Time travel, along with psychic Gaels, was the earliest form of paranormal romance, and I’ve certainly read my share over the years. When I asked Gwyn Cready to read the ARC of Timeless Desire, I expected a good story, fun characters, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-style historical romp.
I got the first, but the second was much more complicated and compelling. I can’t remember reading another time travel romance that tackles the issue of contamination quite so well. At the same time, this novel offers characters I fell in love with as much as Panna and Jaime fell for each other. Their sometimes raunchy expression of that love, wry humor shared among many characters (Clare and his lovely sisters, for example), and danger mixed in with real fear for the people met during the read all came together to make this a wonderful book.
There are touches of mystery mixed in with a very real portrayal of the tension between the Scots and British along the border and Hadrian’s Wall. This is not some fancy dress dance through the elite parties of the past. Instead, love builds out of lust that is transformed as Jaime and Panna reveal their true natures in dangerous and desperate situations. Jaime learns to trust another while Panna finally lets her grief for her dead husband stop constraining her life, but that’s only a small part of the twists this story takes a reader through, all firmly centered on the two main characters, mostly Jaime, and yet crossing so many lives, most of which are given a mini story of their own, even if it’s a soldier’s wish to transfer back to his home in Dublin.
This is a novel about secrets, the torment of living, and the bright moments that make living worthwhile for those willing to take a leap, whether into a different time, or of faith in another. While I read the ARC before the final edits, and under a different title ;), Timeless Desire was well worth the time I spent in between its virtual pages, and I can only imagine the final version will be even better.