Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

Source Books Landmark, Release Date: Oct 1, 2012

PUBLISHER’S BLURB:

Verity Grey abandons her comfortable job at the British Museum to seek adventure on an archaeological dig in the wilds of Scotland. But when she arrives on site, she discovers that the excavation is being led by a discredited and eccentric old man who has forsaken scientific evidence. Instead, the entire team is following the word of a local boy who claims that he saw a ghostly Roman soldier in the fields. As she becomes entangled in a subtle web of treachery and danger, Verity begins to believe that there is a Roman sentinel haunting the site. And he’s there to do more than guard the bodies of his fallen comrades…

RHFL Classifications:

Historical Romance / Time Travel

Present Day and 1st century AD, England

Heat Rating 1

REVIEW RATING 3.5

REVIEW BY:  Genevieve Graham

I love Ms Kearsley’s writing and the way she can meld the past and the present together with barely a seam. Her research is impeccable and the time travel romance is always beautiful – easy and believable. Her characters speak with clear, relatable voices who draw you in without effort.

Unfortunately, I think she strayed a bit off path this time. While she did talk about the past (the book revolved around an archeological dig), it was to do with ghosts, not time travel. In her time travel novels she hangs a thin veil between the “then” and the “now”. In “Shadowy Horses” (not yet released) she separates the present day characters completely from the past, since we are now dealing with ghosts. I enjoyed her attempt to almost bring the dead back to life, giving

personality and even physicality to her one ghost, but there wasn’t enough. I wanted more from the ghost, more acceptance from the main character (Verity Grey), more intrigue throughout. And I wanted more intimacy – whether physically or emotionally – between Verity and David, the love interest in the story.

In my opinion, this book deserved more pages. While Ms Kearsley’s research is once again beyond any questions, I felt she didn’t dig as deep emotionally. She touched on a number of secondary stories as well, all of which deserved more attention; however, because there were so many stories and there was not enough … time (pages), I wondered sometimes if her efforts to incorporate them left the main characters somewhat backstage at times. I would have liked more

of the secondary stories, but not at the expense of the main story.

While there was passion, it was minimal. Though there was a moment of suspense near the end (which resolved beautifully), it didn’t catch my breath as did her other stories. I close the book feeling vaguely disappointed, and even though the characters were sweet and well-formed, I don’t feel as if I made friends with any of them.

REVIEWER BIO

Genevieve Graham didn’t start writing until she was in her forties, inspired by the work of the legendary Diana Gabaldon. Her first two novels, “Under the Same Sky” and “Sound of the Heart” were published by Berkley Sensation/Penguin US in 2012 and have met with enthusiastic reviews. Genevieve writes what she calls “Historical Fiction” rather than “Historical Romance,” meaning she concentrates on the stories and adventures, and she doesn’t turn away from the ugly truths of the times. Romance binds her stories together, but it is not the primary focus. Genevieve also runs her own Editing business and has helped dozens of authors with their novels.

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