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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Untimely Partners by Karen Hulene Bartell



Untimely Partners by Karen Hulene Bartell
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical; Paranormal
Length: Full (243 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Love is truly timeless -- and brutally sacrificial, as Keiranne is about to find out.

Photographer Keiranne West ends her engagement and embarks on a trip to Teotihuacan. After an incidental encounter with fellow tour member Dorian, Keiranne plummets through a rip in time 2,800 years into the past.

Lost in the brutal past of Toltec Teotihuacan, Keiranne is plunged into a fiery romance and forced to confront a high priest. Paying a steep price accelerates a journey she hopes will lead her back to the only man she has loved throughout time.

Untimely Partners is the first of Mayan Mysteries, a series of time-travel and paranormal romances set in ancient Toltec, Mayan, and Aztec locations.

Keiranne, a modern, independent woman and freelance photographer, embraces palido muerte (pale death) which means to quit holding on to the past—die to the old life and let the new self emerge. In Teotihuacan, Mexico at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Keiranne embarks on her time travel to fulfill her destiny—and what a destiny. Lovely symbols like the aura emanating from the pyramid; the butterflies symbolizing transformation and metamorphosis; and the little white dog, symbol of faithfulness and fortitude on a spiritual journey along with a fellow tourist Dorian are prominent elements woven into this unique tapestry that reveals the love story of Keiranne and Tlalocelot—a love that transcends time.

Tlalocelot, royalty during long-ago Mayan times, finds Keiranne in a sacred place and declares her “his prophecy come to life”. He deems her a gift from the Vision Serpent. His father, the king, sees her as a sign and announces that Tlalocelot is the Chosen One and will become king rather than his stepbrother Black Macaw. This decision sets a fierce conflict in motion creating some scary situations and tense moments.

Untimely Partners, full of Mexico’s history, legends, myths, and folklore along with a bit of magic, takes the reader on a special journey to long be remembered. Ms. Bartell’s descriptions create vivid pictures that linger in one’s thoughts. This is not a “fast-read” story, but one to be savored in a leisurely way. It tells of a fascinating culture, showing its beauty, brutality, customs, superstitions, while letting the reader see that human nature has changed little over the centuries in so many ways--such as the desire for power and control over others.

At times, I felt the main plot lagged because of so much about the culture but I was still intrigued. The research done for this book is mind-boggling and to weave it into such a precious love story is quite feat.

The remarkable love scenes are timeless and show how Keiranne and Tlalocelot come to know “why they’d been created and reunited”.

Untimely Partners is a change-of-pace story that leaves the reader with mental images of a long-ago culture and with the feeling of having met true lovers who endure whatever is necessary to be with each other. Also, the conclusion of the story is amazing.

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