Soulmated is a YA Urban Fantasy Romance is the first book in Shaila Patel’s Joining Souls series. At the beginning of the read things went a little slow for me; the book was interesting, but it took me a little while to get wholly engrossed into the world of the book. The writing is of excellent quality the plot was thoroughly mapped out, and it shows.
Soulmated takes place in present-day Cary, North Carolina. The empath abilities and the love interest puts this book firmly into both the Urban Fantasy and Romance genres. Our main characters are Laxshmi Kapadia and Liam Whelan. They are both high school students with way too much on their shoulders. Liam has recently become the head of his Family and Laxshmi is stuck catering to an overbearing mom who seems determined to secure financial stability through her daughter with no regard to Laxshmi’s happiness.
Soulmated is told in first person POV through our main character’s Laxshmi and Liam in the alternating chapter format, this format doesn’t always work, but Patel manages to continue the story from chapter to chapter and pov to pov without skipping a beat, the story flows fluidly no matter who’s pov we are reading from. I’m starting to think I prefer this format as opposed to the style where each pov is told in separate books
Laxshmi is an Indian-American girl being raised by a traditional Indian mom; her mom is very strict and comes off as caring only for herself; she’s the villain of Laxshmi’s story. Liam is Irish, and he’s searching for the “ONE” he’s an empath. Empath royalty actually and he’s just become the head of his family. He is trying to find his one. Looking for the soulmate who will both increase his power, and enrich his life is taking a toll on him, after so many years and so many failures he’s got a bad taste in his mouth for the whole thing, it’s become a chore, and he’s nearly convinced it’s nothing but a while goose chase.
When Laxshmi and Liam meet their worlds collide, and there are several forces, determined to keep them apart, jealous classmates, racist, overbearing family members and factions within the empath community. This book mostly focuses on the necessary world-building, characterization, and the development of Liam and Laxshmi’s relationship, but by the end of the book, you’re hooked. Patel hit’s hard with a cliff hanger, so I highly recommend having book two on hand and ready to go.