Book Review – Hemingway’s Notebook by Jackie North

Love Across Time #5
Publisher: Blue Rain Press
Pages: 314
Characters: Jake/Sebby
POV: 3rd
Genre: Time travel, romance, series

Soulmates across time. Two souls connected by destiny.

In present day, Jake, lonely and cut off from his parents, travels to the Chamberlin Inn in Cody, Wyoming to work on extra credit for his college seminar.

In 1932, Sebby labors at the Chamberlin Inn for pennies a day, wishing with all his heart for a better life.

While taking photographs in the room where Ernest Hemingway once stayed, Jake is flung back in time to the year 1932. There he meets Sebby who is living on the edge, half starving, a victim of the Great Depression. He’s been dodging rent collectors, getting behind on doctor’s bills, trying to care for his ailing Pop.

Sebby falls hard for Jake with his movie star smile, but knows something is different about him. Jake wears strange clothes, talks too fast, and doesn’t look like he’s gone hungry a day in his whole life. He’s also the handsomest boy Sebby has ever seen.

Jake is drawn to Sebby’s dark eyes, shy smile, and gentle heart. Sebby is like nobody Jake has ever met. And though the year 1932 scares him to his very core, he needs to decide. Go home? Or stay and weather the Depression with Sebby, whom he has grown to love.

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

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I was sucked into Sebby and Jake’s story as soon as I started reading. I love time travel stories, and this series is one of my favourites of the genre.

I love the way the descriptions of the settings and characters are so invocative of the time period. I felt—like Jake—that I’d stepped back several decades into an earlier, harder time. I like that the author uses slightly different time travel mechanisms to send her characters through time, so that each story has a unique take on that part of the story. I loved that Sebby got a glimpse of the future this time round, so it wasn’t just one way.

I liked the differentiation between the sensibilities of the time periods. I thought it added to the realism of time travel, as, rather than having Jake just knowing about the future, his mindset is definitely different to those living in the 1930s.

Jake and Sebby come across as individuals. Both are strong characters, and a product of their time. I loved the supporting cast too. They add flavour to the story, and help flesh out the universe. It’s obvious the author has done a lot of research about the time period. I love the details.

The growing romance between Jake and Sebby is very sweet. I loved that Jake was willing to wait for Sebby to feel comfortable, and that they were given the time to build a solid friendship alongside their romance. I also loved the family vibe within the story, especially between Sebby and Pop, and then how they included Jake. The Chamberlin Inn comes across as a character in its own right, and I liked Hemingway’s part in the story.

I loved the ending and hope to get a glimpse of these guys in a later story, although I trust the author to give them their HEA.

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
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