Of course, if you had money, you could pay the priests, special talented human who were able to find your mate, wherever he/she was. Being a priest was quite a lucrative job since everyone was willing to pay them, other the few men or women that still believe in true love and the power of it. Jereth is one of them, he wanted to find his mate trough the slow search, that is basically the old way, without telepathic help from the priests. But he spent the last 15 years trying and now he is almost at the end of his patience limit. When he finally decides that yes, he will pay a priest, the answer is not satysfying: his mate is a man (and he has never thought about that possibility) and he is living in the worst part of the city, almost a ghetto where neither police wants to enter.
This is basically a Prince Charming theme in futuristic setting: Caris, the cinderfella of the story, is sweet and cute, and very young, or at least younger than Jereth; he is waiting like a sleeping beauty for her Prince to come to his rescue, but in the meantime, he had a lover. In a old fashioned world, probably Ramie, Caris’ lover, would have been also his mate, he is kind and generous, even if maybe a little too old for Caris (he is even older than Jereth). But in this situation he will play the role of the martyr, handing down Caris to Jereth, more, almost imploring Jereth to take Caris with him. It’s strange, I like so and so Caris and Jereth, but I really like Ramie, and was pretty upset to not have an happily ever after for him.
That this probably what prevented this story to be too much sugary: in a normal situation, all the soulmate finds pretty and young soulmate in need of protector and he rescues him like a knight in shining armor, is at risk of being labelled as “too romance like”; but the setting of the story is cold, detached, all this you have to find your mate otherwise you will unhappy forever or you will risk to go mad, you will live only as long as your mate will live, it was really a stop to the sugar flow. Even when Jereth brings Caris in his world, in his safe and clean world, it felt sterile and unwelcoming, and it didn’t surprise me that Caris was not so happy at the beginning.
Amazon Kindle: Of One Mind