Jacqueline Marten is one of my favorite romance novelists, though she hasn't published any novels in nearly 20 years. I chose to read Forevermore this month because it qualified for the March monthly keyword challenge over at Bookmark To Blog. Initially, I had chosen to read Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor, but finally discarded it around page 150 after growing bored with the novel (yes, I invested that much time in it!).
In Forevermore, a woman named Michael Normand thrives as a successful career woman, but for most of her life, she has seen visions of two veiled women wearing long medieval gowns from centuries ago. Unfortunately, Michael's visions usually result in the death of someone close to her.
To learn more about her visions, Michael undergoes hypnosis and learns that she has been reincarnated from Edina - a woman who lived in the 11th century in Saxon England during a time when countries were at war. Through hypnosis, Michael experiences Edina's pain and hurt over the years, and also learns some shocking secrets about Edina's past that are linked with Michael's present-day life.
Marten's prose in Forevermore is absolutely beautiful, and it's easy to envision the lives and surroundings of both Michael and Edina. Michael's present-day relationship with boyfriend Reed gave me the chills, especially given Reed's domineering and chauvinist mannerisms. But, this is partly due to the fact that the novel is dated and very 1979.
The concept of Forevermore is brilliant - I love stories of past lives and reincarnation. But after Michael regresses into Edina's life, there are no breaks or returns to the present day until the end of the novel. As a result, Michael's past-life regression is too long and drawn out. But, all things considering, the most magical and redeeming part of Forevermore is at the very end of the novel when Michael's regression reveals who her present-day true love really is.
Jacqueline Marten is an excellent romance novelist, and I definitely plan on reading more of her work in the future (even though many are dated).