Book Review – Time Lies by Rowena Tisdale

Back when I was in college, I did competitive speaking. One of the events was after dinner speaking, which was a humorous speech about a serious topic. I won every now and then, but the big goal was always winning at the United States Airforce Academy tournament because there was a) a big dinner event for an awards ceremony and b) the winner got to deliver his or her speech at the dinner. I never won that one, but a buddy of mine did. His speech was on the unforeseen aspects of time travel and one of the better zingers was: “Imagine waking up in the future. Everything is strange, nothing makes any sense, and you have trouble understanding even the simplest things that regular people take for granted. Those of you in a sorority, you’ll understand.”

Well, I thought it was funny.

Rowena Tisdale is a romance author with a couple of books under her belt. Her latest, Time Lies, is one of a very few romance stories I’ve read. To date, my experience with the genre has been Romancing the Stone and L.A. Story, a couple of beta reads, and that one weird-ass book of Bigfoot erotica. In short, it’s not a genre I’m usually drawn to. Surprisingly, especially to me, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Time Lies is a time travel romance, one of the many subgenres of romance, and that was part of what drew me to it. Tisdale manages to take my friend’s warnings about time travel and put them in human terms and without zinging all the sorority sisters out there. In short, you’ve got a man who got zapped out of time into the world of a self-entitled woman who has everything except someone to share it all with. Star-crossed or time-tossed or chronologically-challenged romance ensues as our heroine slowly realizes who she is once you get past the tough exterior and our hero has a hidden superpower that brings out the best in almost everyone around him. Such is the tale of Shannon and Azariah

Okay, so that’s basis of the story. Man falls through time, finds woman, and they both fall in love even though they know the whole thing could be doomed by the whims of Chronos. Like most plots, it’s straightforward and it’s up to the talented pen of the author to breathe life into it. And that’s where Tisdale’s skill really shines through. It’s a wild premise and Tisdale not only treats it with respect but she wields a deft and subtle hand showing how each of the characters changes throughout the tale. Seriously, look at Shannon and Azariah at the end and contrast them to the beginning and the changes become obvious, but they’re very quiet through the story. If you pay attention, even Shannon’s language changes a bit through the story as more and more of Azariah rubs off on her. Ditto the other direction. So that, in my opinion, is the magic of the story. Sure, some people will dig the steamy sex scenes, but I loved the way Tisdale wove a tale that was slightly to the left of normal and made the whole thing seem real. That was beautiful.

Even if you’re not necessarily into the romance genre, this is a book that sucks you in and makes the outlandish seem real and intriguing at the same time. I heartily enjoyed it and I heartily recommend it.

Shannon Kellogg is a spoiled heiress. She’s shallow and self-centered, but after her third divorce, she vows to become a better person. Practicing kindness and empathy is her prescription for self-improvement.

As if on cue, a young man with a strange accent, dressed as a colonial cosplayer appears in her yard during a thunderstorm. He’s lost and confused, and something about him tugs at her heart. She sees an opportunity on her path to change, and decides to help him.

It turns out to be more of a challenge than she anticipated. Azariah Scott was unwillingly tossed through time and the only way to help him is to send him back to 1750. She doesn’t know how to honor her commitment to him; despite his belief she’s a witch, she doesn’t believe in magic.

As they work together to find a gateway to the past, love blossoms, and Shannon comes to regret her promise.

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