I have only read one other time travel romance and I loved it so I wanted to try this one because it travels back to an era that I enjoy reading about.
The story begins in the present where Sophie Ford struggles with her health awaiting a heart transplant and her husband, Jamie, is right there with her helping where he can, but basically helpless while his wife’s heart continues to weaken. Suddenly, Sophie disappears on Jamie, but in reality she has been sent into the past.
Sophie wakes up to find herself in Civil War era Harrisburg, PA. She is rescued by dark and brooding Richard Madden who leaves her in the care of the local doctor, Michael and his wife Nona’s hands. Sophie is confused and struggles to adjust. She is heartbroken to be separated by time from Jamie and focuses on that loss even more than the bizarre circumstances of finding herself in the past. Sophie is befriended by Nona’s sisters and the enigmatic Richard Madden becomes interested in her.
Sophie has been sent back into the past for a reason- she’s an expert on Lincoln and the Civil War. Sophie’s knowledge is needed to preserve history’s outcome as it is because someone else wishes to tamper with it. Those who made this happen realize that she won’t fulfill their need because of her preoccupation with needing her husband so they send Jamie back into the past too, but something happens and he is sent without his memories.
Sophie is overjoyed to finally find Jamie, but is taken by surprise to learn that he doesn’t recognize her and she must begin again with him all the while danger lurks for them both.
I found this an enjoyable reading experience because I liked much of the plot and characters. I did find as I neared the end that some of the plot was left unresolved or unexplained to a certain extent though the main threads were dealt with nicely if the ending was abrupt. I learned who was behind the trouble and what they hoped to accomplish, but not why. I love to know why so that niggles at me still.
As to the characters, Sophie was a sort of like, but sort of didn’t like for me which was tough because she is the main narrator for much of the story. I found her pushy with everyone and clingy to Jamie many times which aren’t admirable traits. I get that she was frightened, out of her element and missing her husband. However, there was a feel to her that while she vaguely realized she was a disruptive part of other people’s lives and was thankful for their help; she seemed to expect them to lay everything aside and make her stuff top priority which they did- good people that she luckily encountered. I wouldn’t have thought much about it except she treated the horse- lavished with time, affection and her feelings- better than many of the people who were helping her. But on the other hand, she was compassionate to the soldiers, deeply in love with her husband and wanted the best for Christine. Jamie was a rock through the whole thing whether it was the contemporary time dealing with Sophie’s illness or in the past when he pluckily goes along without his memories and in so doing falls in love with his wife all over again. I felt sorry for Richard Madden. There was the snippet that explained his past and why he might have lost himself with drinking. I found it sad that he had all those friends and none of them addressed his drinking. He does honorable things, but loses it around Sophie. She and the others notice this- including the drinking- and do nothing. I just wish something could have been done for him knowing the inner pain he is nursing and then to be attracted to and rejected by Sophie (not that I blame her for wanting her husband over another man); it all seemed so much for him.
The romance is sweet. I love the timeless quality and depth of Jamie and Sophie’s love. It is all consuming for them and they need each other both emotionally and physically. Their passionate encounters are dealt with in a fade-out description. It was a hoot how they were sneaking around, but ended up fooling nobody.
Maybe some of the loose plot stuff gets answered in the next book in the series which is why I didn’t go on about that part. I definitely have enough liking and curiosity to continue on to the next book in the series to see what happens next with a few of the secondary characters in this one.
Lovers of sweet historical romances and time travel romances might want to give this one a try.
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