Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Love Beyond Time by Bethany Claire

Author: Bethany Claire
Series: Morna's Legacy Series
Publisher: Bethany Claire Books
Publication Date: November 16, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance
Pages: 290
Buy it on Amazon
I saw Love Beyond Time book on sale at BookBub and was intrigued by the gorgeous cover and the fact that it was the first of seven in a Scottish, time travel, romance book. I mean ancient Scotland? Time Travel? What could go wrong? Right? Wrong.

"I am glad I shall die tonight, lass. For I doona think I could live a day without ye by my side." 

Bri is a kindergarten teacher who accompanies her mother to Scotland on her archaeological dig. Her mother received a grant to excavate the Conall Castle in search of answers to their tragic deaths. Once inside the castle, Bri finds a painting that looks just like her and as she reads the inscription she is transported back to the 1600's. Bri has switched places with Blair MacChristy who is set to marry Eion the head of the Conall Estate. Bri falls in love while trying to prevent the tragedy that she knows is set to happen in a few short months.

To be fair, this book had a lot of tension going for it. As much as I disliked the book, I kept reading because I needed to know if Bri and Eion were able to stop the attack and if Bri was going to stay or go back home to the present. The tension worked for me when everything else didn't. I felt like Claire could have done so many things differently, but her style was effective. Cliff hanger chapter endings and just so many things going wrong that the tension does keep the reader invested in the story.

The major place where this book, and I assume the rest of the series, falters is in the research. There are no major descriptions of the time period other than the women are in corsets and they ride horses. Which those descriptors could be used in roughly 500 years of European history. And all the Scottish characters speak English with a generic accent, and I am betting most people in Scotland at that time would have spoken Gaelic and not English, especially the women, servants and lower classes that wouldn't have been educated. The romance made it feel more like a generic historical romance or bodice-ripper but there really wasn't as much bodice-ripping as there should have been.  Also, the time travel portion of the book was very weak in explanation. Some witch, Morna, set up this curse of time travel, but there is no indication of why or how she did it. If you compare this book to Arlene Radasky's The Fox, which is also a self-published book about magical realism in ancient Scotland, this book falls way short on accuracy, description and uniqueness. I feel like so much more could have been done with this book if the author had developed the richness of 17th century Scotland and focused more on the historical elements rather than the romance portion.

All in all, because the tension in the story forced me to finish the book, I had to give it 2 stars for at least keeping my attention. This book is actually free for Kindle right now, if you are interested in reading it. Just know that you're not getting a historically accurate fiction book. Buy it here. Or get the whole series here.

Let me know if you have read this series and if the rest of it gets any better!