Author: Sarah Tranter
Romancing The Soul is a contemporary romance with a twist, and it’s that twist that grabbed my attention. I don’t think it will be a read for everyone because of that twist. I think it would depend on how open you are to the possibilities discussed in this novel.
Rachael Jones has chosen a slightly different career path, after starting out in banking she has found a rather large fork in the road and switched to past life regressions. She is looking to help her clients find their Soul Mates through reconnecting with their past lives. She herself is a total believer and has been able to get in touch with memories of a few of her past lives. She knows that she is slightly unconventional and that is something she has had her entire life to come to terms with.
Unfortunately for Rachael she is surrounded by people who aren’t quite as accepting of her beliefs, or in the case of best friend Susie completely anti the whole situation. No past lives, no Soul Mates, no Fate. The neighbour, Rob, is slightly more inclined to humour her but still unable to buy into the entire situation – especially when Rachael has felt that spark of connection with an extremely unusual source that even she thinks must be an aberration.
A decade earlier Susie allowed a not yet qualified Rachael to regress her during a night of much drinking and recreation. It was an experience that ended badly and Susie has spent the ensuing decade trying to forget all she learnt that night, and still denies that any of it is real.
Cassie is a journalist who has decided to take on the past-life regressionist profession and uncover it all as a sham, that’s her plan anyway. She visits one practitioner and is devastated by what she discovers, still refusing to believe it could be real. She went in thinking past lives were all a fabrication of the mind, the memories lead by the regressionist so she was very angry that the life she remembered was so far from ideal. Her big plan is to head to a second practitioner and uncover the scam when nothing adds up, except she gets exactly the same answers from the second one. Cassie’s logical mind is sent into overdrive trying to deduce the explanation, there has to be a rational answer. For the third time lucky she chooses a highly trained and qualified regressionist who holds qualifications from the National Association of Past Life Regressionists but is not a member, therefore not in receipt of any conspiracy like information that may be being spread around to spook the investigative journalist. The third regressionist is none other than Rachael Jones.
The matching past lives have thrown the logical, rational Cassie so far off track that she convinces her protective, grounded older brother George to accompany her for the appointment and she is hoping to convince him to be the one regressed and chase off all the fears currently haunting her.
I am open minded when it comes to the idea of reincarnation and I must admit I have always been intrigued by the thought of past life regression. It is definitely something I would consider doing which is why the entire premise of this book was so intriguing to me. I am also intrigued by the school of thought that believes that connected souls often come back together, and that there is a group of souls who come back together time and again, I have always had a niggling question in my head about who around me I have known before and would love to have it answered. The Soul Mate side of things, perhaps not quite so sold.
Romancing The Soul sees a past life regression go a little off course from what Rachael is expecting. She brings together a pair of Soul Mates in what could become quite tragic circumstances as it seems history begins repeating. Are they going to be able to break the cycle and avoid tragedy or is it Fated that this pair are to be denied that universal love?
The story is entertaining, if at times repetitive and frustrating. I was certainly engrossed and wanted to follow the story to its conclusion but at times the characters drove me a little up the wall.
Cassie was converted from total rationalist non-believer to a reluctant believer totally freaked out by what happened to her past self and determined not to let it happen again. She slowly comes to terms with the fact that she wasn’t a very nice person in her past life but she needs to separate her current self from her past self and remember that she is a different person now. She ends up being the one to recognise the signs of history repeating and becomes borderline hysterical trying to ensure things turn out differently.
An entire group of connected people from the previous time period return and seem to play very similar roles in both incarnations, even though not all of the players are aware of the parts they played previously.
George is an English born Hollywood heart-throb who has been linked in the press with many A list ladies and could have his pick of the rest. He agrees to be regressed but remembers nothing of the experience when he is brought back out of the hypnosis. He is told about the reaction he has to Susie, who barges into the room mid-regression, and is mortified – as is she when she hears the story. The two run into one another time and again and can’t explain their reactions to each other, they soon fall deeply in love but are scarred by traumas from their past that they can’t name or remember.
Susie is an ordinary woman, a schoolteacher just into her thirties who is a little overweight and not in the greatest shape. She is seeing a very safe, very boring accountant with whom there are no sparks – and never will be – but there is also no fear because if there is nothing invested you can’t suffer the heartbreak. Susie got quite painful to keep up with, she remained out of all the past life discussions but she was so down on herself and so repetitively questioning of why George could have picked her. It is understandable I guess, I’m sure I would wonder if I captured the attention of a Hollywood heart throb who could have anyone, but it still got a little grating to hear her whine about it constantly.
There was quite a bit of repetition but this was a book that I really enjoyed. It grabbed me with its originality and it kept me reading to discover how it turned out but I’m not sure how sceptics would go suspending disbelief quite this much. Sarah Tranter is certainly an author that I will put on my watch list.