Chris Karlsen's novel, Heroes Live Forever, spans two lifetimes. It starts when Elinor Hawthorne inherits a haunted house. After the shock of meeting the resident ghosts wears off, she and Basil Manneville, one of the ghosts, fall in love. Both long to live as one, but given their ghost and human states they can't fully consummate their relationship.
Because he loves her and believes she deserves more than a ghost, Basil leaves her. He hopes that one day they'll meet again.
When Basil is given a second chance at life by inhabiting the dying body of Ian Cherlein, he is elated when he meets Miranda Coltrane. (Miranda is Elizabeth reincarnated). Unfortunately, Miranda doesn't recognize him. While her draw to him is inexplicably strong, she can't stomach the reputation he has with women and wants nothing to do with him.
Now that Ian has been reunited with his true love, he's ready to resume their old relationship. The problem is, she is not. Ian goes to great lengths trying to get Miranda to remember their epic love only to be rebuffed. Can Miranda and Ian forge a new life together based on their history in another life or will they have to start over? With the changes they've been forced to deal with, are they even compatible anymore?
Heroes Live Forever could have been two separate stories: first Basil and Elinor's love, then Miranda and Ian's love. Each half contains the tension and plot conflicts needed to hold the reader's attention. It was like getting a two for one deal. I enjoyed the multiple life aspect and the issues that cropped up from Ian having memories while Miranda didn't.
And I loved the scene where Basil and Guy were reincarnated, but wish it had been sooner, since I was wondering how Ian had retained Basil's memories.
Overall, Heroes Last Forever is a grand debut by Ms. Karlsen. I appreciated her creativity and thorough research. Good job.
Elinor Hawthorne has in inherited a house that is haunted by the ghosts of two medieval knights, Basil Manneville and Guy Guiscard. Basil is the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor. She falls in love with him and he with her. Basil soon realizes she needs to live a normal life, a happy life with a mortal.
A lifetime later fate intervenes. Basil, still in love with Elinor, is told her spirit lives on in a young woman and is given another chance at life to find her.