This is a book of many parts. I truly enjoyed Twin Flames. It is a beautiful, enthralling M/M shifter tale.
- Review by Kazza K
When I started this I thought - "Oh crap, lexicon of ancient terms, gods/goddesses/mythology. Am I in the mood?" I read through the glossary of terms and I kept going, thankfully. This book is an interesting read. There are many things going on - it's a shifter book, it's part ancient tale, part magic and mythology, and tribal, and part mother earth. But it's also about a lover's betrayal, a journey to recovery, a friends to lovers story, a cowboy book, and, incredibly, all parts are very well blended.
I cannot review this book in full, to do so would ruin it. I hope that the review a) makes sense, and b) does it justice.
At the start we meet Tristan, who has been betrayed by his, supposed, Twin Flame, his Bashert, Theo -
Unlike humans, Lycans were reborn after death. The Bashert was an eternal companion. More than simple marriage or the magical life bond. The Bashert was your eternal destiny. A marriage could end. A life bond would complete your soul until the next death and rebirth.
Theo does not do anything by halves. He has cheated within a short period of time with 7 lovers - way to rip your Twin Flames heart out, Theo. Well, in this case, literally poison the bond brand that Tristan carries on his body, through neglect. So when we meet Tristan he is, in fact, soul-sick, being poisoned, and dying from Theo's selfish actions. Before the council of Elders Tristan decides on breaking the Twin Flame bond, which no-one is too thrilled about. It could have killed Tristan, however, if he lives, there is also the feeling of utter humiliation as shifters become aware of what has transpired -
I would become the poster boy, the name parents would whisper to their children as a warning of what happened to mistreated Flames.
Long story short - in steps Gregori, a magi and friend, and Nathan, Tristan's older brother and healer, and, most importantly, Ushna, his friend. Ushna steps in to support Tristan emotionally, so that he can, hopefully, live, and carry on after the bond-break. This is quite the sacrifice, as the person having the 'breaking' often does not go back to the person they were prior. However, Tristan has declared his wishes, and the bond is broken.
Seven years have passed when we rejoin Tristan and Ushna. They are in the middle of a hunt for a serial killer who has killed their friends, who also happen to be their neighbours. They have bought, and are working a ranch together, with human ranch hands and their foreman, Randy. During the hunt Ushna turns Lupe, which is the third shifter form, something not many shifters can do. So he has human form, wolf form and Lupe form. Tristan can talk to Ushna and centre him during his Lupe shift. Furthermore, it seems there may be stronger feelings from Ushna, in regards to Tristan, and this is why Ushna shifted into his third form, to protect Tristan when the serial killer cornered him.
There are some very light and humorous moments in Twin Flames. Randy, the human foreman, has some good dialogue with Tristan after there has been a major 'occurrence,' and people seem to be acting strangely at the ranch around Tristan. The people are actually Anat Warriors who have sworn fealty to him after a major event and are staying on to 'work the ranch', which actually means staying on to be a part of Trsitan's tribe and to protect him -
There was a creak on the roof overhead, but I didn't look. I could feel the warrior perched there. "Are they able to follow instructions or are all of them going to be as weird as the fella on the roof behind us?" It appeared the warriors were going to have to work on their stealth if a human could pinpoint them. "I never said they were normal, Randy."
"I'm going to saddle Socks and find a quiet place to have my mental breakdown, so I can come back and act as if everything is okay."
The two protagonsists, Tristan and Ushna are wonderfully endearing characters. I just loved them. Ushna is quiet, which is perfect, given two major life events. Tristan is introsepctive, which is to be understood after what he has endured at the hands of Theo; what it means for him in shifter terms. When they get together, realise what they might mean to one another, it is both beautiful and sexy. It is also fitting that Ushna protects and cares for Tristan in his 'hour of need' and Tristan gets to do the same. They love each other passionately. There is only one sex scene in the book, but it's worth it....in many ways. Plus, the story is so well written, I was deeply enmeshed in the narrative, world building, and storytelling in general.
I have to be honest and say it may annoy some people the way this book ends. It actually ends in the middle of something that is shaping up to be quite epic. I couldn't even call it a HFN. I don't mind personally, but people who like a neat bundle by books' end may be better off waiting for the second book's release in November and then read them back to back.
I cannot wait for book # 2, Songs of the Earth, if it's as good as Twin Flames I will be a very happy reader. Lexi Ander has written a very, very good book and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. Highly recommended reading for those who like mystical, mythology, shifter, M/M, paranormal, friends to lovers, and some cowboys thrown into the mix. Seriously, it works like a charm. Twin Flames deserves a big reader audience.