Twice Upon a Time by Hope Irving *Review
Posted by brriske
Once upon a time, there was the wandering soul of Morgann, an 8th century Irish calligrapher-monk longing to be reunited with his soul mate. Deirdre was his forbidden love, a witch with whom he wrote a coveted book.
Under her spell, the souls of the star-crossed lovers travel from bodies to bodies until they find each other. Eventually.
That became his quest: unearth her new body and trigger her memory, for she is clueless about whom she once was. Unfortunately their story didn’t get a chance to become a fairy tale yet it still turned out as a famous urban legend referred as The Black Angel Book.
Twice upon a time, not so long ago, there was me, rational and devastated Rose. I needed to get a grip, said my French mum after my year of numbness due to a painful break-up that led me to cut my wrist daily, to feel something, anything.
So she sent me off to the free-spirited village of Provincetown, Massachusetts, to spend the summer with my American relatives. And just like that, I wasn’t myself any longer. Because someone pulled me out of the darkness and bewitched me, somehow.
I couldn’t wait to jump his bones… but why was he holding back?
He couldn’t wait to welcome me into his world… but was I ready to question my convictions and acknowledge that my self-inflicted cuts were now healing in record time?
How could I have imagined he was longing for his own unorthodox fairytale to come true? Frantically.
In the 8th century, an Irish monk/calligrapher named Morgann did the forbidden act of falling in love and going against his pledge of celibacy. But he didn’t just fall in love with any one. He fell in love with a witch. Deirdre, the witch in question, fell in love with Morgann too, and together they worked on a book of spells that was coveted by the very people who tried to kill them. But before their demise, Deirdre placed a curse on them that would allow their souls to travel across time, occupying different bodies in order to meet each other again one day. True soul mates. Now in the present time, Virgil, the host body for Morgann’s soul, remembers his past life and is in desperate need to find his soul mate so they can finish the book which their past selves couldn’t. But he is aware that the host for Deirdre may not remember her past with him, so he has to find her and push her into remembering or their love may be lost forever.
Rose, a Parisian college graduate comes to Provincetown, Massachusetts to visit her American family and to also get away from a very bad breakup. She had been depressed for a year, practically a zombie, and only found some sort of rush for life when she cut her wrist. Although vacationing with her favorite cousins and aunt seemed like fun, she was afraid that nothing would get her out of her funk. That is until she decided to take a calligraphy class and meet the very tall and awkwardly handsome Virgil. After spending time with him, a fire is ignited inside of her that she has never felt before, and her whole body desires him. She has no explanation for why she wants him so bad, but when Virgil feels the same way about her, he realizes that she must be his soul mate, the host body of Deirdre. Not wanting to rush things, Virgil decides to take things slow and gradually get to know Rose instead of forcing them together because of Morgann and Deirdre. But can he find the courage to tell Rose the truth about them? And if he does, will Rose stick around and believe him about why they are attracted to each other, or will she find the whole thing nuts?
Twice Upon A Time is a true roller coaster ride. Some parts exciting, some parts uncomfortable, but altogether a rush to read. I will say that it took me a while to get into the main plot of the story, because the first half or so is about Rose in Provincetown and then about Rose and Virgil meeting and getting to know each other. I’m not saying that it was necessarily a bad thing, but it kind of frustrated me to know that the real nitty-gritty stuff happened more than midway through. It made me wonder what took so long to get there. Maybe that’s just me since I’m the type of person who likes to know what’s going on before the halfway mark (well except if I’m reading a mystery/suspense/horror), especially in a book about soul mates that triggers romance. I don’t like waiting long before I know that the characters are going to be together. And I don’t like waiting long to find out that my characters are different than they appear (once again except in mystery/horror/suspense). I shouldn’t have to read more than half the book to find out that a character I once thought shy and awkward is actually a killer with a cause…in a plot I would consider a romance! Even though it was a nice and exciting twist that added more depth to the plot, it was a mind blow because there were no innuendos that led up to that crazy character development, and it was kind of just thrown at me. It made me sit up and read it over again, hoping I didn’t read the words wrong. But none of that turned me away from the book. There were a lot of surprises within the plot and between the characters that kept me on edge and made reading enjoyable. I give Twice Upon A Time 4 fangs! I recommend it to the romantics out there who believe in the power of love, reincarnation, and the existence of soul mates.
Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock!