by Sandra Landry, historical/time travel (2000)
Jove (Time Passages), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12885-6
Now this is a nice romance from debut author Sandra Landry. It manages to skilfully blend time travel with reincarnation. A Perfect Love also has a nice, evocative medieval backdrop that makes me believe as if I'm almost there and then in some old castle. These and engaging storytelling do compensate for rather bland main characters and some irritating plot contrivances.
Nadine du Monte wants a love just like her parents', happy and lasting, but she just couldn't find one. When she thought she did, he turned out married to someone else. Dang. Hence, when she receive news that her parents are killed in an accident, she grieves for them as well as the sorry state of love in today's world. Love, what a joke! Hah!
For that, fate pushes her off the ferry she is on right into the water. Oops.
She wakes up in 12th century England, where she is rescued by Faulk Brookstone (I think that last name sounds a bit too modern and Tarzan-ish, but hey, that's just me). Faulk has been Betrayed by a woman before, and now he thinks all Women are Bad and Love is a Poison. But a witch had foretold that his right (read: fertile) wife would be the one that emerges from water. Therefore, Faulk will marry this Nadine woman.
Nadine isn't too happy, and she wants to go back to when toilets are clean and brightly lit. But when a rogue distant relative tries to plague her again (he killed the original woman whose identity Nadine is now bearing), she has to turn to Faulk for help.
Yes, the characters are stock types. The villains too are overbearingly one-dimensional, and there's also the Other Woman to cause problems. Towards the middle of the story, I find myself wishing there will be something unexpected and out of the norm in these people's personalities. Not much luck there.
But oh, the story do have many elements that keep me reading. Is Nadine who she really is? Nothing is what it seems in A Perfect Love, and the unfurling of the mystery makes interesting reading. And Nadine and Faulk's romance, while rather predictable, isn't too shabby either.
For a debut, APL is rather impressive indeed. What's next on the cards for this author? I'll be interested in finding out.
This book at Amazon.com
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