Book Review

A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill

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Title: A Stolen Season
Author: Tamara Gill
Publication Info: Crimson Romance 2012
ISBN: 9781440554353
Genre: Time Travel

A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill - a sepia toned closeup of a couple kissing

I can’t remember why I bought this book. Was it recommended to me? Did I see it and think, “Oh, neat!” because the plot summary would make me say, “Oh, neat”? I don’t recall why this book is on my schedule but I started reading it.

This book has a few 5 star reviews at Amazon (which are not worth the paper they are printed on, I know) and many raving reviews at GoodReads (which I tend to give more weight). I started reading and immediately had that, “Hold up, did I buy the wrong book? Is there something wrong with me?” feeling because my reaction was a solid and unending 0_o? And yet all these reviews are glowing and over the moon twice with joy about this book.

Ordinarily I’d have stopped reading and thought, OK, this book doesn’t work for me, moving on. It’s not like I’m short things to read over here. But because the reviews are so distant from my own reading experience, I was determined to keep reading even though I was not enjoying this book at all. I wanted to keep looking for the things that made reviewers so excited, and try to figure out why I don’t see them. There are continuity errors, leaps in logic, an unfeeling, unsympathetic heroine, and many other small problems that combine to make me angry at everyone in the book. But because the reviews were so positive and complimentary, I keep reading it, thinking that it was me who was missing something. Then I kept reading because I wanted to know how the plot would be resolved, and I knew one of the characters would tell me. They told me everything, really.

So the heroine, Sarah, is a time traveler who in the first chapter is riding horseback through a rainstorm in Regency England. She’s just stolen some thingymabob out of the Earl of Earnston, but she got caught lifting said thingumabob, so Earl of Earnston is chasing her on horseback. He catches up to her, pulls his horse alongside hers, she slips off her horse (there’s a lot of horse slippage), and he tries to save her.

In the end, she’s alive, but the earl falls off his horse, breaks his neck and dies. The earl’s brother – we later find out he’s the earl’s twin – shows up moments later, sees his dead brother, and there’s this chick with the thingymabob running off, so he fires a shot at her to try to stop her because she had something to do with the earl’s broken neck and must pay. The shot grazes her arm, and somewhere along the way she’s lost the thingymabob but she keeps going (plucky heroine) and makes it to the inn where her partner in time travel awaits.

She confesses all – I got the thingymabob, lost the thingymabobo, and killed the earl, oops – gets patched up, and goes back to her time period in the morning. She faces a great deal of humiliating BAD SARAH BAD from her father, who owns the time travel company, though it still hasn’t been explained what the company does and why she and this other dude are going back to the Regency in the first place.

Sarah is told she must go back to England one year later after mourning has ended and get the thingy back from the new earl by any means possible. Somehow dad has information that indicates he has it. So she has to go get it.

WHY?

I have no idea. I have no idea why any of this is happening, what the stakes are, why it’s so important to anyone and everyone in the story. What does the thingymabob do? How is it that it’s important enough to go back in time for – twice – but not so important that they can time travel without it? Why is it so crucial to recover it?

No idea.

The premise sounds SO NEAT to me: time travel? I used to loooooove time travel romances. Like, LOVE them. If the back cover said “time travel” I was buying it with every penny I could find in the couch. LOVE ME some TIME TRAVEL. And the heroine is an archaeologist! And there’s time travel, did I mention? I was definitely approaching this book with an, “Oh! Goody! Yay!” feeling of happy expectation. I’m all about somewhat quirky romances, especially historicals. And the description seemed to blend the things I love most: ingenuity with the plot coupled with intelligence from the characters.

But as I said, in the end, I kept reading despite disliking a LOT of things because the reviews are so positive I’m convinced I must be missing something. I must be because so many people said this book was incredible. Clearly I must be missing something.

For example:

 

Not only have I lost a device that could blow the lid off TimeArch and all its secrets, I’ve changed the history of a family forever.

 

DUN DUN INNNNNNNNNFODUMP!

But that’s all I get. I must be missing something: there is no explanation of WHY time travel is important, how it works, and why Sarah couldn’t go back in time again to just before she got caught the first time and try a different method to steal the thingymabob. Can she not go back to the same point in time twice? What are the consequences of all the time travel? Even with all the cliche-heavy infodumping, the rules of their time travel are not included.

