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Archive for the ‘Time Travel’ Category

ReturnToDestiny_cvr-2-210x330Title: Return to Destiny
Author: Vona Logan
Length: 16,000 words
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: m/m time travel romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
Wade Summers is a decent guy… who happens to have a ghost taking advantage of his body at will. His attempts to escape it have failed, not that Wade is complaining. But while his body is teased, tantalized and taken to new heights of pleasure, his soul longs to know more about this enigmatic lover.

In 2022, erotic dreams and déjà vu of a gorgeous man are driving Michael Turner insane. When a strange old man convinces him he’s let Mr. Right slip through his fingers, Michael desperately tries to figure out at what point he missed getting the man of his dreams and will stop at nothing to return to his destiny.

Review:
I have a fondness for time travel romance and this one had an unusual twist. It tells of Wade who is suffering from an unusual condition. Every so often a ghostly visitor caresses him to orgasm. On one hand, Wade finds the erotic interludes very satisfying but on the other, they happen at the most embarrassing and inconvenient moments. Nine years in the future, Michael is having erotic dreams about a stranger. He visits a New Age type shop to try and find some answers to these dreams and instead discovers a way to find his mystery lover.

The story begins well with a light humourous touch in the narrative as Wade abandons his family dinner when his ghostly visitor arrives. It was a an amusing start and I liked that the lighthearted tone remained for the rest of the story. There’s a bittersweetness to the story when we move to Michael and he is considering the missed opportunities in his life. Wishing he could turn back the clock and his reevaluation of some of the bad decisions he has made is something we can all identify with, and I felt a good deal of sympathy for Michael.

The time travel aspect blended a certain amount of far eastern mysticism with a gruesome procedure, along with an interesting secondary character in the man who offers Michael the key to happiness. Once Michael has gone back nine years, we are teased a little as the lead up to the men meeting is delayed and built. Once they meet the story is sweet and satisfying and the story left me feeling happy for both of them.

If I have any niggles, it’s that out of the couple, Wade isn’t as well rounded as Michael and I would have liked to have seen a bit more of him. Aside from that very minor niggle, this was a nicely written and engaging story that I would be happy to recommend to those who like the time travel theme.

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Title: A Recondite Matter
Author: G.S. Wiley
Length: 18,000 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m time travel romance
Rating: C+

Blurb:
Francis is an Edwardian gentleman who prefers the quiet life. When a mysterious gift from a more adventurous friend, Sir Desmond Rivest, transports him a hundred years into the future, Francis needs to use every wit he possesses to fit into a world of smart phones, fast cars, and paper plates. Simon, an antiques dealer, seems uniquely equipped to help Francis adjust, and to help him find a way back home. But as Francis’ feelings for Simon begin to emerge, an encounter with a descendent of Sir Desmond’s threatens to take Francis away from Simon before they really begin to know one another.

Review:
As a young gay man in Edwardian times, Francis finds it hard to conceal the love he feels for an older gentleman. His friend, Desmond is dying and he gives a mysterious watch to Francis as a final gift. After Desmond’s death, Francis is lonely and so takes out the watch to be close to Desmond again, only to find himself thrust 100 years into the future.

One of my favourite things about time travel romance is when it shows one character being a real fish out of water and in the case of this book I felt this had been handled very well. Francis is alarmed to discover a world where automobiles are so fast, where TV and mobile phones allow for instant information and where two men can love and marry each other openly. Francis’ wide-eyed innocence and wholehearted embrace of the modern world was by far the best part of the story and I loved his occasional observations about how technology isn’t necessarily better as the world he came from.

Where the book faltered for me was in the relationship between Francis and Simon. In fact it left me a little cold as it happens fairly near to the end and was a little rushed. There wasn’t enough time with the pair together and alone on page – although we are told they spend time together. I couldn’t feel the spark between them and a niggly part of me felt that they were only together because Francis had nowhere else to go, rather than because there was a great passionate love.

Despite my feelings for the romance, I still enjoyed the story, especially the marvellous Pam, Simon’s shop assistant, whose family drama and kind-hearted chav personality almost stole the book from under the noses of the heroes. If you like time travel romance then this would be a good story to pick up. It’s not the best story I’ve read by this author but it’s still a decent read.

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Title: Timeless: Pharaoh’s Kiss
Author: Michael War
Length: 5,000 words
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: m/m time travel erotica
Rating: C

Blurb:
Tired of listening to his ex-boyfriends tale of time traveling eroticism, brilliant scientist Daniel decides to go on an adventure of his own. However, after landing in Ancient Egypt, Daniel gets more than he bargained for when the Pharaoh himself shows an interest in this exotic time traveler.

