The Whirlpools of Time
By Anna Belfrage
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 She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour.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?
Publication Date: 11th June 2021
Publisher: Timelight Press
Page Length: 388 Pages
Genre: Time Travel Romance, Scottish Historical Romance
Duncan Melville spent his whole life feeling shunned by his family, wanting the love that they shared but never extended to him. A journey that lands him alone at a crossroads in the middle of a lightning storm may not be pleasant, but it might be the thing to lead him to what he most desires – love.
Erin Barnes is after revenge. She is sure her father and grandmother were killed by the Wilkes family because both refused to hand over the locket they had found on their own land, which the Wilkes immediately claimed belonged to them. When Erin’s investigating lands her in danger, the last thing she needs is to hit a man with her car at a crossroads in the middle of a storm. Even more so a man dressed in strange clothing who talks like someone from a reenactment group.
After he saves her from Steve Wilkes and his friends, who were pursuing her, Duncan finds himself in a strange world, waking up in a hospital. With nowhere to go, and knowing no one but Erin, Erin feels obligated to take Duncan in and help him. After all, he did save her. A relationship between the two starts to unfold as Erin teaches Duncan about the 21st century, but the danger isn’t over, and in a bid to protect themselves and the locket, Duncan and Erin find themselves transported back in time, back to the world Duncan knows. They find Duncan’s aunt beside herself with worry about his uncle, David Graham, who they can only assume has travelled to Scotland, amidst the unrest among the general populous.
And thus begins the journey of a lifetime. Duncan and Erin give each other what the other needs – Erin gives Duncan love, and a feeling of worth, and Duncan gives Erin the feeling of security. With Erin used to the luxuries of the 21st century, finding herself in 1715 is a shock that is difficult to swallow. As a woman, and a woman who had a black father at that, the freedom that Erin had in 2016 is gone, and the stares and assumptions of people cannot be stopped. Duncan protects Erin every step of the way, at least, as much as he can – she is of the opinion that she should be free to walk around by herself, and often does not quite comprehend the danger she is putting herself in until she is in it.
On their journey, Duncan, Erin and Ben, a manservant, rescue the widow Arabella Stirling from the assault by Hamish Cruikshank. With it being unsafe for Arabella to travel alone, she joins the group as they journey on, in the direction of Scotland. Unfortunately, humiliating Cruikshank was a mistake, despite how much more he deserved, and the group find themselves the object of pursuit. Taking on yet another riding companion, one Constable Nathaniel Williams, Duncan and Erin find themselves not only on a quest to find David and bring him home, but also to solve mysteries and rid the world of men worse than scum.
I absolutely adored both Erin and Duncan. Duncan is the perfect gentleman towards Erin, although their upbringings and beliefs get them into arguments more than once. Through Erin, you can almost learn the history better, as she does not know the ins and outs of living in the 16th century, and the reader learns alongside her. Certain things, such as the intricacies about the differences between the clothing Erin is used to and the clothing she must adapt to, are explained in a detail that may be skipped over in a book that does not contain a character from the 21st century, and her presence and opinions added a great deal of depth to the story.
I loved many of Duncan’s relatives, as well, although I was on the fence about some of them. They all have immediate reactions to Erin, although that is to be expected in the time period, but the way Duncan was treated growing up is what bothered me. He was an unwanted child born from unfortunate circumstances, and even though he was as much a victim as his mother, the blame was settled on him and he was outcast from the family. He did not even bear the same family name. The members of the family seem lovely, welcoming even, when we meet them, yet I couldn’t fully trust them because of the way they let Duncan grow up, feeling unloved and unwanted.
This book is full of tension and adventure, with the romance between Erin and Duncan running along the side. Murder and action are counteracted by tender moments and the feeling of hate is crushed by the feeling of love. This book is what you could call ‘perfectly balanced’, and is the kind of book that draws you in, the words themselves saying ‘look deep and fall’ and utterly captivating you until the closing of the covers snaps you out of the world in the pages.
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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. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.
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.
Find out more about Anna, her books and her eclectic historical blog on her website, www.annabelfrage.com .
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