by: Jillian David
First off let me say that I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting and I was glued to my tablet. The story line was a fresh take for me and I commend this author on her unique imagination and the ability to listen to her characters tell their story.
Peter Blackstone after surviving World War II comes home and marries the girl of his dreams. But when she is stricken with a deadly illness he realizes that nothing can be done for her he is forced to watch her suffer to get life giving breath. He realizes the horrors he faced in the war was nothing compared to the heartbreak he was experiencing. Feeling that he has nowhere to turn with the fear of losing his beloved wife he makes a pact and sells his very soul to the devil. He’s not dead but yet he is and now he is at the mercy of an unforgiving employer, Jerahmeel. His sins are insurmountable and unforgivable in his eyes. He’s no good to anyone and can never have the life he dreamed of having. A wife, kids, a home it’s all gone for him.
Peter is in a deadly car crash and is taken to a local hospital where the ER Dr. Allison LaCroix desperately tries to save his life. She soon realizes that there is something different about this man. He’s healing at an astronomical rate, a man that should be dead. But when she touches him she sees nothing but horrendous death, all these people whose lives are brutally wiped out. You see, Allie has her own special ability, one that she has bore since she was ten years old. When she touches someone skin to skin she sees death, most of the time the person’s own death. She experiences gripping pain when this happens and she has no warning as to when this ability is going to show itself to her.
But what Allie and Peter don’t expect is the attraction that they have to one another. Peter is a huge man, one of great power and strength and built like a brick. Allie is a broken woman with shattered dreams trying desperately to find a way in her life to make up for the deaths that she believes is her fault. Can these two come together in the midst of both their life altering abilities and find love?
This debut book of Jillian David is on the move and I can guarantee you when you read this you’re going to have a new favorite author. The story line is such a new fresh take and immersed in the devil as it is you’ll find yourself championing both main characters against evil and hoping they can overcome the obstacles in their lives to find love.
The story moves along at a good pace with just a few editing issues, definitely not enough to take from the book at all. As you get engrossed in the story you’re going to be on the edge of your seat in some of the scenes. There are twists and turns that you’re not going to expect with some action involved and the love scenes were very real, hot and sensual. Nothing in the raunchy way but cleanly written with taste.
All in all, I loved the story it was well written, good characters that will grab your heart to where you can feel their pain, their conflicts and joy. I would most definitely recommend this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and I will definitely read more from this author. A BIG thumbs up for both the book and the author.
Reviewed by Francine.
Historically accurate in every detail, this is a time slip novel that rips a reader from the 21st century and casts them back to Scotland in the year of 1658. It is the very year in which a great storm raged across the British Isles ripping up trees and flooding the land, and all on the very night Oliver Cromwell died. It is the year people throughout the Commonwealth held their breath in anticipation of “what now?” For with the Lord High Protector gone, and the populous wearied by two Civil Wars, a new Stuart era was secretly in the making.
And so, A Rip in the Veil begins in 2002 with Alexandra Lind, a typical 21st century woman, whom, accustomed the instantaneous age of electronic devices, is suddenly caught up in an electrical storm. Worse, the storm not only scares the proverbial out of her, every electronic device to hand malfunctions. What next? What to do? And little does she know Hell is about to open up and swallow her: literally.
In Mathew Graham’s world it’s 1658, and as a man given to strong belief in God, angels in his mindset don’t wear strange blue breeches nor are they devoid of wings. Trusting in God and instinct Mathew sees only a woman in need, and whilst tending to Alex’ needs he struggles to understand the complexity of her fate whilst his own is dire in itself. And when Mathew’s lifetime suddenly intervenes and danger is close at hand, Alex knows her life can never be as it was before, not unless she can find a way back to her own time.
Fate works in mysterious ways, and as time passes Alex is torn between the past and the present, or is it the present and the past? And while she’s not alone in comparing love in the past with love in the here and now, true hearts cannot let go, no matter the cost and no matter the losses along life’s path. Thus the Graham Saga begins.
Review by Katie
What a Fun book!
She knew, then, what had come of reading too many Georgette Heyer novels.
Though I love Dr. Who and Back to the Future, I usually avoid time traveling romance books like they are loaded with transfats and over processed sugars. They cannot end satisfactorily for me. Someone in the timeline is going to suffer, even if it isn't the romantic couple, it is family or others left behind at one end of the time stream or another. When I want to read about paradoxes and continuums of historical necessity, I read science fiction. I can't take that kind of angst in a romance unless it is in the past or middle. I read romance for happily ever after. However, this book made me giggle like a debutante at the end.
Devorah is on the cusp of becoming a Special Case. Over thirty and unmarried, her cultural expectations aligned with her own [yeah! What a wonderful difference] but she wasn't willing to settle for less than her soul mate. So, when her best friend mentions a visiting cousin of her husband, Devorah is willing to take another chance he won't be more of a Special Case than she is. However, things don't go quite as planned.
