A MelanieM Review: Forging the Future (Change of Heart #5) by Mary Calmes

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Forging the future coverJin Church is back where he started, alone, wandering, and uncertain of his path. It’s not by choice but by circumstance, as he remembers he’s a werepanther… but not much else. He knows one thing for sure—he needs to find the beautiful blond man who haunts his dreams.

Logan Church is trapped in a living hell. His mate is missing, his tribe is falling apart, and he’s estranged from the son he loves with all his heart. His world is unraveling without his mate by his side, and he has no one to blame but himself.

If Jin can regain his memory and Logan can overcome the threats to his leadership, then perhaps they can resume their lives. The question is: Is that what they want? Back to the same house, the same tribe, the same troubles? They can choose from various roads leading to their future… or they can forge their own path.

When an author or publisher announces a book that ends a beloved series, it unleashes a flood of mixed feelings.  Shock…the series is ending?  Sadness…I love this series and can’t bear to seem them go.  Happiness…I get to read about some of my favorite couples and characters. Fear…how will the series end and will I be happy?  Anticipation…how will the author pull it all together and will I be content to let them go?  Mary Calmes gave me the perfect answer to all my questions with Forging the Future, the last in the Change of Heart series.

I fell deeply and totally in love with Jin Raine and Logan Church, Mary Calmes’ panther shifters, from the moment I met them in Change of Heart (Change of Heart #1).  Each character had such a rich and varied back history to them, it had a interesting location of Reno, Nevada, and the drama that swirled around them was  layered, full of pain, discrimination, and race pride.   I couldn’t get enough of them or their story.  I read the book twice. Finished it the first time and started rereading it all over again.    Yep, hooked.

But it wasn’t just the characters that drew me in, it was the fascinating culture and enthralling species history that Mary Calmes  built book  by book that  had its origin in Egypt and egyptian mythology.   Especially when the plot and characters ended up on Sobek, Egypt, ancestral home of their kind, then I was riveted.  Calmes wove the plight of her characters (often horrific and gutwrenching) into the idea of Egyptian myths come alive and an ancient shifter tribe on the brink of change and the result was gripping and magnificent.

So what does Mary Calmes do with her last Jin and Logan story?   She terrifies us!  From the very first sentence, the reader is plunged into a living nightmare.  It’s Jin at his most heartbreaking and horrific.  Jin has been stripped of everything he fought so hard and so long to have.  He’s alone, amnesiac, and heartsick, although he doesn’t know why.  No Logan, no family or friends or tribe.  Its chilling, and his panic and uncertainty  becomes ours from the outset.  And overtop of what Jin is feeling is the fact that we can imagine just what Logan and the others must be going through at Jin’s absence.  Above all, the question looms for Jin and us….what the hell happened to blow everything to bits?

That answer comes slowly and with great suspense.  Mary Calmes’ approach here is masterful.  It is suspenseful, gripping, and excruciating in the anticipation it creates along the way.  I loved it.  And when the reunion comes, the scene explodes with just the sort of power and emotion we have come to expect from this story and characters.  My heart was pounding along with Jin’s.  But it doesn’t stop there but just starts gather more strength and energy as the pieces start to fall into place and Jin’s memory  returns.  I went back and forth reading and rereading passages for the shear amazement and total enjoyment that brought to me as a reader and fan of this series.

What else did I love?  That the author brings her saga full  circle, back almost to the beginning and then launches it upward with new direction and hope for the future.  This story has all the elements I look forward to in a Change of Heart story and then some.  Calmes gave us more mythology  and also filled in some world building that was extremely practical and down to earth.  Things made sense at the end.  I found myself nodding “yes” at certain turning points and crosspaths in the narrative.

And it all made me want to go read it from the start all over again.  Which I am going to do.

What can I say?  I thought this was perfection.  It ended better than I hoped, with a smile and laughter and utter joy in all the characters and the new future ahead for them all.  Am I sorry its over?  Absolutely.  But did Mary Calmes give Jin, Logan, Yuri, and all the rest the ending they deserved? Without question.  Change of Heart remains a series close to my heart and Forging the Future is one of the Best of 2015!  I highly recommend this book and the entire series.  Now you must excuse me, I have a series to reread!

Cover art by Anne Cain is just perfection.  Perfect for the last cover in the series.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Expected publication: June 29th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesChange of Heart

Books in the Change of Heart series in the order they were written and should be read for character and plot development.

  • Change of Heart (Change of Heart, #1)
  • Trusted Bond (Change of Heart #2)
  • Honored Vow (Change of Heart, #3)
  • Crucible of Fate (Change of Heart, #4)
  • Forging the Future (Change of Heart, #5)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.