By May Nicole Abbey
Genre: Western, Christian Romance, Time Travel Adventure
A fall and crash.
A violent journey through the doorways of time.
A villain or hero in the making.
Rosemary Mayfield teeters on the brink of ruin. With the murder of her parents she is left the sole guardian of her younger brother and sister. Once a wealthy socialite in New York City, she now finds herself stranded in the untamed wilderness of the American West. When a wounded man comes crashing through her roof, as rough as the savage land, it is against her better judgment to bring him into her home and her heart. But she soon discovers he holds a secret that shatters everything, and she must make a choice, unaware that often destiny hinges on a single moment.
Fresh from an unsavory past and a violent fall through time, Nicolas Ekkridon awakens to find himself cared for by three orphans ignorant of the role he played in their parents’ untimely death. They accept and embrace him, and a lifetime of hardened barriers begin to crumble. On the precipice between good and evil, only Rosemary and her spirited defiance stands between him and villainy. But time and space are against them. As its weaving tentacles envelop them in an indifferent grasp, they are swept into a shattering series of circumstances that threaten the very makeup of their lives. But when time can be bent, nothing is written in stone.
BUY THIS BOOK
The Villain is one of those books you pick up and read in one sitting. The kind that surprises you with its powerful and compelling characters and its poignant message. To say that I was surprised at how much the story touched my heart would be an understatement.
Our heroine, Rosemary, is faced with the daunting task of raising her little brother and sister in the wilds of the untamed west after her parents are killed while being robbed on a train heading west. Born and bred a genteel lady, she is ill equipped to deal with such an abrupt change in fortune, but her savior comes in the form of Nicholas Erikkdon when he crashes through the roof of their humble cabin.
Rosemary has been instilled with an uncompromising sense of right and wrong, what is proper and what is improper. It is difficult to throw everything she’s learned out the window and recognize that social graces can have no place in the wilds of the west. I found her fierce desire to cling to those social graces rather amusing because the author did a really wonderful job of showing how Rosemary used it as more of a safety net in order to put on a brave face and deal with the certain knowledge that she was incapable of providing for her siblings. Her flaws are tempered with her kind heart and fierce protective nature where her siblings are concerned. She could have given up when her parents were killed, but she doesn’t. She’s a very strong, flawed, yet likable character.
Nicholas is riddled with guilt and tormented by some serious mistakes in his past. Though one would assume he must be the villain, I think the author took on a difficult theme by slowly changing Nicholas’ archetype from that of villain to hero, and she only could have managed it if her character had some inherent good to begin with, but it can’t be brought to the forefront without the necessary interactions between him, Rosemary, and her siblings. His heart begins to soften and a hero slowly emerges, though we find that the villain can easily return if certain choices are made and a different path is presented to him. The pacing of his character development was perfect. His slow acceptance of his love and dependence on Rosemary, Benjamin and Emily are perfectly plotted. He’s scarred and imperfect with a heart of gold hidden beneath.
Benjamin and Emily are two characters that are as distinctive and essential to the story as the main characters are. One is trying to find his place in this world while the other lives between two worlds, locked in her own fairy tale which makes Emily wise beyond her years. I loved them both so very much.
This book is the fourth in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone due to the fact that each book deals with a different love story. I wasn’t aware that it was the fourth book until I finished it, but it certainly helped me accept the idea of time travel within a Wild West romance a little easier after that. I think that was the only downside to reading the book out of order. The time travel thread combined with the Wild West felt a little strange. Now that you’ve been forewarned, you won’t think it strange at all.
These next two paragraphs are going to have some spoilers, which is something I don’t usually do, but felt it necessary in order to express my feelings about the book. So just a heads up if you want to skip them.
I really wanted that first meeting between Nicholas and Rosemary to happen as the action unfolded and not in flashbacks. I think the reason I felt this way is because this moment when Nicholas is playing the villain and robbing her on the train plants an idea in his head that eventually leads him to her. It’s just so darn important. Her fierce refusal to give him what he wants and her brave defiance touches a chord in his heart and then he ends up saving her and her siblings when the train explodes. I think this pivotal moment could have been the prologue. It’s a personal preference as a reader, but to experience the scene as it is happening would have been great since it is the beginning of Nicholas’ journey from villain to hero. It could even be written from Nicholas’ point of view even though the rest of the story is told from the heroine’s point of view. This also would have made his actions, reactions and interactions within the story that much more compelling because we’re then seeing everything through Rosmary’s POV, but we understand Nicholas’ motivation and internal conflict.
Also, even though I recognize that the time travel idea was established in the first novel, I think Nicholas’ encounter with the lawmen and then his jump through that time travel portal could have be inserted into the book as part of the prologue as well as his last thoughts before going through the portal being that of Rosemary…and then he’s crashing through planks of wood (the roof) and blacks out. Once again, these are also just my personal musings and the brainstorming of a fellow author who is enamored with another author’s work. Creative license is part of the game, though, and I think this author has done an amazing job of developing and then writing such a touching story.
I honestly can’t wait to start the series from the beginning. I highly recommend this book to fans of western romances, time travel and all of you hopeless romantics out there.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson are sisters on a mission. Their goal is to write clean, adventuresome time travel stories, full of lovely characters, personal growth, truth, and hope.
Although they are many miles from each other, and are both busy with the daily needs of their respective families, they carve out time each night to put fingers to keyboard and write. Their goal? Twenty completed books. Set all over the world and throughout time, they thrill at the freedom that writing time travel offers them. From Georgian society, to Ancient Egypt, and the Wild West, there are even plans for books set in Ancient Greece, the future, as well as today. The possibilities are limitless.
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS: