Like a lot of bloggers, I often receive emails asking that I either try a product or read a book in exchange for a review. Most of the time I delete those emails because A) the items are of no interest to me, and/or B) what little free time I have is spent working on my own various book projects.
I received one such email not too long ago, presumably by mistake. It had been sent to an old email I haven't actively used in years, even though those messages (usually spam of some sort) get forwarded to my current gmail address. Although the person who sent the email used my first name, the messaged referenced a book site that did not belong to me and of which I have never heard. In short, I nearly deleted the email without reading it, which would have been a shame for all concerned parties. But then one word caught my attention: Outlander.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I've read all seven books twice which, considering the breadth of each novel, consumed almost an entire year of my life. Many people never pick up a book more than once for one reason or another, yet I will read my favorite books multiple times over, no matter how tall my to-read pile grows. I did it as a child, and I suppose it's something I never outgrew.
As I read through the email, which went on to pitch a book titled Timeless Desire: An Outlander Love Story, I initially scoffed at the idea that someone had written a story so outwardly similar to Gabaldon's. Each follows a time-travelling heroine who finds herself an Outlander in 18th-century Scotland after stepping through a portal to the past. I was curious who this Gwyn Cready thought she was, besides an award-winning author who's been called "the master of time travel romance" (which, by the way, I highly doubted given Gabaldon's reputation and the fact Outlander was first published more than twenty years ago).
I explained to the publicist that although the request for review may have found me by accident, I was very much interested in reading and writing up a review of Cready's book. I wasn't out to discredit the story or the author, after all; Cready's novel genuinely sounded like something I would enjoy, despite my bias toward the world Gabaldon had already spent so much time creating. But that's all I will say about that. I'm sure Cready loves being compared to Gabaldon and her work just as much as I love being compared to every other author out there who's ever written a book about a teenage girl and her vampire love interest. Which is to say, I don't love it at all.
Here's the synopsis:
Two years after losing her husband, overworked librarian Panna Kennedy battles to distract herself from crushing grief, while she wrestles with yet another library budget cut. During a routine search within the library’s lower levels, Panna opens an obscure, pad-locked door and finds herself transported to the magnificent, book-filled quarters of a handsome, eighteenth-century Englishman. She soon recognizes the man as Colonel John Bridgewater, the historic English war hero whose larger-than-life statue loomed over her desk.
However, the life of the dashing Bridgewater is not at all what she imagined. He’s under house arrest for betraying England, and now looks upon her—a beautiful and unexpected half-dressed visitor—as a possible spy. Despite bad first impressions (on both sides), Bridgewater nonetheless warms to Panna, and pulls her into his escape—while both their hearts pull the other headlong into their soul-stirring secrets.
Very quickly Panna is thrown into a whirlwind of high-stakes intrigue that sweeps her from Hadrian's Wall to a forbidding stone castle in Scotland. And somewhere in the outland, Panna must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband, or with the man whose life now depends on her.
I was immediately sucked in to the story and couldn't read fast enough (and I'm a pretty quick reader!). Panna is a witty and intelligent main character, and the story itself is fast-faced and fun. The book contains just the right balance of paranormal and romance to make it believable and sexy, without it becoming too fantastical or blatantly erotic. Timeless Desire has all makings of the perfect "beach read" or curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-good-book story. If you're short on time, you can easily read it in just a few sittings. I definitely recommend this book to anyone in need of something light and just downright entertaining. My one complaint is this: There's room for only one Scotsman named Jamie.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of Gwyn Cready's Timeless Desire, click here.
About the author:
Gwyn Cready is a RITA Award Winner (Best Paranormal Romance 2009) and the author of several beloved paranormal romances including Tumbling Through Time, Seducing Mr. Darcy, Flirting with Forever, Aching for Always and A Novel Seduction.
Highly regarded by fans and peers alike, Gwyn has been called, "the master of time travel romance," and her writing described as “sexy,” “delightfully original” and “wickedly witty.” Timeless Desire is her latest foray into the time travel genre and men in kilts. She still finds both eminently satisfying.
Gwyn lives in Pittsburgh with her family.