RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: “Love Me To Death” by Maggie Shayne


Title: "Love Me to Death"
Author: Maggie Shayne
Publication Info: Harlequin 2010
ISBN: 978-0373774319
Genre: Paranormal

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc. 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.

Love Me To DeathThe 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

Heart of Darkness which can be found at Amazon | Kindle | BN | nook | AllRomance | Book Depository | Powells | eHarlequin.com

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    Guy old enough to be her father and she’s possessed? Yeah, I don’t think I’d be feeling that either.

  2. 2
    Ana Farrish says:

    I admit I have a weakness for ghosts in romances. :) I’m a bit confused though. Is the heroine, Sara, sixteen? Or is the ghost inside her sixteen? Is this where the age difference comes from?

  3. 3
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    You know what really bothers me? It’s the fact that they used “Heart of Darkness” as the title of the anthology. Seriously? If they were going to rip off a classic title, they could have at least used one that wasn’t steeped in racism, colonialism, and violence.

  4. 4
    Hell Cat says:

    @DreadPirateRachel, or one that was so nonsensical about verbosity that Anne Rice looks brief in comparison. (I had to read Heart twice, for two different classes, and my words each time: “ARRARGHADGWER BAD WRONG BAD!”)

    I do not think this story is for me. I’m not big on ghosts-in-humans-in-creepy-love-stage. Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series did it well enough, but it’s not a favorite plot device.

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