Book Review: Reflections of Toddsville – by Hollie Van Horne

reflections-of-toddsvilleIn romance novels, men always wrap women into their strong arms. When lovers undress each other, they kiss every inch of flesh as they do it. A man’s hair is often unkempt. Lips are burning. Bodies are vulnerable.

I suffocated his mouth with my burning lips. He wanted no more movement from my vulnerable body. I was to remain powerless. No hint of speed lay in his temptations. My suitor’s sensuous snare of his captive was slow, measured, and calculated for mutual pleasure.

One by one he undid my stockings from their garters, rolled them down my thighs, then tossed them to the floor. I could hear my heart pounding and feel my temperature skyrocketing.

What possesses me to read this stuff? I could feel my temperature skyrocketing???

That’s what romance novels are like. I picked this one up some time ago because it had a central plot of time travel. The time travel in this novel, at first, seems like a contrived plot twist only to send the heroine from the current time of 1997 back to 1897 into the Victorian era in upstate New York. But as the story rolls on, the time travel aspect actually becomes more intricate and once I was about halfway through the book of 414 pages, I kept turning the pages with interest and suspense.

Let me get this straight – I did kind of fast forward through the romance slush – that did nothing for me. However, the descriptions of the locales, in and around Cooperstown, New York and Otsego County were excellent. I always felt like I was right there with the characters. It was a well-woven plot with a satisfying central time travel theme.

Gertrude Johnson lives in Brooklyn, New York in 1997. She is 28 years old and a famous romance novelist. To get away from the hustle, her agent sends her to a cabin in upstate New York by Cooperstown for the summer. One night she falls asleep in her cabin, only to wake up at 2:00am with a strange man in bed. The two are baffled. They quickly discover that she is now in 1897 and must cope with the fact that she is in a strange world with nothing but a flowery nightgown and her memories.  The two hit it off. Gertrude’s love life is about to change.

I read this as a hardcopy book, published by Time Travelers LLC in 2000. There were a surprising number of editorial errors, from misspellings of words, to faulty grammar and punctuation, to beginner’s errors like wrong plurals. For instance, the plural of session is sessions, not “session’s.” Things like that just should not happen, and especially not to the degree they happen in this book.

I enjoyed Reflections of Toddsville, but I won’t read any more books of Hollie Van Horne.

Rating: ** 1/2

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Reflections of Toddsville – by Hollie Van Horne

  1. Mary Barnes

    If you must read romance, read one of the Skolian Empire books by Catherine Asaro. She has a PhD from Harvard in Chemical Physics, is a former successful ballerina, and is drop-dead gorgeous. (I plan to be Catherine Asaro when I grow up.) Her Skolian Empire books are rip-roaring space opera, mind-bending technology, and absolutely steamy romance. I recommend Primary Inversion for starters.

    1. Oops, I “must not read romance.” I only read it if I get time travel juice with it. But I should check this one out, for sure.

      But then again, I couldn’t read your last recommendation, the Satanic Verses (you can search this blog for me review of unfinished books), so I won’t guarantee that our tastes will align.

      Thanks for the heads-up, though.

      1. Mary Barnes

        I promise you won’t fast forward through the romance parts. And it does have time travel, but only incidentally and mentioned in passing.

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