You guys. I have so many RITA® Reader Challenge reviews that are made of excellent with a side order of woohoo. Today’s is for a novella and is being reviewed by Valerie F.
The summary: Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl’s murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the “victim” is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover its secrets… and set her free.
And now, Valerie’s review!
“I see dead people.” Can two people fall so deeply in love at sixteen (despite never having been on a date) that they remain in love despite twenty-two years of absence? That is the premise of “Love Me to Death”, a novella by Maggie Shayne. This novella is a thriller/mystery romance, with a plot that kept me reading straight through to the surprise ending that I only partly saw coming. In contemporary romance stories, it seems hard to come up with plausible reasons for two lovers to remain apart. Usually, a variation of the Unfortunate Misunderstanding or the Tortured Past is invoked, but this novella managed to weave both into a creative and original plot.
The story features a guilt-ridden hero, David, and Sara, a young, innocent heroine inhabited by the ghost of someone David loved but accidentally wronged as a teenager. In addition to the creative plot, the writing is good, with vivid details that had me creating memorable scenes in my head. In the end, though, the characters themselves weren’t very memorable, and the sex wasn’t that good. (Creep factor: David is old enough to be Sara’s father, and for a bit I actually worried that this was the plot twist I sensed coming.) I find it hard to believe that these two (three?) people really are soul mates, as we are told more than once. No one seems to be having a good time, so I had to give it a “B-”.
<“love me to Death” is found in the anthology