Reason to Believe
I have a process when it comes to new books for reviewing or my own personal TBR pile. I will read the first couple of pages of each new book just to get a feel of the storyline. When I picked up Reason to Believe and read the prologue, I knew I had to read the first chapter, too. I was a goner at that point and had to read the entire book in one sitting. This is the epitome of getting hooked. Jessica Inclan creates a truly magical world. She flawlessly manages to convey a history of a secret sect, a true romance, and a page-turning, action-packed plot. If I didn’t feel the need to keep a French-English dictionary on hand I would have enjoyed this even more, despite a few problems.
The world, according to Inclan, is made up of two types of humans: the Croyant (believing) and the Moyenne (average). The Croyant populate .5% of the world and use magic like us average Joes use the TV remote. They have their own government and special jobs within the sect. Lately, there is some political upheaval in regards to joining the Croyant world with that of the Moyenne. Some would like things to stay divided, others to use their skills to better all of mankind, and others…well, others would just like to annihilate anyone not considered Croyant. That is the stance of the trio of villains in this book.
Fabia Fair (you get over the names, really) is a softhearted Croyant who volunteers at the local clinic/homeless shelter in Edinburgh. Early one morning she notices a homeless man sitting on the steps across from her flat. As night falls and the man hasn’t moved, Fabia decides to help him out. Her initial idea is to take him to the clinic, but upon seeing that he is scared, hurt, and uncommunicative, she takes him to her flat and, with the help of her brother, gets him cleaned up and fed. She feels no danger from the man; with her strong telepathic abilities, she knows what she’s doing.
After a few days, and a bit of mental and physical progress, Fabia realizes that her handsome, amnesic friend is Croyant. With more resources available to her now, they quickly find out who he is and have his memory returned. Rufus (okay, that one took some time getting used to) was attacked by an evil sorceress while trying to save his brother. She used a powerful spell that wiped out his memory and most of his cognitive abilities. When the same sorceress kidnaps Fabia’s brother, Niall, Rufus joins with Fabia and others to rescue Niall and hopefully catch the bad guys.
The problems with Reason to Believe are few but important. The language is the most testing. The story flowed smoothly until an unrecognizable French word or sentence was thrown in. Some French can be easily translated by the familiar letters or use in a sentence, but it still pulled me right out of the story. The word Croyant was used often enough. Still, while my brain read “Croyant,” it heard “Croissant.”
My other issue is with various resolutions to plot elements. When Rufus regains his memories he just walks out of the room with the healer and an angry look on his face. After the hardship he faced while being amnesic, I expected something a bit more emotional and dramatic. The resolution to Fabia and Rufus’ relationship was equally baffling. They didn’t have much conflict, even though the author tried to create manufactured disagreements that didn’t fit with what we know of the characters.
Reason to Believe is the sequel to When You Believe, but reads more like a prequel. I’m not sure why the author wrote them this way but would suggest reading this book first. Even with its problems, I heartily recommend Reason to Believe as an exciting, page-turning romance, and am sure that fans of fantasy romance will enjoy this one.