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Monday, August 3, 2009

A Time to Love by Gail Symmonds

A Time to Love by Gail Symmonds
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fantasy, Historical
Length: Full (322 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Camellia

Gifted with a mysterious antique necklace, Joanne Dunstan is magically thrust back in time, launching her on an incredible journey. Finding herself in the Scottish Highlands of 1626, she faces challenges and horrors never imagined. She also discovers friendship, honour, and love—with an arrogant Scottish Laird. Laird Connor MacKay suffers no fools. A warrior with a bitter past, he keeps his enemies, and demons, at bay. Joanne’s mysterious arrival—and her outspoken manner—will test and anguish Connor in ways he never dreamed.

Lives will be changed forever when violence and betrayal threaten their love and the peaceful clan existence.

Love is the only thing worth fighting for—but will it be enough to hold Joanne in the past?

Fantasy and 17th century Scottish Highlands make a compelling venue for the love story of a 21st century woman and a 17th century Scottish Laird of Shreave.

Joanne Dunstan of Melbourne, Australia, a successful professional woman, is skilled in public relations and good at resolving problems to bring compromise and peace among employees. She is trained in martial arts but is vulnerable emotionally because of an unfaithful husband that belittled her and undermined her confidence at every turn. Being in control of her life and circumstances is important to her sense of well-being at this time in her life. How she uses these skills to cope in 17th century Scotland helps create an engrossing tale of power struggles, love, hate, deceit, barbaric actions, and heart-wrenching destruction of life and property. Going from a society with a well-developed judicial system to one where one man is judge, jury, and executioner, Joanne finds herself struggling to comprehend all the ramifications.

Connor MacKay, Laird of Shreave, at thirty-five years of age has developed few social skills. He is a warrior and good laird but he is stubborn, pig-headed, seldom smiles, and is feared by many. However, he is just and fair but does not suffer fools gladly. The first time he sees Joanne, he thinks she looks like a water nymph but soon finds she can be a formidable adversary, one to respect, admire and to desire with all his heart.

The wealth of secondary characters that influence Connor’s and Joanne’s lives makes A TIME TO LOVE a love story of a total people not just of the hero and the heroine. Love on many levels emerges as Gail Symmonds very ably shows the reader life for a clan in 17th century Scotland. However, the predestined love of Connor and Joanne sizzles and runs deep and true leaving the reader with a feeling of lasting satisfaction.

On occasion misuse of a word takes the reader out of the moment in the story, but the need to find out what happens next pulls her right back into the action whether it is war, love, fun, ferocity, or the complications of clan living.

A TIME TO LOVE kept this reader turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. I loved it!