Destiny’s Child by Barbara Bretton

Just Finished:

Synopsis: Dakota Wylie didn’t claim to understand men… But she did know that Patrick Devane was stubborn and angry and that he refused to let anyone, including his young daughter, get close. Dakota also knew she had no choice but to accept his reluctant hospitality. And he, her bold audacious company.

No woman had ever challenged Patrick so brazenly – while no man had ever seemed so daring and dangerous to Dakota. And no little girl had ever seemed so in need of a family. Now only time would tell if their destiny lay with each other.

My Thoughts: I don’t know what to say, really. I finished it. The writing was okay, not great. I’m truly conflicted is what I am. I wanted more.

Dakota Wylie is a woman of the 90’s who is transported to the 18th century via a hot-air balloon. She’s a Harvard educated librarian who believes herself to be fat and unstylish. Patrick Devane is a good-looking man with a hardened heart and no wishes to have it any other way. He’s also the single parent to 6-year-old Abigail, whom he believes is not his child so he treats her with about as much emotion as one would treat a stranger.

I really liked the history of the Revolutionary War that was involved in this novel. Ms. Bretton did a wonderful job of encompassing the war as part of the story line but not having it take over. The history itself was rich in this small book, but I really enjoyed the idea of a modern day woman being thrust back into the time where we were just the original thirteen colonies.

I did find out after I was finished reading that there were two prior books that dealt with the hot-air balloon theme: Somewhere in Time, and Tomorrow & Always. Although connected, I believe each book could stand on its own because I read this one and didn’t really feel like I was missing anything.

Verdict: This was Okay. With as much as I loved Just Desserts, I expected a whole lot more. I’m afraid that if this had been my first Barbara Bretton book, I probably wouldn’t be tempted to read more by her. Fortunately, I’ve read better from her and know she’s capable of more than what I got in this read.

When There is Hope by Jane Goodger

Just Finished:
Synopsis: Can love be a lifetime away?

Waking up after an accident, the last thing Susan Butler remembered was living in the 1990s, happily married and joyously especting her first child. Now, suddenly, inexplicably, she is Margaret Johnsbury, the year is 1888, and she is about to find out she is detested not only by her handsome husband, Carter, but by the entire town of Newport.

Learning to live in 19th century Newport’s rigid Victorian society is only the first of “Maggie’s” challenges. Far more difficult is winning the trust of Carter, the sexy, volatile stranger who so grudgingly shares her home. But just when it seems Maggie will regain all the joy she possessed in her old life, a devastating secret surfaces to shatter her world to pieces. Now she must fight, not only for the heart of the man she has fallen desperately in love with, but for her very life.

What I Liked: I absolutely loved the story. I loved the fact Susan/Maggie went from being Susan, a well-liked, warm, kind-hearted woman to that of Margaret, who prior to Susan’s soul taking over her body had been a cold-hearted, manipulative………well, for lack of a better word, bitch.

I enjoyed the relationship between Carter and Maggie. His hesitant; hers accepting. They had to start from scratch and build a friendship before they could build a relationship. This was fun for me as a reader to experience and Jane Goodger did a phenomenal job in telling this story.

I also really enjoyed watching Maggie befriend all the people in her life whom Margaret had previously offended or taken for granted. It was great fun watching this people grow from being suspicious and almost hateful to actually admiring and trusting the new woman Maggie had become.

What I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like how quickly Susan seemed to get over the fact that she wasn’t Susan anymore. She started referring to herself as Maggie right away, with almost no thought at all to her previous life. In the book, this was explained away as Susan’s (Maggie’s) eternal optimism, but this was a woman who was happily married and who was expecting her first child. How does someone just dust themselves off and get over it, just like that?

Along with that, I also didn’t like the fact that it seemed like Susan/Maggie seemed to get over her former husband, Steve, all too quickly and then fell head over heels in love with her current husband, Carter, all within a short amount of time. I just didn’t understand how that could happen so quickly; but in the interest of a good story I suppose I can understand it. I mean if the story had been written any other way, it probably would have had to have been at least 1,000 pages in order for Susan to grieve her previous life the way I think she should have.

Verdict: This was Very Good. Jane Goodger is an excellent storyteller and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Just Finished:

Synopsis: Amber Schulman stepped into a lush English garden in 2007, only to arrive in breathtaking Sorrento, Italy–in 1958. The only person who understands her confusion is fellow time traveler Mark Lacey, a New Yorker who comes from the land of cassette tapes and Reaganomics. His dark, world-weary eyes beckon her with secrets and sensuality. But why does he seem familiar?

Trapped in the past since he was a teen, Mark wants nothing to do with another whining newcomer. But the blue-eyed Aussie might be able to answer the one question that haunts him: Do I ever get back to 1987? From soccer to samba to sex, Amber tempts him with a zeal for life and love, pulling him free of his lonely isolation.

But getting home may prove easier than they imagined. How will their love endure if Amber returns to her time–and Mark to his?

My Thoughts: Sundial is a short story ~ barely 60 pages, but it’s worth the time to read. Yes, it’s a bit choppy which is to be expected in a short story ~ so I can easily forgive that.

Immediately, there is antagonism between Mark and Amber ~ more on Mark’s part than Amber’s, of course. Mark has been stuck in a time that is not his own for over 4 years and he’s tired of people coming in and out of his life. And a bit jealous. Everybody else seems to be able to go back home from this place except him. So he’s bitter. Then there’s also the fact that he’s immediately attracted to Amber and that just adds fuel to the fire.

Despite their frosty beginning, Mark reluctantly befriends Amber and their relationship quickly blossoms. And believe me when I say there is a lot passion in these few pages. However, less than a year later they are separated. Are they reunited? I guess you’ll just have to read it yourself to find out. You can pick it up for $3.00 here.

Verdict: This was Good. This was my first read by Carrie Lofty and if her other works are anything like this one, she’s snagged a new fan. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.