I picked this one up as it was on a list of time travel romance must-reads.
I wish they had placed an asterisk next to it that said: "Actually, this is book #4 so you might want to start at the beginning of the series which also has time travel and romance."
And then I wish they had placed a second asterisk next to it that said: "And the time travel is only for about a quarter of the book sandwiched in the middle...the rest of it takes place in modern times dealing with characters/family trees you learned about in the first three books."
Let's be honest...I really did not enjoy this that much. I think that's partly because I jumped into the series a few books in and it read like it. There was no attempt to really catch a new reader up on the world...which is totally fine. I should have researched the book a bit more before picking it up. I think even if I had been caught up on the series I would have not cared for this book much anyway.
One of my big issues with the book? The villains (Gilbert the father in law and the fiancé) were absolutely ridiculous. Madelyn's ex-fiancé is a stalker who perpetrates crimes left and right but supposedly gets away with it because he's a lawyer? Unbelievable. On the back cover blurb he's labeled as a "pesky fiancé"....um, it goes WAY beyond pesky. He was obnoxious. And a freaking CRIMINAL. And to top it all off, every time he perpetrated a crime or acted horribly (stealing her possessions? having her credit cards stopped and her credit score altered? stalking her? verbally abusing her every chance he got? etc ad nauseam), Madelyn or the supporting characters would just cower under the abuse or just wag their fingers at him and tell him to stop. It was ridiculous and I found it hard to believe that he was just able to behave in that manner for so long.
The romance fell flat for me too. I understand...98% of romance books are set up with the reader already knowing which two characters are going to end up together before he/she even starts reading. Just because we know who's going to fall in love with whom does not mean the romance has to be flat...or an afterthought. Madelyn and Patrick's romance just kind of happened...and then it was established with not enough development. I just didn't care about it which was disappointing because I wanted to read a romance book. I did not read any chemistry between these two...and, to be honest, I kind of doubted Madelyn's judgement after she was willing to marry Bentley Douglas Taylor III (...even his name reads "Obnoxiously Evil Villain"..good grief) after (I think it was only) six months. Madelyn and Patrick's romance read like it was a poor attempt at the it's-a-slow-burn-because-we-hate-each-other-but-then-find-out-we-are-each-other's-true-love-in-two-chapters trope.
Also disappointing? When you think you're going to read a time travel book...only to find that the time travel doesn't kick in for about 250 pages and then only lasts about 50 pages. Um...not what I signed up for. I was expecting the time travel to be more integral to the plot and more interlaced throughout. We spend more time watching Madelyn try to figure out why Patrick likes to wield a sword then we do actually in medieval Scotland.
I'm probably just grumpy because it wasn't a time travel book like I was expecting AND Madelyn's fiancé REALLY bugged me and it infused the whole story with a tinge of sourness. I plan to go back and read book number one in the series to see if that sets a better bedrock for the series.