Soul Mates is the first in a new paranormal romance trilogy for reluctant or teen readers, with clashing timelines, a romance begun in dreams and a deeply unpleasant and malevolent demon.
Modern day Iris has run away from a care home, following a gut feeling that guides her to Los Angeles, trying to shake herself free of dreams of a boy who has haunted her sleep for years. When she enters an abandoned mansion she is shocked to come face to face to face with him, and while at first the two are elated they quickly realise that they exist in two separate time lines – Nate is from the 1920’s. But the two know they have been together before, and everything escalates when a malicious, evil looking child called Sybil appears and presents them with a terrible choice.
The romance makes time to explore the temporal differences between the two despite the book’s short length. For instance Nate using the word Schmuck throws Iris, and Iris’ use of modern phrases such as ‘deal with it’ is similarly confusing to Nate. The relationship is deftly escalated over a few chapters. However, in a book that is less than a third the length of another teen novel, the narrative inevitably feels a little rushed at times. It would have been good to get a little bit of explanation from Sybil about her motives, where she came from and how she has managed to disrupt their past lives, but this will presumably follow in later books.
It is undeniably a successful short novel that encapsulates the adrenalin rush of its longer counterparts and would hopefully entice readers daunted by a longer text. The concluding pages should certainly tug at readers’ curiosity to work out where and when the couple have ended up.