I believe my love of science fiction and time travel was what drew me to this story. The idea of a forever love through many, many lifetimes was intriguing; add to that, that one of the characters always knows who their soulmate is and I very much wanted to see how this played out. How do you make the person you know is soul mate fall in love with you?
This story unfolds by introducing us to all the characters involved. Hydee runs a very unique type of bookstore, The Silver Fox, that also features art by local artisans from her community. Her partners are her very best friend Lynne, who has the gift of sight, though she calls it “luck” and a young Native American man named Adir who brings a lot of humor to the story. Both, Lynn and Adir know Hydee inside and out and are well aware of her past lives, not to mention the fact that Theo Monk is Hydee’s current soulmate. In fact, the whole town knows.
Hydee is out of sorts, she’s done all she can to put herself in Theo Monk’s path, and she has met him-more than once in fact-but never in such a way where she’d been able to explore any sort of relationship. His celebrity status making it more than difficult. She’s at the point where she needs to let go of this obsession, accepting that perhaps in this lifetime, soul mates or not, it’s just not going to happen.
Theo Monk is also in crisis. As he approaches his 40th birthday, he’s worried about his career, his life in general and the fact that his “not” fiance is attempting to run his life. The feeling of being out of control sends him into a panic attack which becomes the catharsis of him running away from his life. Jumping on a plane, he ends up in a small coastal town in North Carolina.
Told flashback style, in a series of Hydee’s dreams, we get a good feel for the many past lives in which Hydee and Theo have loved and lost. Always, no matter if she is male or female, Hydee is aware of who her soulmate is upon meeting him/her. And in every instance, there is that initial attraction which turns into a great love. I usually don’t have trouble with a story that uses a flashback style, but in this instance, I did find that popping out of the present in order to experience a dream sequence to show a past relationship really hurt the pacing of the story for me.
Once Theo arrives in Hydee’s town, though, things don’t go as you would expect. Hydee is over cautious initially which seems completely out of character for her in lieu of her “dreams” and the easy flow of each past life that we were witness too. Hydee’s friend Lynne is also a bit stiff and negative and it didn’t sit well with me. I could understand how Theo’s arrival, while hoped for, could catch everyone off guard–but if we were to believe that these two were meant to be together, I would have expected more of a positive, happy reaction. It is Adir, who provides a very calming and healing presence after Theo and Hydee’s first meeting and I adored him from that moment on. Adir brings humor at every turn, especially when you least expect it. He’s also the voice of reason, taking the time to talk things out with Theo, reassuring him, keeping everyone on their supposed path.
Unfortunately, even as things settle and Theo and Hydee begin to explore each other and their unmistakable chemistry, the author continues to use the dream sequences to expand or further cement the bond that these two are supposed to have. And each time, it took me out of the story. For me, it took away the focus on the couple, rather than building it up and solidifying it.
Of course, Hydee and Theo could not stay in the bubble of their new found love without some sort of conflict and it comes through, just a bit too predictably with Theo’s “not” fiance, Brooke. Her arrival in town causes chaos as she attempts to take Theo home and continue with her plans, not caring at all what Theo might want. Thankfully, we see the strength that loving Hydee gave Theo and he finally stands up for himself and makes the right choice.
This story was satisfying in the sense that it had all the elements that I enjoy in a romance. Secondary characters that add to the story in positive ways and just the right amount of humor which I really do look for in anything I read. I enjoyed the epilogue as well and was happy the author chose to give us that at the end; especially one that was so many years in the future. But there were also things that didn’t click for me. I found Hydee and Theo’s first meeting inconsistent with what I’d come to expect following the many dream sequences. That sense of just knowing that there was something about the person you were meeting and not wanting to be apart. I didn’t feel any kind of immediate attraction. While this changes quickly, the continued use of the dreams took me out of the story, making the pace a bit choppy.
I believe this to be a stand alone, however, if the author ever planned to give Adir a book, I would definitely read it.