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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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07/07/2008 Archived Entry: "Book review: Draycott Eternal"

Draycott Eternal
Written by Christina Skye
Published by HQN Books, imprint of Harlequin Enterprises
ISBN-10: 0373772947
ISBN-13: 9780373772940

Review by Jilly Gee

Draycott Eternal is a Harlequin publishing of two stories from the Draycott Abbey series: "What Dreams May Come" and "Season of Wishes", the original publishings of which are now out of print. In fact, quite a few of the stories from this series are currently out of print, which is a shame since the series crosses many of the sub-genres of romance, ensuring that it appeals to many. Hopefully, Harlequin will reprint the rest of the unavailable books.

The Draycott Abbey series is named for the English abbey from which all of the stories stem. Adrian Draycott still thinks of the place as his, despite the fact that he's been dead for 800 years and now dwells there as a guardian spirit with Gideon, who seems just a tad too smart for a cat. "What Dreams May Come" begins with the pair contemplating the trouble that they sense is on the way. This trouble comes on the heels of Gray Mackenzie, whose purpose in coming all the way to England from America is twofold: to capture the beautiful location in her artwork and to hide from her crazed ex-husband. Upon meeting Adrian, she dreams of the Lady Anne of Draycott, who lived 800 years ago, while Adrian starts to feel desires that have remained dormant for hundreds of years.

In "Season of Wishes", the setting moves from Draycott Abbey to majestic castles in Scotland. Jamee Night comes from an incredibly rich American family, making her the prime target for a kidnapping attempt. Ian McCall, a seasoned kidnap negotiator, is hired as a sort of bodyguard for her, though that not only means shielding her from bullets and the like, but shielding her from the truth. Being trapped together in a cottage for a few days, however, their attraction towards each other grows to the point where he can't keep secrets from her anymore and she overcomes the apprehension she has about relationships, wanting only Ian, trusting him completely.

Even after they escape to the relative safety of Dunraven Castle, their feelings do not waver, although it is at this point that things get a bit frustrating. Jamee, wavering between wanting to distance herself from Ian so that he would not be hurt for her sake and wanting to draw him closer, not just for her own wants and needs, but to get him to admit that his feelings are getting in the way of his protection so that he could be replaced and out of danger. Ian, however, has completely different reasons for attempting to deny his own feelings, the same reasons for which he is about to leave his career. It is a great relief that the rest of the novel does not involve their miscommunication and secrecy from each other, instead each opening up to each other more and sharing more as the pages go by.

Gray is not the only one to have dreamed a life from ages ago; Jamee, having seen Maire MacKinnon's portrait at Dunraven Castle, dreams of Maire MacKinnon and her Romeo-and-Juliet-like romance with Coll MacColl. It is not until she gets to Glenlyle Castle, Ian's castle, that she dreams the truth and realizes what she must do to save the man she has fallen in love with.

"Season of Wishes" dipped into the past, not only the very far past of Maire MacKinnon, but also the more recent past that traumatized Jamee before the start of the story. "What Dreams May Come", on the other hand, dipped into Anne Draycott's life satisfyingly enough, but left knowledge of contemporary Gray's life somewhat lacking in comparison to Jamee. Being just a novella, there was not room for much in Adrian and Gray's story, their passion for each other instantaneous instead of the steady growth Ian and Jamee had.

Not having read the previous novels, I found the two stories enjoyable and understandable all on their own. My enjoyment probably would have been enhanced had I read the novels in the order in which they were written, since couples that appeared in this novel obviously had stories of their own, exciting ones at that. Nicholas and Kacey escape from murderers? Kara has some kind of second sight? Nicholas possibly being 200 years old? Still, it is not their stories that matter in Draycott Eternal, and this novel artfully combines the paranormal, the fantastical, and the historical into an adventurous, heated read; every romance fan should be able to find something to love in it.

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