Luke Blackmon’s Rose by Mary Patterson Thornburg

Luke Blackmon’s Rose by Mary Patterson Thornburg
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

To guard herself from the perils of her own sensuality, Rose married a man she didn’t love. Now, two years after his death, she’s not sure she can really love anyone. She’s not even sure she cares…

To achieve what he’d always known was his birthright, Luke had to struggle against tremendous odds. But when science discovered a way to access the past, a powerful bureaucracy found a way to use Luke. Now, torn from his own time, everything and everyone he knew, he can see no reason to go on living…

An instant of attraction, uninvited but inescapable, brings Luke and Rose together. Together, they discover the strength to love, the will to trust and hope. But will these things be enough to carry them over walls of suspicion, guilt, bigotry, and hate?

Soul mates aren’t a myth. They’re very real.

The romance made me smile. This was a good example of how to write instant attraction in a realistic but still romantic way. I found myself silently cheering Luke and Rose on long before I could cohesively explain why I wanted them to end up together so much. All I knew was that their personalities appeared to be a perfect match and I wanted them to live happily ever after together. Yes, additional reasons why they were well suited to each other did show up, but I was pleased by how quickly the author made it clear that these two had something special and rare together.

After I’d read the first few chapters, I found myself searching for this title online to see if I’d accidentally requested a later book in a series because of how often the narrator shared facts about the characters and storyline without explaining why they had occurred. From what I could tell, it was not part of a series. To give an example of the sort of plot twist that made me wonder this, the two main characters ended up escalating the physical side of their relationship rapidly after they met. That isn’t an inherently negative thing, of course, but it was something I found surprising based on the conservative era Luke came from and how cautious Rose was about sensual matters in general. I would have happily gone with a much higher rating if this sort of stuff had been explained better as the plot itself was well paced and had all sorts of interesting ideas about time travel embedded in it.

Speaking of time travel, I loved the way this book explained how it worked. I can’t go into a lot of detail about the actual mechanics of it without giving away spoilers, but Ms. Patterson Thornburg came up with clever answers to some of the most common pitfalls of dragging a character of their time period and into a different one. I especially liked her answer to how someone is supposed to accomplish everything they need to in their original lifetime if they’re whisked away to a new one. It’s always nice to read stories that take the practicalities of such things seriously and give the audience logical explanations of why they don’t necessarily have to be a problem.

Luke Blackmon’s Rose was a quick and breezy read.

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