Expected Release Date: November 14, 2011 (Available Now!)
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website: http://ruthacasie.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

Official Blurb:

England, 1605

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

92,000 words

What Worked For Me:

  • Arik was a total jerk. However, it fit with the time period that Rebeka had ended up in, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the fact that the Lord of the Manor was a misogynistic douchebag, at least at first, because frankly, that’s how men were in the 1600’s. They thought of women as property, and should be seen and not heard.  So, when Arik was rude to Rebeka, and didn’t stand for her mouthy tendencies, I enjoyed it.  That’s not to say I’m not happy that he did change over the course of the novel, because I am — had he remained a complete jackass for the entire book, it probably would’ve been a DNF for me. Instead, though, I was able to appreciate his caring, tenderness, and protectiveness for signs of his love for Rebeka all the more because of the difference from the beginning of the novel.
  • I enjoyed the backstory with the Druids and the way Arik’s powers had been bound. The angst surrounding the death of his sister, and the family issues that also arose with his taking his nieces as his wards was wonderful.
  • I also enjoyed Arik’s family as a whole. To be honest, I think that they might have actually been more appealing as characters than Arik was.
  • The climax of the story was wonderful, and I loved not only the excitement and mysticism, but the romance that culminated in those final scenes.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • To be honest, I didn’t really care for the time travel aspect to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Time Travel Romance because it’s fun to see modern day characters with modern speech and attitudes trying to acclimate to strange times, but it got off to a slow start because of the contemporary aspects, and the actual time travel was too close to Outlander, a book that I really didn’t care for to begin with.
  • I didn’t really like Rebeka all that much.  Her mouthiness could be attributed to the fact that she was an intelligent, modern woman, but despite having a college degree, I’d like to think I could keep my mouth shut when necessary if faced with a situation like she was, especially after the first “warning”.
  • I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the twist regarding Rebeka’s identity.  For the last half ot he novel, I pretty much knew it was coming, but to me  it really cheapened the struggle in her decision to stay, as well as the developing relationship between her and Arik.

This one started off rather slow for me.  While the modern introduction helped to establish Rebeka’s character as an independent, intelligent woman, there was also a lot of tedium with discussion of her career and of dealing with the will of a long-lost family member.

Once she finally made it back in time, however, things definitely started to pick up, and there was everything I love about time travel romance.  First is the angst of realizing that you might be stuck in a time and place that is completely alien, then the necessary acclimation to the social mores, and for modern women especially, trying to come to terms with the idea of not having many of the rights we’ve come to take for granted every day.   Add to that the mystery of the journals, falling in love with not only Arik but with the village and Arik’s family, and the angst in trying to decide if she really wanted to return to her own time, and the story completely sucked me in.

Unfortunately, just when I thought everything was going wonderfully, there was a twist to the story that I felt cheapened not only Rebeka’s feelings for Arik, but also took away a lot of the difficulty of her decision of whether or not to try to return to her own time.

As such, while this was an enjoyable way to pass the time, it wasn’t an absolute favorite of mine.  My dissatisfaction with the Big Twist took away a lot of my enjoyment, and I was left with too many unanswered questions.

Despite the twist, however, the romance between Rebeka and Arik was enjoyable to watch, and the many side characters added a lovely amount of depth to the story.   While there were a few eye-rolling moments, they were mostly overshadowed by the mystery and excitement surrounding Rebeka’s arrival, and in the end, I would still recommend it for fans of time travel romance.

3.5/5 Stars