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Tuesday, May 05, 2009:
"Daring Time" by Beth Kery (2009) - review

Passion and Danger make tempting bedfellows…

He sees her, wants her, needs her…

Chicago Detective Ryan Daire has many secrets: a love for Shakespeare, an appreciation for the all the finer things in life, and an absolute lack of restraint in the bedroom. Now he has an even bigger secret. In every shifting shadow of the sprawling mansion he’s recently inherited he can see her—tempting, ethereal, and untouchable. Hope Stillwater inhabited that mansion in 1906. Raw desire has formed a conduit between these two passionate souls who are separated by the barrier of time.

Now he has to have her.

Intoxicated by each other’s presence, Ryan and Hope are closer than ever to crossing that inviting boundary between two worlds. But there is one grave danger: Ryan’s job has put him on the trail of a depraved criminal in an investigation that’s risking Hope’s eternal fate and happiness. Now he must do whatever it takes to change history, protect Hope from harm, and set his own desires free.

After reading "Wicked Burn" and loving it so damn much, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Beth Kery's latest release. Once again I was fortunate enough to get an ARC for this story, and I was beyond thrilled. I had a fun time reading it.

Just to be fair, I feel compelled to mention that this book is nothing like "Wicked Burn", which is a meatier, more emotional read. "Daring Time" is very, very different, which is not a bad thing. First off, it's a time travel, jumping between 1906 and present-day Chicago. Second, it focuses more on a suspenseful storyline versus the relationship between the main characters. And also, the city of Chicago is practically a major player here, so for someone like me, who lives not far outside the city, it's a real treat.

Because it is a time travel, I always try to suspend belief about the mechanics of pulling off a story like this. Traveling between two different time periods can be tricky, and confusing, especially when one character resides in present times, and the other is from the past. There has to be a way for the two to "meet". In this case, it's the house Ryan Daire recently inherited, the house where Hope Stillwater lives in 1906. Ryan sees glimpses of this unbelievably lovely woman in the house, and he wonders if he's losing his mind. But something causes him to dig a little deeper, and he finds out that this woman is someone who actually lived over 100 years ago, and that she was murdered. As he looks into the details behind her death, it turns out that Hope works with her father to protect the numerous young women who come to the city alone, looking for work only to end up kidnapped and sold into white slavery. A very powerful man by the name of Diamond Jack Fletcher makes a tidy profit selling these women, and is none to pleased with the interference of the Stillwaters.

Everytime these two "see" each other, there is an undeniable attraction between them, one strong enough to break through the barriers of time and create a way for Ryan to go back to 1906 Chicago in search of Hope. Like in most other books/movies I've seen about time travel, it's not a perfect transition. For example, what may be May 5th, 2009 in present-day Chicago ends up being May 7th 1906. Ryan is anxious to get to Hope and prevent her death, but by the time he finds her, it may be too late. While the two have been somewhat intimate in their unusual encounters so far, now Ryan is put into a dangerous position where in order to save Hope's life, he must put her in a compromising situation. Immediately afterwards, Ryan knows it's only a matter of time before he's caught, so he must act quickly to save both Hope and himself from Diamond Jack.

They make it back to present-day Chicago, a strange, dynamic world for Hope that only hints at what the city looked like back in her time. And wouldn't you know it, Diamond Jack looks eerily like a current-day criminal that Ryan is trying to put away behind bars. While he's managed to save Hope in her time period, will he be able to do the same thing now that she's in his world?

My thoughts:
For me, loving Chicago as I do, this was a wonderful treat. I loved seeing all the old descriptions of a time and place that existed way before I was ever born. I'm not incredibly curious about many of these locations, and am now convinced, thanx to Beth, that I need to read "Devil In the White City".

I purposely avoided connecting any dots when it came to the time travel aspect. There almost always are going to be laws of physics that don't fully support the manipulation of time and space, and from a philosophical standpoint, what does traveling through time ultimately end up impacting in the long run? Sort of like a "to give life, you must take it away" theory (learned this from the t.v. show I'm watching these days).

The instanteous and outrageously intense attraction between Hope and Ryan is very evident, and I found it to be completely believable. I was a little taken aback by Hope's almost immediate capitulation when it came to being intimate with Ryan, considering her upbringing and the stigma she faced if it were ever to be discovered she was primiscuous, however Ryan is a rather dominant man, and utterly convincing, especially when underneath his aggressive sexuality he harbors more tender feelings for Hope, which she easily responds to.

