Here with Me
After writing down my initial thoughts about Here with Me, I decided to read the AAR review for its prequel, Stay with Me, just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Turns out that my reaction to this book was exactly the same as Lori’s was to the earlier one: we found nothing wrong with the books, just nothing memorable either. At least Beverly Long is consistent – though in this case, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
George… (Oh Lord, I forgot his name already) … Tyler awakens on a modern-day Californian beach 118 years in his future. This is not much of a surprise since he knowingly took Sarah Tremont’s place in returning to the future. Sarah, the heroine from the previous book, needed to convey important information to a sick little boy and George agreed to put his own problems aside and handle this task for Sarah. It’s unclear how George knows he will return back to 1888 once he gives his information – hopefully it’s mentioned in the previous book. However, once in 2006, George realizes that more time has passed than he thought and the information is no longer needed. So the entire set-up for the book is moot. Not to mention lame.
On the beach, George spots a miserable looking Melody Song just before a wave takes her out to sea, almost drowning her. After George saves her, she pours her heart and troubles out to him. She’s unmarried, pregnant, and has a loving grandmother who is dying of cancer. She also told her grandmother she was married and promised to bring her husband up for her visit. Melody doesn’t want to break her grandmother’s heart, but cannot find a way out of the pickle she’s in. Enter George.
He agrees to play the part of loving husband and father-to-be. They rustle him up some new clothes at Target and plan out their story on the way to her family’s Napa Valley vineyard. He is welcomed as a prodigal son by everyone except Melody’s bitter and spiteful aunt and uncle. Within days the former North Dakota sheriff is working in the grape fields and fitting in rather easily a century ahead of his time.
Of course the fake husband and wife fall in love, but George has vowed to hunt down his first wife’s killers and he needs to go back to 1888 to continue his quest. I found this plot point thin but necessary. Without it, George and Melody could have lived happily ever by page four.
Other than some sneaky dealings going down at the winery and a strange great-aunt – who manages to sneak in a final, albeit predictable, twist – that’s about it. Easy to read + nice characters + good atmosphere = boring. I hate to say it but it was. George was too good to be true. Melody was equally so but she did add a welcomed dash of humor every fifty pages or so. There is a nice amount of sexual tension between George and Melody and I can see how they fell in love. Kind of reminded me a little of a modern day Little House on the Prairie. Everyone (except the bad guys, of course) is just so gosh darn nice. How can anyone resist not falling in love?
Boredom aside, I can only find one really glaring problem: I was never completely sure how George traveled through time. There was a storm and some mysterious footprints, but that’s about all the information we’re given. The time traveling portions of the book had me confused, but they were easily overshadowed. Since George settled in so well in 2006 with very little culture shock, it was easy to forget he was from 1888.
C reviews really are the hardest to write. If you enjoyed Stay with Me, you’ll probably like Here with Me. If you didn’t, I wouldn’t bother.