In Bee Ridgway's wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.
"You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return." Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild's enemies and to find something called the Talisman.
In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: "Pretend!" Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.
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"Ridgway offers a well-crafted blend of science fiction, romance, mystery, and historical fiction, but stumbles with overlong explanations that, while helpful in untangling the story's convolutions, stall the plot." - Publishers Weekly
"The juxtaposition between rather foppish yet deeply wounded Nick and spunky, highly intelligent Julia keeps the pages turning, while the entire premise and plot capture unwavering attention. Recommend this engaging, nuanced read to fans of A Discovery of Witches (2011) and Regency romances." - Booklist
"Despite signs of a novice writer (e.g., detailed explanations through dialog), this debut novel by Ridgway (English literature, Bryn Mawr) is a highly entertaining romp; her historical details are accurate, and the characters are believable. Fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series should enjoy this time-traveling romantic adventure, which may also attract readers who like historical fiction with a twist." - Library Journal
"It's not especially distinguished, but bookish fantasy fans who make it a point to keep up with Doctor Who will like this one." - Kirkus
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Bee Ridgway holds a PhD in literature from Cornell University and is a professor of English literature at Bryn Mawr College. She lived in England for several years and now makes her home in Philadelphia.
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