Now there is one scene, which I won't go into too much detail about, other than to say it was hot and sexy, but under the circumstances, rather unnerving. It's the scene where Ryan and Hope first have sex in 1906, and it's dangerous and a bit kinky and passionate, but considering part of the reason for it happening, it also felt uncomfortable to me. While ultimately it drove the story forward and set in motion the sequence of events that made sense to the rest of the plot, I still couldn't get past their "surroundings", and it dimmed my enjoyment a bit. I guess considering the "why" of having such a hot encounter at that particular time doused those hot flames for me. And if you know me at all, you know I tend to get hung up on some of the small details like this. So I moved on, and let the rest of the story take me away.

However other than that, I found "Daring Time" to be a light yet sexy time travel with two very likable protagonists that were clearly meant for each other. I liked the way it ended, including in which time period Ryan and Hope chose to live in, which is a no-brainer becuase it makes complete sense. I loved the old mansion Ryan inherited, and hope to visit the inspiration for it sometime this summer (based on the remaining mansions of Prairie Avenue). And what's kinda cool, from what Beth told me, is that one secne that takes place when Hope was a child on the ferris wheel was actually inspired by a true event, which I find fascinating. I love stories based on true events, no matter how small. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

So, if you are able to suspend belief and let yourself sink into a suspenseful time travel romance, if you like reading about real places and how they look today versus what they looked like a century ago, I think "Daring Time" is just the read for you. In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to go and re-read it. In fact, I think I will. Who knows what fun little details I might have missed the first time around. That's part of the fun of reading for me.

Rating: **** out of *****



  1. Hey, Stacy! I just entered the contest to win this over by Lea. Being a former Chicago gal myself, I have to say that's part of what is drawing me toward the story. Well, that and the time travel bit. It's been so long since I've read a time good travel.

    Wonderful and well thought review. When I get the book, whether it be from Lea or Amazon, I'll have a better insight into what to expect. Now you reallu have me interested in what sort of "surroundings" Ms. Kery came up with for the first love scene. Hmm...

  2. Wonderful review Stacy!

    I completely agree, Wicked Burn and Daring Time are extremely different reads. However I enjoyed both equally.

    I too, became absorbed in the history of Praire Avenue and Chicago for that matter and would love to visit some day.

    As to the scene you mentioned, I would love to chat about it sometime. :)

    I hope your week is going well.

    Warm Regards

  3. *Whimper* Just a good old fashioned envy *whimper*

  4. I have this one and plan to read it real soon! Time travels can be fun but like you said, tricky. I've only read one that I thought was entirely too far fetched to enjoy. Otherwise I don't mind them.

  5. Speaking as one who has almost no problem suspending disbelief, time travels are my one really guilty pleasure foray into the paranormal world. (I've always counted time travels as paranormal, no matter what anyone else says. It makes me feel "part of the crowd," LMAO)

    I also really loved Wicked Burn. So... needless to say, this one goes on my list. Great review, Stacy!

  6. Hi Stacy! Thanks for the thoughtful review. Nice of you to post it just in time for release day :)

    Time travel does require a suspension of disbelief and a willingness to kind of just let it happen. I didn't want to get into anything tedious. I'd been contracted to write an erotic romance, after all. So I thought...why not let desire and a bit of magic from that magical house be the time machine? Seemed appropriate.

    I'm sorry you struggled at the one scene. After doing extensive research on the Levee District and white slavery, I actually made that scene relatively mild compared to what it might have been. It was a huge challenge to make it a meaningful, emotional sexual initiation between the hero and heroine in such ugly circumstances. As a matter of fact, it was the biggest challenge I've ever had as a writer of erotic romance. I'm sure it didn't work for some, but hopefully it will for others. True love can transcend all--I think that's what I was trying to say with the scene: greed, lascivity, disregard of human life...and yes, even time.
    In a romance novel, anyway.
    Thanks again, Stacy!

  7. I remember my first Time Travel (TT) romance read and I adored it, it being so different of what I've read. (My first one was Kathleen Kane (Maureen Child) THIS TIME FOR KEEPS) and for me, I love seeing how the author makes it work with the TT. Either they stay back or come forward at the end. And of course all the adjusting in between! I've only read few in ebooks that had more sensuality of the romance. I've read some of Beth's EC books, so I'm so looking forward to reading both of these. Awesome review Stacy. Cathie

  8. Thank you Stacy!

    Time travel does require a suspension of disbelief and a willingness to kind of just let it happen.*nods* Unfortunately, I'm not very good at that :( This does sound like an interesting read, so I will keep it in mind if I ever decide to travel in time :) In the interim, I have Wicked Burn at home begging to be read :)

    And apologies for being AWOL Stacy. Insane week!

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