Tuesday 9 November 2021

#BookReview - The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage @abelfrageauthor

The Whirlpools of Time
By Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: 11th June 2021
Publisher: Timelight Press
Page Length: 388 Pages
Genre: Time Travel Romance, Scottish Historical Romance

He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.

It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…

Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.

The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion. 

Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?

Much later, she lay fast asleep beside him, her head pillowed on his chest. Above them, the sky was ablaze with falling stars, and for every one that fell, Duncan repeated the same wish: do not take her away from me—ever. 

Duncan Melville had always felt like an outsider. The sins of the father were not so readily forgiven. The fact that he resembled his father had never helped either. But it wasn’t his fault. None of it had been his fault.

Erin Barnes’ life would never be the same again after the so-called ‘“suicides” of her father and grandmother. She was convinced that the Wilkes’ family had something to do with their deaths, after all, they had always been after the locket that her father had found. A locket that was now in Erin’s possession.

Duncan’s late grandmother had always warned her children and grandchildren about the dangers of crossroads, but Duncan had never heeded the warning. He had no time for such superstitious nonsense. If only he had taken the warning more seriously…

From the desperate bid to keep a loved one safe, to a journey to find and recover a missing person lost amidst the Jacobite uprising, The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage is a gripping account of two strangers who should have never met.

At the ill-fated crossroads, Duncan is thrown forward into a world where people travel in cars and frequently wash under the steady stream of a shower. He must quickly learn how to live in this new world. It just so happens that his first interaction with a car involved being hit by one. He proceeded to save the driver, Erin, from a group of men who had less than gentlemanly intentions. Erin takes in her saviour when it becomes clear that he has nowhere else to go and their friendship blossoms. Erin teaches Duncan about the 21st century and he is a quick study. He has to accept that everyone he knew was long dead and that the outcome of the unrest had ended in blood and death.

When a deadly situation traps Erin and Duncan together with the locket the Wilkes’ have been after for so many years, instead of succumbing to their certain death, the couple is whisked away, back to 1715, where a task is thrust upon them – Duncan’s uncle, David, has left for Scotland, leaving behind a pregnant wife who could not bear to lose her husband to the unrest among the Jacobites. Naming Erin as his wife, in a bid to protect her from the savage world that she is so unused to, the two set off to find David before the unimaginable could happen.

It is easier to adapt to progression rather than knowing about mechanics and technologies that have yet to be invented. As Erin learns about the world she has been trapped in, she quickly realises that women have little to none of the freedom they have in the 21st century, much less a woman of colour. Erin is an incredibly strong protagonist, but everyone has weaknesses and finding yourself 300 years in the past is enough to take a blow to one’s resolve. Erin has never been ashamed of the colour of her skin, but without Duncan constantly protecting her and threatening those who would dare to assume she is his slave and mistress, she would be even more lost than she feels. Duncan is her savour, showering her with the love that he has always desired, and her reciprocating as their story of marrying becomes a reality. 

The relationship between Erin and Duncan is truly a wonder to behold.  Duncan knows how difficult it is for Erin to adapt to the 18th century way of life, and, despite some altercations when her desire to do as she wishes directly conflicts with what he has told her to do, he does not, for the most part, treat Erin as the 18th century man would treat his wife. Their love shines through, and as they bathe in the knowledge that they have found the person they belong with, even if it took a journey through time, each find their home in the arms of the other.

With the rising unrest in Scotland, a journey to the centre of the unease to find one man is almost impossible to complete while maintaining the feeling of safety. Duncan and Erin travel with Ben, a trustworthy and eager manservant, and as they ride, they collect both company and amass danger. Saving a woman from being defiled brings both gratitude and an enemy, and when a man of influence, with easy access to money, sets his sights on you, it is difficult to assure the safety of those around you. The party grows with Constable Williams’ arrival, and Williams keeps his sights close to the group. His eye may be drawn towards the woman Duncan saved, but Williams is as interested in finding David Graham as Duncan is, although Williams has different plans for David than Duncan. Williams is the sort of character that you are unwilling to put your trust in, but with danger lurking around every corner, Duncan has no choice.

The historical background of this novel has to be commended. For Erin, she must live the history, while the reader can sit back and lose themselves in it, but for a character who is not used to the ways of life, certain things, such as why the country is in a midst of turmoil, are explained in such a way that one does not feel belittled or lost if they do not know the history, but it is not boring or oversimplified for someone who knows the time period inside out.

The narrative of this novel is rich with detail, bringing to life a time gone by, and it is almost as if the reader themselves has fallen through time, and has found themselves in a world so beautifully depicted that they do not want to leave. Danger runs rampant in the streets, and the lives of the characters that you cannot help but fall in love with are threatened chapter after chapter, but in those precious moments where Erin and Duncan can fall asleep in each other’s arms, or as you step foot inside Graham’s Garden, time seems to stand still and you can breathe a sigh of relief with the characters that they are loved and are, for now, safe.

The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage is a novel about the strong bond of love and that nothing, not arguments, the differences between two people, or the reality of time is enough to break the bond that binds those two souls so tightly together.

I Highly Recommend

Review by Ellie Yarde
The Coffee Pot Book Club


This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited

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. 

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. 

The Castilian Pomegranate is the second in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain, a world of intrigue and back-stabbing.  

Her most recent release prior to The Castilian Pomegranate is The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode!   

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

Social Media Links:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • BookBub • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

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