At 5,000 words, Timeless: Pharaoh’s Kiss blends just the right amount of romance and gay erotic fantasy for any summer or bedtime reading.

Review:
This story is the sequel to Timeless: A Sensual Time Travel Adventure which I reviewed a couple of days ago. This time the focus is on spurned lover, Daniel. He’s upset that he’s been dumped by ex, Marcus, for being boring and frustrated that there’s not much he can do about his analytical personality which means he’s slightly dispassionate during sex. He’s also fed up that Marcus gloats about the fabulous sex he had with the caveman. Daniel is determined to see whether a trip back in time can be just as much fun for him.

I accidentally read this story before the first story in this series, so I was a little confused at first as to what was going on. There was little in terms of how Daniel had managed to arrive in ancient Egypt, as we are thrust straight into the action. This was my fault for not noticing that I’d picked up the second story first, rather than a fault of this story and I found that after reading the first story it all made a lot more sense to me in terms of the time travel aspect so I urge people not to read the series out of order.

Pharaoh’s Kiss is a couple of thousand words long that the previous story and this allows more in terms of background on Daniel. This extra time spent on getting to know Daniel meant that I quickly became absorbed with the story. I felt rather sorry for Daniel that he had been rejected by Marcus, who he obviously still loves and it set the scene nicely for the erotic sex which follows. The book contains two sex scenes, and like the previous book these are hot, ideal for those looking for a steamy read. The first scene in particular with the palace guard made me quite hot under the collar and will appeal to those who like a bit of bondage play in their sex.

Although this story is tighter in terms of prose and typos, there was still some confusion with the tenses, switching from past to present on a couple of occasions. However, this wasn’t as jarring as it had been with the previous story. I also wished that the story could have been a little longer with more time spent between Daniel and the pharaoh, but I think that’s more to do with the romantic in me wanting a romance story, rather than erotica, although I can see scope in the future for a possible reconciliation between Daniel and Marcus.

Overall, if you’re looking for a hot piece of erotic writing with a science fiction twist, then this could be a good story for you. I was pleased to see how this author is developing in his writing and I shall look forward to reading more stories by him.

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Title: It Had to be You
Author: B.G. Thomas
Length: 78 pdf pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m timetravel
Rating: C+

Blurb:

Robert Daniels is always dating the wrong guys. He doesn’t understand it. Then, one day, on a particularly bad date, he dies…
…only to wake up in the body of  a man named Jimmy, who was shot and killed—but in 1927. Along comes Hugh Naylor, the guy Robert has been waiting for all his life. Hugh is perfect—sweet, intelligent, and sexy. The problem? Hugh is in love with Jimmy.
Now Robert’s falling in love with Hugh, but how can he explain he isn’t who he appears? How can he get Hugh to love him, and not the man whose body he inhabits? And who shot Jimmy?

Review:

A great idea for a time travel story and a well-researched jaunt into the jazz era. However, a tendency to exposition and overused internal monologue prevented me from falling into the story as deeply as I would have liked.

The story opens with Rob, our point of view character, getting shot in the present day. It’s a swift moving scene with plenty of drama, and before we know it we’re plunged back into the past. Rob has no idea what is going on, but all of a sudden the fountain he collapsed into when he was shot has disappeared, and everyone surrounding him is dressed in what he assumes to be costume. It takes Rob a while to recover from his injury, and at first everything around him in the hospital is extremely confusing. Then, when he realises he’s no longer in the slim, redheaded body he used to inhabit, things get even stranger. It turns out Rob is now “Jimmy”, a large man, and attractive by anyone’s standards.

However, there’s one very important man who seems to worship “Jimmy”, despite him clearly having been a womaniser and a user. When Hugh turns up at Rob’s bedside, obviously distressed, Rob’s heart goes out to him. Here is a man he could really love, unlike his awful boyfriends back in the present day (there is a flashback to his relationship with Perry, the man who was with him when he got shot). The only problem is, Rob isn’t the man Hugh thinks he is, and he’s determined neither to make Hugh think he’s mad with talk of his body- and time-swap, nor take advantage of the crush Hugh has on “Jimmy”.

