Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-13366-3
Paranormal Romance, 2003
Courtney Moss returns to Virginia City, Montana, to set her late grandmother’s affairs in order after Courtney’s mother, as usual, neglects to do so. While putting on an old gown, she finds herself transported back to the Gold Rush era in 1864. She decides that she will have to help our drunkard hero Heath Sullivan put his life, so that she can return home. Heath doesn’t want to be fixed or bossed around by Courtney, but love has a funny way of mixing things up.
The problem with Only Time Will Tell is that the main characters are very annoying. They are both plagued with so much emotional baggage, which they spend a long time whining about. Heath seeks refuge in the bottle and hates his weaknesses for so long that he comes off like a spineless weakling. Courtney acts like a twit, bossing Heath around as if she knows best while moaning about her own sad childhood. She also a few very stupid things here, like refusing to touch a gun or learn how to use one even if her life is in danger. Guilt, abandonment issues, and lack of self-esteem all pile up to produce a tedious story of two people who just won’t stop whining. Why can these people actually do something for once?
But even when these two decide that they deserve each other (and I can’t say I disagree there), nothing much of note happens. The secondary characters are stereotypes, the external conflict is half-baked and badly paced, and I have a hard time justifying why I even bothered with this book. The author overplays her characters’ passive-aggressive whiny behaviors to the point that there is nothing else of note about the rest of the story.