Dustin’s Turn by June Kramin
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (244 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Iris
When Katie receives a call from Courtney with bad news, she immediately flies to Seattle to be with her. Dusty goes in search of Frank to see about righting this terrible wrong. Upon discovering Katie can’t go back but he can, Dusty eagerly confronts their past, but quickly finds out it’s not as easy as he thought. Getting Katie to fall for him all over again is a challenge he didn’t expect. Finding out the identity of Frank was even more surprising.
There are problems inherent with a time travel story. First and foremost you don’t want to tamper with history . . . you never know what is going to happen. Secondly, if the time jumps are not too far from the character’s current day, it can seem very confusing as to where they are (current or time-jump). Most time-travel I’ve read has their characters jump very far into the past or into the future to take care of most of these problems. Not this one. Not only are the time jumps into recent past (with 20 years or so), but the characters go back into their own timelines. . . multiple times!
So, that prepares you for the initial confusion. Not only does Dusty return to a time in his life where he first meets his wife (and therefore has to attract her . . . again!), but he ends up having to do this several times.
At stake is the life of his wife’s best friend, Courtney. Dusty would do anything for his wife, Katie, including going back in time to change events for a “happily ever after” for everyone involved. When he gets the opportunity courtesy of “Frank”, the mysterious man who sent Katie on a time travel mission years before, Dusty jumps at it.
Despite not having a solid plan, and having to try multiple times, Dusty seems to enjoy some of his time back in college. He gets to enjoy meeting and wooing his (now) wife. Because he is married to her, they tend to jump into bed rather quickly. This is definitely the source of heat in this novel. There is no shortage of steamy interludes.
To eliminate confusing you in the review, I’ll just let you know, there are plenty of other hookups in this story. Plenty of descriptions of college partying. Plenty of raucous college life. However, the hottest and most detailed descriptions are the relationship between Dustin and Katie.
This isn’t an easy book to read. I found myself re-reading passages and highlighting things so that I could co back and check who was whom and who was doing what. Having said that, this is definitely the epitome of a “happily ever after”. It was satisfying in that respect, and well worth the (literary) ride. Readers who are familiar with the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota may also find a unique connection to the story (as this is where Dusty and Katie went to school – and therefore the time travel takes place there).
I did not enjoy the actual conclusion of the story. Well, I should say, upon first reading, I did not enjoy the conclusion of the story. The upside to this is – as time passed, I found that the resolution was a little easier to understand and did give a unique flavor to the story.
So – in all, I have to give Dustin’s Turn a big thumbs up. It isn’t easy to read, and will make you think about it even when you aren’t actively reading it. But aren’t those qualities you truly enjoy in a book?