"Complex and Suspenseful Reincarnation Romance"
Laura Bouvoire, forty three and single, has too much on her
mind to relish attending a Speaker's forum on such nonsense
as past life experiences. The college English professor is
up for tenure, has inherited an additional class from a
critically ill colleague, and most importantly she's
waiting for word of her acceptance as a candidate for In
Vitro Fertilization. She has no interest in the poetry and
art of one Dylan L. Gordon or it's portents of recurrent
lives. Or so she thought.
Dante L. Giovanni, thirty and single, raised in the school
of hard knocks, is determined to obtain an engineering
degree in order to invent a safe car that will prevent
critical injuries like those that had afflicted his mother.
In addition he is holding down a job as a computer
repairman, to pay off the bills incurred by his mother
before her death. He doesn't have time to write poetry, let
alone become involved with his attractive new English
professor. When he does have free time he devotes it to
being a big brother to a young boy, a victim of child abuse
as Dante himself had been. At any rate he is appalled by
Laura's method of conceiving a child. His strict Catholic
faith had gotten him through hard times in the past and
Dante has a unique perspective on the classic works of
literature. Laura is fascinated by him. With encouragement
from Laura, poetry and prose begins to pour out of him. The
more time she spends with him the more she wants to be more
than a teacher to him. However, a relationship would
definitely jeopardize her bid for tenure, and it seems like
the whole world is watching them.
Shortly after meeting Dante, Laura discovers an antique
brooch at a jewelers that calls to her. She realizes that
she's seen one just like it on a model in a painting by
Dylan Gordon. Having purchased it, she begins to dream
about a pair of lovers from the previous century.
Believing the lovers to be Gordon and his model, Laura
becomes obsessed with learning everything about them. She
is rapidly becoming convinced that the unlikely attraction
between herself and her student, Dante, is a carryover of a
previous existence in which their love had a tragic ending.
Is it possible that Dante Giovanni had once been Dylan
Dante, stunned by new found literary abilities and confused
feelings for Laura, is also experiencing dreams of the two
lovers. It is just one more thing he just can't cope with.
He chalks it up to fatigue. He doesn't believe in past
lives any more than he can believe in vitro fertilization
fits in with God's plan. It's just one more excuse to run
away from the commitment he is terrified to make. Can Laura
overcome all of Dante's reservations and convince him that
their love is meant to be?
Ms. Briscoe was quite creative in explaining both of the
characters mindsets and emotions, paralleling their past
lives, reaching the same point in their relationship
through very different means. Dante is a very complex and
difficult man, a diamond in the rough, with so many
defenses that few woman would be willing to breach them.
Laura patiently tears down each wall he throws up to bar
their relationship, without appearing desperate. While the
two struggle to come to grips with their past and forge a
future, the past is catching up with them in the form of a
villain who is determined to keep them apart for all
eternity. This is definitely a selling point for those who
enjoy romantic suspense.
Copyright © August 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 4, 2001