Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review of Home in Time for Christmas by Heather Graham

I enjoyed Heather Graham’s Flynn brothers trilogy because although her stories are het romance/erotica, she includes a wonderful paranormal aspect to her novels. In the Flynn brothers stories, that aspect bordered on supernatural and in one case, Deadly Harvest, almost stepped across the line.

In Home in Time for Christmas, the paranormal element is time travel. During the Revolutionary War, Jake Mallory is about to hanged by the British for his anti-British publications. His adopted sister Serena casts a strange spell with rose petals (in December!) and he suddenly finds himself in the twenty-first century.

Melody Tarleton, on her way home for the holidays nearly runs over him as he appears before her eyes and her car. Convinced he is a re-enactment actor/nut case suffering from amnesia, she takes him home to her family since she has no idea what else to do with him.

Her father, mother and brother accept Jake into their home with little questions to Melody’s explanation. Mark Hathaway, the man Melody is supposed to be getting engaged to isn’t swayed and becomes suspicious of the enigmatic gentleman, who bears more than a passing resemblance to him.

As hard as she tries to keep his secret although not believing it herself, Melody is surprised to find out that her parents have pieced together how she really came to meet Jake and they have no issue with him being from the past. In fact, they have an idea how to return him to his own time. And the revelation gives her little comfort.

Despite her misgivings, she is convinced that her mother and father know what they are doing and helps them to the novel’s final and somewhat predictable conclusion.

In the Flynn brothers trilogy, Graham put more emphasis on the paranormal aspects, but in Home in Time for Christmas, much of the story is spent on Melody trying to explain to everyone and herself Jake’s sudden appearance and their budding romance.

I prefer the stronger paranormal angle to the romance but I’m probably outnumbered in that respect. In the trilogy, the paranormal phenomenon that formed the premise for those stories was a bit more complex, more detailed than a doorway opened in time with rose petals. We’ve also seen this scenario before: a person about to be hanged is spirited away to another time in both “Dark Shadows” and “The Twilight Zone”.

But if you prefer romance to paranormal, Home in Time for Christmas isn’t too spooky to be romantic.

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