Book Review – Honey from the Lion by Jackie North


Love Across Time #2
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 240
Characters: Laurie/John
POV: 3rd
Genre: Time Travel, Historical, Romance, Series

Blurb:
Soulmates across time. A love that was meant to be.

In present day, Laurie, tired of corporate life, takes a much-needed vacation at Farthingdale Dude Ranch.

The very first night a freak blizzard combined with a powerful meteor shower takes Laurie back to the year 1891. When he wakes up in a snowbank, his only refuge is an isolated cabin inhabited by the gruff, grouchy John Henton, who only wants to be left alone. His sense of duty prevails, however, and he takes Laurie under his care, teaching him how to survive on the wild frontier.

As winter approaches, Laurie’s normal fun-loving manner make it difficult for him to connect with John, but in spite of John’s old-fashioned ways, the chemistry between them grows.

Sparks fly as the blizzard rages outside the cabin. Can two men from different worlds and different times find happiness together?

A male/male time travel romance, complete with hurt/comfort, true confessions, a shared bed, fireplace kisses, the angst of separation, and true love across time.

Buy Link

Review

I love stories that include time travel, and this one didn’t disappoint. The author did a fabulous job in describing the past, and I particularly loved the details as they added to the realistic feeling of the period. I also loved the contrast between the reality of the past compared to the way it was portrayed in the present, and not just the dude ranch compared to the harshness of the 1890s, but the ‘adjustments’ to John—and Laurie’s—story.

Although I’ve read this series out of order—and read book 3 first—so knew the basic storyline of this one going into it, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

I also liked the reason for the travelling in time. It’s a lovely mix of romantism and folklore of the area, especially in the way it’s perceived at first, before the reality of what is really Laurie’s heart’s desire sinks in.

One of the reasons I love time travel stories is the fish out of water side of it. I thought Laurie’s reaction that he’s stepped into a mock up and people play acting rather than the reality of his situation was nicely done, as was his panic when he figures out the truth. I thought it was realistic that he had no clue how to survive in this time, and had to learn even the small things like lighting a fire and not burning down the cabin in the process.

I always appreciate stories that take into account that being gay is illegal too, as it is a reminder of the harsh realities of the past.

John and Laurie have very different personalities, with Laurie’s mind and mouth constantly on the move, while John is so matter of fact. I liked how they fit together and complemented each other. Laurie talking a lot faster, which parallels the different pace of life between past and present, and John’s reaction to Laurie’s swearing, was also a nice touch. As an aside I appreciated that Laurie does wonder about that reaction, as he doesn’t want that kind of relationship, and then realised it is a sign of the times and their differing mindsets. John might be bigger and stronger, but Laurie brings his own strength to their relationship. I really felt for John dealing with his experiences in the war, the details such as why he uses china crockery instead of tin, and how he slowly thaws as his and Laurie’s friendship and relationship progresses.

I was very impressed by how the author maintains an interesting and enthralling story from one point of view, and two characters interacting for most of it. Apart from the Laurie’s time on the dude ranch, and the occasional trips into town this story is him and John snowed in in a cabin.

I’d recommend Honey from the Lion to readers who enjoy time travel fish out of water stories with endearing characters, and a sweet romance. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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