REVIEW: A Portrait in Time by Barbara Donlon BradleyWednesday, November 26, 2008 13:00
Oh, my. What a time I had with this book. And I’m sorry to say that I don’t mean that in the usual way when you hear that sentiment. This is another of those books I pulled out of the nearest drawer when my eReader needed some juice the other night. I didn’t get nearly as lucky this time as I did with the prior surprise I pulled out of that drawer. And not for the reason you might think.
I have this book, to begin with, only because it’s a time travel. I fell in love with time travels after reading Linda Howard’s Son of the Morning years ago. After that I scoured the internet looking for any and every one I could find. I knew not every one I would find would be as good as the Howard. I was willing to take that chance, though, and this book is one that didn’t pan out quite that well.
The biggest problem with the book is the errors in it. Loads and loads of ‘em. Sigh. I was distracted three-quarters of the time when reading it. I know mistakes happen, but these errors are the result of either the manuscript not being properly and thoroughly proofread or the proofreader(s) didn’t have a grasp of the English language and punctuation. Horrible job. Okay, I got that out of the way first thing. Let’s talk about the story.
That part of the book is actually not bad. Alexandra is called home to New Orleans by her grandmother, but the news is not as dire as she’d expected. But it gives her a chance to relax and catch up, all the while grandma has other things else in mind At a neighboring plantation something life-changing awaits Alex.
After going through their family history, Grams feels it’s time for a tour of the plantation. When they come across a portrait, Alex is stunned to see her likeness in it. Grandma tricks her into touching it and the next thing Alex knows is she’s not in Kansas anymore, Toto. She’s been thrown more then 100 years in the past and has come face to face with handsome Trey Dalton.
It takes some doing, however, to get used to the man and his time. She’s an independent 21st Century woman and living with all the constraints of a bygone era is difficult for her. As she falls in love with Trey, though, all those things seem to diminish and life becomes easier. At least for a time.
Trey’s life is pretty simple before a beautiful, stubborn, and very odd woman invades his life. She claims to be from the future, but even after all the things she tells him to convince him of those claims, he just can’t bring himself to believe. He still protects her, however, and when his Aunt Rose comes up with the idea of Alexandra being his fiance because she’s an unmarried woman living in his home, he doesn’t refute the lie.
Along with Alexandra has also come more and more dangerous and threatening happenings around his property, which he blames on a former friend, who just happens to be Alexandra’s great-great-great grandfather. That danger is stepped up a notch when Alexandra is kidnapped and his enemy’s plans are finally revealed.
While I liked the characters, the storyline ends up being run-of-the-mill that we’ve read before. The time travel aspect works fine and both Trey and Alex do okay at their disbelief of the phenomenon, but their emotion concerning that issue and others, including the love scenes, just fell short. I never felt totally invested in their feelings throughout the book. I’d say that was due to a combination of the writing and all the errors that pulled me out of the story so many times.
There’s too many other variables that can happen with a book to make readers not care for certain aspects that authors and these smaller publishers just need to do a better job with things like grammar and punctuation that are more controllable. Such oversights don’t do the reader or the author any darned good.
Trey Dalton is having a very bad day. Someone is trying to destroy his plantation, his meddlesome aunt has come to visit, and some strange woman has appeared on his doorstep spouting some nonsense about coming from the future. Alexandra Tibideaux’s day isn’t any better. After racing from California to New Orleans because of an urgent message from her grandmother, Alex learns that all Grams wanted was to tour an old plantation, where Alex finds an exact likeness of herself. When curiosity causes her to touch the portrait, she finds herself trapped in the past with a man who is far too cute and too pig-headed for her taste.
Read an excerpt. (click link on left-hand side)