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Thursday, August 10, 2006

*** Body & Soul by Susan Krinard. Contemporary paranormal romance.

Jesse Copeland has returned to her hometown to lay to rest the ghosts of her past... only to be confronted by an actual ghost, David Ventris, who's there to right the wrongs of his own past so he can escape from the limbo where he's been existing since he died at Waterloo.

It seems Jesse is the reincarnation of his wife, and his guilt over how he failed her has been punishing him all this time.

Jesse, meanwhile, is struggling with her own memories. Gary Emerson is also back in town, as a campaigning politician. She's sure that Gary, her mother's lover, was responsible for her death, but she doesn't remember any details.

I'm not sure why this book didn't grab me. I'm very fond of paranormal romance, and should have enjoyed it. But David's goals seemed too unclear to me--beyond the expected guilt keeping him from embracing love. He seemed to waver between cold-blooded self-interest and guilty misery, with occasional forays into protectiveness, and only the last was well-explained.

Jesse, too, seems oblivious to her own motivations, and oblivious to the feelings of those around her.

And there's a sub-plot about an orphaned girl and her uncle that felt as though it came from a previous book in the series, but this book isn't part of a series.

Or maybe I'm just too shallow to accept a melancholy hero. I don't like to think that, but it's possible. In a romance, I admit, I do want the hero to be, well, heroic. I don't mind if they have problems, but... No, it's not just heroes--it's the heroines, too. I don't like melancholy characters in romances. Sad, tormented, dark characters are wonderful. I love them. Just don't make them melancholy.


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