Top critical review
on July 14, 2003
I have a confession...I love romance books! As much as I like to display the intellectual, logical, critical exterior of a woman who enjoys nothing but thought-provoking movies and symbollism-filled novels, in my heart I melt for rugged warriors falling madly in love with beautiful, courageous heroines. It's my Achilles Heel...:)
I'm more a fan of historical romances than contemporary, simply because I'm a student of history and I like to nick-pick at the anachronisms a lot of authors tend to overlook. But I read some reviews on Deveraux, she seemed to be a well-liked author, and I decided to try her time-travel books.
I wish I hadn't.
In Deveraux's time-travel novel, we witness a romance author, Hayden, unsatisfied with her love life consult a psychic to discover why she can't seem to settle down. Apparently, the pyschic tells her that she has been "cursed" to never love anyone but one person in her life, and that leads to Hayden going under hypnosis to discover just where things went wrong. She starts out in the body of Catherine, Lady De Grey in the early 20th century, who is on the brink of divorce with her husband, but then Hayden/Catherine goes under hynosis AGAIN and this time we're taken back to watch the development of two children, Callie and Talis, who seem to be the reason for Hayden's cursed love life.
As much as I attempt to subdue my pessimstic side and find a good thing about this book, I just can't. Wait, no, I DID like how the narrarator, Hayden, talked about the qualms of being an author of romance. Nice tongue-in-cheek effort by Deveraux. However, everything else was really unpleasent, and a pain to read. Hayden annoyed me to no extent. The story-within-a-story-within-a-story plot format left me confused and unsatisfied. This book is like three separate plots, the only thing holding them together is the very very thin thread of the narrator somehow being a re-incarnation of two past women, one from the early 20th century, the other from the era right before the Renaissance (late 15th century). But even that connection was on the brink of being frayed. It simply jumped around too much - one moment we're reading about Hayden's whining about lost love and her obsession with a character in her books, the next we're watching Hayden inhibit the body of Catherine, Lady de Grey, and then we're thrown into a huge section of the book regarding the romance and everlasting bond of two children, Callie and Talis, then thrown back to the early 20th Century with Catherine, then back to the present. We're ripped apart from characters and before we even get a chance to know them. There was no central "hero" with whom I could fall in love with...I certainly didn't find out enough about Catherine's husband, Adam, and Talis was mostly a child when we read about him.
I simply found myself more and more disgusted at the disjointed plot, the shallowness and unbelievable-ness of all the undeveloped characters, the simplistic, unimaginative dialouge, and the short, stupid ending.
Please try harder, Ms. Deveraux. I was sorely dissappointed.