Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sojourn Through Time by Susanne Marie Knight

TITLE: Sojourn through Time
AUTHOR: Susanne Marie Knight
PUBLISHER: Awe-Struck Publishing
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 40k)
GENRE: Time travel romance
COST: $4.99

An accident at the NYC airport terminal sends Alexandra Stanford careening into the past, specifically England, 1802. There, she is discovered by Malcolm, the Duke of Milcaster, but while she feigns amnesia to escape awkward questions, she finds herself torn between finding a way to survive in this new world and her burgeoning feelings for a man she can’t have…

The prologue of this story sets up the contemporary character of the piece, but beyond that, it never comes up again as a primary setting within the story. There’s never any explanation for the time travel that is involved, either. Alex just happens to show up in an earthquake and a flash of red light, pieces of debris from the crashed plane scattered around here. She gets discovered by Malcolm, a self-professed rake, who is immediately taken by her beauty. By the time he has returned her to his home, he’s already decided he’s going to have her as a mistress, even though he’s about to announce his engagement. In fact, he can’t seem to get rid of his about-to-be fiancĂ©e soon enough just so he can start an affair with Alex.

This attitude permeates all Malcolm’s interest in her throughout the beginning of the story. He sees Alex as an interesting possession, and when there’s this sudden about-face where he decides he’s in love with her, it’s completely unbelievable. I thought his initial reasons and demeanor incredibly despicable, and never warmed to him in the slightest. He doesn’t even speak to his young daughter, even. The only supposedly redeeming qualities he has are his wealth and good looks.

Alex’s characterization suffers as well. She becomes the savior of this household – saving Malcolm from a marriage to a woman his good friend sees as a black widow, saving the relationship between father and daughter, entrancing all of London when she finally gets there. The one good thing she does exhibit, though, is she never falls apart in the face of her predicament. She decides, “Well, this is my lot, I’ll just live with it,” and moves on from there. The drawback to that, however, is the story ends without her ever dealing with the truth with the hero. She mentions it once, he doesn’t really believe her, she decides that’s enough for her to have at least tried, the end.

It was the end of my patience with the story, too. I can’t invest in the romance if I don’t even like the hero.


7/10 – The period detail is fine enough, but the bad dialogue and abrupt ending fail to help it in any way


3/10 – Self-professed rake at the start, who never rises above my initial distaste for his motivations


6/10 – At least she’s not a crybaby

Entertainment value

4/10 – I thought the hero was selfish and could never get behind the romance

World building

8/10 – This would be higher if it didn’t feel like everything and the kitchen sink had been crammed in



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