The Fair Five. Misty Lake NY's clique made up of beautiful, flirtatious girls that were always more concerned about wearing the latest fashion than acknowledging the average people on the street. Then the accident happened. Four of the friends were killed in a wagon accident. Strike that. The day after the town doctor proclaimed her dead, M Sutton awoke from the coma she had been in.
Waking with terrible injuries, Maddie was told she would never walk again. But her determination and her newly manifested healing ability got her on her feet again. Maddie's strength made me appreciate her from the beginning of the story. She never seemed to blame anyone even if she had just cause. Overnight, Maddie went from being a member of the youthful Fair Five to a young woman who was forced to grow up before she was ready. Good thing. I have little interest in reading about immature characters. So I liked Maddie. She is not totally grown up though, so expect some behavior that is not well not thought out. To make the story interesting.
Maddie's new found strength doesn't get her very far with anyone except her grandfather. Grandfather did not have a huge role in this book, but he was inspiring and pivotal to Maddie's story. But to the rest of the residents of Misty Lake, the sole survivor of the town's greatest tragedy is both blamed for the accident and considered an abomination.
Enter the new town doctor. Though anxious to establish himself and fit in, Dr. Jace Merrick still defends Madeline against Misty Lake's narrow mindedness. He is disgusted with their attitudes and does everything he can to help her to become a part of the community again. Including masquerading as her fiance' so she can attend her friend's wedding.
I really tried to like Jace. He was great when he was defending Maddie. But his arrogance and lack of interest in Maddie's opinions really irritated me. Yes, I get the whole 'I'm a Doctor. I am confident and arrogant.' thing. But his attitude really made me wonder what Maddie saw in him. Jace's mindset prevents Maddie from telling him about her special healing talent. There is no way he would ever understand. Jace's arrogance makes him as close-minded as the Misty Lake residents that anger him when they misjudge Maddie.
However, since Jace does stand up for Maddie – a lot – I finally decided he was okay. Besides, it is a romance. If Maddie is going to like him and even fall in love with him, the least I can do is give him a chance.
Other characters in the book are just as easy to like or dislike. On the like list is Dolly whose physical demeanor enables her to appreciate the unfairness of Maddie's treatment. On the dislike list is Pastor Hogle who encourages the town's attitude toward Maddie. The Lady Who Lived Again is comprised of uncomplicated characters. They make it easy to draw the line between the good guys and the bad guys. The question is, will any of the good guys be redeemed. Or should they be?
I was actually looking for a bit more complexity to the story, but the plot of The Lady Who Lived Again is as straightforward as its characters. Maddie's paranormal ability is not so much of a plot device as it is a character motivation.
The story moves along and can be read in one quiet evening. I enjoyed it, though not enough to continue with the series. It appears that each story in the Sole Survivor series will stand alone. If you enjoy a little bit of the paranormal combined with your historical romance, you might enjoy The Lady Who Lived Again.
**ARC provided by Publisher**