It has been a while since I picked up a time travel romance, but I do tend to enjoy them so I was happy to curl up and get started. A hurting woman comes from the past and enters the lives of an equally hurting man and his son so this poignant story matches well with it’s title.
The story opens with Catherine Andrews horrified to learn her father has gotten into debt and plans to sell her as a servant to a man, Blake, that gives her a bad feeling when he looks at her. But then, Blake wants her has his wife. She endures separation from a beloved little brother and then her new husbands’ abuse before flinging herself into the river out of sorrow and desperation.
Christopher King loses his father and is abandoned by his wife which causes his young son to stop speaking. He knows a thing or two about sadness, but then he finds a lovely, but injured young woman in the river and her presence brings color and happiness to his and Ryan’s life.
This is a shorter story and it clips along quickly as a result. It has a unique voice that took some getting used to with the abrupt and quick transitions between scenes and along the time line. The settings particularly in the past are given broad brushstrokes which was alright as I was able to see each change of scene well though not so much details as a general sense. There are three main narrators. The premise is strong and I liked the characters and their story, but I did wish this could have been longer and more fleshed out with the development of their lives separate and then coming together as there is a gulf between a woman from the mid eighteen hundreds and a man from the twenty-first century.
Catherine and Christopher were beautiful, warm people. They clicked quickly and this makes sense when late in the story a bit of magical realism is inserted. There was an adjustment for them both, but a woman from the past adjusting to the modern age along with a man from the present being in a relationship with a woman of old-fashioned values needed to be explored more. It happened quickly and I thought to see more struggle to adjust and even times they would see things differently as a result. The author did spend time drawing a sweet romantic situation and settings for them with the help of Christopher’s matchmaking friends who were great secondary characters.
With the events set in the past and following Blake’s narration, the author established an intriguing antagonist flavored with gothic undertones like the old-style gothic tales. Blake was mad and his madness led him to extreme, horrific actions. There is a goodly amount of tension and build up as the reader just knows that Catherine has not escaped him for good. Excellent hateful villain!
In summary, I was pleased to read this one though I did wish for more fleshing out of the strong story background. The romance was swoony and I was rooting for this pair to find their happy ending. I would recommend this book for those looking for something quick to read with a bit of the old style gothic and sweet romance.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #269 HR
New to Me #113
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