AUTHOR: Flo Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHER: Cerridwen Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 92k)
GENRE: Time travel romance
Costume designer Melody Flynn has a ghost in her apartment. A loud ghost. Who likes leaving music on her piano and watering her plants at two o’clock in the morning. When she tries to ask her eccentric downstairs neighbor for help, though, she gets more than she bargains for. She gets herself transported back in time to 1919 and Ziegfeld’s Follies, with a skeptical electrician determined to question her presence, a rash of missing Follies’ girls, and still no clue what happened or why. It’s up to her to stay on her feet, even when a madman threatens to sweep her off them.
I am just not having good luck this week with my reading choices. Where Monday’s book was all about hating one of the main characters, this story is just so ineptly written that I can’t even muster up the energy to hate either Melody or Briley. All I can do right now is try and hope my headache goes away.
Where to start? Well, first off, the author tries to pass off huge blocks of exposition as dialogue. None of these people talk like people you would know. A single person’s dialogue can run six and seven sentences long, revealing details of the story that the reader already knows or she thinks we need to know. Melody, the heroine, even does it throughout the entire first chapter when she’s alone in her apartment except for her dog. This, in particular, jumped out at me later on in the book:
Saree had regained at least a portion of her normally exuberant humor. She now punched Mr. Ellingsford in the arm and giggled, “Lloyd. You’re so cute. This is Melody Flynn, from
This comes in chapter 7. When the reader already knows all this. And it keeps happening over and over and over and over again, until I just wanted to rip out the tongues of every speaking character in the book.
On top of that, there is absolutely nothing credible about this plotline. I love time travel romances, and I am completely forgiving of the suspension of disbelief that is required to buy into them. That’s not the part I have a problem with. What irks me are the events in the story that come out of nowhere, the HUGE leaps of logic the heroine makes halfway through the story to decide that – all of a sudden – they need to go to Memphis, and the coincidences that not even Days of Our Lives would try to get away with. And where the author thinks she’s being clever – in figuring out the mystery of Melody’s ghost – I just want to slap her. I knew who it was by the beginning of the second chapter. Let me tell you, that made for a very long 85k while I waited for Melody to figure it out, too.
The author does know her theater history, but simply throwing in as much detail as you can doesn’t create a world I’m going to believe in. You have to get it across without making me want to gouge out my eyes. Do I really need to say that’s not what happened in this book?
I wish this review wasn’t so harsh, but honestly, I’m not going to sugarcoat anything here. This author has a lot to learn yet. Until she does, I won’t bother with any more of her books.
3/10 – Huge blocks of exposition posing as dialogue combined with outrageous details made me want to chuck the whole thing against the wall.
5/10 – Certainly one of the better parts of the story, though even he stretches the lengths of credibility
4/10 – Has moments of that “too stupid to live” syndrome that afflicts too many heroines in romances
2/10 – Anything that gives me such a headache by the time I’m done with it is not what I’d call entertaining.
5/10 – Lots – and lots – of detail to try and build the period, but it was inadequately disseminated so that there was no sense of getting immersed in it.