📚Mark of Stars (The Shifting Fae Book 2) by Tessa Hale

All Rowan wanted was a normal senior year. To fade into the background of her classmates. Instead, her entire world has been turned upside down. Words she never thought she would utter are now a part of her everyday life. Shifters. Powers. Bonds.

Comfort comes from the five fated mates who would do anything to protect her. Their connections are deepening, yet Rowan isn’t convinced all of them want her. Holden has secrets. Vaughn comes to her rescue in one breath and cuts her to the core with the next. But Anson, Lucas, and Keene will do anything to make their bond work and to convince Rowan that she’s all they’ve ever wanted.

They’re all trying, but each new development leaves Rowan reeling. As they realize just what kind of gift Rowan has, they discover it’s impossible to know who to trust.

Because there are those who lurk in the shadows, forces that want the power Rowan has humming beneath her skin. And they will stop at nothing to get it…

So, this book got me through the day. I’ve been feeling unwell to the point that I actually came home from the office to work remotely. So many bugs going around at the moment! I read this through my lunch break and early evening. That I have to pause to write this before I read the final book is aggravating but needs must!

So, Mark of the Stars opens with worry and possessiveness and that possessiveness only grows through the book and is joined by brother protective. The bond between the six grows considerable through this book and though there are moments of anguish, they are all stronger for it by the end.

In Anson we see the vulnerability behind the cocky attitude. In Lucas we see the need to take on other’s pain. In Vaughn we see the pain and anguish of a childhood cut short and the fear of what might happen at his hands. In Keene we see what the happy-go-lucky attitude masks and with Holden we see the depth of affection and need to be part of the group.

Rowan deals with a lot in this book. Not just emotionally but physically also. Without giving too much away, she’s verbally abused by different individuals and also physically abused in several scenarios. Thank goodness for shifter healing!

I didn’t think much of Mason, Holden’s dad in the first book. His alpha personality was grating in its seriousness and strictness. However, I came to appreciate his character in the book as not just a mediator but a voice of reason between all of the chaos.

The search that was started in book 1 for Rowen’s birth mum does continue here and honestly the added layers of mystery were both intriguing and frustrating. Every time I got an answer, I also gained another question.

We also get to meet the ‘Quad’ the 4 other council members if you will that preside over the shifters. Mason is also on the Quad. Cinna, I didn’t think much off but then she’s written as an airheaded character – though I presume she’s quite deadly. Kaleb and Ivan are interesting characters. I think they know much more about Rowan than they are letting on but there is an undercurrent of uncertainty when it comes to Rowan that I don’t think anyone knows how to deal with. Gregory is a twat. Plain and simple. I don’t know whether he’ll return with more vengeance in the next book, but it wasn’t just Rowan’s mates that wanted to take a piece out of him!

The mystery around who Rowan’s biological father is, did eat me up through this read. There are some remarks thrown that Rowan should ‘run’ and ‘escape’ her father, but no one seems to know who he is or how to start looking for him. It did make me very curious indeed to find out who he is. No doubt I’ll work it out in book three.

I think perhaps I’m a little gullible when it comes to book bullies changing their attitudes. I think I just always automatically believe that a character is redeemable. I was feeling this way about a certain someone until the cliffhanger. Now I’m just angry and curious.

I actually forgot I’d written this review – was a third of the way through reading the final book and suddenly had a panic moment thinking I hadn’t written this one – took me a while to remember I had!

This book ends in another cliffhanger…and you can’t even hate a cliffhanger because they’re so addictive.

I give this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spice: 🌶️🌶️

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