 

Something else I am missing: Sarah’s empathy. Well, any real reaction to the things she’s done that would indicate she is not a shitful selfish human being. Sarah kills the first earl, without meaning to, in an accident, not at all intentionally… but she killed somebody, and isn’t very bothered by it. Her lack of remorse except in stray moments is really, really bothersome. She’s returned to the Regency a year after the earl’s death… but in Sarah’s personal timeline, not that much time has passed. It’s been a year for everyone but her, and she’s not troubled much by her role in the earl’s death. AND since he’s a twin, his brother looks just like him, but that doesn’t bother her either – except that he’s hot.

THAT for some reason is a problem:

 

She took a calming breath and refused to give in to her ridiculous fear. Instead, she fully turned to absorb his every detail. The new Earl was also tall and athletic and oozed Old World charm. His dark brown hair was longer than the other gentlemen present and even from this distance Sarah could see he wasn’t a man to underestimate.

 

“I forgot they were twins,” she said.

 

“Are they similar?” Richard asked, tugging her arm so she faced him.

 

“Very.” Except this man is alive, virile, and altogether too handsome for his own good….

 

Sarah scoffed and turned back. “I just hadn’t expected him to be so good looking. His appearance was so different the last time I saw him.”

This man is alive? As opposed to dead on the road in the rain like that other guy? I mean, they’re twins, possibly identical, and she killed one of them. Now it’s a year later for them and, I don’t know, a few days for her (because really I don’t know, and either it’s a day or so since she killed somebody in which case I think she’s a sociopath, or it’s been awhile and I missed something that indicated the passage of time), and they’re all in a ballroom, and she’s surprised that he looks different?

(Also: “His dark brown hair was longer than the other gentlemen present….” Is he Cousin It?)

Editing oddities aside, Sarah has left me the impression that she’s a very shallow idiot – or I’m missing something. She barely makes any mention of killing this guy:

…still it irked that her father would request she undertake such a dirty deed. If she had it to do over, she wouldn’t have killed the former earl.

 

Good to know! Except how is going back to steal this device again more of a “dirty deed” than killing someone, albeit accidentally?

Sarah’s task, the “dirty deed” she speaks of (I think) is to infiltrate Regency society and the new earl’s social circle enough to steal back the device, with her coworker Richard posing as her brother. Her father has somehow (there’s no explanation) created a backstory for them. Really, this is the father’s explanation:

You will both return and reside in London as brother and sister. We will make up a family name and title for you to use and I will give you the famous London Season to procure the device by any means available.

How is her dad somehow going to create all the backstory needed for Sarah and Richard so that they don’t require connections or anyone knowing them? I am so confused – really, I must be missing something. I MUST BE.

But because they don’t have any connections, Sarah finds herself crashing a ball hosted by the new earl (his name is Eric) and she and Richard are thrown out by said earl because he doesn’t know her and thus he knows she wasn’t on the guest list.

Thrown out of a ball! I’d think that would be somewhat compromising to their plans of social inclusion, right? So does Sarah – she’s convinced this is social ruin for them both, but Eric’s cousin Anita is not having any of his rude behavior to someone who looks so pretty and pleasant, so Anita befriends Sarah as quickly as possible by marching up to her in the park the next day and introducing herself:

 

“Let me start, Miss Baxter, by apologizing for my untoward behavior. I know it is not done to introduce oneself to strangers, especially without a prior introduction by a male member of my family. But it is only me, my maid, and Mama here today. I find in certain situations, one can overlook the niceties and manners and do what we can with what we have available.”

 

Sarah, relaxed by Lady Anita’s candor, found herself laughing. The woman, for all her obvious wealth and youth, made a good point and seemed quite modern in her ideas and speech.

 

The continuity oddness that confuses me about the time travel affects the other characters, as well. Sarah and Anita’s relationship progresses at an absurdly fast pace. After two meetings and Sarah is part of the earl’s cousin’s “set” of friends. They all instantly adore one another.

