Though my main focus is Christian Fiction, I was curious to read Tamara Leigh's new book, Dreamspell, which is a departure from the style and content of her recent faith-based novels. Tamara is one of my favorite Christian Fiction authors, so even though Dreamspell is more of a mainstream novel I still wanted to check it out.
Book Cover and Synopsis:
Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.
Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady's hostility toward him--and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys' fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch.
Time travel? Oh, yes! I love a good time travel story, and Tamara Leigh has managed to seamlessly blend the 21st and 14th centuries in Dreamspell. The form of travel was unique and creative, and I liked how it didn't revolve around a machine or sophisticated science. The sheer simplicity of it very much added to the "meant to be" feeling.
Often times medieval stories can be slightly over-whelming for me with their huge casts of characters and many confusingly similar locations, however that was mostly not a problem in Dreamspell. The cast of characters is just the right size, big enough for lots of interaction yet small enough so you don't find yourself losing track of people. I enjoyed seeing the vast differences between the time periods, and watching Kennedy have trouble fitting into a 600 year old culture was particularly entertaining. Even showing just a small part of her lower leg was considered scandalous!
I was blown away by how incredibly perfect the ending and epilogue were. Often times epilogues don't really thrill me, however this one is just awesome; I could so clearly and vividly see the events unfolding on the "movie screen" inside my head. (Speaking of movies, Dreamspell would be an excellent candidate for a movie, and I hope someday we have the opportunity to see Kennedy and Fulke on the big screen!) In the meantime, if you're a fan of time travel, make sure to pick this one up... I think you'll enjoy it.
(Though Tamara Leigh has gained popularity in recent years for her inspirational novels, Dreamspell is actually more of a mainstream title. For those concerned with content, be assured that even though the characters aren't religious, the story and language do stay clean and within boundaries of acceptability.)
My Rating: 4 stars