Timeless Desire: An Outlander Love Story

Timeless Desire: An Outlander Love Story - Gwyn Cready Penna Kennedy is a widow and the head librarian in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. She's just starting to emerge from her grief and is going on her first date that evening. Faced with deep budgetary cuts, she gets the idea to look for some potentially valuable artifacts left by their benefactor and opens an obscure, pad-locked door and discovers a portal to 18th century England at the borderlands. Panna comes face to face with a handsome Englishman who she recognizes to be Colonel John Bridgewater, the historic English war hero whose larger-than-life statue loomed over her desk.In general, I'm not crazy about time travel stories because the paradoxes end up scrambling my brain. This story doesn't bother with that kind of nonsense and freed me to just relax and enjoy the action. It's one of the best I've read, though my repertoire is pretty slim. Panna's pretty adventuresome for a librarian and she was before she became a widow. The one time I felt I needed to stretch of my sensibilities was when she discovered the portal. Panna's reaction was more "look what I found" instead of being flattened or astounded by it. This distracted me for awhile but once I moved on, I was drawn into the intrigue. Panna discovers Bridgewater almost immediately after entering the portal. He's leery of her, believing she may be a spy, and their relationship is a dance for awhile as they try to find common ground and trust. There's no question they're attracted to each other and Panna has a head start as she's been lusting after the marble statue that's an exact replica of him, sitting in the middle of her library back in the 21st century. Once she's proven herself to be trustworthy, Panna becomes part of the subterfuge of Bridgewater's world. What I loved about their romance is that while their attraction was pretty immediate, the relationship was given time to build as they got to know each other against the backdrop of danger and intrigue. Bridgewater has lots of secrets and Panna is sometimes and unwitting partner of his mystery and at other times agrees to play critical and perilous roles to help him out. Each time you sense them becoming more invested in each other, admiring the persons they are and getting more emotionally connected. It's not rushed and their differences in outlook about sex and romance made it even more interesting and seductive. He is ├╝ber sexy and she is attractive inside and out. You want them to work. The book is so exciting because of all the many twists and turns to Bridgewater's story. He is constantly under scrutiny by his own regiment as they aren't convinced if he is a traitor or a loyal office in his command. The real history of the period is nicely woven into the fictional tale, never sacrificing the reality of the tension between England and Scotland for sake of the story. Sometimes it's brutal but the authenticity just added to the suspense and edginess. There was one scene that bugged me a lot and I'm not certain I interpreted it correctly. It involves something Bridgewater did the night before his first intimacy with Panna. I'd love to get someone else's perspective on it as it was a huge turnoff.With that scene aside, this book is a winner because of the beauty of the romance, its strong historical elements, mystery, suspense and exciting tension. It was a slow start initially because I was a bit confused as the layers of the mystery were unfolding (I didn't know to look for one!). Once I caught on, I couldn't put the book down. It's not your typical time travel or historical romance story and that's reason enough to read it. (I was provided an Advance Review Copy by the publisher)