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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Daring Time by Beth Kery
Time Travel Romance released by Berkley Trade 5 May 09

I should know better than to doubt Ms. Kery and her books. Early on in Daring Time there is slight reference to the hero being into BDSM. I gave a half-hearted groan, thinking that doesn’t bode well for me during the reading of this book. While I do read books here and there which contain elements of this lifestyle, the stories usually don’t work for me, mainly because sex scenes are liberally sprinkled with those elements just for the heck of it. Ms. Kery, however, gives the reader a good story that encompasses such habits which is only a small part of the characters’ lives and clearly enhances the enjoyment of those lives.

I was afraid this sexual concept would ruin the rest of the story for me, but Ms. Kery has spun a complex tale of time travel and reincarnation, along with the terrific and rich history of Chicago, seen from two different points in time. Said hero, Ryan Daire, is a Chicago detective and he and his partner are close to arresting the slimeball they’ve been after for human trafficking. In the midst of this he inherits a mansion in the exclusive Prairie Avenue District, a place where he discovers a time portal in the antique armoire in his bedroom. Ryan crosses paths again and again with the beautiful Hope Stillwater who lived in the house a hundred years before, and now he’s determined to have her.

Hope is a woman raised with the social mores of her time, but she’s also a very independent woman who works with her father to bring about the downfall of a slave trader preying on young, innocent women who come to Chicago looking for work. Though she is stunned when Ryan begins to appear in her room, she’s more curious than anything else, especially when the handsome man flames the fire of passion in her with just a touch. That passion bursts to erotic proportions when Ryan makes love to her in one of the most unusual ways I’ve ever read. They both continually crave one another thereafter, and it is Ryan who makes the decision to step into 1906 Chicago to save Hope from the deathly fate he learned about in his research of her past.

So much happens in this book, and the action is nearly nonstop and complex as it leads you toward a fantastic resolution. The love scenes are quite tastefully done, one in particular when Ryan must make love to Hope while being watched by a hoard of bad guys. This is the first scene where Ryan’s dominance takes over, but it is also a scene full of tenderness, caring, and education for Hope. It’s also the scene where I let my preconceptions go. These scenes work in Ms. Kery’s capable hands. The contrast of Hope’s independence in everyday life, even to the point of defying Ryan during dangerous moments, and her submission in the bedroom is intriguing, and I’m glad Hope is given her own scenes in which to sometimes do the seducing. The time traveling aspects of the book are also quite intriguing. I enjoyed the back-and-forth traveling between times, something most books don’t do.

Though the D/s theme is still not my favorite, Ms. Kery gives a balance in her books so it doesn’t overwhelm and become too much to deal with.  I’ve definitely learned my lesson to never doubt her again.

SandyMGrade: B+

He sees her, wants her, needs her…
Chicago Detective Ryan Daire has many secrets: a love for Shakespeare, an appreciation for the all the finer things in life, and an absolute lack of restraint in the bedroom. Now he has an even bigger secret. In every shifting shadow of the sprawling mansion he’s recently inherited he can see her—tempting, ethereal, and untouchable. Hope Stillwater inhabited that mansion in 1906. Raw desire has formed a conduit between these two passionate souls who are separated by the barrier of time.
Now he has to have her.
Intoxicated by each other’s presence, Ryan and Hope are closer than ever to crossing that inviting boundary between two worlds. But there is one grave danger: Ryan’s job has put him on the trail of a depraved criminal in an investigation that’s risking Hope’s eternal fate and happiness. Now he must do whatever it takes to change history, protect Hope from harm, and set his own desires free.
Read an excerpt.