passing the bad fates on to her loved ones. The hot new guy in town, Reece Van Buren, has a secret. The first born sons in his family are cursed to die on their eighteenth birthday. All his life, he and his family have searched for a Fate Changer and he finds one in Aster. Reece woos her, hoping to convince her to change his fate. In order to remove his curse, someone in Aster’s family must pay the deadly price. Reece must choose between accepting his cursed fate or hurting the science-obsessed girl he’s come to love.

TOUCHING FATE is the first installment in the Fated trilogy. The way Aster views magic through her scientific lens adds a fun element to the story. Her desire to be a good girl, while being pulled to the forbidden tarot cards and to Reece, gives her character an added dimension. Reece is a good guy in a dire situation. The couple’s family and friends including Jan and Leah help create a world as warm and inviting as a cup of cocoa with extra marshmallow goodness.
Profile Image for Megan.
315 reviews14 followers
November 22, 2016
Review also posted at: http://underthebookcover.blogspot.com...


Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

This was such a quick and fun read that I absolutely devoured in no time at all! I loved the synopsis and thought that the idea of a girl that loves science having a "very unscientific gift" tied together with a guy who is cursed to die on his eighteenth birthday would make for an interesting read, and it definitely did.

Aster never imagined that a fun tarot card reading would turn into her having the gift of a fate changer- one who can alter someone's fate for better or for worse. Nor did she ever think that she would bump into the person that she was fated to be with on the same day. Reese is fated to die on his eighteenth birthday thanks to a family curse that takes the lives of firstborn sons and never expected to run into a fate changer who could possibly reverse his curse and save his life. His plan? Trick Aster into falling in love with him so she'll have to change his fate. The problem? Reese has fallen in love with Aster and can't bring himself to trick her into saving him. The other problem? Aster's fate changer powers are wrecking havoc in her life, and she doesn't feel safe changing fates anymore. Will fate rip apart the two lovers or is there a way to remove the deadly curse?

What really drew me to this book was that it was described as one that you could read in one sitting. I've been on the lookout for a quick read or two, and Touching Fate fit that description perfectly. It was very fast paced, and a lot happened in what felt like a really short period of time, but I think that this book benefited from the quick storytelling. That being said, I did find it difficult to really connect with any of the characters that I encountered and I couldn't really allow myself to dive as deeply into the story as I would have liked. I certainly didn't dislike this book, I rather enjoyed it, but I just couldn't fall in love with any of the characters or the world like I wanted to.

Speaking of characters, let's talk about the ones in this book. Aster was quite sassy, and very independent, which were probably my two favorite things about her as a character. She cares for her family, takes care of her sisters, and has pretty much sworn off guys after her last relationship crashed and burned. That is of course, until she meets Reese, and ends up wanting her entire life to revolve around him. In a book with tarot cards, magical powers, and a family curse that kills firstborn sons, I found the romance to be the hardest thing to believe. Initially, Reese's intention is to trick Aster into falling in love with him, which definitely rubbed me the wrong way and made me dislike him as a character. Another thing that bothered me was how quickly the two fell in love. The very first time that Aster and Reese meet, she walks off thinking about his six pack abs, amazing blue eyes, and "dark blonde hair that brushed his brows just right." I thought it was incredibly cheesy and even rolled my eyes over the interaction. However, the reason behind the insta-love was explained later on in the book, which allowed me to believe it a bit more than I initially had and eventually root for the two lovers to end up together. Discovering how the two were connected really made me able to believe their feelings for each other more, and I liked that it added a bit of depth and backstory to the characters. I think on their own, Aster and Reese were good characters, and I would really like to see some more development from them with the next book. I'd also like to learn more about Aster's sisters, Iris, Violet, and Daisy, as well as Aster's best friend Leah!

