A Stitch in Time: A time-slip romance with ghosts

A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsA Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsA Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong

A Stitch in Time (2020), by Kelley Armstrong, is a time-slip romance with ghosts. Bronwyn Dale has just inherited the old family home on the English moors. When she visited the house as a girl, she discovered she could pass back and forth between her own time and the Victorian era, and fell in love with a boy, William, who lived in the past version of the house. But her uncle died tragically, and Bronwyn was institutionalized for talking about William, and she went on with her life thinking she’d imagined him.

Now she’s thirty-eight and widowed, and needs to decide what to do with the house. When she returns to take stock, she finds that the time-slip and William are still there and very real. Meanwhile, she’s also having some eerie encounters with ghosts in her own time, hinting at suspicious deaths in William’s time that Bronwyn will need to solve to lay the spirits to rest.

Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong

The blurb suggests that William is angry about Bronwyn’s long-ago desertion, and he is for a little while, but that isn’t really the central plot here. That’s resolved pretty quickly. The romantic plotline is more about reestablishing their relationship on an adult footing and figuring out whether it’s possible to make it work — especially since Bronwyn doesn’t want to give up her modern life, and the time-slip only works on her end (William cannot travel to the present).

The mystery plot is perhaps a bit too convoluted and too back-loaded; we get to the second half of the book and suddenly multiple missing women are introduced, whose backstories sometimes run together in my mind. But it adds some weight and eeriness to the proceedings, without tipping into horror. I was never really scared reading A Stitch in Time. The haunting element was more tragic than terrifying to me.

Overall, this is a sweet, sexy romance with a really effective black moment and some seasonally appropriate ghosts. Also a cute kitten and a cozy village. Curl up with a cup of tea for this one.

Published in October 2020. Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale. As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination. Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting. William Thorne is no longer the boy she remembers. He’s a difficult and tempestuous man, his own life marred by tragedy and a scandal that had him retreating to self-imposed exile in his beloved moors. He’s also none too pleased with Bronwyn for abandoning him all those years ago. As their friendship rekindles and sparks into something more, Bronwyn must also deal with ghosts in the present version of the house. Soon she realizes they are linked to William and the secret scandal that drove him back to Thorne Manor. To build a future, Bronwyn must confront the past.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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One comment

  1. This sounds seasonal and fun!

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