Fated to Love You tells the story of two star-crossed lovers who meet in high school and find each other while studying abroad in Colombia. Nineteen-year-old Cassie is serious about her studies and after her boyfriend, Raylan cheats on her and leaves for the military, she is ready to leave the states for a program in Colombia. There, she reconnects with a high school classmate of hers, a Chinese international student who also shares a love of science, Zhang Xuan. They both find that they enjoy one another’s company and have a lot in common. As the story unfolds, it is clear they are smitten with each other. These two overachievers are the perfect match. Then on a fateful day, Cassie’s last day in Colombia, Cassie is sent with two of the teacher’s helpers to deliver supplies to the schools. There is a massive mudslide on the way and many lives are lost, including the teacher’s two friends. Cassie is pinned in her vehicle and with the water rising, she feels her end is near. She can hear her military father’s voice giving her strength but no matter how hard she tries she cannot free herself. Xuan seems to magically appear and saves Cassie’s life.
Fated to Love You starts with the exciting, nail-biting scenes of Cassie’s accident and rescue. I couldn’t read fast enough as I was waiting to see what would happen to her and if she and Xuan would make it out alive.
The story fast forwards three years and Cassie and Xuan are a couple. And although Cassie’s father does not believe in an interracial marriage, Cassie knows that she and Xuan were meant for each other. Then tragedy strikes. The diagnosis is grim. Xuan has stage three terminal cancer. The rest of the book is dedicated to spending time with Cassie and Xuan, their friends, and their family.
I really enjoyed this book for so many reasons. The plot was wonderful as were the characters. Each character showed such intricate feelings and emotions. I also liked the story of an Asian American and a Caucasian American because there don’t seem to be that many books with that relationship dynamic. Being an Asian American married to a Caucasian American, I felt I was fated to read this book! It was clear that Author Kayla Cunningham did a stunning amount of research on all of the topics she addressed in this book. From Asian culture and customs to cancer protocol and the procedures doctors and hospitals take to the scenery of her settings in Colombia and the San Francisco Bay Area, Kayla’s attention to detail is outstanding. More than just a romance, Fated to Love You brings to life the struggles of two very realistic characters. I am looking forward to the second book in this series.