While searching Amazon, Campbell Stratford clicks a book link that whisks her back in time to the seventeenth century. Being an art historian and landing smack dab in the middle of one famous painters home, she sinks right into her surroundings without trouble. Since she's up for the directorship, she decides to use this time to gather some dirt for a fictography she's working on of another painter of the time. She believes this fictography will ensure her promotion.
Peter Lely is stuck in the afterlife and waiting for himself to be reborn into his new life. When the guild comes to him with a request, he reluctantly agrees. Someone is traveling through time and will write a tell-all book that gives away many of the guild's secrets. Peter's job is to stop the author before all is lost.
This is just the beginning! I had so much fun reading this book! I have to admit that at the beginning of the book I was a bit lost due to all the art jargon and the guild information, but it didn't take me long at all to get up to speed. Once I'd hit that stage, this was one of those great books that you just can't put down. I found myself sucked right in, eager to see where we'd end up next.
The time travel portions of the book are fascinating and well crafted. Each era is detailed without being bogged down. Actually, thinking about it, the thing I most enjoyed about this book were the details. Usually a writer will paint a picture with words, using them all as a grouping to create their scene in your head. Gwyn does that, but she takes it a step further. She also throws in quirky details that make the story more alive and entertaining. For example, when she's whisked away, Orange Crush is spewed around her office. We don't just see the mess the whirlwind left, we see Orange Crush covering every surface and an empty, abused can laying on the floor in our minds. Well, in my mind anyway. Gwyn has a knack for taking one tiny detail and changing the entire nuance of the scene.
I also found myself giggling over Gwyn's use of pop culture. 'Countess Inigo Montoya' indeed :D She has a good point though. If you ever find yourself in another century, there's absolutely no reason not to pretend you're married to Antonio Banderas!
As always, I have a complaint! Perhaps my heart has hardened. Maybe my hormones have gone all wacky. It's quite possible I've just been reading too much drama and mystery. The sex and romance in this book really annoyed me. I know, I know. It's a romance book! What did I expect? Well, I expected sex and romance. The scenes are pretty tasteful and don't even come close to bordering on erotic. The story is sweet yet passionate. I think the reason it annoyed me is that I kept finding myself so intrigued with the rest of the storyline that when the romance parts came up, it drew my attention away from where I wanted to be. I wanted to find out what was going to happen with the Evil Anastasia or Jacket The Loser. I wanted to find out how they were going to fix the newest mess they were in. Being forced to take a few minutes to acknowledge the budding and growing relationship took me away from that. That being said, anybody reading this book strictly for the romance won't be disappointed. There really is nothing wrong with it other than the fact that I wasn't personally in the mood for it.
This is a seriously great read. If you're not in the mood for romance, skip those portions. You have page control! If you are in the mood for romance, savor every word! This book is difficult to put down and I'm actually intrigued enough to go hunting more of Gwyn's books and see if the others are just as good. Great job, Gwyn!
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