Title: Fated: Blood and Redemption
Author: Bey Deckard
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Release Date: (pre-order avail from )
Word Count: 117 000+
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/
With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.
Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?
Jon rubbed his face, bleary and tense, and looked over at the man lying beside him on the bed. He was startled to see that he was awake. Tiny pinpricks of light were reflected in Baltsaros’s dark eyes as he watched Jon silently.
“I’m sorry, did I wake you?” whispered Jon.
A deep crease appeared between Baltsaros’s brows. After a moment, he shook his head slowly.
“Are you in pain?” Jon said, turning onto his side. Another headshake. “Thirsty? No?” He sighed and reached out to check the man’s forehead for fever. He felt powerless and frustrated in the face of Baltsaros’s suffering.
At his touch, Baltsaros’s brow smoothed out, and he reached up to place his fingers against the back of Jon’s hand.
Jon smiled at the contact, but his heart sank at the dry heat that burned beneath his palm—he was getting worse. “We’ll get home to Madierus as soon as we can… I’m sure Abetha will be able to help you somehow.”
“Yes. It will be all right,” Baltsaros rasped, encircling Jon’s wrist with his long fingers.
Jon nodded quickly, made suddenly uneasy by the glittering gaze of the sick man. It was as if the only signs of life in his face were the coal-black eyes that watched him without expression. Baltsaros pulled Jon’s hand away from his forehead and pressed a soft kiss to the inside of his wrist before letting go. His lips were hot and parched, and Jon felt another pang of concern.
“Come here,” whispered Baltsaros. “I want to hold you in my arms. It will make me feel better like nothing else can.”
Something felt… off. However, Jon brushed aside the feeling and moved closer to him, placing his head on the man’s shoulder. Gingerly, he curled his arm around Baltsaros’s waist, bracing himself and trying not to put too much weight on the man beneath him. The position would quickly get uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to hurt him. A little sacrifice.
Baltsaros’s fingers came up to stroke his cheek, his jaw, down the bridge of his nose; when his fingertips brushed Jon’s bottom lip, Jon let out a little sigh.
“You’re such a soft creature,” murmured Baltsaros.
Jon frowned, none too happy to be called “soft”. He was not the weak thing he had once been. However, he forced himself to let the words run off of him like droplets down a duck’s glossy back. It was meant as a compliment, a way for Baltsaros to say how much he liked touching Jon. Nothing more. It should make him happy.
Then why do I feel like running?
The thought had barely touched his mind before Baltsaros’s hand closed over his mouth, his thumb and forefinger painfully pinching Jon’s nose shut as he rolled over on top of him. He froze for half an instant before he tried to push the man off, but Baltsaros wrapped his other hand around Jon’s throat and squeezed. Panic flooded Jon’s brain as he fought to free himself. For a man who was so wounded, Baltsaros bore down distressingly hard on Jon as he crushed his windpipe, slowly robbing him of breath. Nothing Jon did shifted his iron grip—not his nails clawing into flesh nor his feet battering at Baltsaros’s shins as he struggled desperately. It was like Baltsaros was made of senseless clay. A deadly golem.
“Min haeken,” murmured Baltsaros. “Stop struggling. Give in, my soft little thing. Give up. Hush now, Jon. It will only be a moment longer. Give in. That’s it, my love… You don’t need to suffer life any longer. Let me take this pain from you. I will never be able to hurt you again… Trust me, Jon. Trust me…” His voice continued to coo and whisper in Jon’s ear as he fought for his life. His vision swam with amorphous shapes that fled down a narrowing tunnel of darkness. With his last surge of strength, Jon reached up and beat against the headboard with his fist, nerveless to the carved figures that dug into his knuckles with every strike.
There was a strange, warm feeling in Jon’s chest, and the world went crazy with bright colours right before the blackness overtook him.
I’ve got a confession to make:
I dislike endings. Why, you ask? For various reasons.
One is that denouements often drive me to skim because all the energy of the story falls flat as the characters are given happy endings and things that don’t need to be explained are explained. I’m actually not a big fan of HEAs. Blame it on the fact that I’m Canadian and most of my favourite Canadian movies have either abrupt or sort of bittersweet/unresolved endings—the kind where sometimes the characters are happy enough, but only time will tell how long before that changes. Sound a little bleak? Yeah maybe. I just don’t find many HEAs to be realistic enough for me to really enjoy them. Don’t get me wrong… I do have a soft spot for some HEAs that are done well and not drawn out too much, but many don’t fall under that category. Some of my favourite books have endings that I don’t like. It’s really an “it’s me, not you” thing… Hell, I even avoid goodbyes if I can.
Then there’s the fact that I don’t agree or just plain don’t like some endings and would have ended them differently should I have been the writer (or director). I have friends who make fun of the fact that I rewatch/reread so many things without sticking through to the end. I don’t need those endings… the ones in my head are better.
That being said, I know that some people really like endings and denouements and HEAs.
So… then we come my books. I don’t mind so much ending the books themselves—I think I’ve done an ok job of that so far—but ending the trilogy? I have to say that it made me a little nervous. I needed to get it right. I really didn’t want to screw the pooch with Fated.
I’ve also known exactly how it was going to end since the very beginning. It was just a matter of getting there and writing it down… and I really dragged my heels because it meant that I had to say goodbye to the characters. It’s the end of the trilogy, after all.
But then someone asked me a question: does it have to be the end?
As it turns out… no.
Is it the end of the trilogy? Yes. But, no… I am definitely not done with the world of Baal’s Heart.
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.
Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was super excited to dig into this story but very sad knowing it was the final from this trio. Fated alternates between past and present times, continuing the plot while closing some gaps. This installment, like the ones before it, is almost impossible to categorize. The main characters are pirates. It feels sort of historical fantasy; yet, with some of the gadgets like the lights, it almost has hints of steampunk. The mysticism, eroticism and BDSM-lite are still present as well. Adventure and action are major themes. Naturally, it has darkish elements and obviously the true and imperfect love between three men. ♂♂♂
We ended with Baltsaros sick in Sacrificed. It's a peculiar illness affecting body and especially mind. He's basically nutso. Of course Jon and Tom are on a mission to save him, but his being somewhat out of commission, does allow for growth between Tom and Jon. Also the previously untold beginning between Tom and Baltsaros is filled in. I didn't even realize how badly I wanted their history until I was reading it. As if I could love Tom anymore, seeing how playful and strong he is after all he's endured in life gave me a case of the feels. ♡
Fated has lots of characters besides the three leads. There are several men, and one thing I've noticed in this author's writing is that he's great with female characters too. It's not just in the world of M/M fiction that novels are sometimes lacking good female roles. So it's kind of extra special since this is a gay story to have likable feminine personalities. Instead of boring and whiny, they're fun and bold.
It wouldn't be a Baal's Heart tale without loads of conflict, warfare and pain. The crew has to battle the elements, each other's attitudes, inner demons, sins from their pasts and plenty of unfriendlies. ☠
I knew given the previous books that the sex would be hot, but this author paints a masterpiece with his words. Each sex scene carries it's own unique lustiness. My reading was extremely intense—like, I was so wound up, I had to take a break during one scene.
The ending was perfect. I don't want to discuss, but I just want to say that anything different would not have fit.
My final conclusion is that I want a spot on Baal's Heart. I don't actually want to do any manual labor or endure any hardships—I just want to hang out in the captain's quarters and watch the show. ;)