This Time by Melissa Abbott


coverEarly one morning in nineteenth century England, Lady Natalie Dowling is out on the pond gathering water lilies – her mother’s favorite – for a birthday surprise.  But as she reaches out for a flower, her small boat capsizes, sending Natalie down into the water, weighed down by her bulky garments.  Just then, Maxwell Westbury happens to be riding by in his carriage, and he stops to save the poor woman from a painful death.  As the young pair’s bodies meet, a spark runs between them: is it merely the rush of having escaped a near-fatal accident?  Or is it something more?  Unable to banish the alluring woman from his mind, Maxwell is drawn deeper into Natalie’s dark past; his own father forbids him from pursuing a relationship with her, without telling Maxwell why.  Despite mounting opposition, Maxwell and Natalie fall irrevocably in love, their romance setting off a chain of events that will follow them both for the rest of this life – and into the next.

With elegant, lacy prose, Abbott presents a stunning period romance that shines in its originality and execution.  Her principal characters, though plagued by dubious and disastrous events, retain an innocence that contrasts strongly with the novel’s dark undertones; readers can’t help but be drawn in by the suspense and impending chaos of Abbott’s tantalizing tale.  This Time stands apart from the crowd thanks to its unique premise: love will follow two souls from one life to the next, guiding them toward each other.  But, as in real life, romance is never that easy, and Maxwell and Natalie’s battle against a mysterious foe proves to be a wholly entertaining story.

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