Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sometimes when you really hype yourself up about something you’re excited about, you’re disappointed when you finally get to read/watch/do it. But sometimes, like with this book, it’s even better than you expected. I read MN Bennet’s first book “Crescentville Haunting” almost on a whim earlier this year because it wasn’t something I’d usually be attracted to. I’m a big scaredy cat and anything with the word haunting would normally scare me right off. But boy am I glad I took the jump because I ended up with a new instant-buy author.

About the Book

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US Amazon Link: Three Meant to Be
UK Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3ItSut8
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/128625355-three-meant-to-be
Authors Website: https://www.mnbennet.com/

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Telepathic high school teacher Dorian prepares teen witches for professional casting because going in unprepared is what killed one of his partners. But new state mandates on magical proficiency make it nearly impossible, and Dorian worries he can’t give his students the education they really need. Seeking a distraction from work, Dorian kisses his still-living on-again off-again clairvoyant boyfriend, Milo. Instead of a distraction, Dorian glimpses Milo’s vague vision involving the murder of Caleb—one of Dorian’s new students.

Already devastated by the loss of his partner, Dorian refuses to stand aside and let Caleb die. He searches for clues by delving into Caleb’s mind. Rooting through Caleb’s memories alongside teaching classes leads Dorian to two more students: Caleb’s ex-best friend turned rival and the prodigy with connections to dangerous warlocks. However, each step further into his students’ minds forces Dorian to confront his deteriorating relationship with Milo.

After discovering a link involving illegal casting, Dorian resolves to work with Milo to prevent the impending vision. To succeed, Dorian will have to explore the potential of a future with Milo and find closure on their third partner, whose loss looms between them. But meddling with fate to save Caleb inadvertently draws the warlocks near, putting all his students in danger. Dorian will have to risk his life and gamble his second chance with Milo to keep his students alive.

My Thoughts

This book is magical. That seems like a bad pun/joke that Gael (both of them) and probably Dorian would groan at, but maybe secretly enjoy. But I didn’t mean it only that way. It just sort of happened. Anyway. If you cut your teeth on Harry Potter before it was cool (and yes I’m aware it’s super NOT cool again). Or if you really enjoyed My Hero Academia, whoo boy, are you in for a treat?

This book is like Harry Potter and My Hero Academia all grown up. Dorian gives me mad Eraser Head vibes, but even darker and angrier. There are a lot more comparisons I could make, so really, if you liked MHA, you’ll like this book. The relationships are beautiful. The development of will they/won’t they, second chance relationships is something of a specialty of Bennet’s. He really enjoys exploring the dynamics of exes who can’t seem to give each other up – you’ll have to read it to find out whether Dorian and Milo do or not.

While the adult relationships and characters are lovable, a delightful grumpy/sunshine situation, the students are a wonder! To develop such a full cast of characters so beautifully takes great talent. Sure, not all of them are fully developed and explored – and the reasoning behind this choice is even logical within the storyline instead of just being an oversight – we still get a good, solid glimpse into the majority of them. And considering this is the first in a series, I know we’ll get more insight into the rest of them.

I’ve followed the author since I was on a tour for his first book, and he asked us who our favorite characters were based on some sketches. I chose Gael Martinez and Caleb. It amazed me that this continued to ring true throughout the book. I developed soft spots for others, but they stayed my favorites. But that grumpy hero, Dorian Frost, well, I think he stole my heart most of all. I was exactly like Caleb, the kind of student who would have appreciated Mr. Frosty in school, rather than complained. But I know all those students will appreciate those efforts one day.

I could probably write you a review as long as the book itself is filled with what I love about the book. The characters, the training, and the various magics. I’m very excited about the representation in the book. The main character is gay and polyamorous, and beyond some self-doubt about sexuality, there isn’t really any negativity around it. I understand that this still exists in the world, but I’m always excited when books portray sexuality as positive and normal (and yes, that sounds opposite to my whole clean romance thing, but look people are complicated). But I want you to experience the joy yourself, so instead, I’ll let you go read now.

I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tour for including me on this tour, and the first one that turned me into a huge MN Bennet fan girl. Can’t wait for Book 2! I need to know what happens next. At least his next book is coming out soon to hold me over.

Who’s It For?

I mean, personally, I think this book is perfect for everyone who likes books, but honestly that probably isn’t true. I’m probably biased by my love for it. Anyway, it’s perfect for people who love a good mystery and a thrilling race for survival. It’s also good for fantasy lovers, especially those who love more gritty, urban/realistic fantasy, where it’s like the real world, but with magic. There are several content warnings, so it isn’t appropriate for younger readers or sensitive readers. I love it when authors provide content warnings to help readers choose whether the book is for them, I find it incredibly respectful. Bennet has done so. These are the warnings he provided at the beginning of the book, and I agree with them.

Content Warnings: Foul language, smoking and alcohol use, blood and violence, scenes of graphic sex between adults, character deaths (off page), strong themes of grief and guilt, depression, anxiety, and self-hatred (both mild and overwhelming), mental and physical assault, bullying, and mild torture

About the Author

MN Bennet is a high school teacher, writer, and reader. He lives in the Midwest, still adjusting to the cold after being born and raised in the South.

He enjoys writing paranormal and fantasy stories with huge worlds (sometimes too big), loveable romances (with so much angst and banter), and Happily Ever Afters (once he’s dragged his characters through some emotional turmoil).

When he’s not balancing classes, writing, or reading, he can be found binge-watching anime or replaying Dragon Age II for the millionth time.

This is his second book. See my review for his first book “Crescentville Haunting” and keep an eye out for his next book “The Misfit Mage and His Dashing Devil” set to release on Oct. 9, just in time for Spooky Season.

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