Thursday, 4 February 2016

Callum's Fate by Dianne Hartsock

Callum's Fate Banner


But as fate would have it, Callum is lured onto the moors by the will-o-the-wisp. Lost in the dark, he falls into enchantment, encountering faeries and nymphs, until he stumbles into the arms of a licentious Barrow-Wight who lays claim to his soul.
Hearing his silent pleas, Donal sends Liam the gruagach (faery) to rescue Callum and bring him to his farm, a place of refuge from the Fae.
Callum is happy working on Donal’s farm, slowly falling in love with the beautiful, silver-haired gruagach.
Yet there’s something wrong in the nearby forest….
Despite Donal’s warnings, Callum is lured into the forest and becomes tangled in its magic, easy prey for the Barrow-Wight.
Will Liam be able to strike a deal with the Barrow-Wight to save Callum’s life, or has Callum found his last resting place instead?

Callum's Fate Dianne Hartsock Cover

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Callum's Fate is a delicate book that looks at Celtic myth with fresh eyes. The book reads more like the telling of a myth than a book of fiction, as such. That is by no means a bad thing as it is something new. 

I have to say from the start that I didn't like this book, and that has no bearing on the story or the writing, and is, in fact, likely to be a selling point for many others. To put it simply, there was too much sex! I know. I will have people yelling all over the place, how can there be too much sex? From my point of view, however, the book is a short one and I was pulled into the story only to be presented with sex at every stage. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the sex was gratuitous in any way, and fits into the story very well, but I found myself skipping sections all over the place. This is of course, a purely personal thing but it left me feeling disappointed, and 'll tell you why.

The story is fascinating from the moment Callum falls into a barrow, occupied by a barrow wight, through his meeting of Liam, the gruach (fairy) who leads him to a safe place in a world of enchantment, all the way back to the barrow wight again.

We meet interesting people, human and non human, and touch on many myths, such as the banshee (that's not the way it's spelled but it's the way it's best understood) the house brownie, the barrow wight etc. Callum's journey is one of exploration and discovery, moving from an absolute fear of the fey, particularly the barrow wight, to an acceptance, and then a very assured welcome. Love transforms everything.

There is an overriding, but delicate sense of sadness that permeates the story, as in almost all Welsh myth. No one is untouched by it and all are required to make sacrifices in one way or another, but yes, there is a happy ending.

I did question whether I ought to write a review, given that I didn't like the book, but I had to do so because the story that weaves through the sex is beautiful, and the writing is no less worthy. This is definitely a book worth reading and if you like sex in your books you will be in seventh heaven with this one.


Mists closed around him and hid the moon in a veil of cold grey. He came to a stumbling halt, fear pounding through him in time to the wild beat of his heart. As he caught his breath, he heard the unmistakable sound of flowing water, perhaps a creek winding through the heather. Callum gnawed his lips. Danger lurked on the water’s edge for an unwary man.
On the other hand, men built homes along the waterways and learned to guard against the faery folk. He sighed. Either choice spelled risk, but hunger and loneliness won out and sent him in search of the water’s path through the thick heath.
The gray fog made it hard to see his way and he cursed when he stepped into the creek before he knew he’d come to it. An icy chill raced up his leg and he glanced around, feeling as if he’d been startled from a dream. The mists were gone, leaving the fields bright with moonlight. Faint music caught his ears and he spied several globes of light in the distance. Will-o’-the-wisp? He didn’t know, but the haunting melody tugged at his heart and he walked toward it, careful of his footing.
Callum's Fate 3D Cover

It was caution that saved him before he made the fatal mistake of stepping into the faery ring that suddenly appeared at his feet. He might have become lost in their dark realm. He stared down, delighted with the brightly dressed wee folk fluttering and dancing in the circle of mushrooms. Laughter floated up to him and he smiled reflexively. Several of the pretty creatures spied him and flittered up to tug at his clothing with tiny hands. These were male, scantily dressed, and one saucy lad winked a bright eye and flew up to nibble at his lips.
Callum laughed and shooed them gently off. “I’m not fool enough to join you,” he told the three hovering near his face.

About the author

DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.
Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

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  1. Thanks Cheryl! I'm glad you found parts of the story to like. :)

    1. I really did. The story is beautiful and atmospheric, which is why I decided to do the review. At the end of the day, like I said in the review the thing that put me off might be the very thing that attracts others and to be honest I think I'm in the minority :D