 

For example, here’s Sarah’s first meeting of Lady Anita, the earl’s cousin, the next paragraph after the above excerpt:

 

“Now, no more of this Lady Anita. Anita will do just fine between us when we’re in private, and I hope you’ll allow me to call you Sarah?”

 

They’re besties in .05 seconds. They each have the emotional acceleration of a Maserati.

And speaking of emotional acceleration, this is Sarah when someone brings up the earl’s death:

 

Sarah inwardly squirmed at the reminder. Still, the only reason her father had not killed her after she’d confessed her blunder was because the late Earl of Earnston, Lord William, was fated to die from a riding accident a year after Sarah’s disastrous mistake.

She had therefore not changed history. Lord William, although married as of that time, had not produced any heirs. Yet the relief was only short lived. Sarah had still brought on his death earlier than it was meant to be. It was not something someone forgot overnight. Nor ever forgave.

That’s the longest mention of anything regarding Sarah’s feelings about killing Lord William – and even then, I don’t think she’s talking about HER forgetting or forgiving. I think she’s talking about his brother. He’ll be totally into her until he finds out she was responsibly for his brother’s death, which was going to happen anyway so it wasn’t a big deal?

I really must be missing something because I would think this would be much more difficult for her to process.

Meanwhile, back in the park, Anita’s location standing next to Sarah scores Sarah and her brother an impromptu invitation to a ball from a social matron passing by in a carriage, so Bob’s your uncle, Sarah’s back in society. Which prompts her to ruminate the following:

 

Normally a woman who bungled her way through life being too candid and dull, it was going to be a Herculean effort to pull off playing a society queen.

 

Too candid and dull? I’ve not seen those two words together, particularly not from someone who would be described as “bungling her way through life”  – and there’s that feeling that I must be missing something again.

So on to the ball.

“Welcome to Hendon House, Lord Stanley, Miss Baxter,” Lady Cottlestone greeted them at the doors.

She answers her own door? Ok, fine, maybe she just happened to be standing near her doorway and isn’t actually answering it or standing at it to greet people.

 

“I find that always meeting the same people in society can cause stagnation. It is so refreshing to have you a part of our set.” Anita clasped two champagne flutes and handed one to Sarah. “Oh, I do love pink champagne.”

“I agree. It’s a lovely beverage.” Sarah chuckled as she took in the scene.

 

This is the second time Anita and Sarah have met. Possibly the third if you count their being in the same room at the earl’s ball that Sarah got thrown out of – but really, this is their second conversation. And now Sarah is part of Anita’s “set.” Because she’s “refreshing.”

Of course Eric is at this ball, prompting Sarah to think to herself:

 

How was she to talk to the man without falling at his feet and apologizing profusely for killing his brother? Or babbling like a fool due to his good looks. Sarah mentally chastised herself for being an idiot.

 

I could not locate any sympathy for Sarah as the heroine. I had a lot of trouble with the idea that his good looks are as much a cause of social discomfort as having killed the man’s twin brother.

And Eric is smitten with Sarah instantly, of course:

 

Miss Sarah Baxter was a breeze of fresh air in an idle society. She was an intriguing woman, and he wished to know her better.

 

So during Lady Cottlestone’s ball, Richard decides to search Lady Cottlestone’s home for the thingymabob, despite Sarah’s father having said that all his reports indicate that Eric has it. Richard didn’t find anything. So they stick with the plan of having Sarah get close to the earl to steal the thingymabob:

“Lady Cottlestone’s collection seems to sway toward furniture — pianos and pianofortes to be precise. She has hardly any trinkets at all.” Richard sighed. “Keep with the plan. We’ll be home before you know it.”

Sarah nodded, trying to keep the disappointment from her face. Keep with the plan. Simple enough, or perhaps not. Not when every time she was beside the delicious Lord Earnston, she had an overwhelming urge to beg his forgiveness and throw herself against him. Such specimens of men shouldn’t be allowed in history. It didn’t make a twenty-first century time traveling archaeologist’s job at all easy.

And judging by the heated gaze from his lordship at this moment, he would be an easy conquest. Sarah sculled the last of her champagne.

What a conundrum.

First, if you’re confused like I was, I had to look up “sculling” as a term for drinking, and while the on-board dictionary was no help, Urban Dictionary explained that “sculling” is drinking quickly.