The plot was different and fun, and really made this book easy to read through. Girl meets boy, boy thinks girl is cute, girl thinks boy is stupid but secretly thinks he's cute, girl discovers she has magical fate changing powers, boy is dying soon, boy plots to trick girl into loving him in order to save him, boy and girl fall in love, and the rest is filled with spoilers so I won't be talking about it! But really, does that not sound like it would be an interesting read? Because this is a book that can be read in one sitting, a lot happens very quickly, making it somewhat difficult to really believe some of the things that happen. Aster discovers she has the power of a fate changer, something she knows absolutely nothing about and doesn't believe in, and is pretty much a master of it after only doing it a few times. She's also sworn off boys that are the typical type that she goes for, but falls hard and fast for Reese who is basically the epitome of the type she usually goes after. But what I understood and accepted was that this was intended to be a quick read! Books like this are supposed to have the hard and fast romance and crazy things happening really quickly. As I said before, I think the fast pacing really worked for this book, and while it may have not been my favorite book of 2016, I still really enjoyed it for what it was. Sure, the romance was a typical love-at-first-sight, but the author gives a good explanation as to why it happened so fast, which kind of gave me an "oh, so that's why" moment towards the last 3/4 of the book. I may not have been able to fall head over heels in love with the characters, but I'm still really looking forward to reading the second book and seeing more of this world and the characters in it.

Brenda Drake's writing was fun, fast paced, easy to read, and very likable. Her writing style is one that I enjoyed very much, with it being the right amount of descriptive but still keeping it fun and easy to follow. If you're looking for an interesting story involving tarot cards and the ability to change your fate, definitely check out Touching Fate by Brenda Drake!
671 reviews1 follower
September 30, 2019
This book was filled with action from the beginning. There was deception/betrayal/bullying. The main female character was strong. I liked how she handled the unexpected throughout the book. The dynamics between the sisters was great. The family that was pulling together during touch times was good. There were plenty of surprises and it pulled me in from the beginning. I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Lucy Briand.
Author 1 book30 followers
August 17, 2017
Although I wasn't hooked by the first chapter, I'm SOOO glad I stuck with it. It didn't take long after that to get sucked into the story and its magical concept. I love tarot cards so this was right up my ally and found it very unique in my opinion. Started reading this around 9am and have now (4:30pm) just finished it. It's an easy read and a wonderful way to spend my day off :) thx for the journey!
Author 3 books21 followers
December 21, 2016
Touching Fate is a quick but fun read. I usually don't read romance, but this book was hard to put down. Can't wait to read the next book from Brenda Drake's Fated series.
1 review
September 30, 2021
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
January 3, 2016
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Moderately dark story about a girl who can change people’s fate with the touch of a Tarot card. There were a few minor issues with the plot but overall I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story.

Opening Sentence: It looked like the house had swallowed an entire art store and thrown up the supplies all over the lower level.

The Review:

When I read the synopsis for Touching Fate I was intrigued by a story about a girl who could change someone’s fate with Tarot cards. I was wondering how a story like this could play out. I had a few minor issues with certain parts of the book but otherwise it was an amusing and different kind of story.

Aster Layne loves all things science. She has a nack for the physical and what she can see, often using her knowledge when she is doing boring chores. Aster’s family life isn’t typical. She lives with her mother, grandmother, aunt and sisters on the beach in Maryland. Aster’s best friend is quite strange too with her missing eye. Aster is a senior in high school and she had pretty much given up on her love life since she keeps falling for the bad boys. One day Aster is at the boardwalk with her best friend and sister when she literally runs into Reese Van Buren.

Reese isn’t your typical teenager. He is descended from a Dutch royal family and he is cursed. He is ready to live out the last six months of his life with parties and sex. He has come to the United States with his friends to “party” but only Reese’s cousin knows the real reason why Reese is acting the way he is, because when Reese turns eighteen he will die. Reese’s only hope is to find a fate changer to help him and he knows that isn’t possible until he sees the remarkable sight of Aster at a Psychics when she unwittingly changes her friends impending fate.

