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REVIEW: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew

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Time-travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists to whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.

P.I. Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he’s clearly hiding something.

Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith—together?

Dear Libby Drew,

I always enjoy well-done time travel books and from the blurb it seemed that time travel in this one is used as more than just a means for the two main characters to meet each other. I have also liked your books in the past, so I was eager enough to ask for this one. I enjoyed how time travel was portrayed in your story – I liked that there was an attempt to give it “scientific” explanation and not just make it possible just because you wanted it to happen.

I also thought that the idea of letting people time travel to the important events in the past with the experienced guides hit upon one of my favorite fictional wish fulfillments. Yes, I do want that to happen in real life – there are so many things in history I would have liked to have observed as they happened. And I liked how one of the axioms which were needed in order for time travel in this book to work properly led the action/adventure to take place. Reegan is a decent man; of course he wants to find the woman who got away from his group, and not just because he may lose his job if he would not.

The action/adventure storyline was extremely well done. Reegan takes a chance upon involving the PI from the past because he has no choice, but this ends up being the best choice he ever made. The race against time to find the woman was exciting. I cannot say it was fun, because the reasons why she left were not fun, but the story was full of tension and I could not wait to see how it would be resolved. I always like when a serious story is injected with at least some humor and I liked the way that humor was included here – part of it was Reegan’s inevitable confusion and professional curiosity about how things in the past were done differently than in his time. Reegan is a historian by trade and I could appreciate how he felt.

I liked both Reegan and Saul a lot. They both had traumatic things happen to them, but as much as they could they tried to keep going, and overall they were sympathetic and likeable, if somewhat flawed characters. But I thought the instant attraction between them was way too fast for my taste. I do not mind if the heroes fall in lust fast in my romances, I am actually even more forgiving if the book has an action/adventure storyline and this kind of storyline is front and center. I do understand that the story may not have time to concentrate on the relationship and move it slowly and believably. I often really like the books which do not *only* concentrate on romance, but I still like some balance and what occurred in this book between the guys was too fast for me. I mean, two days to me just was not enough time to realize that they cannot live without each other. So basically to be happy with the relationship in this book you have to be able to buy lust from the first sight and love a day later. And I also thought that I could do with less sex scenes in this one.

As I wrote above, I found action/adventure storyline to be enjoyable and I really liked the woman they were helping. I cannot say a lot more about what exactly was happening because I do not want to reveal spoilers, but if romance was not an issue (maybe if they already were an established couple?) I would have graded this book higher. I also have to note that although I liked the angle the writer took with the time travel in this story, I thought that some of the rules she established were bent a little bit at the end and I am not sure it worked. I mean, I understood why that was needed, but I am still a little torn about how I feel about that.
Grade C+.

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Sirius

Sirius started reading books when she was four and reading and discussing books is still her favorite hobby. One of her very favorite gay romances is Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark. In fact, she loves every book written by Tamara Allen. Amongst her other favorite romance writers are Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Josephine Myles, Taylor V. Donovan and many others. Sirius’ other favorite genres are scifi, mystery and Russian classics. Sirius also loves travelling, watching movies and long slow walks.

6 Comments

  1. Jane Davitt
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:29:33

    I get where you’re coming from on the instant-love but this sounds so interesting I’m going to give it a try; thanks for the great review!

  2. Sirius
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:47:07

    Jane, I absolutely think you should – if you can ignore Insta!Love for me it was a good book otherwise – well written, page turner, etc.

  3. reader
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 10:53:51

    That’s the peculiarity of time travel novels. Though you’d think they have all the time in the world to develop their romance, the characters, because of the story set-up, usually have a limited amount of time to get to know each other well enough for a commitment. So you have to sort of forgive, if you can, the rush into HEA.

    (Of course that’s no excuse for having them jump into bed on page 2, but that’s fairly inescapable in m/m.)

  4. Sirius
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 13:07:38

    @reader: I do not think I agree that it is a peculiarity of all time-travel romances. I think it is all up to the writer – how much time to let character spend in the past. Writer sets up the rules – time-travel being part of the plot does not necessarily preclude the relatively slow-burn romance, or at least romance which develops slower than during two days period. I really like her writing and as action/adventure scifi this story is a win for me, and characters were lovely, but as a romance it gets thumbs down unfortunately.

    And having them jump into bed on page 2 (I am assuming you just mean really fast) also escapable even in m/m :).

  5. Kaetrin
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 22:15:12

    The premise sounds so interesting that even though I’m not usually a fan of the instalove I’m tempted to give this one a try. Thx for the review!

  6. Sirius
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 11:16:15

    @Kaetrin: let me know your thoughts, if you end up reading it. I was reading amazon reviews and one said that there was no Insta!Love, just Insta!Lust, so it is possible to see it that way too I guess. It was a surprise for me, because I definitely saw Insta!Love too, but that showed me that even this could be interpreted differently.

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