A girl in 1995 "falls" back in time 100 years and falls in love with the heir to a fortune. It sounds like a good idea for a book. And if it had been handled properly as a historical romance, it could have been. Unfortunately, it failed to satisfy.
It's not that the descriptions weren't good, because they were. Unfortunately, the book suffered from having supporting characters who were more interesting, consistent, and believable than its main characters.
Annie knows Strat for approximately 3 hours or so, and already they are in "love" forever, she is the most beautiful, amazing person that he ever met, and he can think of nothing else. Obviously the attraction between these two at this point is just lust. Other characters (mostly antagonists) point this out throughout, and I expected this to be addressed, and for them to really fall in a deeper, love, but it never happened. Annie doesn't show nearly enough shock about the fact that she just TIME TRAVELLED. Strat, we're supposed to like, as he thinks about the fact that he wants to rip Annie's clothes off, and tells his sister that it is not for her to think about murder.
This novel did have strong characters in it-unfortunately, they were minor characters. Devonny was very forward thinking, Florinda won my sympathy by the end, Bridget I desperately wanted to triumph (though never really doubted her safety...rule of children's books: never squash hope by punishing the immigrant), and Harriet, frankly, was the most sympathetic character of all, and my favourite. I understood her predicament and she seemed real.
The novel also had satisfyingly evil, hissable villains. Walker Wakley, especially, I wanted to kick in the nether regions and lock in jail for the rest of his life. Mr. Stratton was also quite detestable...until he had an unexplained (and rather unbelievable) change of heart quite suddenly at the end.
Also, the time travel aspect was not handled very well. The idea that she was changing things without repercussions in the future, *and* that time continued in the future, made absolutely no sense. The past was more like a parralel universe or dimension or something (think Narnia) than history. And if Strat and them really did exist, why did Annie never consider going to the library and looking them up to see what happened to them?
Don't get me wrong. I love history. I love science fiction. And I love romance. But this book had main characters I didn't like and a romantic main plot that didn't interest me at all. I've read several other books by Cooney, and I know she can write better than this.
Final rating: 2.75 stars out of 5