Friday, January 26, 2018

Mini-Reviews: Time Travel Romances

Back in December, I did a post on time travel romances I've read and enjoyed.  Since then, I've read a couple more, so here are my reviews!

The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin (2017)

Isabel has been raising her daughter Finn alone since her boyfriend Max disappeared shortly after she told him she was pregnant.  What she doesn't know is that Max has been pulled back through time, to his ancestor's plantation in 1816 Barbados, and that he's trying to get back to them before he gets caught in the middle of a deadly slave uprising.

This book had a lot going on - not only was there time travel and romance, there were also some supernatural/paranormal elements, historical fiction, friendships, relationships between parents and children, and family secrets.  It worked for awhile, but by the end I was lost and felt the story was dragging on.

I loved the writing; the author had an easy, flowing style.  At the beginning, the pacing was also really good - although some might feel it's slow, I liked the way the story moved back and forth between Isabel and Max's points of view (Isabel wondering if she should have hope that Max is still alive and Max trying to stop the rebellion).  However, the last 100 pages or so didn't work for me.  Isabel's best friend Ryan reveals that he has been in love with her for years, and the drama between the two of them as they decide whether to embark on a relationship was just awkward.  I don't think the story needed this element; I would have been more happy to have the focus on Isabel's conflicting feelings about both Max and her mother, who also disappeared when Isabel was younger. 3.5 stars

The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (2017)

A neurosurgeon taking care of her late brother's estate in Siena, Italy, is transported back to the 14th century, where she finds herself falling in love with an artist on the eve of the Plague's arrival.

I really enjoyed this book - the writing was absolutely lovely, the characters were fully fleshed-out, and the setting was rich.  Winawer did a great job in setting the scene; the descriptions of 14th century Italy and life at that time transported me to the era.  Beatrice was a multi-dimensional main character - although a neurosurgeon by trade, she also had an interest in history, and when she found herself in 1347 Siena, she adapted very quickly to her new surroundings, even finding herself a job and surprising herself with a lack of desire to get back.  The secondary characters added a lot of heart to the story.

Besides being just a love story between Beatrice and artist Gabriele, there is also quite a bit of intrigue, as Beatrice tries to figure out why Siena will be hard-hit by the Plague, causing the city's downfall.  She and Gabriele are pulled into situations more dangerous than they expect.  My only quibble with the story was that it did seem to move quite slowly at times.  4 stars

24 comments:

  1. I've heard about The Dream Keeper's Daughter and had high hopes-- it's too bad it didn't live up to its potential! I'm a sucker for time-travel romances, especially when they are well researched so I just added The Scribe of Siena to my TBR :)

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  2. I haven’t heard of either of these books. The second one looks interesting to me. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  3. I really like the sound of both of these. Great reviews!

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  4. The Scribe of Siena is going straight on my wishlist now. I didn't know about this book before but I'm absolutely obsessed with historical fiction set in Italy. :D

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    1. Yay, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  5. I have only read a handful of time travel books, but I am endless fascinated by them when I do read them. Sometimes pretty writing is enough of a panacea for me, if there is a flaw in the story.

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    1. Yes, good writing can help a lot of things!

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  6. The Scribe of Siena sounds like my kind of time travel book. I like that it has a good plot beyond just the romance itself.

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  7. The Scribe of Siena sounds lovely and intense, with Italy and the plague of all things thrown into the mix!

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    1. It definitely didn't feel like a thriller, it was a pretty quiet book, but it did have a lot going on, in a good way!

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  8. Both sound interesting, but The Scribe of Siena is much more appealing to me. I do wonder, though, how a doctor, with all her medical and scientific knowledge, could adjust so comfortably to the 14th century, where plague, disease, and infection were constant threats, and the means to combat them was largely nonexistant.

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    1. I think she was kind of like Claire in Outlander; she knows certain things that will help her, and she had a bit of medicine with her when she arrived, so she knew she could sort of rely on that. I think just in general she felt more "at home" in the 14th century. She knew the plague was coming and tried to find ways to stop it.

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  9. I guess I didn't realize that time travel romance was as wide of a genre as it is! Thanks for exposing me to it (and a bunch of books to start on)

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  10. Time travel and romance are a pretty good combo? Too bad The Dream Keeper's Daughter was disappointing in the end- it sounds like it had a lot of potential! The scribe of Siena sounds great though.

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    1. Yeah, it's a fun combo, it has a little bit of everything! I think The Dream Keeper's Daughter suffered from trying to do too much, though.

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  11. I felt the same way about both of these books. I especially agree with you about Siena - so, so slow at some parts. I didn't love it as much as I had hoped! Great mini-reviews!

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    1. Thanks, Christina! The Scribe of Siena was good, but I wish it had been tightened up a bit.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!