For the Baby's Sake

A Time to Dream

Whispers Through Time by Sherry Lewis
(Jove, $5.99, PG) ISBN 0-515-12952-6
I had the delightful experience of reviewing Sherry Lewis’s previous time travel romance, A Time to Dream. A four heart read that remains one of my personal favorites in the time travel genre. Unfortunately, her latest effort, Whispers Through Time, did not have the same impact.

Kurt Richards works for the Bureau of Land Management in Cortez, Colorado, caring for the ancient cliff dwellings of the Anasazi. He has made it his life’s work to learn more about the people who created this desert city, and discovering the reason for their abrupt disappearance around 1300.

His almost fanatic zeal to protect the site from looters has cost him several personal relationships, including a wife and most recently, his live-in girlfriend Charlotte. Kurt decides spending another night guarding the ruins is the perfect antidote to his latest failed relationship.

But this night something is different. A storm is brewing and in the wind a voice repeatedly whispers, “Go to her.” Disturbed by the whispers, Kurt loses his footing and falls into a canyon. When he regains consciousness, he is no longer in present day Cortez, Colorado, but in the Cortez of 1890.

In the outskirts of Cortez, Olivia Hamilton is desperately trying to hold the Lazy H Ranch together since her husband’s death. But with the next installment of the mortgage due shortly, it appears nothing short of a miracle will help her find the money that will allow her to keep the ranch she loves.

That miracle could be in the form of her neighbor, Sam Evans. Sam has been a godsend since her Harvey’s death, helping with the heavy work around the ranch. Sam, a dear friend to both Olivia and Harvey and a prosperous rancher in his own right, has proposed marriage. It would be the perfect solution to Olivia’s problems, but she could not accept the proposal of a man she didn’t truly love simply to save her ranch.

When an injured Kurt wanders onto the Lazy H, Olivia nurses him back to health. On his next visit, Sam is not pleased to discover another man at the ranch and does everything in his power to make Kurt’s life miserable. Even following him into Cortez and making it impossible to find lodging and employment. A tactic that backfires on Sam when Olivia offers Kurt a job on her ranch and their mutual attraction has opportunity to grow.

The Anasazi ruins have not yet been discovered in 1890, and they sit on a portion of Olivia’s property. Kurt believes he has been sent through time to protect the ruins from the start and perhaps his “discovery” will be the financial windfall that will allow Olivia to keep her ranch. But it’s soon evident Kurt is not the only one aware of the ruins’ existence and he will need to enlist his rival Sam’s assistance in order to save the ruins and the Lazy H.

In both books, author Sherry Lewis creates a setting so alive it seems to be a character in its own right. This worked to a much greater effective in her previous book when the two houses in the story seemed to take on a life of their own. In Whispers Through Time, the Anasazi ruins are a pivotal, almost living, part of the story. But I never felt that vital connection to the setting the way I had in her previous book.

I also found it impossible to warm up to either Kurt or Olivia. The past experiences that shaped their lives are briefly described, but nothing is really shown to make them more than one-dimensional characters throughout the course of the book.

They paled in comparison to the “other man” Sam Evans. A bigger than life character, I was drawn to him from the start and couldn’t help hoping he (instead of the hero) would get the girl. Even though she wasn’t good enough for him!

Fortunately, there’s an important loose end in Whispers Through Time that begs for a sequel featuring our man Sam. Even though I was somewhat uninspired by Whispers Through Time, I’ll be first in line for Sherry Lewis’s next book especially if the hero is Sam Evans.

--Karen Lynch

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