Ruled by Fate

Book One - The Forbidden Tears Series

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
291 Pages
Reviewed on 09/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

“Have you ever had a dream that felt so real, it's as if you were acting in some weird movie? That’s exactly what happened to start my journey that has led to Ruled by Fate, the first book in The Forbidden Tears Series. It wasn't easy. What became crystal clear early on is there’s a vast difference between dreaming and writing a compelling story. The struggle was real, life got in the way, as it sometimes does, and I put the novel down. After many years and hours of meditation, I decided my timeline was finally balanced, and it was time to try again. Into my life walked Amelia, my editor at first and now my co-author. It felt like serendipity itself. From our first conversation, I knew the universe had finally sent my own guardian angel to help bring my story to the world. Together, we made the story sing. Amelia lives in France, so we’ve never met face to face, but as soul sisters, we plan to share a bottle of champagne together soon. This series has been a long time coming, and now it’s finally here! We hope everyone enjoys our fast-paced, hilarious, thrilling fantasy series.” -Sam Withrow-

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

In Ruled by Fate: Book One - The Forbidden Tears Series by Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis, everything occurred on that fateful day when Brie lost her mother. She had seen the inexplicable, lived through it, and then watched as everything she knew changed. Her father lost himself in work and the bottle while years of therapy convinced her that what she saw was just a manifestation of the trauma. Nothing she had experienced was real. It was imagined, a story that her mind had created. So why, when she broke an imaginary promise, had things turned deadly? She was about to start a new life and leave everything behind. But sometimes the past isn’t finished with you. With the new start came complications. Her life was shrouded in questions and darkness, and with an enemy that she would never have imagined circling, her only chance was to unlock the truth that her guardian seemed to have been keeping from her. For five years he had stayed hidden, watching her, keeping her safe, and now there was no option but to reveal himself.

The first book in any series is always a make-or-break for me. I was hooked from the start. Something about Brie’s character called to me. Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis unlock curiosity, suspicion, and intrigue, compelling the reader to continue. As the plot unfolds, their world just becomes more vivid and more vibrant as characters come to life, ensnaring the reader’s attention effortlessly. Humor, intrigue, magic, questions, forbidden romance, and threats seep into every page. I loved Cameron’s character, and the comments made about him as he tried to understand a world that he had only seen in fleeting moments. Ruled by Fate is a perfect example of how a series should be written, with flair, character, and passion. It is also complete, as the main story arc has been explored, but there is so much more to come, and I’m dying to know what happens next. It was the whole package, everything I love in a book and more.

Pikasho Deka

Ruled by Fate is the first book in The Forbidden Tears Series by Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis. It's been five years since Brianna Weldon's life turned upside down with a supernatural event involving monsters that led to her mother's demise. Eager to start anew, she leaves Atlanta for Yorktown, Virginia, when she unexpectedly finds herself attacked by terrifying creatures, and once again, her angelic guardian, Cameron, comes to her rescue. Cameron reveals he is an angel of mercy from the mystical realm of Elysium and asks Brie not to take off her mother's mysterious pendant. Meanwhile, Brie joins the Daya Memorial Hospital as a nurse and discovers unexplained deaths are sweeping the nation. Additionally, she acquires extraordinary abilities and develops romantic feelings for Cameron. But now, she must confront a powerful, otherwordly entity who seeks to wreak havoc.

Ruled by Fate is an absorbing novel full of romance and mystery with a healthy dose of the supernatural. With this installment, Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis have built a solid foundation for a fantasy saga that promises to be as epic as it is entertaining. The authors take their time to set up the characters and the plot, but the latter half is an action-packed ride to the finish line. The characters are vibrant and distinct, whose personalities leap off the pages. I very much enjoyed the budding romance between Brie and Caemron and Brie's friendship with Sherry. Cameron's frustrations over Siri also made for some hilarious scenes, which kept me entertained. Overall, Ruled by Fate is a stellar start to a promising fantasy saga that will appeal to romance and fantasy readers alike.

