A Matter of Time
Author: Margaret Locke © 2015
Publisher: Locked on Love
Subgenre: Time-travel, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Regency
Eliza James, widowed doctoral student has experienced more love and loss than most by age twenty-nine. After years of hoping and searching for love, she refuses to give up the dream of Happily Ever After. In her wildest dreams, studying Regency literature, the romance she seeks is one befitting a Jane Austen novel. When Eliza’s best friend is bestowed a book with magical powers, which lead to her own unexpected love match, they devise a plan, sending Eliza through time to the Regency era to find her Prince Charming.
Deveric Mattersley, Duke of Claremont, closed his heart and mind to love following the death of his wife. Focused on managing his family’s estate, he dismisses the notion of remarrying until the mysterious Eliza James enters his life. While he struggles to reconcile his feelings for her with the guilt over his wife and sense of duty to his family, Eliza grapples with her unraveling fantasy and the reality that her Prince Charming may have been better left in her dreams.
“Can a man with a past and a woman from the future forge a love for all time?”*
For the busy mom, regular romance reader or not, I recommend adding A Matter of Time to the “do not miss” list. Between the well-crafted plot and delightful characters, whose struggles become your own, it was so darn difficult to put down that I ended up carrying it around the house and reading furiously any time I had a few minutes to spare. For those who have read A Man of Character, the end is already a known quantity, and yet the story keeps you turning pages to the very last one. It’s a satisfying read full of tension, characters who are flawed but charming, romance and that happy ending we all hope to find in our own lives.
Book two in the “Matters of Love” series opens with Eliza in the arms of her duke. That is, the man who may become her duke if both hero and heroine can overcome the challenges that lay ahead, according to the story penned in the magical book by best friend, Cat Schreiber. The explanation of the magic central to this paranormal series is woven into the story so that those familiar with Cat’s powers have a refresher and those new to the series will not feel lost.
POV is shared by Eliza and Deveric, common in romance books but different from Ms. Locke’s debut book. Through the story both heroine and hero mull over their individual histories and challenges, almost to a point of redundancy. Eliza is charming, even when she flounders but especially when channeling Eleanor Roosevelt. I struggled a bit with Deveric’s guilt over his wife’s death, though I attribute that to the frequent reminders of it. Despite this detail, I found the characters well-rounded and followed believable arcs to end up with the “happily ever after” Eliza set out to achieve. Even more than I did with A Man of Character, in A Matter of Time I found several of the supporting characters particularly enjoyable, even the (initially) unlikeable Dowager Dragon. Ms. Locke’s creation of this enchanting world full of captivating characters will draw you in and hold on tight, then leaving eagerly anticipating her next installment (due July 2016).
Reviewer’s note: Ms. Locke is a member of Shenandoah Valley Writer’s Group and a founder of the critique group of which I am also a member. She did request a review of her novels in January 2016. Advanced review copies of her books were not provided, as I already purchased them both. She was offered the courtesy of an advance read of this review prior to its posting. I pride myself in fair reviews and strive to ensure my personal relationships do not influence my ratings or opinion of an author’s work.
Readers, what did you think of A Matter of Time? Are you typically a romance reader? What drew you to this particular author and series?
Cover design: Lankshear Design
*Quote from the back cover of A Matter of Time
Up next: Coffee Break with Margaret Locke, author of the Matters of Love series!
Next week’s review: It’s YA week and The Hunger Games has been selected!