Often times when I have been absorbed by a story I find it difficult to know where to start. I sit staring at a blank page until I feel confident enough to put down how much the story thrilled and moved me. This was one of those times.
On the battlefield of Bannockburn in 1314, Darius MacLeod lay dying, thinking never to see his beloved Rose or unborn babe when a young man with kind green eyes, approached him. His name was Remont and asked if Darius wanted to live an immortal life, never to age, never to die. Before Darius could answer and about to take his final breath; his brother Demetri made the decision pleading with Remont to change Darius. Several days later when Darius returned home to his pregnant wife Rose, he was a changed man. Several people told Rose they saw Darius receive a mortal blow and wary of his recent behavior she questioned him. Horrified by his confession, Rose ran, falling down stairs killing herself and their unborn child.
Five hundred years later and invited to attend a ball to meet Demetri and Remont, Darius was shocked to meet Lady Gabrielle Wentworth whose resemblance to Rose was astonishing. Feeling as if his heart had sprung to life, he knew he must save Gabrielle from Sutherland. Instinctively knowing in his heart that Gabrielle was the reincarnation of his beloved Rose, he also worried if she would run from him in horror if she discovered what he was.
Gabrielle had been betrayed by her only living relative. Her uncle needing money to pay off his creditors sold her "sight unseen" to the despicable Lord Sutherland, rumored to have murdered four of his previous wives. Gabrielle is a healer with the gift of sight, and knows after marriage, Sutherland will kill her. Meeting Darius, Gabrielle senses a familiarity that she's known Darius, but with her `sight' she also `knows' what he is. During a commotion at the ball, she makes good her escape into the night, but who immediately senses the loss of Darius in whose arms she had felt safe.
*** I was completely absorbed and emotionally drawn in to this exquisitely written and passionate love story. The author held me emotionally captive from beginning to end. Initially showing Darius to be a young man in the prime of life when fate intervened grabbed my heart. He had found his true love with Rose and was awaiting the birth of a child conceived of that love. Though not his decision to be changed, he could never have imagined the tragedy to follow. The authors portrayal of after five hundred years and Darius finally finding the woman he'd never forgotten was portrayed in such a way it brought tears to my eyes.
Characterized as a young woman with special powers, Gabrielle was special from her initial introduction into the story. As serious as the drama of this story was I actually had a chuckle or two when Gabrielle, who kept her powers hidden for the most part, threw a couple of uncomfortable spells towards Sutherland when he was at his most repulsive behavior. My admiration for this autho'rs originality in Gabrielle's ingenuity and resourcefulness after her escape from the ball, in finding shelter and a way to fund her escape out of London was inspired. In another scene, Gabrielle's gift to Darius was so filled with emotion it brought tears to my eyes and is one instance that was truly unforgettable.
Not only was I captivated by the adventure and romance of Gabrielle and Darius, but Remont and Demetri's story also held me spellbound. As the vampire who had turned both Demetri and Darius, Remont came across as truly compassionate and caring and I was rooting for him to find the happiness he deserved after centuries of existence.
In short RETURN TO ME is a remarkable, sensually passionate, well-written and incredible paranormal historical novel that must be read by both paranormal and historical fans alike.
Marilyn Rondeau, RIO - Reviewers International Organization for www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com