Katherine Kennedy has it all—she’s beautiful, wealthy, and engaged to a man who, at one time, seemed perfect for her. Only she can’t marry him, and she can’t say why. All she knows is there is suddenly nothing she wants. Not her fiancé Antonio. Not any of the hundred thousand things her money can buy.
Jack McCabe comes home from the war with a pretty medal and a lot of ugly pictures in his head. He has nowhere to go, nor anyone to go with. All he has is a vague sense of discontent, a restlessness that will not abate.
Separately, Katherine and Jack are drawn to Paradise Tours on the privately owned Cristobel Island, a resort promising life-altering adventure. Just choose the time and place. Suddenly they find themselves over 125 years in the past, 1881 to be exact. Neither of them knows the other is a fellow time-traveler.
For Jack McCabe it’s the life he craves, and he’s at the top of his game—until his run-in with Alanna McCleod, the beautiful but deadly train robber. Katherine no sooner lands back in time than she is mistaken for Alanna McCleod and can’t understand why—until she sees the wanted poster.
Set in the Old West, this high-spirited tale of mistaken identity, romance, and murder is part historical fiction, part time travel fantasy, and completely captivating.
I should admit that Marcy is a friend and fellow moderator over at Unicorn Bell with me. She is also with the same publisher I am--WiDo Publishing. This is her debut novel and holy cow does she come out swinging. I read her book in one day. It's been almost a week and I've put off this review for one reason.
I'm not sure what to say. I've been trying to think of real "review-type" things to say, but I can only think of a few and I'm afraid you'll think I'm just being nice to a friend. But that's not it at all. The fact is I got lost in the story and didn't pay any attention to the writing. I felt fear for Katie, angry at Jack for being such a jerk in the beginning, but grew to like him as much as Katie did.
Marcy floored me by making me feel like I really was back in 1881. The style is different, but the details were as good as the Louis L'Amour books I read as a teen. Didn't see that one coming did you? Yes, it was awesome. And when our characters were in the "near future" time of their actual time, Marcy had nice little details that made it feel real and totally possible. Nothing way out there crazy, but just little things that still gave it the flavor of "not now".
The best way I can sum it up is--Back to the Future III ...
...meets Somewhere In Time.
I give West of Paradise by Marcy Hatch a solid 5 because I couldn't put it down, and I've already asked her if there is going to be a sequel. She said she'll think about it.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure