Book Review: Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

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About the Book

Title: Come Back to Me
Series: Waters of Time #1
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Time Crossing Romance
Publisher: Revell Books
Release Date: June 1, 2021

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.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

No 15

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Connect with Jody: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub | Goodreads

My Review

Come Back to Me
by Jody Hedlund
Book 1 in the Waters of Time series
Genre: Christian Romance, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5

“She’d never expected to fall in love with the man of her dreams in 1381.”

Wow. Just wow. This book completely took me by surprise and I was up till 4am desperate to know what happened next. It is full of passion and romance with action and adventure plus time-travel. I definitely understand the comparison to Outlander but there’s something so endearing about the swoon-worthy Sir William Durham and his devotion to Marian. With hints of Outlander and Somewhere in Time, the author weaves an exciting and super romantic story about a woman trying to save her sister and her father.

Research scientist, Marian Creighton, is determined to find a cure for her sister. Working for Mercer Pharmaceuticals puts her in a great position, but she knows her sister is running out of time. When her father calls her with cryptic instructions, she doesn’t really put much weight into it because of his crazy theories and obsession with find the cure of all cures. When tragedy forces her to travel to Canterbury, she is determined to discover what happened to him and why someone seems to be after his research. As she follows the clues her father left her, she opens up a whole new world of time travel and decides to risk it all to save her sister and hopefully, her father.

What she experiences and finds in 1381 is not what she was expecting. When Sir William Durham comes to her rescue, she is grateful until she is forced into a marriage with him for her protection. The attraction between the two of them is immediate, but Marian must guard her heart and focus on her task to find the vials of holy water from the Tree of Life that will heal her sister. As she gets to know William, she finds that he may be feared as a knight but on the inside, he is a kind but tortured gentleman. He has his own demons to fight, but he realizes that there’s something about Marian that calms him and gives him peace. What will William do to protect the woman he loves? What will Marian sacrifice for love?

“Each moment with him had been more real than if she’d been living in the present. Every sound of his breath, every touch, every beat of his pulse—everything about him was more vibrant than anything she’d known before.”

The romance is strong with this one. My romantic heart could not take it. LOL. Obviously, in the beginning, all the attraction is mostly lust but as they talk and get to know each other, they fall in love. William marvels at how deeply he could fall in love with someone after his experience with his first marriage.

“He may be stubborn, milady. But he will love you to his dying breath.”

As for the science fiction and time traveling part, the theories about the Tree of Life are interesting and definitely come from history and the search for the “Fountain of Youth” and the author does a decent job of trying to explain the science and background. It’s still not crystal clear the way it all works but I hope to gain more understanding when I continue reading this series (because I will definitely be reading the next books). I was definitely impressed with the author’s world-building and cannot wait to read more.

Though I’ve said there’s lot of romance and passion, this book is still a CLEAN and CHRISTIAN romance novel with aspects of science fiction and time travel in it. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy Christian romance with lots of action and time-travel theories.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Watch the Book Trailer

Book Review: Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Blackberry Beach
by Irene Hannon
Book 7 in the Hope Harbor series
Rating: 4/5

Irene Hannon delivers another great story set in the beautiful and charming Hope Harbor. I’m a huge fan of this series (still holding out for Charley’s story – “Any day is a perfect day for a Charley’s fish taco”), and wish they’d included a blackberry truffle recipe or at least a place to order them from. LOL.

Returning to the town of Hope Harbor, Katherine Parker is looking to rest and hide away from the scrutiny and false accusations of the paparazzi of Hollywood. But trying to fly under the radar is hard when the owner of the local coffee shop, The Perfect Blend, Zach Garrett, has his eye on you. When they discover that they are neighbors living by Blackberry Beach, a friendship begins and secrets are shared. Can Zach find a way to mend the rift between his dad and himself? Can Katherine decide what’s holding her back from taking on a lead role in major blockbuster film? Can two very different people find a way to heal from their past and be together?

Not only did I feel invested in Zach and Katherine’s relationship, but I found myself rooting for Zach’s aunt and his barista to fall in love. It’s always fun having another relationship in the mix to bring more perspective, and I especially enjoyed Zach’s aunt’s character who always put her career first. Giving her a chance at love was special and beautiful.

“Life is too short to build walls that cut you off from the people you love.”

Highly recommend this book if you enjoy Christian contemporary fiction with romance, humor and delicious food.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Dreams Rekindled by Amanda Cabot

Dreams Rekindled
by Amanda Cabot
Book 2 in the Mesquite Springs series
Rating: 4.5/5

Wow. I forgot how much I loved Amanda Cabot’s stories. She knows how to weave a heartfelt romance with a dash of mystery and suspense and is not afraid to address psychological trauma from her characters’ past. This is book two in the Mesquite Springs series, and I now must go back to book one to find out what happened (this book can be read as a standalone).

After Dorothy Clark read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she knew she wanted to write something like that. She wanted to make an impact and change the world with her written words. How would she ever get that opportunity in small town Mesquite Springs? When Brandon Holloway arrives in town to start a newspaper, she secretly hopes that the dashing young gentleman is willing to give her a chance to write. While both parties excel at the written word, the couple both struggle with their own past tragedies but are determined to discover who is stirring up trouble and spreading rumors. Can they expose the truth and find a way to save the town they both love before it’s too late? Will the past repeat itself if they aren’t too careful?

“With this second novel in the Mesquite Springs series, bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you to discover the healing power of truth.” – Book description

I really enjoyed that this story was more than just a light rom-com read. It’s so much more. Dealing with trauma from the past is not something every author can write about. Cabot addresses real issues that can haunt people but she also leaves room for healing and forgiveness that can only come from God. She weaves redemption into her stories, which is something I really appreciate as a Christian.

My favorite character is Nutmeg, Dorothy’s dog, and I even loved her part in the story. Dogs can definitely be therapeutic for those with past trauma.

Highly recommend this Christian historical romance with a dash of mystery and suspense from Amanda Cabot. As a fan of her previous books, you will not be disappointed.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Active Defense by Lynette Eason

Active Defense
by Lynette Eason
Book 3 in the Danger Never Sleeps series
Rating: 4.5/5

Who doesn’t enjoy a good romantic suspense novel? As a long-time fan, I was excited to get back into the world with some familiar characters and get to know them better. This story can definitely be read as a standalone novel (I somehow skipped reading book 2, but I did read book 1), but I recommend starting from the beginning to get the full effect. I, myself, need to go back and read book 2. You will not regret it.

Heather Fontaine is dealing with PTSD after her service in Afghanistan as a field surgeon. She thinks someone is stalking her, and she is on edge all the time. After she finally shares her fears with her friends, she arrives home to find her house is not quite the way she left it. Fleeing and trying to disappear to protect her friends from an unknown adversary prove to be difficult when Travis Walker, owner of his own security firm, is able to find her and save her. Who is watching her? Who just tried to kill her? She has so many questions and not enough answers. Can Travis and her friends help Heather uncover what is going on? Will Heather’s emotional baggage and traumatic past keep her from pursuing a relationship with the seemingly perfect Travis? Can Travis really protect Heather and keep her safe?

As a medical student, I always love reading stories (even fictional ones) about doctors in the field. Heather’s past is what has shaped her character and is part of what drives her passion to help others. I loved the part where Heather explained how she turned out the way she did despite poor role models — she just did the opposite of what she saw her father do. I definitely cried some tears and felt my adrenaline pumping at different points in the story. Heather’s relationship with Travis was a bit rushed, but it may have been developed more in book 2. Their relationship was not as obvious in the beginning of the story. The big reveal at the end was something I did not see coming until the author made it clear, which is always impressive since I’m constantly guessing throughout the story. Faith is gently woven into the story – definitely not in a preachy way.

Highly recommend this Christian romantic suspense novel that will keep you reading till the end with action, intrigue and a lot of heart.

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.