Title: Trick of Time by JL Merrow
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Time Travel, M/M, Romance, Contemporary, Historical
Length: 27,000 words
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
A lover from another time
When Ted Ennis steps out the doors of the Criterion Theatre for a cigarette and finds himself in Victorian London, he begins to doubt his sanity. At first he thinks it’s all a film set, and is sure that the strikingly handsome young man leaning against a lamppost must be the leading man…
What starts as a sordid transaction with a beautiful rent boy quickly turns into something much deeper, drawing him back again and again as he gets to know Jem and craves meaningful encounters with him.
But Ted doesn’t understand the exact conditions necessary for his trips through time—and for Jem, time may actually be running out. Now Ted has one last shot to get back to Jem and save their relationship, before it’s too late…
If you are a fan of time travel stories, then you are going to love JL Merrow’s Trick of Time. In this fast paced and engrossing novella, Ted Ennis takes an unexpected step back in time and discovers love with Jem Pocket, a rent boy from a bygone era.
Recovering from a tragic loss and life altering injuries, Ted is working as an assistant at the Criterion Theatre. Taking a cigarette break one evening outside the theatre, Ted finds himself inexplicably transported back to the Victorian era. His encounter with Jem awakens not only his dormant libido but long buried emotions.
Both Jem and Ted are well-developed, three dimensional protagonists. Ted is still dealing with the lingering physical and emotional effects from a car accident. Although both have an incredible impact on his life, he has not let either overtake his life and he makes some positive changes in the aftermath of tragedy.
Jem is a sympathetic and likeable character who has also had his share of loss in his life. He is definitely a product of the times and his career as a rent boy is a necessity. He is determined to make his own way and refuses to accept either pity or charity from Ted.
The time travel aspect of Trick of Time is quite mysterious but very well done. Ms. Merrow’s meticulous attention to detail brings the historical information vividly to life. She does not glamorize or ignore the harsh realities of life in the 1880s. This part of the storyline is quite interesting and provides many interesting facts.
The romance between Jem and Ted is very well done and their love scenes are sensual rather than erotic. Their easy acceptance of one another adds to their emotional connection. The time travel element gives the story a sense of urgency that makes it easy to overlook how quickly they fall for one another.
Trick of Time is a fabulously entertaining novella. JL Merrow is one of my favorite authors and I absolutely loved this unique romance.