This Time for Keeps
Tracy Hill has not been blessed in love. And, during every one of her past eight lives, she has died in some freak accident. In 1320 her beloved accidentally rode her down, on the Titanic she drowned in a beer barrel before the ship even hit the iceberg; and in 1998 greasy fries caused a friend to smash her head in with a bowling ball. Facing the heavenly Resettlement Committee, Tracy makes her demands in no uncertain terms. If she’s to accept another reincarnation, she wants a guarantee for a long and healthy life. She wants to keep her memories. And no love, please, since love was what has ultimately killed her time and time again.
Having been promised what she wants, Tracy wakes up in the body of a dying woman in Montana in 1875. Only, Nora Wilding used to be a frail and pathetic creature, but the new Nora is nothing of the kind. Seth Murdoch, the Wilding ranch’s foreman, is totally confused by the change in the woman he has known and protected for years. The fever must have hurt her brains and caused partial amnesia. Why else would she go around demanding he kiss her, and worse? Nora’s fiancé, Richard, and his sister Elizabeth, who have been sponging off the ranch, aren’t happy about her new assertiveness either. And all three are scandalized by Nora’s insistence on wearing jeans.
There is plenty of humor in this read, not just in the incongruent comments of Tracy, the 1998 businesswoman, trying to adapt as the Nora of 1875. The flashbacks to the previous lives of she and her love, as well as the interaction with Tom, Dick, and Harry of the Resettlement Committee, provides good insights into Nora’s character. And, who among you has ever contacted Heaven, only to be put on hold, with harps replacing Muzak?
This is a story of resolving a karmic ménage à trois, of finding true love, and making the best of the hand you’ve been dealt by Fate, or rather, by the Resettlement Committee. It is also a story of nightly kisses, hitting intruders with Charles Dickens, and Montana ranch life.
While I liked This Time For Keeps a great deal, Nora’s assertiveness was a bite on the argumentative side. The interaction between she and Seth consisted of heated arguments for far too long. When they finally began resolving their differences, it was too little too late for my tastes. The same goes for the sex scenes: after the hors d’oeuvre of teasing, I was beginning to ask myself, Where’s the beef? There was too much bickering and not enough sex for all the kissing in the moonlight. I have nothing against limited sex, if it suits the style of the book. But this was like a plate of Weight Watcher’s stuff placed before a starving man. You can’t just whet my appetite and think you can get a away with a measly quickie or two!
I truly enjoyed this read, in spite of all the bickering and the fact that I don’t generally take to Westerns. If you like the setting and have a higher tolerance for tiffs than I do, this book should really brighten your day.