Review: Christmas Past

Christmas Past

Author: Susanna Fraser
Publisher: Entangle/Ever After
Date of Publication: November 25, 2013

PastTime-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.

My Thoughts:

This is part of Entangled’s Ever After line, and as such, is short, sweet and to the point. And that, I think, ended up being why I wasn’t so thrilled with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a 3-star rating, but I wasn’t ecstatic about it like I have been with almost every other Entangled book I’ve read.

I liked that Ms. Fraser thought it was possible in some timeline somewhere time travel was invented before 2013, and that the possibilities for it as a research tool had been developed. She clearly put some time and thought into the creation of the Temporal Protocal (which made me think of the Prime Directive), and how travelers were to handle things if they got caught in the past.

Sydney’s a great woman, smart and unafraid to venture into the past to observe it for herself, while gathering some blood samples for a colleague in the modern world. She meets handsome Captain Griffin and things go quickly between them, even though Sydney’s only going along with him for the day because she intends to kill herself the following morning and knows she can’t stay because she’ll risk messing up the timeline.

Griffin – well, I’m not so sure about him. He seemed to accept Sydney’s explanation a little too easily, though I suppose if confronted things like an iPad and electric lights, it might have made her story more plausible, but still … he barely bats an eyelash.

The two make a charming couple, and have some very nice sex, though it wasn’t particularly explicit (which was a major plus for me).

What I didn’t particularly care for was the extended explanation at the end as to how/why the time machine broke. Yes, it continues in Ms. Fraser’s bent of being meticulous when it comes to thinking out plot twists, but … it just left me cold.

However, all this being said, I want to see more books by Ms. Fraser. I want to see more with this Temporal Protocol, and given how Ms. Fraser explains the breakdown of Sydney’s machine, I see no reason she can’t continue with the world. I do hope she does, preferably in a longer format! I’d love to read more about this world of 2013 where time travel exists.

Thank you for writing a decent book and hope to see more from you, Ms. Fraser!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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