Saturday, September 6, 2008

Remembrance by Jude Deveraux ****

Another day, another book. Actually, I'm feeling a little flustered - somehow, I'm a day behind!!

Ok - Remembrance - it's a paranormal, I think - not really time travel, but a past life regression, except...

Romance writer Hayden Lane is obsessed with a hero she's created. She loses a real-life fiancé, time, friends - all while holed up creating this fellow. She isn't even really writing the book - she just accumulates hundreds and hundreds of pages of descriptions of Jamie, her medieval Scottish hero, who then becomes English, and then changes times...

Hayden consults therapists, friends, others trying to get over her obsession. Finally she finds herself in the office of Nora - a woman passing as an astrologist who is really a psychic. Nora is the real deal - and she knows things, reads Hayden's thoughts. Hayden decides that she'll listen to Nora's ideas only for the research value, so she can maybe write a book using the information. Truth is - she's fascinated by Nora's assertion that Hayden has a soul-mate that she has kept through the ages, but that she is destined not to meet again for 3 more lifetimes.

Given some details and ideas, Hayden is off on another tangent - researching about the woman who might have been her in a past life. Next thing she knows, and against Nora's advice, she undergoes hypnosis with a past-life regressionist - and finds herself in her past life's body in 1901. Her persona, Catherine, lets her in - and Hayden overpowers her. Catherine's husband, Adam Tavistock, is getting ready to divorce her and marry Fiona - as it turns out, Catherine's and Adam's marriage was never consummated because he is suffering from ED, but only with her. With other women, he's as virile as any romance novel hero, but the only one he loves is Catherine. Why are Catherine and Adam doomed even though they are in love and are true soul-mates? Why can they not realize their love? Hayden is desperate to find out the truth.

Once again a hypnotist comes into play - and Hayden is suddenly inside an infant as she is being born - in the mid 16th century.

Here is where the story of the soul-mates begins. Callasandra and Talis are born on the same day, at almost the same time, to 2 women. Talis' mother dies in birth after issuing a proclamation about them that joins the babies' fates; Callasandra's mother gives birth to yet another girl, and claims the boy as hers instead. In a tragic turn of events, she decides to have both children die in a fire - but their wet nurse and her husband run away with the children, and raise them together for 16 years as their own. Everyone at the castle believe the children are dead, until one day...

Their story is the key to Hayden's search for her soul-mate. Hayden's 20th century self doesn't emerge in Callie's life, but when the story of Talis and Callie ends, Hayden was witness to the fate and the curse that led to her current situation. When she returns to consciousness, it's to Catherine's body, not her own, and she still needs to solve the problem between Adam and Catherine before she can wake up as Hayden in 1994.

Truthfully, it was a good story but oh sooo frustrating. The continuing miscommunication between Talis and Callie about drove me nutz, which after reading this book was a very, very short trip. If I had to read one more scene where Talis did something to make Callie jealous, or where Talis had to remain true to Alida because of honor - sheeeeesh!!! I wanted to scream!

But I was touched by the end of the stories - for Talis and Callie, for Catherine and Adam - and then for Hayden and her soul-mate. 4 stars.

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