Logan Richards is a genius. Academics, wealth, and success have all come easy for him, but there is one thing missing in his life - love. As a boy Logan could see the spirit of a girl who became his best friend until the day she had to leave him to come to this side. Her absence made Logan lonely, but knowing that she was somewhere in his world brought him peace and purpose. In his teens, he began having dreams about her as an adult and eventually came to realize that it was all far more than just mere dreams, but memories of many past lives that they had shared. Wanting to know what it would be like to love her again before he dies, Logan has traversed the globe his entire life, searching for the missing part of himself, only to find her in the most unexpected place.
Amber Lewis is a stressed out waitress who can barely make ends meet. With her parents having all but abandoned her years ago and her beloved sister having died of cancer the year before, Amber is all alone in the world until the night that she spots Logan sitting at a table in the five-star restaurant where she works. Amber immediately feels drawn to him, and when he invites her to join him, they spend a glorious evening with one another. Amber has the feeling that they have met before, but even when Logan tells her they have spent other lifetimes together, she can't remember in the way he does. With Logan's help, she goes on an emotional journey of self-discovery while loving him with every fiber of her being, but in the end, will she find the strength to give Logan the one thing he truly wants from her and then continue her journey alone?
Across Eternity is a bittersweet love story about star-crossed soul mates who have spent many lifetimes together. After our intrepid hero spends his entire thirty-seven years searching the globe for his one true love, they finally reunite only to have this lifetime cut short. I've never read a love story centering around the idea of reincarnation, and I found it to be a unique and interesting premise. I really enjoyed the deep connection that Logan and Amber share, and can very much relate to a relationship which transcends the physical, crossing over into the intellectual and spiritual. I feel that I have that in my own marriage, and believe those relationships are the best and most fulfilling that life has to offer. I couldn't help but love all the deeply romantic moments that the author created between this couple: Their first night together on the beach, their first kiss, lunch at the English Tea Room, watching the sunset at Logan's quiet spot, and Logan's proposal, to name a few. They were all brimming with sweetness and intimacy. I also love how Logan and Amber's conversations take on a teasing tone as they get to know each other. Everything simply came together to create a truly romantic atmosphere and give the sense that this couple was definitely connected in a way that cannot be explained through the natural world.
Logan is an absolute charmer and a persistent one at that. Without the reincarnation element, his initial pursuit of Amber might have seemed a bit stalkerish, and her willingness to go to his house after only knowing him for one day would have been weird too. However, Logan never behaved as anything other than a perfect and chivalrous gentleman. In fact, he held back his desires for a long time, out of consideration for her feelings and wanting her to remember their past lives together, even when Amber was making it abundantly clear that she wanted to take their relationship to the next level. I loved that Logan was an absolute genius, yet was extremely humble about his intelligence and accomplishments. I also adored that he was an avid reader, and the man's library was positively to die for. Logan was a great family man too. The scenes with him, his mother, sister and nephew were just brimming with love and humor. Logan was quite simply a sweet, gentle, loving, giving and all-around amazing man which is part of why this story broke my heart into a million pieces.
Amber is a waitress who is struggling both financially and with the meaning of life itself when Logan "rides to her rescue." The only real family she had was her sister, Heather, who taught her a lot about both living and dying. I could really relate to Amber's fears and her admiration for Heather for her lack of it, as well as Amber's feelings of not quite knowing where she belongs in the world. I liked that Amber was open-minded enough to believe Logan when he told her that they had spent past lives together, even though she couldn't remember the way he did and initially only had a gut feeling that she'd met him before. She does go back and forth quite a bit between getting upset and getting over it. At first, this was a little troubling and I wished that the author had explained her feelings a bit more in depth. Later though, I fully understood that she was wrestling with a sense of denial and not wanting to let go of the love she had just found. Ultimately, Amber was every bit as loving and generous as Logan even though it tore her heart out to give him that part of herself.
Across Eternity was certainly a poignant love story, but as with many self-published works I've read, it tended to get bogged down by editing and technical issues. I found numerous small errors such as typos, misspelled/incorrect/missing words, run-on sentences, etc. In some places, the dialog was just about perfect for conveying the emotions and atmosphere of the scene, but in others, it seemed to drag, with a lot of words being spoken but not a lot being said. I also felt that the narrative in general could have benefited from a bit more detail, and the prose could have been much richer and more varied. As is, the composition had a rather amateurish feel to it, in my opinion. However, I have to give the author extra points for drawing me into this couple's journey and really taking me through all the emotional highs and lows that they experienced throughout the story. In the end, even knowing that they will eventually find each other again, I was still torn up inside, and although it didn't exactly feel good, it was still quite beautiful. I have to give Ms. Whittier credit for making me feel that way and for making me care so much about her characters. As long as the reader isn't bothered by a lot of composition errors, I would recommend Across Eternity to anyone who enjoys a good tear-jerker. Now, I have to go find an HEA romance to heal my poor, wounded heart.:-)
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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