In keeping with last week's time travel theme, I went with another time travel book this week. I chose Theresa Ragan's Return of the Rose. There is a little twist in this one, because the heroine had already traveled through time once, she just didn't know it.
Morgan Hayes was actually born a twin in the fifteenth century, but was born sick and in a desperate bid to save her, her father let a witch send her forward to a time when she could be healed. Morgan grows up in the modern world, but through a strange series of events involving a suit of armor gets sent back to her original time and is mistaken for her twin sister. She finds herself unwittingly betrothed to a Derek Vanguard, Lord of Braddock Hall. Naturally, the modern girl butts heads with Lord Vanguard and his fifteenth century sensibilities and has a very difficult time convincing him that she is not her sister, Lady Amanda. Meanwhile, Amanda's true love is also fooled and keeps trying to get Morgan to run away with him.
If you are looking for a fun, romantic adventure, and aren't too concerned about historical accuracy, then you might enjoy this book. Because that's what it is. Unfortunately, I'm history nerd, so I get bothered when the fifteenth century servants call for "doctor" or when the Lord of Braddock Hall is repeatedly called Lord Vanguard instead of Lord Braddock. It's a bit like calling Prince Charles the Prince of Windsor instead of the Prince of Wales. One is a surname, the other is a title. There is also the issue of Morgan convincing some of the castle women to go swimming in homemade bikinis.
One thing this book got very right however is the hero's comeuppance in the end. It's a common romance novel formula to have the heroine insisting one thing is true, while the hero refuses to believe her and punishes her/abuses her/breaks her heart wrongly. In the end when he realizes the error of his ways, he offers a mea culpa that melts her heart. There's nothing wrong with this formula, in fact I quite enjoy it. However, I when I read those mea culpa scenes, I'm frequently left feeling like she forgave him way too easily and quickly. Without giving any spoilers, I'm happy to say that wasn't the case with this book. He had to work for it, and she really thought about whether things would work out. I found that scene to be the most realistic of the book.
Now, Theresa Ragan is a bestselling author, so obviously there are a lot of people who enjoy her books and obviously she knows what she's about. I mayl pick up one of her contemporary fiction books in the future.