I accepted a copy of Designed By Destiny from the author, Maya Tyler. But I want to take a moment to discuss how I ended up doing that. Because this book is one I wouldn’t normally have chosen to read. The author pulled a bit of a bait and switch on me. I don’t think she did it on purpose, I think she was just sending me her most recent publication. But the end result is the same.
Her Magicals series has been featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, I was aware of her books. When she messaged me to ask what I tend to read I responded that I’m a, “fantasy/urban fantasy/PNR reader” and “your books would def fit with my preferences.” To which she said, “ I’ll send you an ARC for my soon-to-be released para-contemporary romance, Designed by Destiny…After writing an intense five-book series, I needed something light.”
I groaned right then. Here’s the problem. When I said her books would match my preferences, I was looking at the “intense” PNR with fairies and wizards and strong fantasy vibes. I don’t really do light. I actively avoid contemporary romances. And experience has taught me that para-contemporary romance means contemporary romance with a minor sprinkling of ‘para’. Which is what this book is. It’s a contemporary romance with a side of fairy godmother. Not something I’d have volunteered to read. I’ll take fairies and wizards and intense plots any day of the week, but light and sweet…nah, you can keep that.
I considered writing the author back to say, ‘That’s not what I meant to volunteer for.’ But opted not to, since it was my own lack of clarity that led to the situation. But I wanted to vent a little here and also admit, going in, that I was probably never going to be a 5-star reader for this book.
Regardless, on to the book.
Confirmed bachelor Nicholas Grey is more than the playboy perpetrated by the tabloids. Now his position as CEO of the architecture firm Grey & Company is on the line, and his mother’s interference is making things more difficult. Nick’s committed to his work, but, in order to be taken seriously, he needs to land a huge project. A stable personal life will help guarantee the contract.
Fairy Godmother Faye Delmore hears Nick’s plea and steps in to help. Posing as a publicist, she suggests a strategy to polish his public image, which includes convincing Beth to play his wife. Faye knows Nick needs the huge project to save his job, but she also knows he needs Beth in his life.
What happens when you add a fairy godmother who loves playing matchmaker into the equation? A future designed by destiny.
As I said above, this is not a genre I gravitate toward. However, the writing is clean and easy to read, the editing is tight, and the plot holds together. So, for those who do like contemporary fake relationship plots, this is a perfectly competent one. Unfortunately I do not.
This is farther complicated by the fact that I never came to like Nick, other women were almost universally shown to be jealous and villainous (how cliched), and I thought the fairy godmother aspect just cluttered the plot up. It would have been better as a straight contemporary romance, IMO. And I say that as an avid fantasy reader!
All in all, I think the right reader will love this. There really isn’t anything wrong with it other than being wrong for me. Unfortunately this simply got into the hands of the wrong reader. (Despite the author’s best efforts.)