Alexis Stanton comes to the blog today with a story that starts in a grand house in upstate New York, with a lovely timeslip novel in a cast full of historic reenactments in
A Timeless Christmas
Megan loves everything about the past, particularly the turn of the century, and as a reenactment actor at the Whitley-Moran Mansion Museum, she guides visitors through the stately home, answering questions and sharing her tiny little secret: she’s got a crush on the home’s first owner and builder, inventor and steel magnate Charles Whitley, who disappeared without a trace one night in 1902. Finally with her PhD in history, her goal is to teach at the local university, but her application is delayed as she waits for a letter of recommendation promised yet not delivered. But, everyone is gearing up for the holidays and the big party held at the mansion, hoping to see an uptick in both visitors and buzz. Yet all is not smooth, Megan’s former boyfriend and fellow reenactor is demanding a raise and more attention, with funds tight – he walks off leaving them stranded. The ensuing shuffle to decide who is playing whom brings the small staff into chaos, made even more confusing and curious when Megan, on her last tour for the evening, encounters the Charles Whitley in his study, and the interactions with this strange man go viral in seconds.
Charles Whitley is a self-made man, working his way up from laborer to owner and inventor, with several businesses and a fortune to his name. Whitley Manor was designed and built to his specific wishes, it is to be a wedding gift to his fiancé. Constantly on the move for new and better, engrossed in his work and the next innovation, he’s just returned from a trip to France, and is determined to unpack two boxes full of treasures and trinkets. Of particular interest is a mantlepiece clock, a pretty item without maker’s mark or solid provenance, his gift to his fiancé to make up for his lack of time spent with her. Noting the clock isn’t working, he decides to puzzle out the why, and is soon engrossed in the inner workings, until a spring flies free and he’s soon standing in his study, noting the Christmas decorations and strangers at the door.
Soon it is clear to all (with the help of an adorable daughter of one of the reenactors) that Charles is just who he claims, and that not only does he need help functioning in the new place, but that much of what passed after his disappearance is unknown to him. Perhaps here the mystery can be solved, for at least a handful of museum employees. Megan, drawn to Charles from her work becomes his unofficial tour guide to the 21st century, explaining technology, shopping and even infecting him with her own particular brand of Christmas spirit, showing him the future he never dreamed of, and providing insight into the true meaning of holiday spirit. It’s not one-sided however, as Charles’ words and confidence in each of them inspires them to move forward in their own lives. And with the ‘how to get back’ puzzle mostly sorted, and the missing spring from the clock found, it’s Christmas Eve and time for Charles to return to 1902, reclaim his life and push his rival, Moran, out of the picture.
Cleverly done, with a bit of all too convenient romantic set up, this is a happy ever after story with lots of joy and the feel of Christmas, and a touch of history tossed in for good measure. Each of the characters had something special to add to the story, and played a solid part in the changes that come to Charles, with their easy acceptance of him, the camaraderie of the staff at the museum and the predictable, but sweet ending.
Title: A Timeless Christmas
Author: Alexis Stanton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed, Time Travel / Alternate Universe
Published by: Hallmark Publishing
Published on: 23 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Kobo
They’re from two different centuries,
but they’re perfect for each other.
Megan Turner is in love with the past. As a tour guide at a beautiful historic mansion, she tells visitors about its original owner, Charles Whitley. An inventor and businessman in the early 1900s, he rose from poverty to wealth…only to disappear without a trace.Charles was always intrigued by the future. He just never expected to go there. But when he repairs a mysterious clock he bought on his travels, he’s transported to the twenty-first century, with his home decorated for Christmas and overrun by strangers. Charles is determined to find a way back to his own era, especially when he learns about what happened after he left. But as Megan introduces him to the wonders of smartphones, pizza, and modern holiday traditions, they both feel a once-in-a-lifetime connection. Could it be that, somewhere in time, they belong together?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley 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: