Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.
Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.
About the Author:
Susanna Fraser wrote her first novel in fourth grade. It starred a family of talking horses who ruled a magical land. In high school she started, but never finished, a succession of tales of girls who were just like her, only with long, naturally curly and often unusually colored hair, who, perhaps because of the hair, had much greater success with boys than she ever did.
Along the way she read her hometown library’s entire collection of Regency romance, fell in love with the works of Jane Austen, and discovered in Patrick O’Brian’s and Bernard Cornwell’s novels another side of the opening decades of the 19th century. When she started to write again as an adult, she knew exactly where she wanted to set her books. Her writing has come a long way from her youthful efforts, but she still gives her heroines great hair.
Susanna grew up in rural Alabama. After high school she left home for the University of Pennsylvania and has been a city girl ever since. She worked in England for a year after college, using her days off to explore history from ancient stone circles to Jane Austen’s Bath.
Susanna lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter. When not writing or reading, she goes to baseball games, sings alto in a local choir and watches cooking competition shows.
I’m not sure why, but it’s lovely to get your hands (or eyes) on a book that ties into what’s going on in real life. I love reading seasonal books and there certainly isn’t any shortage of good Christmas romances that come out around this time.
Christmas Past adds in a more attractive facet to me – time travel. Although it doesn’t lean on it too much to the detriment to the romance.
The start of the book was a little shaky for me though. Most of the story is told in flashbacks which I felt robbed the reader of the very first meeting of the two main characters. However, it’s a short read, so I do understand why the author had to set up the story so quickly. Griffin is a fab hero, but it kind of let it down for me that he believed Sydney’s time travel exploits without much of a struggle – also that she told him so quickly as she was bound to keep that secret enough to kill herself.
From a writer’s perspective, it flowed nicely and I read it within one sitting, so really felt satisfied that I had had the whole story in one go – kind of like the feeling you get when you’ve had that massive Xmas dinner you’ve spent hours cooking – fortunately I had that sated feeling without the mounds of washing up! It was beautifully written and I’ve always been drawn to the concept of a modern lass getting her hands on an old fashion gent – as there really aren’t any around anymore (too cynical?)
The front cover is lovely and portrays both characters – although there’s not much in the way of hints about the time travel angle – which to me was what made it so special.
Overall I’d give Christmas Past 4 out 5 stars – A perfect read for Xmas eve while you’re waiting for the Fat Man to bring you your stockings filled with goodies!