Ten years ago, Corinthe made a huge mistake. Since then, she’s been exiled from her sister Fates, living on Earth among the humans. To earn her way back into the good graces of the Unseen Ones and be allowed to return home, she is tasked with helping humans achieve their destinies: whether that means facilitating meet cutes, making someone late for work, preventing an accident, saving a life...or ending one.

She’s never actually killed a human being, but she doesn’t see the harm in it—after all, it’s Fate, right? But it turns out that the boy she’s supposed to kill is one Lucas Kaller, a young man with whom she feels an immediate and true connection, and who reciprocates those feelings with gusto. Despite her conflicted feelings, Corinthe tries to carry out her orders, but everything goes wrong and, due to a seemingly random chain of events—or is it Fate?—they are forced to travel across the universe, sometimes together, sometimes alone, working toward the same goal but for different reasons, but always headed toward a final, possibly deadly, confrontation.

Minus the romance/possible murder element, it’s a straightforward quest story set in a number of sometimes-nightmarish fantasy worlds. The dialogue, prose and plotting are all competent, so whether or not it’s a good fit will come down entirely to personal preference:

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People who should avoid Lanie Bross’ Fates: Those who hate instalove with a burning passion (in this case, it’s actually instant recognition of one’s soul mate, but that detail won’t stop some hackles from rising); those who have difficulty with heroines who need a nudge from a guy to start asking questions (in the context of Corinthe’s background, that’s easily explained, but will be no less difficult to take for some readers); those who tire easily of descriptions of various fantasy worlds.

 People who should give Lanie Bross’ Fates a try: Those who are interested in seeing the push/pull of soul mate connection and distrust/opposing goals; those who’re interested in a discussion of fate vs. free will and an attempt to reconcile the two; those who like their romance with a lot of smells (Luc and Corinthe spend an inordinate amount of time sniffing each other) and don’t mind if the two leads spend a lot of time apart; those who specifically ENJOY lots of descriptions of various fantasy worlds.

Other books that might work for the same readers:

For those in the Avoid category: Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young’s Just Like Fate, which deals with the idea of fate and parallel worlds and yes, the love connection, but in a realistic setting. Fun, thought-provoking, and surprisingly emotionally meaty.

For those in the Try category: A.G. Howard’s goth-spin on Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, Splintered and Unhinged, which feature LOTS of fantasy world-bouncing, as well as push/pull romantic entanglements and trust issues. I had issues with both installments of the series, but I’m certainly planning on reading the third.

If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or running the show at her local library, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while rewatching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.