Meanwhile, back at the earldom, Eric has hired a Bow Street Runner, who is nervous in His Lordship’s presence, but nonetheless requests a meeting because of the following grand jete leap of logic. The runner, Mr. Simms, has a lead:

“Last evening at the Cottlestone Ball, I was informed items in her ladyship’s parlor were moved about and not returned to their original positions. Also, papers on her writing desk had been shifted. This, of course would not normally raise concerns, but as the room was off limits to guests, I thought it best to bring this to your attention.”

Eric sat forward and frowned. “Lady Cottlestone notified you of this?” Blood raced through his veins at the possibility the culprit was finally back in town among them.

“I received a note this morning. I hope that was suitable, my lord. You did instruct your closest acquaintances to be mindful of anything out of the ordinary.”

“Hmm.” Eric stood and walked to the window overlooking Belgrave Square. “No one saw anyone lurking or acting oddly?”

The runner shook his head. “No. The staff was so busy with the ball, they didn’t notice anyone out of the ordinary. But, if I may say so, my lord, it seems our killer is back in town.”

Eric nodded, his attention on the unsuspecting populace outside his library window. “So it would seem,” he said. “Now all we have to do is catch the bastards.”

“We will. Sooner or later they’ll make a mistake, and this time, we’ll be ready. You have my word on that, my lord.”

I am really, really, really missing something.

1. Why would Lady Cottlestone notify the Bow Street Runner hired by Eric instead of Eric himself?

2. Why would things being moved at a ball indicate that a murderer is back in town?

Wait, maybe because Sarah had stolen something from Eric’s brother just before he died, and so any signs of a thief searching would mean that it might be the same person? No other thieves in London? No, I’m still confused.

A few pages later, Sarah and Richard are enjoying the marvel that is a full English breakfast in Regency times, and discussing their plans for the day. Richard cautions Sarah against going to search in antiques shops because:

“Your father said the earl had the device, so you’re wasting your morning.

 

So it’s ok for him to search Lady Cottlestone’s library (and do a shabby job of it such that people notice things are moved and now Earl Eric is On the Case) but it’s a waste of her time to go to a shop?

0_o

Sarah heads out – without a maid or escort, which she realizes too late sends the wrong message about her character – and of course encounters Earl Eric in the antiques shop. They have a lovely conversation about Sarah’s interest in collecting peculiarities, which doesn’t trigger any suspicions at all on Eric’s part about Sarah, even though The Thief-Murderer is Back in Town.

Later, Lady Anita visits Sarah and has all sorts of personal family news to share with her friend of two conversations:

“Sarah, what news I have for you! You will never guess.” Anita flopped on to the settee and patted the chair.

Sarah laughed and sat. “Since I’m new to town, I should imagine not. Tell me what has you in such a good mood.”

“I have just come from Lord Earnston’s home. It seems, my dear, that he has had word the person believed to have caused the death of Lord William is back in London. Last eve at the Cottlestone ball, her ladyship alleged her upstairs parlor had been trifled with. That someone seemed to have been looking about.”

Sarah stared wide-eyed at her friend and felt all the blood drain from her face. She swallowed the bile that threatened. “Did anyone see the person snooping about?” It could not be true. Richard was a pro at slipping in and out of situations without detection. How could such a mistake have happened?

“No,” Anita said, her voice dejected. “But that does not signify, for someone was in there, and it’s only a matter of time before they are caught and brought to justice.”

 

I feel like I must have missed several chapters of the two of them becoming friends, because this conversation is not something I can picture happening between two people who have met twice. Ok, maybe I’m wrong, and they really are instant best friends like that, in a rather insular community. I lost count at this point of the number of times I thought, “Wait, I don’t understand.” This characters, and the way they acted, made no sense to me. But I kept reading. I really wanted to find what it was that had created glowing reviews for this book.

Earl Eric has decided to throw a house party in one of his estates outside London, and has invited Richard and Sarah. Anita is so very pleased about this because she thinks Eric is attracted to Sarah – which he is, and he’s obvious about it. At a ball prior to the house party, Eric begins acting like a jealous, demanding scary dude when he doesn’t have any real claim to Sarah exclusively save for one kiss in the garden – after which, I might add, he put his jacket over Sarah’s shoulders and she discovers the thingymabob in his pocket because he carries it everywhere. So Sarah knows that Eric has the thing she’s looking for on him at all times, and thus she must accept the house party invitation to try to get it back.

