Tuesday, December 22, 2015

RETURN TO EXILE by Lynne Gentry

Publisher:      Howard Books
Published:     January 6, 2015
ISBN:       978-1476746364
Genre:     Time Travel, Inspirational
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com


Against her wishes Lisbeth Hastings left behind the love of her life, Cyprian Thascius.  She returned to her home in Dallas, finished her medical residency and gave birth to a little girl, Cyprian’s child, Maggie.  Lisbeth did not leave her husband, her love, because of a dispute or anger.  Rather she had no choice.  As Maggie has grown up she has begun to ask more and more about her father.  Now, at Christmas she asks Santa for her “daddy”.  But time and distance keep Lisbeth and Maggie from Cyprian. And it’s not merely a journey across continents to return to him—it is one across time.  Six years before, while on an archaeological dig with her father, Lisbeth fell into a well and found herself in ancient Carthage.  There she met, and fell in love with, Cyprian.

Cyprian was highly regarded politically in Carthage—something that brought the wrath of proconsul, Aspasius down on him.  While Cyprian had money, looks and power, Aspasius had hatred and vengeance for what he felt was a lifetime of being less than his peers.  With the “new” church, Christianity, being embraced by more and more of the population Aspasius has finally found a way to rid him of the man who he believes has it all. When Cyprian married Lisbeth and took her from Aspasius he vowed revenge.  To that end he sent Cyprian into exile and tried to take Lisbeth for his own.  But Lisbeth’s mother, Magdalena, who journeyed back in time and stayed when Lisbeth was but a child, intervened. 

Now, with her daughter wanting her father more than ever, Lisbeth has made a decision—she will try to travel back in time to the only man she will ever love.  She arrives in ancient Carthage to find the city ravaged by measles and another, more insidious, disease.  Aspasius is even more determined to destroy Cyprian and the new church.  Adding to Lisbeth’s upset is the fact that Cyprian went on with his life and married. Not only married, but married to the woman Lisbeth considered her best friend in either lifetime. 

Now, once again, Lisbeth must make a decision—does she stay in the past with the man she loves?  Or does she protect her child and return to the future?
I’m a huge fan of time travel and especially time travel romance.  It is my most favorite genre and I will pretty much pick up every one that comes my way.  When I saw Lynne Gentry’s three book time travel series I had to pick it up and was not disappointed.  She has a hunky hero, an intelligent and strong heroine, a solid romance and a fantastic historically based story to tell.  Gentry brings the life and times of both ancient Carthage and modern day Dallas to life in the pages of RETURN TO EXILE, book two of her Carthage Chronicles series.  Book 1, HEALER OF CARTHAGE was equally as enjoyable.  Clearly Gentry did her research and relates the personalities and events of the time in a well told tale.

Some of the medically based scenes did become a bit more than I wanted to know but at the same time they made for a fuller story.  I’m not much for inspirational stories and even though I knew this series is an inspirational one I still picked it up because, as I said, I can’t resist a time travel.  When it came to the religious passages I did tend to skim them so they didn’t keep me from enjoying what I like best.

Gentry includes the backstory of book 1 and a prior novella as an integral part of RETURN TO EXILE making the telling of it an added bonus to the story.  Each book in the series is a stand-alone and while you do not necessarily have to read them in order because of how well done the backstory is, I’d encourage readers to read them in order because it just makes it a more enjoyable read. 

Another thing that I liked about RETURN TO EXILE is that there are a number of years (six) between the ending of book 1 and beginning of book 2.  Gentry draws some nice parallels between the two time periods and adds a bit of flavour to the time travel aspect but how differently time seems to pass depending on where you are in time.

Definitely one to add to your TBR.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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