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on April 21, 2013 :
I loved this book and read all the sequels to date. Please keep the series going!
(review of free book)
on Feb. 10, 2013 :
love this sort of fantasy Very Dr Who. kept me intrigued right til the end. Looking forward to when the walls fell in
(review of free book)
on Jan. 04, 2011 :
Set in the Roaring '20s, OUT OF TIME by Monique Martin is a roaring good read! With a backdrop of gangsters, speakeasies, and Prohibition, the romance that develops in this romantic urban fantasy is nothing short of gripping.
Simon Cross is a professor of Occult Studies at a California university. He and his graduate assistant, Elizabeth West, have an easy working relationship, despite the attraction they both feel for one another. One evening, Elizabeth brings some graded papers over to Simon's home to drop them off, and while she's there they manage to activate a pocket watch that had belonged to Simon's grandfather. Neither of them realizes that the watch is, in fact, a time travel device and the next thing they know, they're in an alley in the 1920's.
I absolutely love the characters in this story. Simon and Elizabeth are both wonderful. Simon has the quintessential acidic British wit-dry and full of snark. I laughed out loud at several of his caustic comments. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is a perfect foil for him. She's very diplomatic and often smoothes the feathers that Simon ruffles. At the same time, she's no push-over and doesn't hesitate to stand up to Simon or anyone else. She's a perfect mix of sweet and tough.
The supporting cast is equally engaging. There's the tough but lovable Charlie Blue who befriends them, and then the villainous King Kashian. All of the characters are painted deftly and contribute to the overall story.
Almost another character in its own right is the setting. The Roaring '20s is presented in all the glory of the time period, but also accurately. I wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more of the "Flapper" culture, such as what we see in The Great Gatsby, but we're still treated to a look at some of the cultural icons of the day. One of my favorite scenes is when Simon and Elizabeth go on an outing to Coney Island. Ms. Martin describes it so well that I could picture perfectly the rides, the games, the food vendors and it allowed me to share some of the joy and wonder that Simon and Elizabeth had as they explored.
The only problem I had with Out of Time is that it dragged a bit in the middle. The beginning was full of adventure and our fearless couple trying to survive being transplanted out of the blue into a different time, but the mid-chapters just seemed to be building... and building... and building. Eventually, the story reached the boiling point and everything took off again, but there was a bit of plodding.
Also of note was while one of the characters IS a vampire, I would in no way classify this as a vampire story. In fact, I think the story would have been almost exactly the same had that character been mortal and that raised the question of "Why make him a vampire?" I can only assume that it's to introduce the idea that paranormal creatures do exist in this world setting.
That aside (and truthfully, they're both VERY small quibbles), OUT OF TIME is a fantastic read. Elizabeth and Simon and so great together, you can't help but pull for them through the entire book. A perfect mix of romance and urban fantasy, you won't regret spending time with Monique Martin in OUT OF TIME.
Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 04, 2010 :
Out of Time by Monique Martin
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
I loved Out of Time. This book grabbed me from the beginning. It has everything you can imagine, including traveling back to the 1920's. It starts out in present day and the next thing you know, Simon and Elizabeth are thrown back in time to a period full of mobsters, murder and mayhem.
Simon receives his grandfather's stuff after many years. As he's sharing it with Elizabeth, something happens and they get transported back in time. Elizabeth is excited to experience things she has only read about. She takes each day with enthusiasm, even getting a job working at a speakeasy. There they meet Charlie, Dixie and King.
Both characters are strong and complex and still have a lot to learn. Elizabeth has been in love with Simon since she first saw him but he was her teacher. Now as his assistant, he still keeps her at arm's length. She has had a hard life and has learned to live life to its fullest. She has a ready smile and easy going personality.
Simon watched his grandfather die many years ago and vowed not to let anyone close to him again. He can't stop thinking about his pushy assistant and now he is having dreams about her. He grew up in boarding schools and stays to himself. He is considered eccentric and quirky because of this. He learned to depend on no one but himself.
I loved the fact that the period they were transported to was the 1920's. It's one of my favorite periods in history and was fun to read about mobsters, prohibition, and jazz. Both Simon and Elizabeth were like a fish out of water and did the best they could to survive. People were drawn to Elizabeth because she was a pure soul who saw the good in others. They had amazing chemistry and the sexual tension was evident from the beginning.
The descriptions of people and places in the story helped paint a picture of a time we can only dream about visiting. The people we met along the way were interesting and added to the depth of the story. It amazes me that you could eat breakfast for .25 and rent a room for a couple of bucks for a week. I loved visiting Coney Island and seeing the inside of a speakeasy.
I haven't read many time travel books so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it transport me to one of my favorite time periods, I was surprised by the presence of vampires.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to others. I give Out of Time 4 flaming hearts.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 22, 2010 :
Rating: 4 (I Really Liked It)
After reading the description of this book I expected to experience a world, or underworld that is, chock full of 1920’s style vampires and demons. Actually, there was only one vampire in this story and you really don’t see much of him until about half way through the book. The main focus of the story is really the romance between Simon and Elizabeth with themes of love (of course!) and redemption.
The time travel part of the story happens very early in the book…I liked that. Simon and Elizabeth are unexpectedly thrown into a situation where they must depend on each other to find a way home. Each of them has feelings for the other that are not outwardly evident. Elizabeth thinks that Simon, who is 20 years her senior, has no interest in her. Simon feels an attraction to Elizabeth but has spent years building a wall around his emotions. The prescient nightmares of Elizabeth’s death certainly didn’t help. Little does he know that Elizabeth will find the crack in his wall, and when they are thrown together into 1920s NYC, that wall will start to crumble.
Simon and Elizabeth are very likeable characters and the romance between them is a slow waltz through the first half of the book. The romantic tension builds and builds until a final confrontation pushes them both towards each other and Simon’s wall finally comes tumbling down.
You don’t really see much of the lone vampire that makes up the paranormal aspect of the story until halfway through the book. Because of this I think the first half of the book was paced a little slower than the second half. I would like to have seen a little more action in the first half, but I enjoyed the growing romance between Simon and Elizabeth. This carried me through to the second half of the book where more of the intrigue and suspense take over when it becomes evident that vampires actually exist and one in particular has more than a passing interest in Elizabeth.
I was immediately comfortable with the writing style and the dialogue felt natural, not forced. The only point of contention I had is that Simon, who is British, and a secondary character who is an Irish priest, didn’t sound British and Irish in my head. I would like to have had a little more “accent” in the dialogue and characterization to really round out their characters. Simon would come out with a “Bloody Hell!” or “Bugger!” occasionally but he still had an American accent in my head.
Out of Time is primarily a time travel romance with a little history, a little intrigue, and a paranormal twist. It also turned out to be quite enjoyable! I look forward to seeing what Monique Martin has for us in the future :)
Typos found in this edition: 7
(reviewed within a month of purchase)