Haven Moore has been having visions of her past life in New York City, when she was a woman named Constance in love with a guy named Ethan, since she was a little kid. Back in the day they were members of the Ouroboros Society, which was dedicated to past life issues. After the founder died and Ethan inherited his fortune, he was accused of murdering him. Soon after that, he and Constance die in a mysterious fire.
Unfortunately, in this life Haven lives in a small Southern town where her grandmother dominates her life and everyone thinks she's possessed by a demon when she does it. When Haven sees Ethan again--this time he's a rich playboy named Iain Morrow-- on the television, she now knows who to look for. And after the entire town starts hating her guts (except for her best friend Beau, and the snake charming Frizzell family, who have alternative beliefs, and classmate Leah is a psychic who warns her about a bad man looking for her), she eventually takes off with her savings to NYC to track Iain down. After a ridiculously easy* bit of finding him, and he recognizes her because he remembers all of his past lives, the two happily reunite and fly off to Rome.
* I need to grumble about something for a bit: this prompted my friend and I to have a long discussion as to how the hell a girl in this situation would manage to meet the guy, given that he's famous. Iain made sure he was in the media so Haven could eventually spot him, and it works on that level. But if you knew you were the soul mate of a famous guy, how on earth could a non-famous girl even get into his atmosphere to get his attention? And that's assuming that Iain knew enough to recognize her at first sight, which makes it a lot easier than if she actually had to try talking to him. I kept thinking, "What, security guards aren't fending off tons of hot chicks also thinking the same thing and trying to do what you are doing?" (The only solution I was able to come up with was an article I came across a few days later. The solution is: "it's not stalking if you're ALSO famous!" Uh, yeah, that'll work for a small town girl from Tennessee.) So the fact that she pretty much instantly finds Iain and security isn't a problem made me pretty damn annoyed and threw me out of the story for a bit..
The lovebirds' state of affairs doesn't last too long, as Iain has been accused of murder AGAIN. This time of a friend's boyfriend, Jeremy Johns, an OS member who's gone missing. Iain definitely has been lying to Haven about a few things, and he really wants to keep her out of the camera's eye. There is enough reasonable and suspicious information to make Haven all kinds of confused as to whether or not her eternal boyfriend is a killer. She also investigates the OS, who has undergone far less pleasant changes since she was last there. Now it's all about "doing favors", and her rival for Ethan's affections is there once again. Things get very confusing and creepy all around.
I really enjoyed reading the book, and hell, I'm rereading it again right now. The past life plot intrigued the hell out of me, and I really felt Haven's drive to find the guy she'd been missing all of her life, and to figure out what the hell is going on. I felt how she had those urges that she couldn't explain and made people think she was crazy. Her best friend Beau is an entertaining fellow in his own right, and backs her up to the hilt while still keeping her as grounded as he can manage. And I found Iain very interesting, albeit it was kind of frustrating to figure out what you felt about him given the murder plot thing. I didn't have quite so much of a problem with Haven's constant mind changing about him, mostly because shoot, the situation IS genuinely confusing. I have read books that puled off the "does he love me or is he a bad guy" debate better, though (particularly Time and Time Again by Dennis Danvers, which has similar past life subject matter. I wish I could dig up my copy and review it here). Mostly while I enjoy the hell out of the romance when it's happening, it's also hard to invest in it when half the time you're pretty convinced Iain's done something bad.
But there are issues of realism here and there at times, like the aforementioned fame problem. And while yes, I've certainly heard that small Southern towns are superuberChristian, after awhile it just got kind of ridiculous at how the entire town except for Beau and the Frizzells thought Haven was possessed by a demon/a devil herself. I do contend with many other reviews that this part drags on a bit longer than it needed to. After awhile I was all, "okay, we get it, town is evil, let's move her out of there." I sort of wonder about having Haven as a 17-year-old girl in this story. This is a pretty complicated story to give to a sheltered small town girl to have to figure out for herself, plus I kept thinking that there had to be some legal way to bust Haven back home.
I found this review and kind of have to agree with it:
So on the good column: characters, atmosphere, pace. On the bad column: oh-my-word-will-she-make-up-her-mind, Haven's crazy hometown. Half of THE ETERNAL ONES's love story makes me swoon. The other half makes me wonder why I'm supposed to believe in this eternal love when Haven doesn't seem to be giving it much of a chance. But on the whole, I devoured THE ETERNAL ONES. Miller's writing is compelling.
I'll give it three and a half stars, and I'll definitely want the sequel.