I know, I know, some of you are screaming “Jamie and Claire,” but this is definitely not at all like Jamie and Claire. Though there are some commonalities, the books do deviate rather wildly from the very beginning, and Alex Lind is no Claire at all, while Matthew Graham isn’t a stand-in for Jaime. I loved the Outlander books and would have been offended had the author tried to pen her own series that took off on them, and to my delight, she did not. This book is original both in its tone and in its pacing. The demons that Matthew must fight are very real and the danger is a lot closer to home than one would think. Alex is a very real and intriguing character as well. She’s a blackbelt in karate and is as headstrong as a bull. I found that though I love Outlander, there is a place in my heart for this series as well.
Alex’s mother, Mercedes, isn’t what she claimed to be all those years of raising her daughter. In reality, she’s a time walking witch who has had to do battle with some serious foes whom she has trapped in time and who are now after Alex for answers. A few of these hauntingly ferocious men have also made their way to Alex Lind’s unexpected destination. This leaves Alex to confess the whole story to Matthew. He has no trouble believing that the woman who fell from the sky dressed in skin tight breeches might have a few enemies that have chosen to follow their prey. As Alex and Matthew become closer, so do their respective foes, and there is never a dull moment when it comes to the lives of these two. One has problems that haunt her from the past while the other has problems that threaten to take over his future.
The love story in this tale was refreshing, because Alex is a modern woman, and as a modern woman, she isn’t afraid to seduce the protective Matthew, who can’t seem to understand why she isn’t quiet and complacent, and doesn’t do as she’s told. There are many thunderstorms in this relationship, as Alex is not afraid to tell Matthew when he’s acting like an ass or when she finds his behavior unacceptable. She is an enigma to him. Though she will sometimes do as he requests, there’s no ordering her around and no getting her under his thumb. She just will not have it. As the lovers struggle, they come closer and closer to the truth behind what’s got them both running. His secrets and hers together are enough to put a serious wrench in their plans, but since Alex has no present to return to, she must take him for all he is worth, and give of herself in return.
This was a wily and fun book that I didn’t expect to keep me so invested or entertained. I loved the sparks that flew from this couple, and I loved that the “bad guys” were so cleverly engineered. They weren’t implausible, instead they were right in your face and coming for the duo with both guns blazing. There was also a great degree of historical accuracy to the tale as well, which was fascinating to read. Suffice to say that I learned a lot about the Scots during the rule of the lords and during the rule of the king. This book was a clever melding of the past and the present, and instead of having a dual narrative, Belfrage ties it all together in one story. It’s a twisted and clever tale she tells, and her narrative timing and originality make this a read that one can enjoy for escape and enjoyment.
If you walk into this one thinking that it’s just another Jamie and Claire retake, you will be totally mistaken. The characters will see to it that there is just no comparing the two, as will the storyline. It was the perfect book for me to sink my teeth into after the more serious books that I had been reading, and its plot was ever revolving and all consuming. I’m happy to say that I have the second installment, Like Chaff in the Wind, right here, and it will be happily devoured very soon. An excellent read that pits some very unusual characters for and against one another. Recommended!
This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.