Reese decides to completely change his life plan around and stay in Maryland. He needs to convince Aster to change his fate. He does this the only way he can think of, by making her fall for him. Aster doesn’t realize Reese’s ulterior motive but at the months play out she does realize that Reese is the guy for her. Reese sees the changes that have happened to Aster as she has been developing her “gift” and he isn’t willing to ruin her life or her families’ life in order to live.

Aster is quite brilliant but she doesn’t always listen to herself. Once she realizes what her gift is doing she doesn’t stop, she tries but bad things keep happening. There are a few times that I think she should have pieced some information together before she did. Aster’s science knowledge is overwhelming at the beginning of the novel then completely disappears during the bulk of the story until she needs it again in the end.

Reese is superficial and selfish at the beginning of the novel but as the story goes on he does realize that he can’t be that way. He doesn’t want to die that guy. He learns that he can’t be selfish even if that means dying, which he is incredibly frightened of. I really did love the lesson that Reese learned from meeting Aster.

Touching Fate is a moderately dark story. The story spans a few months’ time with a few time jumps that skim over the developing relationship with Reese and Aster. I did feel that I was missing something that really made me feel for both of them. I was kind of indifferent to their relationship. I definitely recommend Touching Fate for the older teenager because it does deal with sex.

Overall, Touching Fate was a fun and different story than what I’m used to reading. I enjoyed the ending and I am curious as to where this series will go from here. Will Aster continue to be the lead or will the story move to another fate changer?

Notable Scene:

Strangling the steering wheel, Aster couldn’t bring herself to go into the house. She feared what she’d find. Who would be her next victim? Had every changed fate been accounted for? She couldn’t remember.

Her mood was so dark�� She wanted to be numb and not care about anything. Reese’s face kept popping in and out of her mind. Tormenting her. She had memorized every one of his smiles—his crooked one, his amused one, and his sexy smirk. And when that hadn’t tortured her enough, a 3-D tour of his toned body would play in her thoughts.

I’m such a masochist. Stop thinking about him. Jeesh. He’s just a guy. There’s a million of them in this world. She got out of the car and went in through the kitchen door. Love is dumb, she thought, taking off her sweat jacket and hanging it on a hook. It really messes a person up.

FTC Advisory: Entangled Teen Crave provided me with a copy of Touching Fate. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews24 followers
October 23, 2015
At first I wanted to smack Reese upside the head. I mean yes he was desperate but still he was playing with someone’s emotions and that is nothing to sneeze at. Over time though as I saw him grow and see Aster as more than just a way to stay alive but a girl that is strong, funny, smart and sexy I warmed up to him. And his sacrifice in the end made him swoony.

His cousin Jan I loved. He was a sweet guy. I was so glad he stood by Reese and was there for him no matter what. He totally deserved the girl and was glad he got a happy ending.

Aster goes through a lot in this book. As does Reese. Difference is Aster had no idea her life was going to change so significantly and that her family kept such secrets. Over night her life transformed. She was no longer the girl with ambition and the habit of being with bad boys but one who changes fates, falls for the sweet guy and harbors guilt over fates changed and lives affected. She doesn’t want to fall for Reese and does everything to keep him at bay. but that boy was on a mission and couldn’t be stopped. Their time together was sweet and precious and it was sad when the truth came out although it didn’t come out quite the way it should have.

Reese over time changed as well. He lost the arrogance and started to live life. He allowed himself to feel. He opened his heart and found love. Love with Aster. He was eaten with guilt over how they started and what was happening to him. Eaten with guilt with not being upfront with her from the start but he was afraid. Now he was in a hole and when he fell in love there was no going back. In the end he made a sacrifice for her and her family and their love. At first all Aster saw was betrayal she didn’t see what he was going through or was giving up. She actually was quite mean and although she was hurt and feeling betrayed her thoughts were wrong for no one deserved the fate Reese was given. Once she saw that and saw that she loved him no matter what she redeemed herself and the happy ending begins to come about. The bantering and journey these two go on to see that love is wonderful and that without it life is empty is great to see.

A fun sweet book on fate finding a way to bring two people together no matter the circumstances and both learning to love and trust each other.

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