This book goes back and forth in time between 1916 and 2007, although most of the action takes place in the present. In 2007, we first meet Julian Laurence, who is 33, gorgeous, a billionaire, a “living legend” hedge-fund manager, and oddly fixated on Kate Wilson. Kate, 25, works as an investment banker but in the lower echelons. She doesn’t find herself particularly good-looking, but her friend and colleague Charlie tells her “You rock the whole sexy librarian thing.” Julian, who could have “anybody” as Kate marvels, seems to have fallen in love at first sight.
We know something more is up, however, since the book actually begins with modern Kate traveling to Amiens, France in 1916 to find Julian and give him a message.
Although this is a time travel book, it also tends to bring to mind Fifty Shades of Grey. The main couple, Kate and Julian, are very reminiscent of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The dialogue is similar in quality [sic], and there is even lip biting by the heroine, but not a whole lot of S&M. You won’t miss it; you’ll be too busy wondering how the same unrealistic lines could be repeated so often.
Also on the minus side, there is the relationship between Kate and Julian – never quite understandable even when it was explained; all the “you little minx” lines from Julian and the “you’re so beautiful” lines from Kate; the brief forays into “50 Shades” territory (as in: sex is even more exciting when it’s rough and forced!) and the lack of clarity regarding Julian’s evil/not evil BFF.
Nevertheless, for some reason I found the book to be compulsively readable, I suppose because I love time travel stories, and the part about World War I was rather well done.
Evaluation: A kinder, gentler Fifty Shades of Grey with a time travel twist.
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a member of the Penguin Group, 2011