The Night Mark was just such a tale. A widow travels back in time while photographing a lighthouse in the Carolinas, only to find that the keeper of the lighthouse is a dead ringer for her dead husband.
The book started off really strong - you felt an emotional connection to Faye and her grief, and I don't mind admitting I got a lump in my throat. I don't often do that. Not reading books. So I read voraciously. The time travel element was very tight, much like Somewhere in Time, and it was strength of the storytelling to see the connection between past and present in this focused microcosm.
But the actual relationship between Faye and the keeper Carrick was always a bit off-kilter, and leaned very heavily on the tropes of soap operas and melodramas. Faye was now in the body of Faith, who looked just like her but had died in the past, but now she hadn't died because she was possessed by Faye. Carrick looked just like Faye's dead husband Will, but he's not Will, even though he does and says things (and makes love!) just like Will did, and then there's the question of where Faith is, and where Will is, and are they together in heaven now that Carrick and Faye are together in the past? Except Carrick thinks Faith is Faye.....
I could keep going. What felt like such a good setup unraveled in the end, and it left me disappointed. Especially in the chemistry department. Nothing of substance happened between Faye and Carrick on an emotional/psychological level for me to believe them when they professed their love for each other, and not the significant others they had both lost.
Also, it became a bit preachy at the end too, which I never want to see in my romance novels. I totally understand the usefulness of a character who has already time traveled to help unearth the mystery of such a phenomenon, but when it comes down to that character being an ex-priest, extrapolating on God's intention to bend the rules of time (not to be with your husband, but to be with someone who looks like him) - that's weird. And there was too much going back and forth at the end for reasons that didn't feel compelling, so the time-travel element lost its luster.
Ah well. Back to Chris Reeve. (Really, I'd have taken any excuse).
K. Rating: 3.5/5