Look at the book cover above. Does it not reek of romance novel? Handsome hunk kisses girl with Golden Gate Bridge and sunset in background. We can’t see his naked body, but believe me, it’s very much described in the book.
What possessed me to read a Susan Squires romance novel?
The answer is simple: I didn’t know who Susan Squires was, and since I don’t buy books in bookstores anymore, I don’t actually see the covers. This cover would definitely have kept me from picking up the book. Not a chance. I bought the book on my Kindle when it came up in a list of search results looking for “Time Travel” books. The cover was actually on the Kindle list on the left side, but the pictures are too small, black and white and undefined, that I missed it. They say you should not judge a book by its cover, but we all do.
A Twist In Time is a story about a young woman named Lucy with a degree in comparative literature who runs a bookstore in San Francisco. She speaks a number of languages, including Latin, which matters in the plot, and medieval Italian, which also matters. Her boyfriend is a scientist working at a supercollider. She comes across an original book by Leonardo da Vinci in which the shows the design of a time machine. As coincidence has it, the machine is at her boyfriend’s work. With him is an evil CIA operative who serves as a great villain who will stop at nothing to get the time machine.
Lucy gets to test the machine and promptly lands in the middle of a battle between Saxons and Vikings in 912 in England. Swords and blood are everywhere. Lucy gets back into the machine, but at the last minute a wounded Viking falls in with her and comes back to 2010. Since the machine follows where your thoughts want to take you, she ends up in San Francisco’s only trauma center emergency room.
What follows is a credible and suspense packed adventure. How will a 21st century American woman communicate with a 10th century Viking? Since she speaks some Latin, and he does too, it serves as a start. Of all the Vikings to run into, this one speaks several languages fluently, knows how to read and write (more than 600 years before Gutenberg’s printing press), is a superb sword fighter and warrior, but has a sensitive edge to be attractive to a modern woman.
Notwithstanding all that, the author does a good job depicting what their difficulties would be like. How would a Viking transported into San Francisco of today react to the world? I enjoyed the story, particularly the beginning and the end, but I could have lived without much of the middle.
What bothered me most was the endless sexual tension between her and the Viking. Ok, so there is this great-looking, tall, muscular, blond, bearded man with blue eyes and, according to Lucy, extremely attractive genitals. Yes, the author makes a point, over and over again, how Lucy is getting wet between her legs while she is dressing the Viking’s wounds with his “weapon” right there. The first few times I was able to understand that she had to describe that there would be sexual tension between the two, particularly when he was standing naked in front of her. But this went literally on and on. After a while, it got silly, and that’s when I realized that I was really reading a romance novel with a time travel twist, rather than a time travel novel with a little sex sprinkled in. After a hundred pages of building sexual tension, they finally did it. Hooyah. The earth shook. Squires described explicitly how it came about, pun intended.
Oh, well, if I had been a teenager, I’d have loved it. Perhaps if I’d had been a young woman, I’d probably have loved it too. How could I not be attracted to a naked, blond, buff, blue-eyed Viking with long hair and skinny braids on his temples? But I am neither of those two, and so I didn’t get much out of the whole sex thing. All I could think of was to get on with the story.
So yes, it was a time travel story with a time travel plot, but it was really a romance novel with an excuse. I definitely don’t need to read another Susan Squires book, even though I had a good time with this one.
One thought on “Book Review: A Twist in Time – by Susan Squires”
Norbert, you have clarified things for me, that you are not attracted to a 10th century Viking’s braids. Bravo!
Is this not a little wack against the kindle?
By the way, the Barnes & Noble Nook has done the obvious, Kindle-shaming thing: it always relates the page your read (regardless of font size for your speed-reading brain) to the published page number. In that way, you can actually talk to another person about what it is that you have read, and refer that person to a particular page.
Duhh! Kindle owners beware!