I wasn’t completely sure what to expect when I started this book. Yes, I had the summary, but I’ve learned from past experience that just the summary doesn’t always help in choosing something to read. And I was right about that – it isn’t that the back of the book doesn’t describe what is going on, it’s more that it doesn’t tell you enough.
Samantha Drummond, historian and textile specialist, has an…interesting relationship with her parents. Desperate to get from under her mother’s influence, she takes a job across the Atlantic, house-sitting for a couple in England. But when a favor to the homeowners finds her being chased across London by the handsome Derrick Cameron (who thinks she is a textile thief), as well as some unknown thugs, Sam has to wonder if her journey towards independence is going to end up more of a tragedy than she thought.
First of all, Derrick? You are lovely, but you have some issues. But most of the best romance heros do, after all, so we can forgive you. Derrick spends a lot of time going back and forth in time, is accustomed to danger and loyal to a fault, he’s well-off, and he has a very specific moral code, which seems to help him in the present and in the past. Honestly, by the end, I was a little in love with him myself.
Samantha, what can I say about you? You are 26 years old, you live with your parents, you’ve studied what they wanted you to study, and now you work for them basically for free. And you hate every second of it. I spent so much time wondering when Sam was going to grow up and gain some independence that the plot and the romance kinda sneaked up on me. It was hard to relate to her, but as her confidence grew (the longer she was away from her overbearing family), the more I liked her. And the more Derrick saw past the librarian/historian exterior into someone he could fall for.
That was something I really enjoyed – watching Sam and Derrick come together. At first, Derrick thinks that Sam is an accomplished thief with a librarian tourist disguise. And Sam sees through his various disguises as he is following her (her father is a stage actor, after all – she’s used to seeing people in costume!). But she becomes more confident, he starts to look past his suspicions, and they grow closer. It really was quite darling.
And as a side note, the three men who help Derrick in his slightly-less-than-legal adventures in the past and present? They are awesome. Based on how they are portrayed in this book, I would happily read future installments of the series featuring them.
Okay, now for what I didn’t like – the ghosts. I know that throughout this series, the author has used the ghosts to bring her couples together, as well as to both introduce and move the plot along, but sadly it just didn’t work here. The first chapter, the first eight pages, took me so long to read, I almost didn’t want to finish it. Seriously, I had to put the book down for a little while before getting into Sam and Derrick’s story. And then, by the time I got to the end, I had completely forgotten what their purpose was, so had to go back and reread it. I just don’t think it worked well this time around.
The time travel in this novel was also a bit wonky – the hero and heroine simply don’t spend much time in the past, so it seems more superfluous than an actual part of the plot. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it again, the reason they go to Elizabethan England has to do with the ghosts’ part of the plot, so I’m not surprised I didn’t like it all that much. Though the whole James Bond (complete with Aston Martin!) Derrick is pretty brilliant, complete with Bond and Q toys in the past.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Sam and Derrick’s story – they are quite the adorable couple. I do think the time travel is getting a bit old in this series though (this is number 15 in the de Piaget series, and 13 in the MacLeod series, so take that as you will). And it feels at times as though the author herself is tired of it – it just doesn’t work as well as some past novels. But it is still cute and sweet and fun, and now I want to go back and catch up on some of the books in the series that I missed.
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