Saturday 13 July 2019

#BookReview — A Rip in the Veil (The Graham Saga #1) by Anna Belfrage #TimeTravel #HistoricalFiction @abelfrageauthor

A Rip in the Veil
(The Graham Saga #1)
By Anna Belfrage

On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears without a trace. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on an empty Scottish moor. Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew.

Due to a series of rare occurrences, Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time. She lands at the feet of Matthew Graham – an escaped convict making his way home to Scotland in this the year of our Lord, 1658.

Matthew doesn’t quite know what to make of this concussed and injured woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies- what is she, a witch?

Alex gawks at this tall, gaunt man with hazel eyes, dressed in what to her mostly looks like rags. At first she thinks he might be some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he.

Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with this new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here – and not exactly to extend a helping hand.

Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew – a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But for all that Matthew quickly proves himself a willing and most capable protector he comes with baggage of his own, and on occasion it seems his past will see him killed. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have.

How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she want to?

“Something impossible and incomprehensible had happened to her — but it had happened…”

Her car, her phone, all electrical devices had stopped working. Curious, some might say. And then the pain had come, and the thunder…

Never had Matthew Graham been in such a storm, but the worst seemed to be over, and he could ill afford to waste any more time. If they caught him, they would kill him, for such was the fate of an escaped convict. If they caught him, they would kill him, for such was the fate of an escaped convict. It was the birds that had made him pause, and then he had heard a woman scream.

It was impossible. A fantasy. A myth. You could not go back. You could not go forward. There was only the here and now. So, there must be a rational explanation. All Alexandra Lind had to do was find her car, and she could carry on with her journey. She could not afford to miss the meeting. But… There was no car. No road. There was just a tall, scruffy man who looked like he had not seen a good meal in years.

Matthew was scandalised by what Alexandra was wearing, but he knew when a lass needed help, and despite his long years in prison, he was not a heartless hardened criminal. Not yet, anyway.

If it were not for Matthew, Alexandra would have died outside on the moor. But Matthew was on the run, and Alexandra was utterly out of her depth. When she had closed her eyes, it had been 2002, and now she had somehow travelled back in time to 1658. Things like this didn’t happen to her. They didn’t happen to anyone.

Unbeknownst to Alexandra, slipping through time was to be the least of her concerns…

From the compelling narrative to the highly appealing characters, A Rip in the Veil (The Graham Saga #1) by Anna Belfrage is an enthralling story, layered in history, romance and with just the right dash of magic that keep a reader turning those pages all night long.

Above everything else, A Rip in the Veil is a love story. The romance between Matthew and Alexandra is a slow simmering build as one would expect. Alexandra has a lot to figure out, and she takes her time to do so. Alexandra had a life, a family and because of this, she struggles with her feelings for Matthew and yet, she is also pragmatic enough to understand that she is probably not going to see her family again and that she has to make the best of it. It does, of course, help to be attracted to her rescuer! There was something about Matthew. It was as if his soul called to hers. Matthew is wary of becoming too attached to the woman from the future. He is nursing a broken heart, and he is reluctant to let down his guard, fearing he would be hurt again. At times, this made him appear selfish and arrogant, but I think Alexandra was wise enough to understand that it would take time for him to trust her fully. I thought the love story was beautiful and very lovely to behold. Belfrage has taken two very broken souls and made them whole again. Fabulous storytelling. 

I have to talk about the paranormal sub-plot in this book. I thought the darker, very magical, element of the narrative made this story just a little different to other time-travel novels. Within the pages of this remarkable book, there is, of course, the romance, but there is also a blood-feud, a witch, and the subsequent witch hunt, as well as an inquisitor from the Spanish Inquisition! What more can you ask for?

Through the sub-plot, Belfrage introduces her antagonists. Luke, Matthew’s brother, is a man who is crippled by bitterness and jealousy. He is a really dangerous character who will go to any lengths to destroy his brother and anyone and everything that his brother loves. Luke was very easy to despise. He is cruel and heartless. His despicable behaviour quickly vanquished any sympathy I may have had for him. Another of the antagonists that is certainly worthy of note is the inquisitor, Hector. Hector’s relationship with Alexandra’s mother is complicated and filled with blood, pain and death, which ended in a curse. I could have felt a level of sympathy for Hector if his desperation did not drive him to do such awful and dreadful things. The antagonists certainly helped to drive the story forward.

The narrative of this story and the authentic historical detailing made this book almost effortless to read. The pages flew by as did the time — wonderful storytelling by a very talented author.

If you are looking for your next Scottish time-travel romance, then look no further than A Rip in the Veil. I cannot wait to find out what happens next in Book #2 of The Graham Saga.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
A Rip in the Veil

Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  She has recently released the first in a new series, The Wanderer. This time, she steps out of her normal historical context and A Torch in His Heart is with a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense with paranormal and time-slip ingredients.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, or herAmazon page.

1 comment:

  1. Alex would have you know that she is quite delighted that you've taken the time to call her by her real (long ) name :) Thank you for a lovely review. So honoured to have A Rip in the Veil awarded a Coffeepot Award!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx