A psychic leaves her a present—but is it a blessing or a curse?
Mandy Ruhe receives a sacred amulet from a mysterious woman she’s never met, and is suddenly swept back in time to Texas 1845, inside the body of Carmena Luebber, owner of the Holiday Ranch. Until she can return to her own time, Mandy must assume Carmena’s role and is caught up in the lives of the people who work for Carmena—their struggles, hopes, and dreams. Mandy ends up torn between the two men in love with the woman she portrays, but she can’t have either one of them, no matter how much her heart wishes otherwise. Trapped in the past, Mandy finds herself hoping that true love can triumph over time, but she must find a way back and return to her own life—before she messes up the future for everyone!
When it comes to historical fiction novels, you never truly know what kind of story you are going to get. The thing I liked most about this particular book is the time frame the author chose for the majority of her story. I actually took Texas History in seventh grade and from what I can remember, the author did a great job of developing an adequate account of life during this time frame. Stuck in that place where Texas has yet to become part of the United States and yet, is still claiming to be apart from Mexico, those who lived in this area, during this time frame were stuck in a fairly lawless predicament.
This is expressed throughout the book as “Carmena” and those who reside at Holiday Ranch are constantly having to deal with the threat of being robbed and harassed by the soldiers that were assigned to protect them. Things are particularly difficult for Carmena because not only is she a woman who owns a large ranch (which I’m still not sure how that works during this time, but oh well!), but her prior relationship with one of the soldiers proves to leave her particularly vulnerable.
On the romance side, it seems Carmena is just a magnet for the men in her life. I suppose there’s a twist of irony to this, as it’s clear Mandy has been less than lucky in love. However, I like the fact the real Carmena didn’t allow any of that to get to her head and as Mandy begins to recover more and more of Carmena’s memories, it’s clear she is a hard working, well respected woman. This is admirable, as it allows Mandy the opportunity to not only discover love for herself, but it allows her the chance to truly gain a respect for the people of that time. She falls in love with the people in Carmena’s life, as well as a certain male suitor… But she also helps them through a time when they risk to lose it all.
I fear that there’s only so much I can say, because I really don’t want to give away the book. Too many details might ruin the story and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. However, I will say, this is a lovely tale and I’m looking forward to seeing how Nicole’s trip to the past will turn out as well. Definite must read if you like historical romance novels!
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.