Mismatched by Lydia Sharp

MATCHED
Mismatched by Lydia Sharp
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (24 pages)
Other: F/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Her plan was simple: Find your life-match and follow your destiny—the heart-stone doesn’t lie.

On the night of her initiation ceremony into her chosen clan, Liu’bimec feels a scorching pain from something other than the marking iron. Her heart-stone responds as if her life-match is close. It burns hot within her, ready to bond. But none of the men she approaches induce a heart-stone bond, and if she does not bond with her life-match by the time a year has passed, she will be banished. Her heart-stone had guided her, but was it wrong?

Her questions only multiply when she finally does find her life-match. He is not a he at all, but a she, and if it were known they have bonded, Liu would face something far worse than banishment—an empty life without her match.

Not everyone is born knowing exactly what they want out of life, but that can change in a heartbeat.

Liu wants nothing more than to find her life-match, but none of the people she has met so far have been the right one. Her deep sadness made me sympathize with her as soon as she starts to feel frustrated. It’s difficult to face repeated rejections, and the brave face she puts on through the selection process is admirable. A lot of people would be far less patient in her shoes given how much unmatched members of her society stand to lose.

It took me a little time to understand what the people in Liu’s society were referring to when they mentioned certain terms. I was able to figure out what the clan meant from the context in which the terms were used, but had the concept of heart-stones in particular been explained earlier on this book would have earned 5 stars. They were such an integral part of Liu’s journey that not knowing exactly what a heart-stone was temporarily dampened my enjoyment of an otherwise fascinating tale.

I finished reading the last paragraph wishing it would never end. While I don’t know if Ms. Sharp has any plans to catch up with Liu again in the future, I hope she will consider making this into a series. Liu is a well written, likable character whose instant bond with the woman she meets illuminates both of their complex personalities. There are so many more stories to tell about these characters.

Mismatched is a nearly perfect blend of sci-fi/fantasy, romance, and smoking hot erotica. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates jumping from one genre to the next in the span of a few sentences.

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