I don’t read much romance but throw in time travel and a Scottish man and I’m in. All in.
Actually, I do read romance novels about once or twice a year. It’s not part of my regular reading feast but I like to change things up every few months and romance seems to be the thing for me. So when this book came along I was happy to find myself totally in the story and hoping for a happy ending.
Panna Kennedy is a librarian in Pittsburgh, PA. She’s in her 30s and a widow — her husband Charlie died two years earlier after a long and painful illness. She’s tried dating but doesn’t feel ready for a commitment yet. One night, a well-meaning friend sets her up on a blind date. As she’s getting ready to leave work, she stumbles upon a door in the library that is a time portal to 1706, and more precisely the border of England and Scotland which is about to erupt in battle. After going through the portal, she finds herself in a chapel. Not wanting to be seen, Panna runs off and ends up hiding in the library with a man named Captain James Bridgewater. He owns the castle and the library that she can’t help but admire. Trying to come up with a believable story for how she ended up in his house, she finds herself attracted to Bridgewater and keeps coming up with reasons to stay. Panna finally goes back to her own time but can’t stop thinking of Bridgewater and what might happen to him. Rushing back to the library, she hurls back in time and ends up in a whole mess of trouble that might get her and Bridgewater killed.
I loved that Panna was a librarian and pretty much fell in love with every book she came in contact with. It was a quirk I found very endearing. Being a young widow, she has her sad moments but it doesn’t consume her and while Panna professes she’s not ready for new love, well, it’s a romance so we all know what’s going to happen. And sometimes that predictability about a story is what I want. I wasn’t reading this book because I thought she might find a new man, I was all out waiting for him to appear, past or future.
Now James Bridgewater (Jamie to his friends) is likable in that gruff sort of way. A man without a family, floating between being a Captain in the English army and the grandson of a Scottish Clan leader, he’s more than stuck in the middle. Panna doesn’t make his life easier but she certainly makes it more enjoyable.
I’m a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and while I’m not out to make comparisons, I will anyway. Woman is the time traveler, meets Scot named Jamie, battle brewing between English and Scottish, two people marry under duress, find they really do love each other. You get the picture. Don’t take any of this as negative because it’s certainly not. I liked all these elements in the Outlander series and I liked them in this book. The story had a familiarity to it but didn’t feel the same for me. This happens when I read books with similar settings, which I do often especially with historical fiction, and while I wanted to mention it, it certainly wasn’t a drawback for me.
Here’s what it comes down to — Timeless Desire was a fast and entertaining read. The characters were likable, the setting a favorite time period of mine, and I can’t pass up a hot Scot. I was looking for a change in my reading and this book was a perfect summer evening read for me. I really I have to say I enjoyed it. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be adding more romance to my regularly scheduled reading but it did make me realize I need to give it a chance more often.
Timeless Desire: An Outlander Love Story
By Gwyn Cready
Astor + Blue Editions LLC