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Timeless Desire by Gwyn Cready

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two years after losing her husband, overworked librarian Panna Kennedy battles to distract herself from crushing grief. During a routine search within the library, Panna opens an obscure, pad-locked door and finds herself transported to the magnificent, book-filled quarters of a handsome, eighteenth-century Englishman. The man is Colonel John Bridgewater—the historic English war hero whose larger-than-life statue looms over her desk. However, the life of the dashing Bridgewater is not at all what she imagined. He's under house arrest for betraying England, and now looks upon her as a possible spy. Despite bad first impressions, Bridgewater warms to Panna. She is thrown into a whirlwind of high-stakes intrigue that sweeps her from Hadrian's Wall to a forbidding stone castle in Scotland. Written in her signature style—described as delightfully original, fun, and sexy—RITA Award-winning author Gwyn Cready produces yet another lightning-paced, delectable winner of a time-travel romance—a genre she has quickly come to master.

Amazon Summary

A capable librarian wrestling with budgetary problems one moment, a suspected spy in an English castle the next - Panna Kennedy passes through a secret door to find herself facing the intrigues of a Scottish 1706 border war.

Since I’m used to reading romances where the girl is young, virginal, and in need of protection, Panna Kennedy – the traveling, adventurous, tech and financially savvy widow – was hard for me to place opposite the stereotypical hero Bridgewater and the villain Adderly.  It felt to me, after her first trip, that Panna travels back in time – like it’s just another work day.  Her response isn’t the off-balance disbelief found in most other time travel romances.  She sympathizes with the villagers involved in the dispute, but she can still be focused on her blind date back home and on her library’s financial problems.  Luckily, her attraction to Bridgewater and need to keep him safe draws her back into his world where she capably braves the realistically described border tensions.

Bridgewater’s initial distrust of Panna, his torn sense of honor between duty to country or his mother’s clan, his primary goal of saving the Scots from death in an impossible battle, and his ultimate, determined quest to find Panna in the future made him the standout character in the novel for me.  Old-fashioned of me but I’m glad that Panna and Bridgewater were married by the Scottish priest before their heated attraction led to their wedding night.  Otherwise, Mrs. Brownlow and I would have been disappointed in noble Jamie.  Mrs. Brownlow’s dialogue and advice about husbands adds humor.  Other characters like Jamie’s staid English general father and his crotchety Scottish grandfather add a lot to the storyline.  I was surprised that the story sometimes felt disjointed to me because the characters were so terrific.  Sometimes, the dialogue or actions felt not quite right.  Even Bridgewater who seems so perfect tells Panna a raunchy story that somehow seems out of character.   

I don’t think this novel is a typical time travel romance, probably because Panna didn’t seem to be really immersed in the past?  Maybe that’s why Bridgewater’s easy decision to live in Panna’s world didn’t give me angst like that decision often does in novels.  His unconditional, heartfelt choice to join Panna in modern time Pennsyvania seems right – it just made me like Bridgewater more!

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.