Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

Posted December 29, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 10 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Time and Regret by M.K. Tod
Time and Regret

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Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Small Publisher
Released on August 8, 2016
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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A discovery amongst her grandfather’s things sends a woman on a journey through the past that leads to a danger in the present.

I seem to have been drawn this year to stories with split time lines featuring a person in the present and a person in the past during the war years.  I believe this is my fourth one.  However, this was my first one with a WWI backdrop.  War is always hell.  No doubt.  However, the trench warfare and massive losses of that series of battles is horrific and staggering.  And that doesn’t take into consideration those who survived it and were never the same.  I found getting the split perspectives of a soldier during that time and his granddaughter in the present to be equally engaging.

Grace Hansen is a middle-aged woman with a successful career, two wonderful sons, and a good home life until her husband wants a divorce.  This decision forces her to look about her and reassess her life.  But the catalyst that really brings change is when she is clearing out all that her husband left behind and comes across a box in the attic that her grandfather left with her before he died.  She was raised by her grandparents when her father died and her mother fell apart.  Her grandmother was strict and cold to her, but her grandfather was everything.  Finding the box with some old war effects and his war diaries along with a cryptic note about regret and wanting Grace to to solve his riddle and finish his task sets her on quite the soul-searching journey.

Martin signs up and is soon shipped across the Atlantic and into war with his three close friends.  As junior officers, they all must keep their men heartened and alive as best as possible.  It is not long before Martin sees the gross ineptitude of the leadership and he and his men pay the price.  Mired in the trenches and counting victory and defeat by the yard, his hope is extinguishing.  Losses of friends and men snuff it out completely until he meets Cynthia.

Grace follows the path of her grandfather from battle to battle over the same terrain hoping something will speak to her.  What does he regret and what does he want to fix?  She ponders this as she realizes that she is being followed and also encounters a handsome Frenchman who shows an interest and makes her feel like a desired woman again.

As I mentioned earlier, this story is split time line.  Grace narrates the contemporary portion.  There are excerpts from Martin’s diary and also portions where Martin narrates the historical portion.  The story is a cross between women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and historical.  I liked how the author brought together all three elements.

The war is not sugar-coated in either time line. I did enjoy that there is a broader focus to the story.  All the places Grace visited were described so well that I felt I was there from the points of interest, the food, the hotels, and even the life of the people.  Her handsome Frenchman was urbane and knowledgeable about food, art, and history so they had wonderful times together.

The mystery is the catalyst driving Grace’s pursuit of truth, but the suspense of who is trailing her and why slowly build momentum to a startling finish.  Most of the story takes it’s time, but then starts hurdling faster and faster near the end.

In the end, Grace has been on a journey of self-discovery and I loved seeing it happen as she worked out her grandfather’s final request.  This was a lovely story and I can easily recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction, light romantic suspense and women’s fiction with a touch of romance.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Alyssa Susanna
5 years ago

Split timeline stories don’t usually work for me! It’s not that I get confused… I just get frustrated because I want to continue with the present timeline. I feel like a war setting/war story definitely lends itself well to the split timeline though. Tell me more about this handsome Frenchman. 😉

I’m glad you enjoyed this book! Wonderful review, Sophia. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

I’ve had a so-so time with the split timeline. This one was perfect because as you say, war tends to work better when I get the two different perspectives.

Oh my, her Frenchman swept her off her feet and made her feel desired and respected after her ex broke her confidence. Was glad to have a romance tucked into this story.

5 years ago

I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books with split time, but it sounds like it can be a very interesting read. I can vague remember reading a story with split time years ago, but can’t remember the title. I am glad to hear you found some good split time books this year. This one sounds good, although I don’t like reading about war. We learned quite a bit about WW1 in school and it just sounds horrifying. I do like the sound of how she’s trying to solve the riddle her grandfather left her and how she starts… Read more »

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Lola

I didn’t read any split time line ones before, but this year I happened to get a handful. I think it has to be done just right or it ends up distracting the reader. It worked well in this one because she is on the hunt for clues in the past to solve the puzzle and then it gives the past scenes with her grandfather. The war scenes weren’t pretty so that was another reason I was glad for the contemporary time line with the granddaughter to break it up a bit.

Carole's Random Life
5 years ago

A split timeline doesn’t always work for me but can be fantastic if done right. This one sounds like a really interesting read with both times telling a really interesting story. Great review!

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

They can be shaky with one being a more interesting plot thread or the switching being a distraction. I thought this one was well done and both threads were telling the same story in a way.
Thanks, Carole!

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Interesting on the split timeline and it being her grandfather. It’s been ages since I stumbled on one that did that. Adding this one to my list 😀

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

Yes, it was neat to see the two generations and their connection, but yet their stories were so different. I barely cared about the mystery because I was so caught up in the lives of Grace and Martin. Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance, Anna.

Verushka, an editor
5 years ago

The split timeline can work a treat sometimes and other times it makes reading a book harder. Here it definitely seems to be the former — interesting POVs I think.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

I agree. It’s an iffy device, but it worked for me in this instance. I enjoyed getting both the older and younger generation’s viewpoint.