OVERSEAS by Beatriz Williams

RHFL CLASSIFICATIONS

Romantic Historical Fiction Time slip

Dual time lines – WW1 France & 21stC America

Heat – 2

REVIEW RATING: 4 stars

BLURB:

A passionate, sweeping novel of a love that transcends time. When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college? The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer. Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space.

 REVIEW by Jill 

When Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the attention of Julian Laurence, she of all people cannot quite understand why. She’s young, pretty, intelligent, sure. But having been described as more ‘sexy librarian’ than supermodel, she cannot imagine her type would interest the tall, handsome, thirty-three year-old British billionaire. Julian Laurence at the helm of the $20B Southfield Associates has steered its rise to one of the world’s largest hedge-funds. But for all his wealth, power and good looks Julian eschews publicity and celebrity. His name has never been linked to any woman, until he meets Kate. At last he’s found her. Again.

This romance is set in dual timelines – in France, 1916 during the First World War and in (mostly) America, 2007/8. Captain the Honorable Julian Laurence Spencer Ashford, a twenty-one year-old British army officer, is believed killed during a night patrol on the Western Front. Somehow during the fighting Julian is transported into the 20th century.

Written in the first person from Kate’s point-of-view, Overseas is unashamedly a love story. Kate is a 21st century career woman, independent and worldly. Julian is a product of a bygone era where men are bound by duty and honour, a true gentleman. This is also part mystery. Someone is out to harm Julian and Kate.

For me the character of Julian was the focal point and strength in this story. He is not your average contemporary romance hero. His outmoded sense of chivalry is a delight. His speech and manners lack the casual profanity of the 21st century. His sexual self-control is admirable and understandable given his absolute devotion to Kate. With very little graphic description of the actual love scenes, Beatriz Williams manages to convey the emotion behind the act, the oneness of lovers.

As much as I enjoyed this debut, it is not without its faults. Julian is just a little too perfect. His speech, interspersed with ‘frightful’, ‘rotter’ and ‘jolly’ is logical given his place and time of birth, yet it was sometimes distracting and plummy. Kate did gush way too much about his physical perfection and beautiful face. The time travel explanation was a little weak and unconvincing. As well, the World War I timeline was a little under-represented – with about two-thirds contemporary to one-third historical – and I would enjoyed more details and descriptions in this setting.

Sometimes a novel may not be perfectly written and yet the story itself may be so delightful, satisfying and different that you can overlook the quibbles. That’s what I found with Overseas. Vaguely reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and Susanna Kearsley’s timeslip novels of love-across-time.  For sheer, overwhelming pleasure that made this little romance reader all giddy, a very solid 4 stars.

 ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Reading is a passion, an escape and seems to take up most of my waking hours.Most of my reading time is devoted to the romance genre, including romantic historical fiction. With a few thousand novels under my belt I know what I look for in a great romance. Regardless of the sub-genre, the setting, the heat level, the focus must always be on the romantic relationship. I also read from the romantic sub-genres of contemporary, fantasy, historical romance (European and American) and romantic suspense. I’ve been reviewing for a number of years and post my reviews at Goodreads. My favourite romantic historical fiction writers are Diana Gabaldon and Susanna Kearsley. A few of my favourite historical romance authors are Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Cecilia Grant, Sherry Thomas, Victoria Vane and Alissa Johnson.

0 thoughts on “OVERSEAS by Beatriz Williams

  1. Wow. Gabaldon AND Kearsley! You have me. Funnily enough, I’m in the midst of writing a WW1 time travel … must be a little turn-of-last-century in the air! Great review. Thanks.

  2. You summed it up very nicely…my thoughts exactly. It was a great story but some of the plot lines/characters were slightly weak. It’s worth the read nonetheless.

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