Ms. Schaefer sneakily draws you in with four chapters of charming introduction to characters that presumably have little to do with the story. It reads like a resume of the Intelligentsia meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Still, I did feel the appropriate sympathetic connections intended by the prose and it was perfectly paced. Just as I was at the point of saying, what the heck has this got to do with- Devorah fell off a chair, smacked her head and everything went black. When she regains consciousness, it is March, 1815 and she's been discovered by a Duke.
“My dear child, you have met with a deplorable, unexplained accident, but you are now safe,” he explained in dramatic tones. “Fortunately, you have been rescued by his grace, the Duke of Ravenscroft. He has conveyed you back to his ducal seat at Ravenscourt, where you now find yourself. It is the Duke’s intention, I believe, for you to remain here under his protection until you have recovered sufficiently to return to your own home.”
I am not a member of the Intelligentsia. It was work for me to shift gears from loving friends and family to another place and time, complete with new characters and Important Statements. Needless to say, I survived. And before the middle of the chapter I was hooked. The characters were loving compilations of romance stories through the ages. The contrast of utterly familiar and completely unique conflicts and dilemmas tossed about by time displacement was a marvelous surprise from the expected complaints about hygiene, class conundrums, and feminist affronts. Devorah's sensibilities were so composed I was in awe from the very beginning of her alternate reality.
“Well, this is only conjecture,” she said baldly, “but apparently I fell off a chair and landed in the wrong century."
The writing was perfectly pitched for each time period. Dialog was period consistent, description just enough over the usual reader expectation to convince you Devorah is confronting the past with a future eye. Though it is work, she is able to fit in and present herself to all and sundry as if she belongs. Devorah making vermicelli and meatballs when the cook breaks her leg is a moment I will never, ever forget! And the joy here is how subtly it is all done. Devorah is constantly on alert for mistakes she might make even as she wows the evening's entertainment with her skill on the pianoforte and the ladies with her needlework. [If only all new writers of historical romance were as careful as Devorah]
Everyone falls in and out of infatuation just as they should. Though I fretted at several points, anticipating the end and that wail of, "Noooo," I'd be embarrassing myself with, the transitions and resolutions gentled my fears like a loving nanny, or they tried to. Ms. Schaefer kept just the right amount of tension going, at least for me. Younger brothers Robert and Theo were exceedingly well done; even the Duchess-desperate-to-be-a-Dowager made her way in to my heart.
I didn't think much of the expedient Duke and his usage of people to satisfy his sense of humor, no matter how convenient it was for those in need. But I have every hope that his future duchess will turn that table on him; more than adequately tempering his arrogance. Strangely, Albinia, the obligatory insipid miss, eventually obtained my sympathy. After all, she's destined to endure life - well, never mind, that would be a spoiler. My point is, the people in the alternate reality became as tangible as those in the family and friends in the beginning.
I did think the end was too abrupt. I wanted a bit more than a wink and I wanted much more of Mr. W [both incarnations of him] than we received. Otherwise, Ms. Schaefer certainly surprised me in a good way. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read Me & Georgette. Totally recommend this book for an afternoon's escape or an evening's relaxation. It will make you laugh and sigh and grin. Best Part? No one gets left behind at the end. Promise!
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The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage.Reviewed by Francine
Set within the 17th century this book stands alone despite being book 3 in The Graham Series.It’s 1665 and all thanks to his 21st century time-slip wife Alex (Bk1), Mathew Graham has returned home to Ayshire (Scotland) post deportation to the colony of Virginia, only to find life under Charles II is not quite as imagined. Religious strife is rampant, and outlawed by refusal to swear absolute fealty to Charles and the Church of England life has become Hell on earth for Scot Presbyterian ministers. In defiance of crown dictate Mathew shelters and provides succour to the runaway ministers. One in particular of notorious voice and with a price on his head causes much anguish for Alex.
Whilst Mathew engages in risk-laden ventures across the moors, Alex faces a stark reality from his past life that will surely change hers and no doubt that of her children, for when Mathew’s ex wife thrusts Ian into Alex’ care the lad bears a remarkable resemblance to Mathew. Although once thought of his own son until told otherwise, both Mathew and Alex are thrown into emotional plains of uncertainty over Ian’s true lineage. All the while their love for each other is tested, not by the boy, but by events that unfold and threaten to tear them all apart. Ms Belfrage has most definitely placed an emotional minefield before her characters of which Mathew and Alex tread with great fortitude, their love knowing no bounds. This book although full of roller-coaster emotions in a romantic sense, the historical facts blend unobtrusively with the backdrop of the time depicted, so too the brief insights to Alex’ previous 21st century existence.
I will say this, which demonstrates the power of some novels to draw forth tears, there is one incident that left this reader as bereft as that of Mathew and Alex.