Author: Drake Braxton
Genre: Contemporary/Historical (1918) Bittersweet
Length: Novella (88pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th June 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts
Blurb: While on business in a small town near Chicago, Wheeler Reynolds hears a tale about a traveling circus killed nearby in a horrific train wreck over ninety years ago. Haunted by the story, Wheeler falls asleep thinking someone is calling his name… and wakes up in 1918.
Wheeler believes it’s his mission to stop the accident from occurring until he meets Nicola Tenaglia, an aerialist for the circus. Time becomes his enemy as he quickly falls into a whirlwind affair. When they are discovered, events spin out of Wheeler’s control, and he and Nicola are separated. Then the train begins to pull away. Nicola’s time is running out….
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Review: Wheeler is on a short business trip and can’t wait to head back to the city. The night before he is to return he hears about a horrific train wreck involving a traveling circus in 1918. Waking up in the middle of the night something pulls him to the track crossing and he blacks out. He wakes up in bed but everything seems to have changed. Nicola is an aerialist in the circus, but he dreams of having something more from his life than just the circus. Meeting Wheeler at a small town, Nicola discovers what has been missing from his life. Making plans to start a life together is easy, but getting away from the circus isn’t.
This is a great little story that has a surprising twist ending. Wheeler is a city boy, a financial adviser who assesses businesses before a buyout. He is checking out a B&B in a small town and will be happy to return to the city. But, he hears a train whistle in the middle of the night and is sure he hears his name on the wind. Inexplicably, he is drawn to the train tracks and he discovers his destiny. Wheeler is sure that he is meant to stop the train from disaster, but he gets caught up in his feelings for Nicola. Nicola is happy to find something special with Wheeler, but interference from another sets events in motion that there is no turning back from.
This is quite a fast paced story with the timeline jumping from the present to the past quite clearly. The relationship between Wheeler and Nicola is nearly instant for both of them, even though Nicola has never been interested in anyone before and Wheeler was always happy with brief hook-ups. The setting is really good and I liked the other circus characters. I really liked how everything came together and how the maliciousness of just one person could end up destroying so much. Wheeler’s and Nicola’s destinies are intertwined even though there was over ninety years separating them and you really won’t see the ending coming. It was a twist that surprised me and had a beautiful, but poignant feel to it.
I will recommend this to those that love time crossing lovers, fated soul mates finding each other through time, a surprising twist and a bittersweet ending that will surprise.