Monday, December 28, 2015

REVIEW: The Lady Who Lived Again by Thomasine Rappold

The Lady Who Lived Again
by Thomasine Rappold

Publisher: Lyrical Press
Page Count: 222
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Format: Kindle

How got: personal library; bought via Amazon

First attention getter: synopsis


From GoodReads:

Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.

Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 2.5

Ultimately, this book was a disappointment to me. I had high hopes as I always love a good historical romance with a touch of the supernatural. The book pleases on a few regards; yet, the other issues drag it down.

I liked Madeline and Jace as individuals. They both have strong constitutions and wills, being able to face heavy trauma and tragedy to come out stronger the other side. I liked Jace’s no nonsense, scientific attitude towards medicine, not being taken in by the local hocus-pocus and superstition. I liked how he approached the new venue of small town practice vs big town emergency room. I also liked how Madeline faced ostracizing from the locals again and again and still had the strength to show her face in town, knowing what she’d face. She’s a courageous gal, and I liked that.

Some of the medical details were also interesting. I liked how Jace started to contemplate using Madeline’s coping techniques as treatment for medical trauma. His past history with victims of survivor’s guilt and PTSD and being unable to treat them successfully ate him up. I liked that these two were able to grow together and use Madeline’s horrific past experiences to help people in future.

Now the romance part I’m on the fence about. I liked their exchanges together; I felt that their personality types dovetailed well together. For the most part, they’re very sweet and passionate together. However, the relationship has a tendency to run hot-cold in its progression. Both parties would go back and forth on whether they would actually pursue a relationship together and constantly fell back on the same excuses. I don’t know if these plot devices were used to help ratchet up the romantic tension or not; but to me, it just read as exasperating and tiresome, maybe because they were used so often.

The parts of the book I had some very serious issues with were the extent of the superstition in this small town and the role that certain secondary characters played. I mean, come on, this is the 1880s! The beginning of the modern industrial age and you’ve got a whole town believing in hocus-pocus, superstition, and the “power of the Devil” to such an extent?!?! Maybe some individuals, yeah, but the entire town? I could see these town folk getting ready to burn Madeline at the stake if the story had taken place 200 years earlier.

Then there’s the power that the preacher wielded. Now a religious preacher in small towns did control much influence with people, the field that they were in and all. And I can see where the motivation this particular preacher has in his hatred of Madeline personally. But it’s the power he has over the entire community that makes this a stretch. It’s his preaching hatred and that Devil claptrap about Madeline that makes everyone ostracize her so much. Not just individuals, the whole community. That just seems like a stretch to me, personally, that one man would have so much power.

While the main leads were enjoyable in and of themselves and their relationship was sweet and passionate at times, this book didn’t live up to the potential that it had with such a unique spin on a supernatural historical romance. I felt like this book fell on its face. A populace more situated for the Dark Ages, too-big-for-their shoes secondary characters, and a yes/no relationship kept this book back from greatness. I wouldn’t say no the second book in the series maybe some time in the future. But I won’t be going out of my way to find it.

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