What happens when happily ever after meets reality? Susan and James Williams are drifting apart. After a devastating loss, their lives are thrown into further turmoil when a mysterious stone at a museum hurtles them back to the Old West. Their supernatural experience only intensifies the chasm between them, and when James realizes where they are, in a moment of anger, he pronounces that they were never married.
They go their separate ways, unsure of what this new world holds in store. James settles into a job as bartender. Befriended by local rancher Daniel Miller, Susan soon develops feelings for him. She’s torn between starting a new life in a new time and healing her marriage and returning to the twenty-first century.
Will the miraculous journey back in time help Susan and James reconcile, or has destiny set new roads for them to travel that lead them away from each other?
OMG, where do I begin? I guess I should start out by saying that this is the fifth book in this series I have read and I think they just keep on getting better. I first discovered Sandy James through a free read--the third novel in this series that spurred me on to getting books 1, 2, & 4. I have to also admit that I resisted reading this novel because I have never really been a fan of time-travel, but I have always thought that Ms James' writing was above the norm so decided, tardy though it may be, to read Twist of Fate. I am soooo glad that I did!
Like all the main characters in this series, Susan and James were deeply hurt, damaged in their emotions, damaged in their marriage, damaged in their view of their life as individuals as well as a couple. They survived each day, often trying to recover from that day's emotional injuries--hurt words, thoughtless actions, sarcasm, seemingly disrespectful of one another. Their hard and unfeeling exteriors hid hearts that were broken, bruised by the loss of their unborn child--a son they both looked forward to knowing, a child that would have brought new life, love, and laughter into their home. Both were grieving deeply, yet neither one would share that grief because of harsh words and what seemed to the other to be a dismissal of their hurt. Add in the factor of James' discontent with his job--a discontent that had gone on for years but a job he pursued out of responsibility for his family. You have a boiling cauldron of unexpressed anger and hurt--the makings of a very potent rage. Through a series of unforeseen happenings, a radical change of circumstances, and challenges to the strength of their marriage ties, Susan and James were forced to face themselves, their attitudes and actions toward one another, their willingness to think about the future without one another, and the challenge to face up to what was before them.
This novel is another example of this author's ability to go to the core of a relationship, to peel away the layers of time, of taking one another for granted, of the easy convenience of living together but of having become so used to one another that they had stopped "seeing" each other as partners, as lovers, as friends. This is one of those novels that will keep you riveted to the page, that will make it possible for you to envision the people, the action, the surroundings, and even to feel keenly the emotions that were driving these two people apart. It is a story that will hopefully cause every reader to examine their own relationships and consider what really are the qualities that bind two people together. Perhaps the most compelling quality of this story is the personal reflection Susan and James must endure as they take a new look at themselves, as what makes them who they are, at how they can manage to survive as an individual in an alien environment and how they must choose actions that will impact their future.
This is a compelling story, well-written with a story line that is moving steadily toward the crisis and resolution. Ms James is a writer whose expertise shines through all her novels and are a joy to read just from a literary standpoint as well as for the entertaining content. This book has been around for a while but it is one that shouldn't be missed. If you have not read any of this series, the third novel is still available as a free read at Siren-Bookstrand and is a wonderful book as well. Twist of Fate is one of those books a serious lover of romance fiction just shouldn't miss. I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.
Winner: First to Burn by Anna Richland
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