Rating: 3 Stars
Length: Novella, 2554 Locations
A six months ago Lyssa Ryan received a corneal transplant after a fireworks accident robbed the up and coming artist of her career and disrupted her life. Since the successful transplant, however, she's been seeing things, and aspects of her life, her likes and dislikes, have undergone a subtle but significant shift. As if that's not bad enough, there's a man she keeps seeing in her dreams...a man with sad, tortured eyes full of loss...a man she feels compelled to find, to speak to...to love.
Architect Jake Thorne lost his wife to a car crash and the loss left him with lingering feelings of guilt. Mindful of his privacy, his house is beautiful but remote, and during storms, the mountain road washes out. On his way home one evening, the rain pounding down, he sees a car get caught up in the flood and carried into a tree. Quick thinking and a lot of muscle allows him to rescue the car's lone passenger, but her odd declaration when she opens her eyes and sees him has him wondering just who she is and what she wants. When he finds out, however, skepticism, doubt, and distrust may prevent Jake from any hope offered by a miraculous, if mysterious, truth.
This is a sweet, if relatively uncomplicated romance novella that offers up a bit of the paranormal and a couple of twists to keep it interesting. I can't in all honesty say the romantic development was to my personal taste, as I have a preference for romances that develop over a period of time instead of igniting and flourishing into sweeping love in no more time than it takes to complete a Sudoku puzzle, but to criticize the story for that would be unfair.
I do think that the plot lacked some originality, as I've read other books and seen movies similarly themed, but for a novella, I was impressed by the character definition and depth that was offered, and genuinely enjoyed both Lyssa and Jake as romantic leads in the story. Limited by space as it is, it's often character definition that gets trimmed down in novellas, but I like that Wilde took time with these characters for us.
There were some grammatical issues, however, and an editor could have added some polish in more than a few places. I had some issues with inconsistencies in descriptions between scenes. The morning after Jake saves Lyssa she's wearing Jake's wife's leggings and an oversized tee shirt because her clothes are wet and filthy, and though doing laundry is mentioned, her changing clothing is not, so later that afternoon when she's in her own jeans I was a little thrown. It's possible that I misunderstood the span of time that Lyssa and Jake were stranded, but later she mentioned being with him for only twenty-four hours, so I'm pretty sure it was a legitimate inconsistency.
Several technical mistakes also jarred me out of the story - like Jake grabbing onto the rear view mirror instead of the side view mirror (the car was locked and he was outside it at the time). Incorrect word usage, like live giving instead of life giving, and characters having knowledge that they shouldn't have had unless they were told...like Lyssa knowing Jake performed CPR on her despite her being unconscious at the time. On a different note, I was surprised when I had a small issue with the sex in this story - it wasn't badly written, but it was a bit more carnal and earthy in tone, and a bit more graphically described than the surrounding story seemed to support, so there was a bit of a dichotomy between those scenes and the rest of the story.
Despite the technical gaffes and lack of sophistication in the narrative and dialogue in some places, I'll Be Seeing You isn't a bad little story. It started out a bit rougher than it ended - in fact, I liked the ending, and for a novella, there's not a whole lot else to hope for than what was provided here. It was a sweet, uncomplicated story with palatable characters, paranormal in theme, provided some quickly resolved conflicts and a happy ending. Sometimes that's more than enough.