Review: Soul-Mate by Anna Santos

Anna Santos has set this sexy paranormal romance in a small town, where supernatural beings are the norm.

The book relies heavily on the soul-mate trope, and while I love this trope and write it, this book is a DNF for me.

Half vampire and half panther shifter, Annabel doesn’t trust many people. Supernatural bigots murdered her parents for having an interracial relationship.

But then Anna meets Shane, the town sheriff and werewolf, and she quickly realizes she needs to trust someone.

I’ve only just realized the heroine’s shortened name is the same as the author’s.

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The sheriff who knew the moment he saw his soul mate

Shane is an easy-going guy, but when he sees Anna sitting in a bar by herself, he knows Anna is the soul mate he’s been waiting for.

But Anna doesn’t know he’s her soul mate yet. And that presents a problem.

 A vampire hunter masquerading as a schoolteacher

Anna finds herself sitting in a bar because she’s hunting vampires.

She wants vengeance against those who killed her parents and those who feel that only pure-blood supernaturals should exist.

The town seems remarkably tolerant, with all types of supernatural beings living together, even though she is hunting those who would kill someone for loving a hybrid.

A great first book

There is so much about this book that is great.

It examines interracial discrimination.

It discusses the emotional consequences of that for families.

And we see how this affects Anna.

The book doesn’t hit the mark for me

I picked up this book, excited, but a few pages in, my excitement waned.

A third of the way in, I decided I shouldn’t go on.

It’s not that I didn’t want to give it a go or that it has lots of spelling or grammar errors.

It doesn’t. It’s copyedited well, with only a few mistakes a grammar nazi would notice.

But from a reader’s perspective, the narration is very hard to read.

Not confusing, but the narration doesn’t flow, and I became distracted by that.

In some ways, I saw my own mistakes in this book, only I try to edit them out of the finished product.

Santos ties up the romance fairly quickly.

The author tries to press conflict into the relationship by using outside forces, like Shane’s old girlfriend, who is the vampire princess.

The heroine’s characterization doesn’t work for me.

Anna is labeled as badass in the blurb, but at the beginning of the book, she pretends to faint and allows a complete stranger to take her to his home–an unknown location–and her bike is taken away by the bartender.

I’m not sure a badass hunter would do that.

A strong heroine would fight until her last breath.

If she only pretends to faint, as Anna states, then she allows Shane to take her to his home.

Shane smells tempting and Anna likes being held by him. So she pretends to faint.

But is this badass? Or is this damsel-in-distress behavior?

A strong heroine wouldn’t pretend to faint and allow someone to walk off with her bike.

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I honestly wanted to rave about this book, but I didn’t finish it because of the narration, the characterization, and the pacing of the plot.

I still want to encourage Santos

She has worked hard on this book, and that shouldn’t be minimized.

The hard work is evident in the cover and the editing.

Lord, I know how hard authors work. Santos should be applauded.

But as a reader, I’m giving this book 3 out of 5.

I wouldn’t tell you not to read this book, but unfortunately for me, this book is a DNF.

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