Alma Boucher

Ruled by Fate: Book One - The Forbidden Tears Series by Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis is a fantasy adventure. Brianna Weldon and her mother were on their way to Brianna’s favorite childhood spot in the woods when her mother was killed. Brianna’s mother had been attacked and killed by the dark shadows of the night, but Brianna was saved by her guardian angel who gave her a pendant to always wear and never take off. For five years, Brianna had convinced herself it was only a dream. Brianna, now a young nurse graduate, plans to start a new life in Virginia. On her way, the pendant started glowing, and when it burned Brianna, she took it off. Immediately, she was surrounded by dark shadows, and her guardian angel appeared once again to save her.

Ruled by Fate is about Brianna’s journey to make sense of her past and start a new life. Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis created a supernatural world with monsters, a guardian angel, and powers. I was on a roller coaster ride full of action, never knowing what to expect next. It was a page-turner and hard to put down. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat, keeping me guessing until the very end. The characters were realistic and relatable. My favorite character was Cameron. Even though he was a supernatural being, he understood Brianna's emotions and took them into account. The story was extraordinary and beautifully written. It exceeded my expectations by far, and it was so much more than I expected. The ending was a big surprise that I did not see coming.

K.C. Finn

Ruled by Fate is a work of fiction in the fantasy, urban adventure, and action subgenres, and it forms the first novel in The Forbidden Tears Series. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author team Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis. We are introduced to the ordinary life of Brianna Weldon, a young nurse graduate whose world takes an extraordinary turn. A fateful night exposes her to supernatural forces, and she's saved from darkness by her angelic guardian, Cameron. He vanishes, leaving her with a mystical pendant and a stern warning never to remove it. Fast forward five years, and Brie has convinced herself it was all a hallucination. However, her peaceful life is disrupted once more when the pendant awakens, and the supernatural threats return. Cameron reappears, and they're thrust into an adventure battling fallen angels.

Author team Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis have penned an exhilarating experience and a truly emotive story that explores the weight of destiny and the choices we make when faced with extraordinary circumstances. Brie's character development from a skeptical young woman to someone embracing her newfound responsibilities is compelling, with close personal narration and skillful dialogue that delivers so much information without ever spoon-feeding it to readers. The book keeps you engaged with its well-crafted plot and intriguing characters, making it a promising start to a series filled with supernatural intrigue and adventure. It's a tale that reminds us that sometimes when destiny calls, we have no choice but to answer. Overall, Ruled by Fate is a highly recommended fantasy read that raises thought-provoking questions about fate, free will, and the forces that shape our lives.

Jessica Barbosa

The first book of the Forbidden Tears series, Ruled by Fate by Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis, began one dreadful night when young Brianna Weldon's mother was attacked by evil creatures. Brianna’s guardian angel Cameron suddenly appeared and protected her. However, he vanished just as quickly, leaving her with a pendant and warning her never to take it off. Sadly, her mother couldn’t be saved. Briana would remember every detail of that night, but no one believed her. Who could imagine that monsters and glowing angels were real? She decided to put it all behind her and assume that it was all just a figment of her imagination. Briana decided to travel to Virginia to begin a new life, but while on her way, her necklace suddenly started to burn. The same creatures that she saw that night materialized and began to attack her. Amid the chaos, Cameron showed up once again and saved her life. They soon found themselves in conflict with a much stronger opponent. Briana's therapist had previously suggested that what happened on the night of her mother’s death might all be in her head but that didn’t seem to be the case. The question remained as to whether Briana would survive.

Ruled by Fate by Sam Withrow and Amelia Pinkis is engrossing and brilliantly written. At one point I shed a few tears. It was the moment when Briana went to see her father before leaving for Virginia. The exchange between them moved me deeply, and even after finishing the novel, it lingered in my thoughts. Each character was wonderful in their unique way and Cameron was my favorite. The way he was depicted in terms of his physical attributes and demeanor helped create an image of an exceptional person. Through his words, he managed to bring a smile to my face and provided a much-needed sense of rejuvenation. I enjoyed Briana’s character as well, especially the scene where Cameron shows up in front of her while she is traveling to Virginia. As I delved into the book, I found myself completely immersed in the storyline. I am eager to learn what will happen next in this incredible series. Excellent work.