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Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Night of Eternity by Karen Wiesner



One Night of Eternity by Karen Wiesner
From the Woodcutter’s Grim Series-Classic Tales of Horror Retold, Volume II
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

The third in a four-book miniseries within the Woodcutter’s Grim Series dealing with the curse on the Shaussegeny family. Loosely based on The House That Jack Built. The curse pronounced on the Shaussegeny clan for all time was very clear: "Because the Shaussegeny name has long been synonymous with faithlessness, even unto your own chosen mates, only one chosen mate will be allotted to each of your kin henceforth. These chosen mates must also fall under the family curse, but these pairs will know true peace when they become one. Herein lays your salvation—and your damnation. Only if each of your clan remains faithful to their chosen mates in word and deed for all of their days will they have blissful contentment. Apart, mates shall be restless and forever unsettled, gripped by a sadness and despair unlike any other. A terrible fate will come upon the one who breaks the mate covenant."

Gavin Shaussegeny has broken the covenant with his wife, Marnie, by cheating on her, and the betrayal carries a harsh penalty and punishment. Although Gav regrets his faithlessness and loves his wife more than anyone or anything else, the house that he's built for himself is rapidly beginning to tumble down around him. There is one chance for salvation for him now: Only his mate's undeserved forgiveness will free him from his punishment to re-live his betrayal over and over for all time.

Can Marnie let go of her hate before it kills her?

Marnie thought she’d put Gavin’s unfaithfulness behind her. After they were cursed into becoming werewolves, Marnie thought the new mate bond would allow her to forget all about Gavin’s previous indiscretions. She was dreadfully mistaken. Since Marnie and Gavin never truly dealt with the pain his affairs caused, the injury festered and rotted their marriage from the inside out. Each exchange between them was laced with bitterness and pulled me further and further into the dark mood of the story. As Marnie and Gavin reach the breaking point, they have to ask themselves one question. Is their marriage worth saving?

Marnie’s pain practically drips from each page. My heart ached as she fought to control equal parts love and hate for Gavin. I couldn’t believe she’d lived with the pain year after year rather than having an open honest discussion with Gavin. Instead, in her stubbornness, she hurls insults at him. Even though Gavin deserves every harsh word, the arguing only serves to make the situation worse. I cringed each time Gavin and Marnie inflicted new and deeper wounds on each other and I honestly began to doubt they were ever going to reconcile.

Gavin is a man who just doesn’t get it, and is consequently very hard to like. I couldn’t tell if he genuinely didn’t know that Marnie needed him to apologize for the past, or if his misunderstanding was deliberate. I found Gavin’s attempts to pacify Marnie with flowers insulting. It was clear that Marnie felt the same way. I couldn’t understand why Gavin would continue to bring Marnie flowers when it was obvious she needed something much more meaningful.

I found Gavin’s punishment for infidelity to be truly terrifying, and yet it seemed to be the only thing that was going to get through to him. Not only did he relive the absolute worst moment of his life over and over, but Marnie experienced the betrayal as well. Marnie and Gavin are literally dying without each other. The tension mounted as the story reached its climax. I held my breath and crossed my fingers hoping for a happy ending.

One Night of Eternity may be a short story, but the emotions contained within its pages are powerful, and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d finished reading it. Anyone looking for a tale filled with real and raw emotions and an ultimately happy ending should consider reading One Night of Eternity.

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