When Panna, short for Pandora, receives a call telling her the library she heads is going to suffer a large reduction in funding she begins looking for some missing objets d’art donated at the library’s founding. If the pieces can be located maybe they can be sold to raise funds. Panna discovers how appropriately she’s named when she opens a long disused door under the library stairs and steps into 1706. Has she returned to the time of the handsome and heroic John Bridgewater, Viscount Adderly, whose statue graces The Andrew Carnegie Library? The statue was a stipulation by a Bridgewaer descendant who generously donated a large check and the missing objets d’art at the library’s founding. What awaits Panna in the past and will it help save her library in the future?
In TIMELESS DESIRE Ms.Cready has penned an adventurous time travel romance that possesses that “epic feel” I often miss from the older historicals. In my humble opinion this heft is gained by the causes of the conflict; war, the tragic consequences of a consummated past love that have reverberated through the years, and time itself. Instead of the societal strictures of the haut ton etc, Jamie and Panna have weightier issues to deal with giving TIMELESS DESIRE the meatier feel of those past historicals.
Another component that contributed to my reading pleasure was Panna herself. I love historicals and understand the “virginal miss” heroine but not every woman who lusted or loved in the past falls into that category. Panna is older and a widow. She’s also smart, witty, and resourceful. While Panna possesses twenty-first century sensibilities they don’t come across as overbearing but as a confidence befitting her widowhood.
James Bridgewater, aka Jamie to a very few, is a hero caught between two cultures that might as well be different worlds; that of the English and the Scottish. Despite being a Captain in the English Army, Jamie walks a fine perilous line in his search for resolutions to the disagreements generating the conflicts between the two peoples. Jamie’s ultimate goal is peace. While I personally prefer my hero’s dark haired for Jamie I’m willing to make an exception.
TIMELESS DESIRE is no love at first sight story, lust yes, but not love. Though events and emotions move apace that is often the case in times of war. When each meeting or breath could be your last it adds an intensity and sense of urgency that’s believable. Panna and Jamie’s attraction and sexual tension never overtake the story. It simmers along nicely and doesn’t interfere with the “real life” events taking place. That being said, I confess the last line of Jamie’s declaration to Panna was so earnest and heartfelt my breath caught. Never did I have a “WTFrill are they doing?” thought and at no point did I get the feeling that HEA was a given for Jamie and Panna.
Obviously, I was captivated by Panna and Jamie.
TIMELESS DESIRE isn’t predictable. It’s full of twists and turns, thrilling adventure fraught with peril, heartbreaking tragedy, and achingly romantic moments.
While reading I found myself tensing up, holding my breath, laughing, and generally getting completely lost in Jamie and Panna’s story. The secondary characters are equally as charming and entertaining as Jamie and Panna. I wouldn’t mind learning more about Undine and Clare. Ms. Cready has a delightful way of turning a phrase that tickles me and I caught myself smiling throughout the book.
If you’ve been searching for a read you can truly lose yourself in, I highly recommend TIMELESS DESIRE.
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