The first introduction I’ve had to Anne Meredith or her writing, the opportunity to dive into this time-travel fantasy romance series, the Trelawneys of Williamsburg was too intriguing to miss. The first of two titles that will appear (book two comes next week), please read on for my review of
Starting with the story of two best friends, sisters of the heart: Rachel and Camisha have been inseparable for years. Having learned that her adoptive father has been hiding a dark secret and is blackmailing her best friend for years. She’s got to find answers to questions about her childhood that she can’t remember, and the one constant that will help and support her in this search is Camisha.
Arriving in Williamsburg, the two find themselves at Rosalie, an historic plantation, looking for somewhere to stay. The couple that manages the visitor center in period clothing, offer them shelter, and share with them some of the history of the home and its tragedies during a particularly wild thunderstorm. When Rachel finds herself exploring the ruins of the plantation house in search of the young child she believes she saw, she awakes in the arms of the owner, in 1746. Worse yet, her best friend Camisha has also been brought back in time with potentially disastrous results as she is African American.
Meredith uses wonderful insets of historical fact and customs to set the stage here: with Grey Trewlawney being very much a successful man of his time. Successful plantation owner, well-respected but for one dark moment, with a young daughter and, as Rachel knows, a future that will result in their death in a fire. Building the plantation, the differences between then and now are clearly shown as Rachel and Grey start a tentative courtship, as pieces and clues from her life seem to resonate forward into the present. While Grey and Rachel are coming to terms with their relationship, and she with the very real presence of slavery on the plantation and in this time: Camisha is experiencing her own struggles with her new, and vastly constrained, position. As a slave, and unfamiliar with the expectations of behavior and demeanor expected of her, she’s been repeatedly punished and abused: a first for her but commonplace in the time.
Anne Meredith balanced the horrors of Camisha’s life in the time jump, as we see Rachel explaining, cajoling and pressing Grey to make changes, even as she takes efforts to protect and shelter her friend. It was a story that carried the feel of the time beautifully, even as the moments moved from graphic and disturbing to poignant and revelatory as Rachel begins to see the genesis of the secrets of her family, held for so long. Discovering that the person you view as a sister, and in every way your equal is less than human: both from society’s view and integral to the life and wealth of the man you are coming to feel for was an interesting dilemma and source of conflict for Rachel, especially as her memories start to reveal her past, her parents’ murders and the two sisters she never knew. More importantly, she need to discover and realize the reasons she was pulled back to the eighteenth century, and what that means for her life in her own time.
Engaging and thoughtful, Tender is a title like no others I have read, mixing historic fiction, romance, conflict and suspense into a story redolent with time, place and emotion.
Author: Anne Meredith
Series: The Trelawneys of Williamsburg #1
Also in this series: Immortal
Genre: American, Contemporary Fantasy Romance, Historic Elements, Time Travel / Alternate Universe
Published by: Self-Published
Published on: 16 April, 2016
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository
Rachel Sheppard is running from a forgotten past when she travels to Colonial Williamsburg with her best friend, Camisha. She soon learns that the man who raised her has been keeping a dark secret from her for twenty years and blackmailing Camisha. Now, he'll do anything to stop Rachel from revealing his secret.
Rachel and Camisha take shelter at Rosalie-a tobacco plantation with a storied past. No sooner does Rachel arrive at the old plantation than she's swept into the arms of Grey Trelawney, the wealthy plantation owner with secrets of his own.
Will Rachel remember the childhood trauma that wiped away her most treasured memories? How can a man as contemptible as Grey not only awaken in her the most tender passions, but also hold the key to restoring those memories? Can she prevent the fire that killed the man she now loves? This latest steamy time-travel romance from Anne Meredith is a sweeping drama of treachery, friendship, and redemption, set on a backdrop of forbidden love and overflowing with the history of the era.
It will take you away, make you think, and leave you hungry for Immortal Book Two in The Trelawneys of Williamsburg Series by Anne Meredith.
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: