From the publisher:
Their love refused to stay quiet, echoing across time…https://amzn.to/3KDjhVt
When the world is brought to a standstill in the early days of a global pandemic, Etta Wilmont finds herself suddenly stranded in Kansas City. Desperate to secure a roof over her head, Etta crosses paths with Henry Logan, a lonely older man in need of a caretaker. His invitation for Etta to stay with him seems to be the solution to both their problems—and maybe the spontaneous adventure Etta’s life has been missing.
As Etta and Henry settle into a companionable living arrangement, Etta indulges in Henry’s library. The compelling historical accounts of life in the Midwest soon inspire vivid dreams of Kansas City in the 1870s, dreams in which she’s a mail-order bride, married to a handsome but guarded rancher named Maxwell Lawton.
Haunted by the story unfolding in her mind, Etta realizes her dreams of the past and the familiar faces featured within are starting to have an impact on the present, altering her current reality. Perhaps these dreams are Etta’s chance to finally claim something for herself after so much time spent caring for others. More than anything, Etta wonders if the captivating man she’s falling for while she sleeps might be real, might be out there—true love waiting to be found and which would change both their lives forever.
Time travel is the closest to sci-fi that I get anymore and this was interesting. It begins in March, 2020 when the whole world pretty much shut down due to Covid. Henrietta, AKA Etta, has a layover in Kansas City on her way to visit her sister. Then all flights are canceled, there are no more cars to rent, and no rooms at the airport hotel. Another passenger offers her a ride, and she thinks it will be easier to find a hotel away from the airport, so she accepts. But everything is booked, and when her ride unceremoniously dumps her on the streets of a Kansas City suburb, she starts walking, hoping to find a hotel nearby. Instead, she meets Henry.
Every house on the street is shuttered and quiet, but Henry is outside, ready to have some cookies and lemonade. He invites Etta to join him, and she does. Henry is an older gentleman with some health issues, and his children have hired someone to stay with him and take care of him, but due to the pandemic, she never shows up. He offers Etta the job, and out of options, she takes it.
The house is beautiful, but Henry stays in the pool house behind the main house as he can’t walk up and down the stairs. That leaves Etta alone in the house, so she feels safe. As they get to know one another, Etta learns that Henry is a historian and has a tremendous library, which Etta is enjoying. As they talk about their families and the history of the area, that leads Etta to dream about it – or is it a dream?
Etta finds herself getting married to Max in 1871 Kansas. He’s super good-looking, so she goes along with it until he says something about her being old and plain, and she mouths off to him. He gets angry and starts driving their wagon like a lunatic, causing her to get bruises all over her body. When they finally get to his home, she meets his sister, who has a deformed foot, and Max takes care of her. Turns out he is the second largest landowner in the area and was supposed to marry Cornelia, as her father wants his land. But they fight like cats and dogs, and he can’t abide the thought of marrying her, so a mail-order bride it is for him. He just didn’t expect anyone like Etta.
When Etta wakes up from her dream, she finds her body aching and bruised, and figures she must have been sleepwalking into walls or something. She tells Henry about her dream, he is completely fascinated and decides to write a novel based on it. But then another dream comes, this one much longer and more involved. When she awakens, Henry wants every detail, and Etta realizes that she is changing history with her actions in the dream. She and Max have made up and are now truly man and wife, and she is deeply in love and doesn’t want to leave him. But dreams don’t give us the option of staying in them…or do they?
As Etta moves back and forth between her two worlds, she meets the same people in both places. There are a lot of characters but as the story progresses, the characters become more recognizable in both worlds. I don’t want to give the ending away, so I’ll just say that there is a happy ending and it was a bit of a surprise. I would have liked a bit more at the end as it seemed sort of abrupt. The historical parts were fascinating, and the time during the pandemic felt familiar. All in all this was an enjoyable, engrossing read.
4/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
MY HEART WILL FIND YOU by Jude Deveraux. MIRA; Original edition (April 11, 2023). ISBN: 978-0778333487. 352p.