Wednesday 9 May 2012

Review: Fateful - Claudia Gray

All I have to do is make it through this one trip, I think, as I step off the gangplank and finally board the RMS Titanic.

Tess has bigger dreams than being a lady's maid and plans to start a new life as soon as the skip reaches America. But once they set sail Tess finds herself in grave danger. Not just from the ice-cold waters of the Atlantic, but from the two strangers with eyes like wolves who are tracking her every move . . .

One wants her dead, the other wants her heart. The ocean wants them all.

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Tess has spent years working as a lady's maid to Irene, the daughter of Viscount Lisle and Lady Regina. As much as she likes Irene working for Lady Regina isn't easy and she has plans to leave their service and start a new life as soon as the family arrives in America. She just has to make it through their journey on the Titanic and collect her final wages before she can make her escape. But her voyage isn't going to be all smooth sailing - she has attracted the attention of a dangerous stranger, one who has motives she could never even begin to guess at.

Fateful is one of those books that I have mixed feelings about. I absolutely loved the historical side of the story, it was very easy to picture the scenes unfolding in front of you and I think anyone who has seen the movie Titanic will be able to visualise things perfectly. The story has a great selection of characters and it was interesting to see life at the time from so many different perspectives - you have the daughter of a rich family, her lady's maid and other servants, wealthy passengers both from aristocratic families and those who have earned their money through various trades, a ship's officer and even foreign passengers who are travelling to America to start a new life.

Tess was an interesting character and someone who was likeable and easy to route for. You find yourself wanting to see her succeed in making a new life for herself and escaping from the horrible Lady Regina. I loved the romance that develops between her and Alec, the way it isn't a case of instant love, the way they get to know each other and the way that they both go against traditional society rules in order to spend time together. Things haven't been easy for Alec but he has a lot of support from his father and Tess is willing to stand by her man and look out for him.

My problem was with the werewolf side to the story. I wasn't too sure how I would feel about the idea of adding supernatural characters to the Titanic and in the end I felt that part of the storyline just didn't quite work. It seemed too absurd when taken alongside the seriousness of the Titanic disaster. The ending didn't quite fit the feel of the rest of the story but it has left things open for what could be a very interesting new series. I understand that this is a stand alone book but if Claudia Gray did decide to revisit the characters and show how they are getting on in the aftermath of the disaster I'd definitely want to read more.

Overall I loved this as a historical romance but feel a bit less sure of the supernatural side and think it would have worked better if it had been written as two different books. I enjoyed the story enough to recommend it though - if you love the film Titanic and enjoy paranormal romances then I'm pretty sure you'll like Fateful.

Source: Received from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I totally agree with you. I loved the historical backdrop, Tess's beginnings and really, the reason I picked up the book was I loved the movie Titanic. When I read the blurb of this book, I thought it was so romantic.

    As for not it being insta-love, it's great that they have a few days to get to know each other but the feelings might have also been supported by the feeling of danger -as it says - danger, tense situations could really bring people together. But I really like it that Alec and his father did not look down on Tess - a massive win for me.

    And true, I thought the werewolf side of the story was just kind of thrown in and ending was just... whut?

    I don't know if I'd read the next book since the ending of Fated is quite satisfactory but who knows. *shrugs*

  2. Ooh! I didn't know that this one was set against the backdrop of the Titanic - I think I need to add this onto my wish list. Fab review :D

  3. I'm about to start this. I have been waiting ages for it. x

  4. @ Ayanami - I love the Titanic film too and I really thought the author did a wonderful job of re-creating the atmosphere of the film. I hadn't thought about the feeling of danger heightening their emotions but that's a good point, I did like their relationship though :o) I loved the fact that Alec and his Dad were prepared to go against tradition and didn't care that she was a servant rather than a "lady".

    I think I'd like the werewolf side of the story more without the Titanic backdrop so I would definitely pick up the sequel if Claudia writes one :o)

    @ Jesse - I love the Titanic film but haven't really read any books set on it (well no fictional ones anyway) so it was really interesting. I hope you enjoy it!

    @ Susan - I hope you love this one Susan, I'll be interested to see what you think of it!



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