An Original Sin
Can you imagine living in a world where there are no real men, only men who were created in a lab or workshop? Can you imagine living a life where you never have the joy of having a father, brother or husband and the only reason you exist is because you were cloned? For Nina Bangs’ heroine in An Original Sin, this is reality in the year 2300. Four-two-N lives in a society where disastrous cloning and a lethal virus have left a world with no men. Her job is to make robotic men for the women of her world. So how does a woman from the year 2300 end up with a Scottish warrior from the year 1700 in the world of the year 2000? Aye, now there’s a question for ye!
When Four-two-N wakes up in bed next to Leith Campbell, she doesn’t know what to think. In her world, there are no men. She assumes Leith is a robotic but when she begins to check him out, a funny feeling settles in the pit of her stomach. When he wakes up, she becomes sure – Leith is as real as they come. For his part, Leith believes Four-two-N, whom he renames Fortune, is a witch. They soon realize they are not in their own time any longer – but how did they end up in the year 2000, and why? While the reader knows this answer (and I won’t spoil it for you), it’s fun to watch them slowly begin to figure it out.
With some luck, a new friend named Blade and a special cat named Ganymede, Leith and Fortune go about the business of finding out why they’re there, and the even more important business of falling in love. Fortune believes she is to save the human race by bringing Leith back with her. Leith tells her point blank he won’t go, and when asked if there was any way he would go with her, he responds, “I would have to love ye beyond all reason”, something neither of them finds likely. Then Leith finds his descendants and is convinced his mission is to tell the true story of the battle of Glencoe, in which he took part.
Both Leith and Fortune are scarred by their pasts. Fortune has never had love, never been held and never felt true affection or been part of any family. Leith battles his memories of Glencoe, his part in it, and the way it tore him from his brother. Leith and Fortune’s love story is one of the most touching I’ve read in quite a long time. Instead of one healing the other, they heal each other. Author Bangs handles this beautifully – readers will truly root for these two to fall in love. And yet, even as both Leith and Fortune fall deeply in love, they know it’s only a matter of time before they must return to their own times. How will they have their happily-ever-after?
The secondary characters are wonderful as well. They range from Blade, who finds them and gives them a place to stay, to Ganymede, a quite extraordinary cat who positively steals the book out from his human counterparts from time to time. The story does not lag or get boring, and there is enough humor and drama to satisfy all romance readers. There are some really good plot twists, including one involving Fortune’s necklace. To be honest, when I read that part, I teared up. As a matter of fact, I got teary eyed at the end of the book as well. Ms. Bangs does a decent job of resolving some outstanding issues in the story and really my only complaint is that Leith seems to adapt just a little too quickly to the twentieth century.
If you’re looking for a funny, heart-wrenching and truly lovely romance to read, try this one. You won’t be disappointed.