The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.
That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.
William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?
Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.
I received this book from the publisher (Revell) for free however this is a voluntary review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
“My love for you is deep and abiding so that when I’m not with you, I’m restless and needing you, and when we’re together, I cannot get enough of you. But whether here or there, near or far, I have committed my life to you and you alone.” –Come Back to Me
I don’t think that I could swoon much harder than I already am. I’m not sure what my thing is with “Williams” lately, but this is the second book in the past month that has caused me to fall head over heels for a “William” (the first being The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen).
Come Back to Me is a lot different from Jody Hedlund’s normal books, yet it is also perfectly reflective of her gorgeous writing style and signature historical romance. This time-traveling story combines Hedlund’s skillfully researched historical fiction with a new breath of fantasy and science fiction in a very captivating way. I enjoy a good time travel book, occasionally. It’s not my favorite form of speculative fiction, but this one grabbed my attention (that cover…omg) and upon finishing it, I’m so glad that I took a chance on it!
The time-travel concept of this book is certainly new, I’ve never seen a continuum theory or method of travelling through time like this. The concept is explained very well and had a pretty believable explanation for the story, so if you’re a big science fiction fan concerned about the science aspect of the story, I certainly think that the time travel was done very well!
Now, the historical setting? Are we even surprised that it’s flawless? Just like Hedlund’s other books, the historical setting of the 1380s is well researched, described, and the story is very, very intriguing! I loved that it’s a realistic adaption of medieval times–not the fanciful, romantic adaption that many authors like to portray. Hedlund describes the brutality of the Rebel Uprising against the king and church, the brutality and corruptness of the early church, and many other raw aspects of the time period. I loved how Hedlund’s writing style changed–noticeably–depending on the character’s POV as well. When we are reading about Marian, the descriptions and writing style feels very current, whereas when we’re in Sir William’s head, the entire story catapults you into medieval English phrases and descriptions. This way of telling the story was phenomenal and I think it is a good majority of the reason it is so good because the reader gets a taste of actually being transported in time through the writing style and not just the story!
I could spend a lot of time discussing Marian and Sir William, so I think it’s just safe to say that their romance is beautiful, sweet, passionate, and just overall well done. The complexities of the expectations of marriage from their two vastly different time periods created electricity that is hard to ignore. I loved that Marian learned through his time period that being dependent upon a man doesn’t mean being helpless or incapable, as her –our–time period likes to push on women. And Sir William learned through her very independent nature, that marriage can be more than a convenient contract–a friendship even. The end result was a really beautiful marriage that I believe would have survived regardless of what century they were in.
Overall, Come Back to Me was stunning and I’m so here for book 2 in the Waters of Time series! Easily 5 out of 5 stars!
Trigger Warnings: Romance/Sexual Content: No sex scenes. However, does include several passionate kissing scenes, semi-detailed mentions of sexual desire/admiring bodies, mentions of rape, some crude jokes about the “marriage bed”. Action/Gore: Accurate depictions of this time period including, dismemberment/beheadings (not detailed), beatings (semi-detailed), sword fighting (semi-detailed), looting, pillaging, raping (mentioned in conversation only), and kidnapping. Cursing: None, however, some slang is used.