Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

fortitude smashed.jpgAfter scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate.

Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

What I absolutely have to mention first is the kindness of Taylor Brooke who put trigger warnings in the Author’s note at the beginning of the book. It is getting more and more common, at least as far as I see, but it was in her book that I noticed it first. They are also sorted by ‘kind’ and listed in which chapters they appear!

I generally do not like Soulmates thingies, but this one was great. First of all, the idea that humans are given a chip on their thumbnail that tells everyone when they will meet their soulmate? Loved it. And the fact that there could hardly be two dissimilar people pushed together as Shannon, the policeman, and Aiden, the thief? Plus, they meet while Aiden is STEALING the painting.

I just LOVED the characters. Shannon, a responsible and driven character who pushes himself to be successful, becoming the youngest detective in Southern California…and is still not satisfied. He also tries to hide his accent, from what part of the country he is, and is in general very private person.

And so is Aiden. He is a sweet character, even though he does not have a high opinion of himself. Dealing with all the things he dealt with in the past, trying to manage his dysthymia, he has never expected to end up with anyone, especially not like Shannon. He is convinced Shannon is too good for him, and that Fate will screw him over again. I also loved that his mental illness was not magically cured just because he fell in love. It doesn’t work like that in real life and so I am glad that this is also not the case in the book.

But seriously, I have to mention that he walks his cat!! I mean, this is just so adorable. And eventually he reconnects with his best friend Daisy, the main character of the second book, Curved Horizon. The other person who is also main character of Curved Horizon is also introduced here. That is Shannon’s ex-girlfriend Chelsea who somehow just expected she and Shannon would end up together.

Both Aiden and Chelsea can be mean, especially to each other. Yes, Aiden and Shannon did not make the best impression on each other when they met the first time, and Chelsea is also jealous of Aiden. But I liked that they ‘solve’ those differences and they get on together. It is not like they can avoid each other, with Chelsea still being Shannon’s best friend.

Another great thing in the book is explicit consent. Aiden is a virgin and Shannon is careful and is also patient, not forcing Aiden to do anything. It is happening on Aiden’s terms and at his pace. Shannon is not making a big deal of it. It is sweet, and it is very consensual and I loved it.

Oh and I almost forgot – there is nothing unusual if the Rose Road turns out to be of a different gender, of the same gender, or if it even occurs so that it’s a poly relationship, not just a couple. I loved that this wasn’t a big deal in the book.

So I pretty much loved the book in general and I am really excited to read the second book, especially as that one features f/f couple! 🙂




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