Author: Lisa L. Wiedmeier
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rating: 3 Stars
Description/Synopsis: Murder, romance, secrets and hidden pasts. Deception from every angle—who’s telling the truth?
Cheyenne Wilson’s life is thrown into turmoil after her adoptive parents are killed in an accident. With only her best friend Colt to comfort her, she scours through the family archives, hoping to quell her grief. Instead she begins to unravel the mystery behind her birth parents, and her secret heritage. She is a Timeless- a being that ages one year for every hundred human years when they reach their twenties- and of the royal line, destined to gain great power.
But Cheyenne has other problems. The ones who killed her parents want her too, and Colt is hiding something of his own. Surrounded by danger and with few she can trust, Cheyenne must face the dark truth of her past, and choose between a forbidden love that will forever hold her heart, or her destiny…
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I received this book some time ago from the author in exchange for a review after I read her short novella that precluded this story. I rated it a 3. Months later, here I am doing it again. This book was a little hard for me to qualify, and so after reading it, I waited a week to really stew over my rating and what I could say about Cheyenne. There are some things this book did really well, and others… not so much. It’s a story about a girl named Cheyenne who’s parents die, and only after their death does she start to learn that they held quite a few secrets, the biggest being that she is about to become one of the Timeless; a supernatural, nearly immortal being with amazing powers. Her world is thrown into chaos as she begins to learn that the people she’s trusted most in the world have lied to her and even her best friend was in on the secret. What follows is an action-packed adventure as Cheyenne is hunted by supernatural beings and factions unknown and she starts to fall in love with two men she really doesn’t know as well as she thought.
The writing for Cheyenne was clear, easy to follow, and engaging. Despite the negative points I’ll bring up in a minute, I enjoyed following along with the story. I read it through to the end, and never felt the need to pause or go back and re-read things. Believe me when I say that anytime that happens in a story, I’m usually pretty happy with it in the end. I almost rated this story a 4 because of that alone. I thought the plot was interesting: here’s this girl who’s slowly finding out that she’s going to be an immortal being, but also that she’s descended from royal bloodlines, and in the expanse of a few days, that she’s being hunted by a supernatural faction that wants her dead. It’s a thrilling plot, full of twists and turns as she slowly learns and absorbs all this new info relating to her life and tries to deal with it.
Now here’s the conundrum: if you’ve read the novella (Fated: A Timeless Series Novella by Lisa L. Wiedmeier) Most of the surprises of this book will be ruined for you. Before the first page starts you will understand the roles and secrets behind Colt, Callon, and Daniel–Cheyenne’s protectors. The novella is set from their perspective and explains how the characters begin to fall in love with her, what their motivations are, and reveals the marriage, timeless, evil faction, and protection sub-plots. The novella barely stands on it’s own without Cheyenne to accompany it, but with the novella, Cheyenne is a little predictable and frustrating. However, without the novella, you’ll be lost.
Cheyenne doesn’t go deeply into the world-building and back-story as it should have. For instance: it’s explained that there’s an evil faction that wants to kill Cheyenne and some supernatural beasts are used to accomplish this goal… but it’s not fully explained who they are or why they want to kill all Timeless. It’s not explained where the supernatural beasts come from either–or if there are more supernatural things out there that Cheyenne hasn’t learned about yet. So much information was withheld from the reader and not explained that without the novella to support it, I think it would have been difficult to follow along.
Another sticking point for me was the men (Colt, Callon, and Daniel) and the romance portion of this novel. No one ever gives Cheyenne a choice about her fate, and the men constantly withhold information from her. As a result, she is constantly putting herself into dangerous situations. There was absolutely no reason the men couldn’t have explained things to her and impressed upon her the danger, but instead they practically locked her up “to keep her safe” without giving her any avenue to try and understand the situation. Cheyenne was left frustrated and rebellious, and in retaliation, did stupid things. I was frustrated too. The men in this book were so ridiculously protective over Cheyenne that they practically smothered her. For the majority of the book it felt like she was a prisoner of war rather than a friend and love interest they were trying to protect. Their actions against Cheyenne made it very difficult to enjoy them as characters and believe the romance portion of the book.
For the most part, Daniel seemed somewhat of a pushover. He was the good-natured brother that tried to smooth things out, but in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t necessary to the plot. He only showed up as a supporting character most of the time.
Callon, I reluctantly liked, and even somewhat understood. Here was this girl he had a claim to that he actually loved, but in an attempt to give her some semblance of free-will, he bit his tongue and let another guy step in. I think he had good intentions considering his abrasive personality, but you could tell that in the end, he really wanted to just step in and say “tough crap. I’m your intended, and I’m sorry you fell in love with that other guy, but you’re mine, and you don’t have a choice.” As much as that thought almost makes me cringe (cause I just know I wouldn’t have liked it had he actually said that), I was almost hoping he would. I wanted Callon to win the love triangle. At least his actions fit his personality. There was even a bit of passion (or at least a hint of one) there that I was whole-heartedly cheering on.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like Colt. At all. He seemed impulsive and selfish. He started out the story with the knowledge already in hand that his brother, Callon, had the rights to Cheyenne. She was promised to him for ages. Even knowing that, he weaseled his way into her life under the pretense of being her “best friend”. He took her from his brother without a single thought about how that would make his brother feel, and I very nearly hated him for it. I didn’t feel like he really loved Cheyenne, but instead wanted to possess her under the pretense of being sweet and kind and loveable. I truly disliked him as a character and wanted slap Cheyenne upside the head every time she fell into his trap. There was no passion between them as a couple, and Colt always seemed to be trying to hard to push their relationship. It left me with an uncomfortable feeling whenever they were together.
Between the domineering over-protective trio of brothers, their scramble to try and win over Cheyenne, and the complete lack of information that was being given to her, I really wanted Cheyenne to just walk out the door and make a run for it. It just didn’t seem plausible to me that she wanted to spend any time with them at all. The imagery that comes to mind is a kitten trying to escape a box, but every time it gets it’s legs out, someone comes along to shove it back in. It left the main character and me frustrated up till the very end.
Overall, I liked the story, but there was a lot about it that made it difficult to enjoy sometimes. As much as I wanted to follow along the story, at every opportunity the author pushed the characters into doing things that only left me angry and frustrated. I had no choice to mark this down to a 3-star rating. I think a little more development with the characters and plot would have done the book some good, but in its absence, it came out as a mixed bag. Equal parts entertaining and frustrating at the same time. If you like YA Paranormal Romances with heavy undertones of thrill and mystery, you may really like this book. There’s a lot of action involved in the plot. If you’re looking for something more squishy-romance with some paranormal thrown in, this may be the wrong story for you; this isn’t a heart-felt romance.