Review: Turn Back Time by Annabeth Leong

January 13, 2015 Review 0

Review:  Turn Back Time by Annabeth Leong

On a lonely Christmas morning, estranged husband and wife Audrey and Derrick each find a mysterious gift—a wind-up watch from Audrey’s mother, who is supposedly a witch. Audrey doesn’t believe in magic, but she can’t resist her mother’s cryptic note, which suggests that she can use the watch to return to past moments she regrets and set them right.

As Audrey and Derrick relive and reshape their past together, they uncover deep feelings and a rich sexual connection that can’t be erased by current problems and fears. They also discover fantasies they’ve never before confessed—variety, roleplay and games of dominance and submission. Soon they’re caught up in the marriage they wish they’d had. Audrey and Derrick must decide if they can take the next step, set down their magical watches and turn that fantasy marriage into their new reality.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Title: Turn Back Time
Author: Annabeth Leong
Source: Publisher
Published: December 17, 2014
Genres: Erotic Romance
Pages: 92
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: four-flames

As I was reading this I continued to hear the tune, Time After Time.  After giving the tune another careful listen, I was left wondering if the author had this playing in the background as she wrote this story.  I can see how it could be an inspiration.

One of the things we often think about as a reviewer is what genre to categorize a book.  This is one of those stories that makes that task especially difficult.  I will not dispute that this is an erotic romance.  It most definitely belongs in that broad category.  The issue comes when I try to narrow down to a sub-genre.  Is it paranormal or fantasy?  Both could apply.

It can be considered paranormal because there is a professed witch – Audrey’s mother – involved that provides a charmed watch that can “turn back time” with three opportunities each for Audrey and Derrick.  In the world of romance, witches and time travel generally mean paranormal.

However, each experience was like a very real dream rather than actually traveling in time.  During these episodes to past times, Audrey and Derrick are talking and often they are talking about fantasies.  “The fantasy of controlling him, however, made arousal curl through her lower belly.”  OR “I’ve read that it’s a pretty common fantasy for guys.”   It seemed each time Audrey or Derrick went “back in time” one of the other or them ended up sharing a fantasy, either verbally or physically or a combination.  Add to that, the whole concept of going back in time to attempt to change or correct something is a wonderful fantasy all in itself.  Witches can also be found in a fantasy world.  So, I contend, this is an erotic romantic fantasy.

Now that I have established that in my mind, and maybe yours, let’s look at Audrey and Derrick.  Here is a couple who have been married for several years.  We aren’t told exactly how many, but I suspect it was at least more than ten – maybe somewhere between ten and twenty.  They have come to a place where unhappiness and/or dissatisfaction has set and Audrey has moved out and mentioned the “d” word.  It is some months later, a cold and snowy Christmas morning, and both find themselves alone and rather miserable.  I think we can all identify with this in some way.  I know I can.  Been there, done that.

When the watches arrive, they start to think about times in their marriage where they may have done things differently.  This also resonated with me.  How many times do any of us think about something like this?  In our minds we relive something that has happened and reorder things as we wished it could have gone.  Dialog is tweaked.  Reactions are adjusted.  Happy ending is attained.  Wonderful fantasies that sometimes help us cope.

What a wonderful gift to actually be able to do it.  Whether they actually went back in time or simply had shared dreams, it gave Audrey and Derrick a second look at various events and a new perspective.  I thought it was quite beautiful how they learned to trust each other again so they could establish open and honest communications and bring it back to their current reality.    I like how this story evolved and left me with a satisfying happy ending.

That brings me back to the tune, Time After Time.  I could imagine Derrick singing this to Audrey at the end of the story.  *sigh* Turns out he loved her that much.

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