Soulmated (Joining of Souls #1)
Two souls. One Fate.
Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.
Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.
When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.
Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?
*I received a digital arc of Soulmated from Month9Books in exchange for an honest review.
The first time I saw Soulmated on Twitter I knew immediately I wanted to read it. An Indian-American main character and an Irish love interest with MAGIC? Sign me up!
I love reading books that have main characters with different cultural upbringings than my own. Learning about other cultures and seeing the world through their eyes is always so fascinating and I’ve become a huge fan of reading books with racially diverse characters.
The story revolves around Liam and Laxshmi (Lucky).
We discover that Liam is part of a secret world of Empaths and he is on the search with his family to find his soulmate because then he can become more powerful and be an influential leader for his royal line.
What I liked:
- The Indian Culture! I LOVED this part of the book. I don’t know a lot about Indian culture so I was so excited and pleased to see so much of it explained in this book. Lucky loves to dance and one of the dances she does is the Bharatanatyam. The book even goes into detail about what the dance is like, the symbolism and even the outfits. Soulmated also does a great job explaining the tug and pull of dealing with parents (in this case Lucky’s mom) who is much more traditional in her views, especially in regards to Lucky’s education and marriage. I loved how even her home was described in detail from decor to the food.
- Seeing the world through different eyes: As a white woman, I have no clue what the world would look like, especially high school to an Indian-American girl or how the world would see ME. Lucky had different sides to her: the one her friends saw, the one her family saw and who she was all wrapped in one. I loved this. Shaila did an amazing job helping us as the reader to understand how hard it can be for teens who have different cultural background to maneuver things in life.
- The romantic tension: The chemistry between Liam and Lucky was intense! There’s no arguing here that Shaila knows how to write romance!
What I struggled with:
- The world building: To be honest, I never quite understood the whole empath world. It was a secret line of Royalty that had these empath powers but I didn’t get what they did exactly. Why are they important to the world, what do they DO, why were these other people dangerous to Liam, why were they out to stop him? Empaths can read and block emotions from other people. I just didn’t quite understand how this was important. I understood enough of the world building to read through the book but it wasn’t clear enough for me to feel like I totally grasped the concept. It left me with too many questions and not enough answers.
- The relationship between Liam and Lucky: Now, I really enjoyed the sexual tension and the romance but their actual relationship wasn’t necessarily for me. Lucky and Liam definitely had an insta-love situation going and they got clingy, possessive, and a bit strange as the book went on. BUT there was a good reason to which you’ll find out as you read so I was able to move beyond these issues in general.
If you’re looking for a romance filled with cultural references for both Indian and Irish backgrounds I’d recommend reading Soulmated. It’ll help you see through the eyes of someone else and give you an intense romance in the process. I rated it 3 stars.
ABOUT SHAILA PATEL
As an unabashed lover of all things happily ever after, Shaila’s younger self would finish reading Cinderella and fling her copy across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues.
Her debut novel, Soulmated, won first place in the YA category of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards. Soulmated will be released by Month 9 Books on January 17th, 2017.
A member of the Romance Writers of America, Shaila is a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She enjoys traveling, craft beer, and teas, and loves reading books—especially in cozy window seats. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or connecting with other readers online at: