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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aimee's Locket by P. L. Parker

Aimee's Locket by P. L. Parker
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical/Time Travel
Length: Full (371 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

An antique ivory locket catapults Aimee Reynolds back to the year 1847. Alone in St. Louis, Missouri, she has to find a way to get home to present day Seattle. She needs a suitable male willing to marry her or be left behind when the emigrant train departs for the Oregon Territory.

Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, is the perfect, if unwilling choice. Undaunted by his overt rudeness, Aimee entices Jake to the alter, promising her diamond earrings as payment for a marriage of convenience. Properly wed, she secures passage on the wagon train, and discovers her future may be in the past.

“Born 1987 – Died 1910” is not a typo but a revelation about Aimee Reynolds’ life after she put on an antique locket in the twenty-first century and ended up in the mid nineteenth century, a half continent away from her Seattle, Washington home.

Faced with limited options and with a compelling need to get back to her family and twenty-first century way of life, Aimee makes a bargain with Jake Marshall to take her west with the wagon train he is scouting for. She wants to get as close to her home as possible even if Seattle has not been founded.

Even though pampered by nineteenth century standards, Aimee pulls her weight on the trail, suffering blistered feet, hands, and bruises galore. She conquers a multitude of fears, withstands the disapproval of her fellow travelers, and lives up to her bargain with Jake while being honest with him about leaving him when they get to Oregon.

She longs for family and her easy life back, but she is drawn to Jake, her Greek god in frontier clothes. She does not want to want him, but she does.

Jake Marshall is going west for his last time. He will settle on a homestead at the end of this trip. He wants a wife and family but realizes Aimee does not fit the life he wants; yet, he cannot resist her--even when she makes his life difficult.

P. L. Parker’s characters sizzle with life. The children Aimee teaches, as they walk day after day, are reflections of their parents’ attitudes, but they are also eager for new experiences—especially if they are couched in games—so like children across time.

The Vancouver section of the novel is a mini-novel all its own with a truly, truly sleazy villain, a strong but conflicted heroine, and memorable secondary characters, especially Maudie O’Malley (loved her).

The reader, via P. L. Parker’s smooth writing, makes the journey with Aimee with all emotions in high gear as Aimee uses every ounce of her mental, emotional, and physical strength to reach her goal—a goal that is finally made clear as she holds the antique locket while in Vancouver after a life-changing event.