Review: Fateful

Fateful by Claudia Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a most unexpected treat. I didn’t know what to expect. This is a classic paranormal with some amazing;y entertaining twists. Tess is a lady’s maid to the daughter of a Viscount, and the book takes place in early to mid April, 1912. It starts in Southhampton, where she is accosted while running an errand for her employer by a man, then a large dog that looks like a wolf – she is saved by another young man, but he warns her to stay away from him – that she would be in danger. The next day they board the ship that will take them to America, for the Viscount’s family to try and marry off their son to an American heiress as their fortunes are failing, and for Tess, to leave service, and take all the money she has saved and try and get work as a seamstress or ladies maid again, but with a nicer household. The daughter she works for is very nice, but the mother is a harridan and the son a spoiled twit. As she boards the ship she feels as if someone is watching her, stalking her. Once onboard, while attempting to stow away some of the family’s belonging, a chest of jewels, she is accosted by the man in the street, but this time he is in first class, and well-dressed. She manages to get away, but he continues his pursuit of her. The young man who saved her, continues to try and protect her, until she accidentally discovers their secret -they are werewolves. Since he is unattached to a clan, he is doomed to change every night, not just at the full moon or at will. The voyage on the ship is fascinating, for it is the HMS Titanic, and the descriptions are spot-on (I happen to know a lot about the Titanic and about life upstairs and downstairs at that time). The author did her research well, and her descriptions of what it means to be a servant, and also the bonds that tie a wealthy young woman in place are very good. The fact that they are on this contained space, a ship, means that Tess can’t run away from this predator who wants something the family has, and now also wants her – to toy with and kill. But she falls in love with her new protector, and the story moves along with twists and turns, and wonderful secondary characters, and incidents great and small. She does a nice job of weaving in werewolf lore, adding her own touches, into that fateful trip. When it happens, there is a touch of the movie in it, but that can’t be helped I suppose. And the ending is a surprise. All in all, a satisfying book, and one which filled me with glee. I sat up in bed in the middle, hugged the book, and thought to myself (making me choke on some chcolate), that I was reading a book about werewolves on the Titanic – how utterly wonderful and bizarre!

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