At the ball, Sarah dances with one guy who gives her the creeps. Eric doesn’t like this development at all, so he tricks her into going into a sewing room in someone else’s home so they can be alone:

Lord Earnston stalked around the settee and stood before her. He stared down at Sarah and it took all her control not to smile at his jealousy….

“Are you toying with me, Miss Baxter?”

His lordship stepped closer still, and his breath caressed her lips. They were so close, only a slight lean away. Sarah swayed forward to brush her lips against his, and her stomach rolled in a delicious slide. “No,” she said.

He growled and yanked her hard against his chest. Sarah grinned and clasped the hair at his nape. His breathing came in short, ragged gasps that matched hers.

“Where did you come from, Sarah?” Pain tore through her at the truthful answer she should give him. But she must evade the question.

“From the same place everyone does. Their mother.” She grinned as he raised his eyebrows.

“You’re a teasing little minx.” His lordship paused. “Will you call me Eric when we’re in private?”

Sarah nodded. “I’d like that.”

“So would I,” he said and kissed her. Hard.

 

I found this scene repellant, because I couldn’t figure out the reason for his punishing kisses, and all the growling. Sarah has what looks like a chance to grab the device out of his coat but doesn’t take it, because she’s too into Eric to get tricksy about it. Eric leaves immediately afterward, and ruminates to himself once he’s home:

He would do both. Court Sarah and seduce her at the same time. She had ignited a fire in his soul, and he could no longer live without her. Eric shook his head. He was a doomed rake. A man in love.

 

His relationship moves as fast as Anita’s did where Sarah is concerned. I have no idea what his “love” is based on, given that he’s kissed her twice, and talked with her a handful of times at best.

Sarah is feeling glum about having to steal the device while not really faking her interest in Eric, but she’s happy about the attention:

 

Back in 2012, she didn’t even have a boyfriend. For that matter, she hadn’t slept with a guy in more than twelve months. And here she was in 1818 with a delicious lord chasing her skirts. What a difference two-hundred years could make to one’s dating life.

 

Sarah thinks Eric is thinking of having an affair with her but his intentions are much more serious. Sarah finds herself in the very awkward position of being proposed to, and attending Eric’s house party while he’s awaiting her answer. Eric, meanwhile, is having ruminations of forever:

 

A few weeks into the season and he’d fallen for the most beautiful, mature debutante he’d ever met. The thought of the weeks to come on his estate filled his mind. His body roared with the knowledge that he could maneuver her alone and have time with only the two of them….

No longer did nights at gambling dens or places like Mae’s at Soho Square hold his attention. For the first time in his life he wished to spend his nights at home with only one woman sharing his bed.

Sarah …

What he had come to feel for her was an affection so deep and enthralling that time itself would never be able to dim it. He would love her forever.

He was sure of it.

I don’t understand this progression of his emotions. He’s attracted to her, but surely he would know the difference between lust and real feelings. He hasn’t had any meaningful conversations with her where they haven’t ended up nearly naked. He knows very little about her except that he thinks she’s a breath of fresh air and that she’s hot, but he’s supposedly in love with her. (Sarah, meanwhile, thinks Eric is hot and more alive than his dead brother, and also hot, so they’re even.)

Either these people have the emotional maturity of tadpoles, or there are pages or something missing from this book that I’ve missed.

At this point, it was not possible for me to just put the book down and move on to something else. Beyond figuring out what was wrong with me that all these glowing reviews were so different from my own experience, I wanted to know what was going to happen once Eric found out that oops, Sarah killed his brother, and once Sarah had to head back to 2012, though it sounds from her mentions of her life that there isn’t much to go back to aside from her father being angry at her.

The story continued with increasing drama and fretting from Sarah, who worried about things like:

Sarah realized Eric was a very wealthy and powerful man. What would he do if he ever found out she was common and worked as an archaeologist.

And that she killed his brother and was from 2012 and only there to steal something she’d tried to steal before.

