*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Following his critically acclaimed Amazon #1 debut, A Long Goodbye, Anthony Le Moignan’s second novel continues within the romantic fiction genre, the human condition ruthlessly exposed in “another tear-jerking, soul-searching rollercoaster”…
Tabatha has led a charmed life in Cambridge. Closing in on her 31st birthday, she’s only ever known private schools, a degree, and a mother and father who dote on her. Then there’s Rick – the perfect boyfriend she now lives with – until she comes home unexpectedly …
A life turned on its head in one earth-shattering moment, the imagery imprinted on her mind forever. But how long does forever last?
When she meets young Aussie, Grant, online, it seems there could be a way out, but will the nightmares ever stop? Or have they only just begun?
Even the unconditional love her parents give may not be all it seems.
For Tabatha, life is spiralling into oblivion.
In Another Lifetime is a romance novel – about the heartbreak of love betrayed; the uncertainty of new love and second chances; the joy of finding ‘The One’ – but more than that, it is a novel about family and what it means.
Tabatha has been betrayed by the love of her life and isn’t looking to replace him, when she finds herself getting on very well with Grant online. Grant listens to her, makes her laugh, and they always have plenty to talk about, and – living halfway round the world – he is a pretty safe flirtation for someone who can’t bear to be hurt again.
However, Rick (Tabatha’s ex) is not going quietly into that good night… he is determined to win her back and already has her mother on-side and an explanation for what went wrong, if only he can get Tabby to speak to him to hear it.
Tracey just wants to see her daughter happy, preferably happily married. Busy making plans to see her daughter’s future securely settled, she fails to notice her own husband, David, seems to be a bit flustered after his martial arts classes. Perhaps even old, married couples have secrets from each other?
I found the romance a little confusing in this story. Rick seems like your classic bad-news-boyfriend, but I did feel there was residual chemistry between him and Tabby, whereas Grant felt more like a very good friend at times. I genuinely couldn’t work out which, if either, she would end up choosing. And if Tabby seemed a bit fickle, at least she has good cause with all of the family distractions heaped on her plate… I’m still not clear why Grant and Rick made some of the choices they did! And whatever happened to David’s little sub-plot?!
It was actually Tabby’s relationship with her parents – and theirs with each other – and her subsequent adventure in Jersey that had me completely hooked on this story. Anthony Le Moignan expertly explores what it really means to be family – the love, the loyalty, the heartache and warmth – from many different perspectives here. He adds in a dash of mystery and some gentle humour (Filly and Juan), which provide the ideal balance for some of the deeper, more emotional plot elements.
Part quirky romcom and part intense family drama, In Another Lifetime proves again that Anthony Le Moignan knows how to tug on a reader’s heart strings effectively and get them rooting for his characters – flaws and all. It was that aspect of this story that stood out for me, and stayed with me afterwards: the simple heart of the story, the true love story, between Tabby, Tracey and David.
Everyone’s witnessed this scene unfold on a television, at the cinema, or read with clammy, page-turning fingers. It’s something we all know will never happen to us, but enthrals and appals us all in equal measure, like an atrocity on a far-away continent.
When you steal a look at your loved one and they’re unaware—your partner for life—the one that makes everything so perfect that you genuinely feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t have this magical connection —why is it that you sometimes dance with the devil and visualise this scene of ultimate destruction?
– Anthony Le Moignan, In Another Lifetime