What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation?
Esther Rubens is looking forward to getting to know her new community in South Carolina and repairing her troubled marriage. But as soon as she arrives in Charleston her life begins to diverge from the idyllic picture in her mind. Her physicist husband, Melvin, is arrested for driving while black, she inherits a strange English property from a cousin she didn’t know existed, and she learns that her great-grandmother Sophie, a brilliant scientist kidnapped by the Nazis, discovered the secret of time travel of all things.
Intrigued by Sophie’s cryptic journal Melvin begins to experiment with time travel, but his anger at the police makes him careless. The process backfires, killing him and throwing Esther back to 1750. Attacked by an unknown assailant the moment she arrives, she seeks protection at an indigo plantation belonging to a dashing planter with a dangerous secret, negotiating a deal that guarantees her safety. But she soon realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. What she discovers on the plantation is far more horrific than anything she could have imagined.
Overwhelmed, she attempts to flee just as the planter’s mysterious, handsome brother arrives from England seeking refuge-and offering an opportunity that’s too compelling to turn down. But can he be trusted? And are the two of them strong enough to vanquish the evil that’s pervading the lowlands? Only time will tell.
The first title in the Indigo series.
Not the first time I’ve read a time travel romance, but must admit this one is a bit different.
Esther and Melvin, a mixed race couple move from California to South Carolina. Their relationship had become strained and after he is offered a prestigious position at a university, they jump at the chance to start anew. She accepts a librarian position at the same institution—but he becomes increasingly unhappy.
Esther inherits an English property from a distant, unknown cousin in England, and she makes the trip to inspect the crumbling estate coming home with her great-grandmother Sophie’s well-documented personal and scientific journal.
Sharing with Melvin that Sophie’s journal had chronicled a time travel experiment, Melvin jumps at the chance to travel with her, but something goes terribly wrong and he is killed in the same incident in which she discovers herself in 1750 South Carolina, the victim of an attack. She is rescued by indigo plantation owner Daniel Peacock and following a period of recovery from the attack, agrees to marry Daniel in a bid to give him credibility and she time to figure out how to find the time portal and return to her own century. Then she meets his brother, Jesse. (All bets are off.)
Okay, so far. Now it’s going to turn complicated, and the storyline becomes complex adding multi-layers to the plot. There is the plight of the slaves, the barbarism of the eighteenth century. Issues run from racism, anti-Semitism, hidden agendas, treachery, and conflict.
Esther’s character is empathetic to her surroundings, she’s smart, educated, and eager to right wrongs. Daniel is a greedy and vile character, unpredictable, greedy, and narcissistic. Jesse is soft-spoken, gorgeous, and hot. (Guess who becomes the romantic partner.)
The twists start coming and eventually introduce a thread to twentieth century Nazis. Huh? The twists, threads, storyline becomes overwhelming and begins to require a comprehensive score sheet. Threads are introduced, then put on the back-burner and forgotten until some time later. Threads are left open-ended, perhaps to be picked up in a subsequent book of the new series, sympathetic characters fleshed and then sacrificed.
Added to the complexity is her drive to conceive and begin a family. (Well, okay, maybe these things can’t always be timed well, but…) The final twist in the conclusion is a douzy and I’ll bet you won’t see that one coming!
The author’s writing style is unique, picking up and utilizing colloquialism, modern slang, and unusual words possibly unfamiliar to a younger generation. It is a story that is being related in a one-on-one personal manner (writer to reader) with a lapse from time to time to involve eighteenth century diction. Also, there seemed to be a bit of contradiction, timeline problem, and edit misses.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars
Genre: Time Travel Romance, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Writing Show
Print Length: 399 pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2020
Source: Author request
The Author: Paula Berinstein loves to ponder “what if” questions, which is why she writes so many different kinds of books. That’s what happens when you spend your life reading . . . and dreaming. She invites you to join her on her journeys of the imagination.
©2021 V Williams