A Perfect Love
I found A Perfect Love to be a difficult book to grade. The book’s time-travel and reincarnation aspects were quite well done. On the other hand, I felt a certain distance from the characters and their actions that was hard to ignore; distance and romance do not make for a good match.
In the present day, Nadine du Monte has just returned to her studies in England from her family’s home in France when she learns that her beloved parents have been killed in a car accident. Distraught and alone, she is contemplating suicide when she falls off the ferry crossing the English Channel and wakes up in the care of a handsome knight.
Faulk Brookstone was nearly destroyed when his first wife tried to pass another man’s baby off as his child. A prophecy has informed him that only one woman can bear him healthy children – a woman with the mark of the rose who will come to him through the water. Nadine’s appearance on the beach and the rose tattoo on her shoulder seem to confirm the prophecy.
Faulk insists that he and Nadine must marry immediately. Nadine just wants a telephone and a way out of what she assumes is an unusually elaborate medieval reenactment. But soon Nadine is having the memories of another Nadine, a Nadine of Faulk’s time, and two rivals have appeared on the scene: bitchy Judith, who wants Faulk, and creepy Roland, who wants Nadine and her family’s estate. And of course, neither will stop at anything to get what they want.
My problems with this book came from some cliched characterizations. Nadine is virginal, pure, and somewhat slow to catch on to things going on around her. On the other hand, just in case you couldn’t tell Judith is eeeevil, she’s also promiscuous. The virgin/whore paradigm is getting tiresome, particularly when the whore is more competent that the virgin. As for Faulk… well, if I never read another hero who insists that “I will not love. I am a warrior. Love is a weak, woman’s emotion,” it’ll be too soon. Nadine and Faulk are good-looking and fulfill their gender roles, but there wasn’t much to set them aside from the pack of heroes and heroines.
That’s not to suggest by any means that A Perfect Love is a total flop. Watching Nadine assemble the pieces of her counterpart’s past was interesting, and her meeting the ancestors of her family was touching. There’s also plenty of action. If you’re a big fan of time-travels and don’t mind the characterizations I mentioned, you may well find this book more engaging than I did.