So this is what a Krentz novel is like without the usual heavy dollop of suspence and secondary characters. And I have to say I loved it.
Test of Time was originally published in 1988, but you'd never know it. When I think of some of the modern romances I struggle through now (sappy heroines, cruel heroes, BIG misunderstandings)...well, let me just say that Test of Time stacks up very well in comparison.
I really liked the heroine, Katy Randall. She is quiet, serious and intelligent - the kind of woman I would like to have as a friend. Garrett Coltrane is also very appealing - dark, rugged, self-made, responsible and decent. I really liked the fact that Garrett was relatively inexperienced in relationships just like Katy was, as I'm not a fan of 'All those other women meant nothing to me, darling' type of heroes.
I suppose the set-up of the novel is a bit formulaic, but that's pretty much what I want from an escapist love story. The book begins with Katy and Garrett's wedding - they have known each other for just 2 months (although they did know each other when Katy was a child and Garrett worked in her father's stables). Katy is deeply in love with Garrett and has convinced herself that he feels the same. But after a passionate wedding night, Garrett admits that he is not in love with her - he doesn't believe in love. Katy is heartbroken and angry with herself for being so foolish. She decides divorce is the only answer although it will break her heart. Garrett convinces her to stay with him for 3 months and then see how she feels. The rest of the novel sees Katy and Garrett get to know each other much better and decide whether they have a future. It's giving nothing away to say that the outcome is very satisfactory :-)
Going back to my first point, it was really nice to read a Krentz novel where the central couple were at the heart of the story all the way through. In more recent Krentz's, the mystery plotline seems to push the romance to the side. I also think there are also too many secondary characters in the more recent Krentz novels, whereas Katy and Garrett are very much the focus of Test of Time. My paperback copy is 250 pages long, so it isn't too short to be satifying either. Overall, this is a great love story with likeable characters and I plan on re-reading it again and again.