I’m not sure what I was expecting when I requested The Lady Who Lived Again, but I am sure that I did not get it, whatever it was. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t a bad book. I’m just confused as to what it is. At times, it feels like it wants to be a paranormal and at others a straight historical romance, so it is hard to actually grade it as either.
Madeline Sutter is trying to put her past behind her, but the people of Misty Lake, New York aren’t making it easy for her. They believe that she’s cursed because she appeared to have been resurrected after nearly dying in an accident–the same accident that killed her closest friends. For the most part, she has managed to stay away from everyone in town, but with her best friend’s wedding approaching, she is thrust into the middle of everything.
Enter Dr. Jace Merrick. He’s new to Misty Lake and curious about the beautiful woman he ran into in the woods. Despite not knowing Maddie very well, he agrees to be her fake fiancé and in return she has to tell him about how she recovered from an injury that should have caused her a lifetime of pain. The problem? Maddie has a secret. She has the ability to heal herself and others. As she finds herself falling in love with him, she has to figure out whether or not she can trust him with the biggest secret she has.
To be honest, I do not think that Ms. Rappolds knew what she wanted to write. There was absolutely no reason to include the paranormal aspect of the novel. It was obviously supposed to serve as the conflict between Jace and Maddie, but it wasn’t necessary. The only conflict that was needed to keep them apart was Jace’s fear of becoming his father. Yes, an aspect of this was the fact that his father fell prey to faith healers and it cost him his reputation as a doctor, but once Jace knows the truth about Maddie, this is never even brought up–it was all about Jace’s hurt feelings because Maddie hadn’t told him what she could do.
The other issue I had was that Maddie’s abilities were inconsistent. She can heal one person, but not another. It didn’t make sense because there was no explanation given for it. Paranormal elements in books like this need to be explained. World building is a thing for a reason. It cannot be skipped.
My final issue is with the way the entire town treats Maddie like a pariah simply because one overblown religious nut wanted her to be one. Maddie had very few people in her corner and had to stand up to a town full of bigots and religious fanatics. If I was her, I’d have been out of there as fast as my feet could carry me. I get that she considered Misty Lake her home and she felt that she shouldn’t have to leave it because of a few people’s ignorance, but when that ignorance is an infection, festering on her life, she shouldn’t have stayed. There was absolutely no reason for her to subject herself to that kind of torture.
None of this isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I liked the chemistry between Maddie and Jace as well as the fact that Maddie didn’t let Victorian sensibilities get in the way of what she wanted, namely a relationship with Jace on her terms.
If this was a straight historical romance, I would have liked it more. I have no problem with paranormals and am even writing one as my Nano project, but when the paranormal aspects are inconsistent and unnecessary, it doesn’t work.
The Lady Who Lived Again is currently available for pre-order and will be released on December 8th.