by Barbara Sheridan, time-travel (1999)
Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12499-0
This time travel historical romance is well-paced, it is one of the more believable time travel romances I've read (no time traveling thanks to a knock in the head or other silly nonsense), but too bad about the characters. The main characters and many other players are badly drawn and exaggerated people with no resemblance to anything except someone from the Loony Tunes.
The heroine Laura Bennett is the stereotypical Damsel In Distress. She has lots of broken relationships, lost her grandpa (the only relative who was there for her), is a recovering alcoholic, has problems with the Self Esteem thing, and her one true love (at this point) just can't love her. After all, the man is a photograph - a handsome Choctaw dude Corby Hillhouse. Talk about needing to go out more often.
When Laura falls down the railing of the modern Hillhouse house, she get wooshed back to 1898, 100 years back in the past. Guess who is there when she opens her eyes. Colby kisses her, and it's the start of a most unhealthy relationship.
Colby is tortured too. He lost his wife in childbirth and hence so guilt-ridden that he takes it all out on his daughter Sabrina. The poor gal is treated coldly by her father who can't stand the sight of her. When Laura plays supernanny to his daughter, he starts getting the willies for her. But that doesn't stop him from boinking the town's Evil Woman, who is so singularly bad to the point of being a complete caricature that I can't think much of a man who can actually wag his wonky at such a woman. And he's not too bright either, flying into mistrust at the slightest provocation and dragging the whole story into a Big Misunderstanding fiesta when the story starts to sag.
Laura spends the rest of the story mooning when Colby paws her, crying in heartbroken anguish when Colby acts like the typical jerk, getting all jealous and fired up when Colby and Ms Harlot do the deed, in between cooking, cleaning, ranching, nanny-ing... Laura, Snow White does all this and gets a Prince Charming. What do you get? A pig. If I were you, I'd be seeing a lawyer by now.
Sure, TW has some streaks of originality and great writing, but poor characterization - fatal flaw indeed - sinks this book down. Hopefully the author's next book would have all these kinks ironed out.
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