Let’s start with what B.G. Thomas does well in this fairly lengthy short. He’s created a great set up and the details of the 1927 hospital are particularly well evoked. I was fascinated by the premise, and am determined to seek out some more body-swap novels to read. The relationship between Hugh and Rob builds gently, with them both displaying sweetness and sensitivity to each other’s needs. I also loved the way the issue with “Jimmy’s” assassin was resolved, and that scene had me grinning ear to ear.

What didn’t work quite so well was the narrative style. There was just too much exposition for my liking, and I found myself wondering if I was in fact reading a novel or novella squashed down to fit in a short story. The author also has a tendency to use long passages of internal monologue full of questions as Rob tries to sort out what he should do with the Hugh situation. Other readers may well enjoy this, but I found it slowed the story down and felt rather like I was being hammered over the head with how Rob felt rather than shown in more subtle ways. Combine this with an excessive use of exclamation marks and a few typos, and I was left with the impression of a story that could have used a firmer editing hand.

The other aspect I found troubling was just why Rob had picked such awful boyfriends in the past. This was never explained to my satisfaction, and it made him look rather shallow, impressed by Perry’s wealth despite the fact he couldn’t stand being with him. Despite Hugh never having the narrative point of view, I found his obsession with the charismatic Jimmy easier to understand.

In short then, this story both fascinated and annoyed me. Readers who aren’t so picky with issues of writing style will likely find it charming, though. If you enjoy reading about the Jazz era and find the idea of a bodyswap intriguing, I can definitely recommend you give it go.

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Title: Timeless: A Sensual Time Travel Adventure
Author: Michael War
Length: 3,300 words
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: m/m time travel romance
Rating: D+

Blurb:
After dumping his intelligent but bland boyfriend, lonely scientist Marcus ventures into Earth’s prehistoric past to find the next big discovery. But instead of science, Marcus unearths passion courtesy of an exotic caveman who rescues him from danger and fulfills his deepest fantasies.

Around 3,300 words, this gay erotic short story is the perfect backdrop for any person’s (or couple’s) imagination.

Review:
This story is from a new author attempting to break into the gay erotica through self publishing. I’m a fan of time travel stories and so I was happy to pick this up for review. The initial premise of the story has merit and follow scientist Marcus, who along with his ex-lover, has produced a time travel device in the form of a bracelet. Marcus has recently broken up with Daniel because he found their love life boring, but a trip to prehistory shows him what he’s been missing in the form of a liaison with a caveman.

The main part of the story was pretty good. It’s focused on two sex scenes, one a flashback between Marcus and Daniel and the second between Marcus and the caveman. Both are hot and well written, just the ticket if you are looking for a piece of steamy erotica. I particularly liked the contrast between the sensual and loving scene between Marcus and Daniel and the rough but more exciting sex with the caveman.

Having said that, I felt a little like I was missing out on quite a number of the science fiction details about how the time travel works, the function of the bracelet and the effects of the travel in terms of changing history. These were either ignored or swept aside in favour of the sex. This gave the story more of the feel of a porn film, where the sex becomes the focus and the lead up is a mere formality before getting onto the sex, rather than a carefully plotted piece of erotic writing. If that’s all OK with you as a reader then you may well not be as disappointed as I was with the lack of detail in the setting.

My main niggle though, and one that brought the grade down into the D’s, was that this read like the first draft of a story. There were a number of editing errors, including changing from the past to the present tense for no reason, which pulled me out of the story. The story needs a thorough read through from a proof-reader other than the author before selling it as product, even if it’s only $0.99.

The beauty of self-publishing means that mistakes can be changed though and this story shows some promise, as does the author’s writing. However, I’m reviewing this as a published piece of work and as such I can’t recommend it in its current form.

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Title: Slow Dreaming
Author: Anne Barwell
Length: 55 pages, 16,265 words
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance, Time Travel
Rating: C-

Blurb: As an agent for the Tempus Institute, Jason Adams’s task is to observe the past, not change it. But when he’s sent to twenty-first-century Wellington, New Zealand, during the last week of aspiring songwriter Sean Henderson’s life, Jason finds he can’t just watch from a distance. He and Sean quickly become friends and then lovers, and when the song that’s haunted Jason for years connects them in a way he never anticipated, he’ll risk changing history for the chance of sharing a future with Sean.

Review: Jason is an agent for the Tempus Institute, someone who travels through time and keeps watch over history. Though their objective is never quite discussed in the story, the bits and pieces paint a rather bleak picture of the future, Jason’s present world. After waking again from a recurring dream of snatches of music he can’t seem to remember, he’s given one last case to prove himself. Jason’s rather flighty in some ways. He goes with the flow for the most part and is pretty well known for not properly briefing himself for his assignments (pointed out rather well when he draws a blank at the mention of James Bond). But Jason knew he had to take this assignment when he saw Sean’s picture. Sent only to observe and report back, Jason has a hard time following the rules once he comes in contact with the man in the flesh.

