Author: Lauren James
Series: The Next Together, #1
Released: September 3rd 2015
Length: 356 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
How many times can you lose the person you love?Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?Maybe the next together will be different...
September already promises to be a month of successful debuts. There have been several excellent first works already, but none as shiny, well written or as deeply romantic as The Next Together by Lauren James.
James tells the tale of one love affair in four different places and four different time scapes. Matthew and Katherine are, at once, a wealthy young lady and her servant, an ambitious journalist and his assistant, married young scientists uncovering a conspiracy and two college students intent on clearing the names of their relatives. In every time scape, Katherine and Matthew are different, but the love they feel for each other is immutable. We watch them time and time again as they discover each other and inevitably collide, desperate to be together despite so many obstacles.
The narrative itself is beautifully assembled as one story bleeds into another seamlessly. The pacing is pure perfection – James somehow achieved simultaneous crescendo in all four stories, thus ensuring our equal interest in them all. A single small mistake had the potential to ruin everything, to make us care more about one couple than all the rest, but all the threads were handled masterfully and the result is a thing of beauty.
If not for Katherine’s extraordinary sense of humor, the story would have been suffocating and grim at times. Instead, I found myself laughing out loud when the sense of foreboding threatened to overwhelm me, swooning when I should have been biting my nails in terror, and generally reacting unexpectedly to anything Lauren James had to offer. Even more spectacular than the book itself were my reactions to it, my emotions manipulated so skillfully by an author with so much to give. The Next Together demands your full attention and dedication and it simply refuses to settle for anything else.
As someone who reads a lot of romance, I shouldn’t have been blindsided by my reactions to this book, a novel that’s not primarily a romance. However, I found myself in utter disbelief and more than a little awestruck. This is one of the most deeply romantic books I’ve read in ages.
Overall, The Next Together broke my heart time and time again, but it was a sweet pain. I wouldn’t change a second of it.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.