Stranded in the present, time traveler Caleb Hornblower’s biggest problem isn’t returning to the twenty-third century – but falling head over heels for the beguiling Liberty Stone, who shows him a love more powerful than time itself. Though Caleb knows he belongs in the future, how can he leave the past, and Liberty, behind?
As Liberty Stone stood on the cabin’s porch watching the storm rage overhead she had no regrets about being tucked away in the Oregon mountains. A cultural anthropologist, she was spending time at the place of her birth to write her dissertation on the last five years of extensive research. She was looking forward to the solitude. Then she saw the light shoot across the sky and the unmistakable sound of a crash.
Caleb Hornblower, a freelance cargo pilot from the 23rd century, is on a routine flight home from Mars when he diverts to avoid a meteor shower and is catapulted through a time gateway. With instruments going wild, the cockpit in darkness and the pressure making him lose consciousness, his ship whirls towards the earth. As Libby races to where she believes a plane went down she finds Caleb injured by the side of the track and manages to get him back to the cabin. As she nurses Caleb back to health Libby attributes his sometimes strange behaviour as the result of the accident. Little does she know.
The cockpit lights went out, leaving only the whirl of kaleidoscopic colors from the instrument panel. His ship went into a spiral, tumbling end over end like a stone fired from a slingshot. Now the light was white, hot and brilliant. Instinctively he threw up an arm to shield his eyes. The sudden crushing pressure on his chest left him helpless to do more than gasp for breath.
I remember reading this book a long time ago. I think it was first published in the late 80’s or early 90’s as a Silhouette romance. I went for this newly released audio version because, well, it’s Luke Daniels and his narrations are always excellent, he always brings so much to his performance which enhances a story enormously.
Given the passage of years and the formula it followed, the story is a little dated. The dominant, could be seen as overpowering, male and the shy, virginal female, intelligent but naive, scenario could have been less than appealing but Nora Roberts handles it well. Her female characters and writing have evolved hugely since this was written but still, I like Libby and Cal and I’m glad Libby’s self assurance and nerve grows as the story progresses.
The time travel element gives the story an extra layer, even though the details are fairly vague. I imagine it was a precursor to the incredibly good In Death series which started around the same time, I think, and is written under Ms Roberts’ pseudonym, JD Robb. This series is also set in the future, although not so far, and is way more comprehensive. Caleb’s stunned and bemused reactions in finding himself transported back in time and faced with an antiquated lifestyle, including the cars and kitchen equipment, are credible and amusing. I like Libby’s parents and their interactions with Caleb. I’m giving the story a four star rating taking into account it’s twenty five or so years old.
Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US