Lucky for Sarah, she thinks Eric is a good guy:

“Do you let the common people hunt on your land?” Sarah watched Eric and prayed his answer was to her liking.

“I do. I know a lot of land owners do not, but I’m not one of them.” Sarah touched his arm, an overwhelming urge to hug the generous earl.

“That is so very kind of you, Eric. You’re a true gentleman.”

I won’t spoil the ending for you, though I did read to the very last page to find out how their time distance and Sarah’s somewhat major secret would affect the happy ending. If there were a book spoiler site with all the endings written out like Movie Pooper, I would have read that instead. I was told everything about their “feelings” for one another, and never saw them display any affection other than intense hornyness. Nearly everyone in Eric’s family immediately waves off the idea of titles and formality and insist Sarah call them by their first names – except for Eric’s mother, who dislikes Sarah but ultimately is a toothless antagonist.

Even the ending is nonsensical because there is no explanation of HOW the ending happens. There’s no clarity to any of the time travel aspects, despite Sarah’s father running a company that specializes in it. It’s an important element to the story, but all I’m told is that it happened … much like many other important pieces to the story. The only real emotion is in the end, and even the final chapters were spoiled for me by being told everything in sweeping paragraphs of info dump. Large conflicts disappear in a line or two of dialogue, and the ending is presented as This Happened, with no explanation. There’s no explanation of the time travel or the company her father owns, or how the time travel works, what the rules are, and why Sarah couldn’t just repeat her trip and not kill the earl the second time.

What frustrated me most was that this was a great concept and I really wanted to enjoy this book – especially with the number of glowing reviews. But the lack of continuity in the worldbuilding, the plot, even the characters’ memories of conversations they’d just had, drove me absolutely bonkers. There is no explanation for any of the major turns in the plot or developments in the characters’ emotions, except for summary telling that Love Has Occurred Now, and Things are Different. I wanted to like this book, and I was hopeful that the very positive reviews and my own perseverance would yield a different experience. Unfortunately for me, I don’t think it was just me that was missing something.


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ETA: A few folks in the comments wanted to know the ending, so I’m going to sketch it out here, and white it out so you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. Highlight to read if you do, k? And folks on RSS readers who may not have text in different colors, BE YE WARNED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so the only emotion was in the end of the book. Sarah and Eric end up stranded on the wrong side of a creek after everyone at the house party made it across before the creek rose too high, and so not only are they ruined and must marry, but, well, let’s say that carriage was rocking, and after the rocking there was a lot of declarations of love. Eric proposed earlier in the story to Sarah, who felt it would be cruel and unethical to accept, because eventually she was going back to her own time.

Meanwhile, after the ruined-in-the-carriage-by-the-stream thing happened, Earl Eric’s mother looked Richard and Sarah up in Debrett’s Peerage and found that (OMGNO) they aren’t really barons or anyone that anyone else had ever heard of, and brought the information to Eric and Sarah in front of their families. THEN it came out that Sarah had killed Earl Eric’s brother and was the mysterious woman who stole the thingymabob. He’s pretty peeved about his brother, and doesn’t believe her explanation that she’s from 2012 at all, but then she demonstrates what the thingymabob is (it’s a GPS. I SWEAR. IT’S A GPS. It maps wherever they are. Except it can’t do it in the Regency because, hey, no satellites unless there was a Regency space program we didn’t know about but she killed people and screwed up the space time continuum for a goddam GPS) and that’s when I lost my eyeballs.

Earl Eric calls Sarah a whole bunch of mean names, and she heads back to 2012 with the mapping device, broken and sad, and Earl Eric storms off to do whatever.

Back in 2012, Sarah is miserable, and her dad is all, “Come with me.” He drives her to Eric’s estate, or what used to be Eric’s estate, and tells her he rented the whole place out so they could be alone. Sarah has painful deja vu being in Eric’s home, and her dad tells her that Eric’s life was grade-A misery after she left. Eric married Icy Patricia, and then he got all mad at his mother and his wife at some point, and they flounced out of his home, got in a carraige wreck and died together. Then Eric had epic guilt, drank and gambled, but lived the rest of his life alone until he died in his upper 80s.

