This is one of the best time travel romance stories I have read in a very long time. This novel has all the elements that make a great story - romance, action, intrigue, and suspense. This is the way stories should be written!!
Anne Howard happens upon an old trunk belonging to her grandmother and discovers a handful of old letters that were not from her grandfather. When she asked about the letters, her grandmother decides it is time to tell Anne the story of Jonathan Brandon, a man she was set to marry until he simply vanished without a trace in 1945.
While her grandmother moved on with her life, married, had children, is content, she had always wondered what really happened to Jonathon. Anne, intrigued by the story, sets out to do a little research, only to find herself thrust back into the 1500's and face to face with one Dr. Jonathan Brandon. That's right- the one and the same man her grandmother told her about.
Time travel is explored, but not in the usual way lovers of this genre are accustomed to. The theories here are not the silly explanations we have gotten used to in time travel novels, but one more philosophical. What happens with Anne is something her grandmother suspects could be her destiny and sends her off as well prepared as possible. But, Elizabethan times, no matter what, are certainly an adjustment for Anne.
This is where I must stop to give the writing duo who co-authored the book a big bunch of kudos and even more thanks for really digging deep and creating a realistic, true to the era depiction of this age. The attention they gave to small details, things that might not cross our minds such as- What did women back then use when they had their monthly courses? What about illness that we are protected against today by vaccinations, like small pox? Seems time travel could be a more perilous than originally thought.
Almost immediately, Anne finds herself in a jam and the only way out is by marriage to Jonathan. While the marriage is in name only, the two have no trouble admitting a mutual attraction to each other even if it is a little weird at first. But, when the couple find themselves caught up in the court drama involving Queen Elizabeth the 1st, the story will suck you into the same time portal Anne and Jonathan went through. I was right there in the 1500's living through a period of dark politics, danger, and intrigue making the book just impossible to put down. It should also be noted you will get a lot of bang for your buck with this one as it is a nice thick mini-tome. If only there were more like this one! Absolutely dazzling! 5 stars
Re-issued Review: Originally reviewed on 1/21/15
What happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon, a dashing RAF flight surgeon, who disappeared from London in 1945? Kidnapping? Murder? Or did Brandon merely vanish of his own free will, seeking another life?
American teacher Anne Howard is stunned by a different explanation that her British grandmother’s long-lost fiancé was unwillingly wrenched back through time, to Elizabethan England. Anne knows time travel is nonsense until she is handed a fresh-cut thornless rose, a bloom extinct for over four hundred years! And then, when the impossible happens and Anne journeys back to 1560 London, she must somehow survive encounters with royal enemies, accusations of witchcraft and the possibility of never returning home.
In the midst of the chaos, she meets Brandon. Drawn into the perilous web of Elizabethan court life, they must confront their growing feelings for each other, complicated by poignant familial ties, while struggling with the shared danger of knowing what the future holds.