I’m left quite unsure of how I feel about this story. On the one hand, I really like the setup. Jason is a bit of a fish out of water, out of his own time, but he’s also in his home city (Wellington, NZ), only in the past and in what is a very different city. He’s familiar with some things, and totally ignorant of others, which makes for an interesting dynamic between the two guys once they get to know each other. At the same time, I had quite a few problems with this story. I felt like the story floundered a bit from lack of overall direction (not the immediate relationship, but the world and setup of the plot). We never really know what the Tempus Institute does, although there’s a hint at the end of the story. We also don’t understand Jason’s objective in his mission to visit Sean. On the surface I understood that some mystery was needed, otherwise there wouldn’t be a proper resolution to the story. Perhaps my confusion comes from the fundamental way the story is told. We, the reader, are omniscient in the sense that we’re told up front that Jason is from the future and we’re privy to information on both characters that neither know about the other. Yet, at the same time, we aren’t given enough information to see where the story is headed. I felt like I was supposed to have been given all the cards when the characters were ignorant of them, and watch the situation play out. Jason doesn’t know, other than “observe only”, why he’s watching Sean. But then sometimes he alludes that he does know, all the while I was in the dark. Was that confusing enough? That’s a bit how I felt. The story could have been straightened out a bit, because while I was reading I always felt like I was missing something. That made the climax of the story less than poignant.

I think the author had the intent of using the difference in time to create an almost mystical connection between Jason and Sean, but because of my confusion I didn’t really see it. Jason and Sean move very quickly into insta-love territory, and I just couldn’t suspend disbelief enough to feel it. I’ve heard good things about one of this author’s past novels, and I’ll definitely try out some of her other work, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite connect with this one.

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Title: Lost in my Waking Dream
Author: Charlie Cochet
Length: 30 pdf pages, 8400 words.
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m historical
Rating: B

Blurb:

George Fitzpatrick is a troubled man and former soldier from the Great War. Ever since his return fifteen years ago, George has been hearing another man’s voice in his head, causing him to question himself and his reality. His engagement to his fiancée has steadily been going from bad to worse, and with every passing day George is finding it more and more difficult to deny his long-buried urges and the feelings brought about by a man he’s never laid eyes on. Is it all in George’s head, or is there something more behind Noah Baxter, the man whose soothing voice invades George’s dreams and his heart?

Review:

This is a really tough story to review without giving spoilers, and please don’t look down at the categories if you don’t want a major clue. However, I think a large part of the enjoyment in reading this is in figuring out what is really happening, so I’m going to do my best not to give too much away. It might end up being a shorter than usual review, however!

George Fitzpatrick is a man with many troubles: not only is he engaged to a sweet woman he doesn’t love, but he’s suffering from post traumatic stress after serving in World War One and finds living in the crowded city of New York often triggers panic attacks. His most guilty secret, though, is his homosexuality–something we later learn he’s only been able to admit to himself over the last ten years, with the support of Noah, the voice in his head who he also happens to be in love with.

Confused yet? Well so is George, who worries that he’ll be carted off to the loony bin if anyone ever hears him talking out loud to his imaginary friend. He’s willing to go to great lengths to facilitate Noah’s sexual fantasies, though, even visiting a prostitute who Noah assures him is his doppelgänger. This scene is incredibly poignant and one of the strangest threeways I think I’ve ever read, what with Noah watching and talking to George all the way through it.

I loved the descriptions of Jazz era New York, and George is a lovely character: broken and confused, but refusing to wallow in self-pity while he has Noah to keep him company. The two of them have a strong relationship, despite them not being able to meet physically, and only Noah being able to see his lover.

Some readers who don’t like cheating characters might be a little put off by George being engaged to Ann, especially as we later find out that the engagement started some years after George first starts hearing Noah’s voice. I felt this was all in keeping with the era and George’s confusion about his situation, however. Rest assured that in the end it all wraps up in a very satisfactory, if hurried, way.

I’d not read any Charlie Cochet before this but I’m certainly intending to hit up her backlist, as this is a historical era she seems to specialise in and one which I find fascinating. I can recommend this strange little tale, but those readers who prefer their historicals not to mix with other genres, might be better off with one of her other titles.

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