Sarah’s dad takes her to see Eric’s grave because what else would a sensitive dad do, right? He draws her attention to a line engraved on his tomb at his request in his last will and testament, that reads, “I believe. I love and miss you. Please come back to me. Eric.”

That was the moment of emotion I was looking for, and while it didn’t make up for the entirety of the book, I did finally find some empathy for Eric. That was a lovely moment in an otherwise infuriating and confusing book. 

So Sarah decides that she has to return to the Regency, but it takes a week to set all that up. Sarah’s dad rents a house for her, sets her up with a bank account filled with enough money for three lifetimes (you know, should Eric be all, ‘Get off my lawn’ when Sarah shows up) and makes sure the house has servants when she arrives. 

There’s no explanation at ALL how they do this, really. HOW do they retroactively open a bank account so she can draw on it in the past? No idea. HOW do they rent a house, much less hire servants? NO IDEA. How does she go back in time to a specific date, and why that date? NO IDEA. Seriously, it’s like one paragraph.

Sarah goes back in time. She buys some horses, sends a note to Anita who nearly burns carriage wheel tracks in the road coming over to see her, and takes her sweet time finding her way to a location where Eric is. She’s at a ball dancing with someone else when Eric sees her (and really, it was kind of anticlimactic after all the delays at that point) and storms across the ballroom, plants a big ol’ kiss on her in front of everyone at the ball (GASP AND GASP AGAIN) and off they go to their happy ending. That’s it. She goes back in time and lives with Eric, whose life would be presumably different than the first version. It wasn’t very surprising, since Sarah had little to no mention of her life in 2012 during the course of the story, unfortunately. 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Joykenn says:

    I got tired just reading the review.  Thanks for taking one for the team Sarah.  Now go off and contemplate some turkey.  It’ll cheer you up. <grin></grin>

  2. 2

    See?  Sin Eater.

    I don’t understand how books with such structural flaws get good reviews.  Sure, okay, some people might enjoy reading about these people, but the STORY DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. 

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    Yes, and in addition to structure, this book had huge continuity errors, like the dog in the movie Twister that somehow is riding in three different cars in three separate shots at the same time. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

  4. 4
    Lyra Archer says:

    Ok how bad is it that every time I saw “dirty deed” I heard that AC/DC song in my head?

  5. 5

    This was one of the funniest reviews I have read. And I can’t believe you finished the book – I don’t think I could have. LOL

  6. 6
    LitDiva says:

    Brave girl, making it all the way through that mess. I would have given up.

  7. 7
    CP says:

    Ok, you could have disclosed the ending since no one else will read it after this, and I really want to knoooooowwwwwww ;)

  8. 8

    A MacGuffin and “As you know, Bob” conversations? This book sounds like it’s just chock-a-block full of literary merit. For realz.

    I agree with CP; since we suffered through the excerpts, we might as well know the ending!

  9. 9
    Vicki says:

    Oh, goodness, now I have to watch Twister again. Which I love, continuity errors and all.

  10. 10
    Jessi Gage says:

    Awesome review, SB Sarah. I enjoyed your detailed summary of the problems with this book much more than I probably would have enjoyed the book. I love time-travel too, but I’ll probably pass on this one. Establishing credible motives is big for me. If I don’t see motive in the first chapter, I usually DNF.
    Have a great holiday!

  11. 11
    Jessi Gage says:

    That is the best song!

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    You really want me to spoil the ending? ARGH. I don’t think I can white out comments like I can white out text in the entries. Let me think if there’s a way I can tell you what happens in the end. Maybe I’ll amend the entry and white it all out. (Can you tell that I hate to spoil books?)

  13. 13
    Niki says:

    Wow, you have told me enough of the story that I need to know how she finishes it all off.  (I am assuming it the answer will be, “poorly,” but I am dying to know all the WTFery.). Pleeeeeeease don’t make me buy the book just to get closure. ;-)

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:

    Ok, I amended the entry – the ending details are whited out.

  15. 15

    While this sounds particularly egregious, I often think the time line is waaaay too fast in romance novels.

  16. 16
    Trippinoutmysoul says:

    Sigh. It saddens me when the premise of a story is so promising and exciting, but the execution kills it. These are the books I throw across the room, yelling “It could have been great!” My kids don’t even look up anymore when I do this. Ebooks get shook.

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