The first book in a new series – Time After Time – is a collaborative effort. Authors Lynette Endicott and Tami Dee are working together and anticipate a series of six books. Each woman is taking the lead on half of the books.
The first to be published is Animal Instinct, set in the 1970s. Allison Green is a veterinarian and the descendent of a line of women who bear the Heartmark, a heart-shaped birthmark that identifies them as the target for Mildreth, an evil time-traveling enemy. Sean Barnett is the new detective in town. An evil from the past threatens to destroy the love developing between Allison and Sean. Will ancestral memories hold the key to freedom, or overwhelm them with fear? Will Sean be the man to help her break free of the ancient enemy who has traveled through time in order to cheat her of love?
There is nothing so evil as this woman scorned.
Mildreth’s sword shone blood red, raised above the couple’s heads, as she swore she would keep them apart. Aleena pressed closer to Colin, cold fear curling in her chest. She cried out when a steaming drop of blood fell from the sword tip and burned into the flesh of her bare shoulder, leaving a heart-shaped mark. She clung to Colin’s encircling arms, even though there was little warmth in his chest at her back. He must be as chilled as she was. Aleena was unable to breath as terror and pain swirled around and within her.
“Know from this mark that not only you, but also your daughters, will be hunted by me across the generations. They will have great tribulation in love, and a sword shall divide them from the mate of their soul.”
With an angry cry, Mildreth moved her sword in a swift, slashing arc, the tip leaving a cold breeze as it barely missed Aleena’s cheek, aiming for the ivory that lay on the ground in front of her, accurately dividing in two the broach that Colin had presented to her as a wedding gift. Before the beauty of their lovemaking. Before the horror of Mildreth’s appearance.
A flash of evil green sparked at the division, but before it could grow it was countered by a ball of golden light coming from a motion of the Prophetess, who appeared at Mildreth’s side. Mildreth backed away from the warm glow of goodness and love that countered her evil intent. Before hope could rise in Aleena’s breast, the Prophetess turned sympathetic eyes on her.
“I cannot take away the Mildreth’s anger and evil intent, but I can give you hope.” The voice of the prophetess was as soft and airy as a summer breeze. “If Mildreth is intent on doing wrong to you and your daughters, I will protect you, at least in part. She can only intervene before wedding vows are taken. Her desire to hurt your daughters has backfired. She will be thrown through time by her evil desire to harm you and yours, generation after generation.
“You,” she pointed the wand at the cowering enemy, “will be the instrument of your own evil anger, doomed to live through generations, to find each offspring of Aleena, and to prevent her happiness if you can. You cannot do actual harm to them or those who love them, but you can attempt to derail their happiness if you must. I pray one day you will see the error of your hatred and replace it with love — but until you do, you may attempt to keep those who love apart from each other.”
These ladies have really hooked me into a new series, and this is exactly the kind of series I like. Each of these books will follow a different member of the family line and are all tied together by the same curse, yet stands alone as its own story.
Book one is well written, engaging and captivating. The fantasy elements are unique while never being unbelievable. The main characters, Allison and Sean, both possess artifacts that hold very special powers and yet draw them under an ancient curse against their love. If they can figure out their enemy and stop her in time, her vengeance can be thwarted. Each is also given an animal protector to guide them and protect them in their greatest time of need. The bond between human and pet is highlighted, giving depth to the story. It is also integrated well, each character having a reasonable explanation for having an ever-present pet (He is a detective with a police dog, and she a vet).
The story has plenty of action, intrigue and mystery, and kept me turning the pages. The romance develops and unfolds beautifully, with shared kisses and a sweeter heat level.
The writing collation is seamless, the story is captivating, and the series is inviting. I recommend this book to any readers who like a clean romance, a bit of mystique and a flash of fantasy. I am definitely looking forward to the next book!
“I so far have found this release (Time After Time Book One: Animal Instincts) very difficult to put down … thank goodness my boss took a long lunch today!! Give it a try! You will not regret the purchase!!”
Rating = 5 Stars
Apricot — Reader — Posted at Amazon
Rating = 4 Stars
Animal Instincts is the first novel in the Time after Time saga, following a line of cursed women as they struggle to find happiness. This book is set in 1977, and tells the tale of Allison, a veterinarian in the little town of Medicine Springs, Missouri.
Allison’s life is perfectly reasonable until a normal morning takes a twist for the unpleasant when an old friend, Meredith, bangs on her door, in tears over a man’s betrayal. To make things better, Meredith wants to kill Allison’s cat. The day grows even stranger as a newcomer to town comes running into the clinic, carrying a large dog acutely ill from a bee sting. Once events are set in motion there’s no stopping destiny, and Allison soon finds herself in the middle of myth, epic love, and mortal danger.
I enjoyed the book, especially the parts with the cat and the dog. When it comes to the love story I kept forgetting the book was set in the 70’s and not in present time, and thought, “Oh come on, just do it already and get it out of your system.”
Tami Dee and Lynette Endicott work very well together, and it’s impossible to figure out who wrote what. The characters are believable, the book is a pleasant read, and I loved the portions with magical objects, ancient documents, and the wonderful prophetess. I would absolutely recommend it.
I was pleasantly surprised reading the first book in the Time After Time series, ANIMAL INSTINCT. The story was a bit steamier than what I’m used to, but if you enjoy the typical Harlequin, you’ll be comfortable with the sexual tension in this novel.
What I particularly enjoyed was the over-arching fantasy plot. It was fun to read, used my imagination, and reminded me about of another Desert Breeze Publishing fantasy author, Jennifer Hartz.
Ms. Endicott and Ms. Dee did a nice job with characterization. By the end of the book, I felt like I had been a part of their story world. I think it will be fun to follow the series and see if Mildreth will ever get over her hatred or if it will continue to escalate.