I’ve delved into the world of Kelley Armstrong lately – she’s got a lot of books out there! These are the latest she’s put out, and quite different from most of her work, which features witches, werewolves and other mystical beings. This series is part Gothic, part time travel, part romance, part paranormal.
A Stitch in Time
This starts the trilogy, with Bronwyn Dale as the heroine who discovered at a young age that she could time slip back two centuries, where she played with young William Thorne. This occurred when she stayed at her aunt’s home in the Yorkshire Moors. The house belonged to the Thorne family in the past, and the two children think nothing of it that they are separated by centuries. Bronwyn visits him as often as possible over several years, and they grow up together, inching towards a more romantic relationship. That is cut short due to a tragedy after her uncle dies in an accident, and Bronwyn thinks she saw a ghost causing it. She has what seems to be a mental breakdown, and after years of counseling believes that her visits to William and seeing ghosts were all in her mind.
Fast forward several years, and Bronwyn inherits the house from her aunt and she returns to England to take possession of it, unsure if she will stay there for long. Slowly, she begins to question whether everything really had just been in her mind, or if ghosts and William did exist. The time slip happens again, and she finds herself with him again – now a grown man, all brooding and angry with her for not returning for so long. He has remained single, and Bronwyn is attracted to him all over again. There’s a lot of goings on with ghosts in her own time, that she comes to accept as she tries to unravel mysterious deaths from the past. Her relationship with William grows more intimate, and she doesn’t know if that will last. William is amazingly accepting of all the modern things she brings to his world, and even understanding her modern sensibilities. He’s quite the perfect hero.
There’s some spooky situations, and Ms Armstrong does a good job of keeping the mystery going to the end. It was a good escapist read, if you want something to lose yourself in. Oh, and there’s cute time slipping kitties in the book too!
Rating; 4 stars
A Twist of Fate
Book two focuses on Rosalind, wife of August Courtenay who is William Thorne’s close friend. After a visit with William’s housekeeper, Rosalind fears she left her wedding ring at his home and returns there late at night to look for it. No one knows she is going there, because she worries that August will be suspicious of her missing ring and she wants to fetch it before he wakes up. Unfortunately for her, at William’s home she falls into the time slip and finds herself in the current time period. Two centuries in the past, everyone believes she ran off or fell off the cliffs where her horse was found.
Rosalind manages to assimilate in the future and start a bakery, as this was her hobby back home. Four years pass in this manner, until Bronwyn comes to her shop and seems to recognize her, however, instead of asking for their help, Rosalind runs back to Thorne Manor to attempt to time slip again. And is successful, returning to her own time period, determined to find a way to return to her husband and child. She has brought a disguise with her, consisting of a wig and colored contacts among other things, and by a twist of fate ends up as the new governess to her son, Edmund. While she hopes to reveal her true identity soon, it just doesn’t seem to be the right moment. And then there’s the hauntings that occur, and the way someone or something is determined to scare her away. Rosalind needs to gain her true place in August’s life but she has to deal with everything else along the way.
I wasn’t all that invested in this story, as with book one. There’s a lot to suspend your belief with. One thing especially jumped out at me – she brings colored contacts with her, and mentions popping them in and out at various times with no mention of keeping them in any cleaning solution. I wear contacts, and that just doesn’t work that way. A small nit, but it bugged.
August as a character isn’t in the book as much as you’d expect, and his appearance seems to be more of the hero, jumping into situations at the last minute. There’s family history to unravel, a cranky housekeeper who may be part of the conspiracy, and ghosts that may or may not be real. It wasn’t overall a bad book, but it just didn’t capture me the same way as the first one.
Rating: 3 stars