I just finished reading Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole. Everything about this book, from the gorgeous cover to the amazing use of rich description in the text itself was a delight to the senses. It’s a story about love, destiny, and accepting responsibility- even when it hurts.
The story begins told from the POV of Macy, a teen with a cheating boyfriend. Her problems are relatable, her anger understandable. Her friends are supportive and there are are funny moments in the heartbreak. Then things get weird for Macy.
She finds herself thrust backwards in time to ancient Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra. It’s a life she’s lived before and she has to come to terms with the fact that she’s now Charmian, a 39 year old personal servant to one of the most memorable rulers in history.
What makes this all more difficult is that she retains her memories of life in the present as well as her more intimate memories of how this life ends since she lived it. From both a historical and personal perspective, things don’t end well for her or her Queen.
The world building is well thought out. Macy’s position as a Keeper and her complicated role throughout time are explained clearly as well as those of Cleopatra. The description of Alexandria is descriptive and evoked a vivid mental picture. The smells are especially well described, including a particularly funny reference to a character smelling like a hamster.
There was a subplot that explored the romance between Charmian and her fiancée, Hasani, a general in Marc Antony’s army. It was engaging and had hints of the sexy time without being inappropriate for a YA audience. I couldn’t stop reading, hoping against hope that there was some way that Macy/Charmian could change things and give everyone they happily ever after I desperately wanted for them.
This novel stands alone with an ending that’s fitting and satisfying. There is room for a sequel if the author decides to go that direction. It’s a fun book and one that I’d recommend to others with an interest in stories about time travel, historical romance, and YA paranormal.