A Sweeping Saga
As the sole survivor of the car crash that killed her parents, grief-stricken paramedic Kit MacKlenna is stunned to learn her life is built on lies. A legacy from her father includes a faded letter and a well-worn journal. The journal reveals she was abandoned as a baby 160 years ago. The only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a locket with the portrait of a 19th century man, and a Celtic brooch with magical powers. Kit decides to continue her father's 25-year search for her identity and solve her birth parents' murders.
Scotsman Cullen Montgomery, a San Francisco-bound lawyer who resembles the ghost who has haunted Kit since childhood, helps her join a wagon train heading west. More dangerous than the river crossings, bad water, and disease encountered on the trail is Cullen's determination to expose her lies and uncover the source of her unusual knowledge and lifesaving powers.
Kit is convinced that if she can survive the perilous journey and Cullen's accusations, as well as thwart his attempts to seduce her, she might solve the mystery of her heritage and return home without leaving her heart on the other side of time.
©2012 Katherine Lowry Logan (P)2015 Katherine Lowry Logan
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Let's start with the good. It's an interesting story, and probably at least partially researched. It's not a horrible book, but it is way overwritten. Our Heroine is just not to be believed. She's a 21st century woman who goes back to the 19th century. All good. Except she's an EMT. And a wonderful sketch artist. Oh, and she can recognize every classical music piece that is played to her. Did I mention she plays the guitar? And she manages to do vascular surgery on a kid injured in the wagon train. And knows karate well enough to kill three men who attack her. And she's a crack shot with handgun and an automatic rifle. And of course she's a champion horse rider. And can quote Shakespeare and other classics, as well as Robbie Burns. And both she and her love interest seem to have infinite funds. He can take a wagon train to San Francisco, then take the first boat to Panama, without worry about finances? He went to San Francisco for a job, and yet he doesn't seem to concern himself with money. And don't forget that in the 1850s they all watch YouTube videos on a particular topic - presumably, she's just happened to load her iPod (solar charger, of course) with the ones they'd need. Blah blah blah. Just a bit too much. This is a time travel novel, so some suspension of disbelief is necessary, but the characters should be credible. The story is fun, but the telling of it just isn't there.
For those concerned about sex scenes, there are several. And they're all unnecessarily detailed. I like a good sex scene as much as the next person, but they need to serve a purpose. Those in this book do not. A simple fade to black would have been sufficient for the purpose. If he entered her as the sun set in a blazing fire in the sky one more time, I think I'd have murdered both of them myself.
If you listen to the audiobook, be prepared to hear composers' names mangled - Haydn pronounced "hay"den instead of "high"den, Wagner pronounced as the actor, Robert, not the composer, Richard. Many other annoying mispronunciations as well, which grate on the listeners' ears. And don't get me started on the various accents. The alleged Scottish burr of two main characters is a disaster! And since when is a Scotsman's oath of "och" pronounced with a "CH" instead of a "k"? As one reviewer said, the narrator doing the Scots accents sounds like she's herding Leprechauns. But the narrator is the least of the problems with this book.
"Not for me"
I really wanted to like this book. Historic romance is my favorite genre, plus time-travel for added intrigue, and the many 5 star ratings, made it an easy choice. However, I was so disappointed.
Characterizations were flat. Kit was either crying, taking risks, or running around saving everyone. I could not relate to her at all. A woman who is stunningly beautiful (of course), and could sing, play guitar, draw, paint, cook - and bake pies! - over an open campfire, sew, teach children, ride, shoot, do martial arts, and perform surgery!! She was a bit too much to be believable. Cullen, on the other hand, spent his time either yelling at her and stomping away or lusting after her.
Some of the author's descriptions of the landscape were well done. Dialog, though, was too flowery and cliché. The reunion scene was especially bad - no heart in it, felt like actors rehearsing on a stage saying pretty things with no real emotion. I realize I'm spoiled by Diana Gabaldon, but Jamie and Claire's scene in the printshop - no comparison. I found myself rolling my eyes listening to many of the conversations.
I gave it two stars, mostly for the fact that I could finish the book, hopeful that it would end well. Meh. I will not be reading the other two books in this trilogy.
No, her writing style is not for me.
She has a nice clear voice, easy to listen to, and her American voices were fine. Her Scots dialect, however, was awful. Hopefully they will find someone who can speak like a Scot rather than sounding like an Irish wanna-be for the remaining books in the trilogy.
Hmmm. Well, you can't really cut the two main characters, I guess. I did enjoy the Barrett family. They seemed much more realistic than Kit & Cullen.
I'm glad there are readers who liked this book. I tried, but I just did not care for it.
"Wonderful! Absolutely devoured this book!"
Everything I had hoped for . Loved the story of it from start to finish!
"Ruby Brooch, Starting Series"
This is an engrossing story. Read it all in 2 sessions. Anxious to start on next book.
A very modern, tough girl learns upon her fathers death that she is able to time travel and chooses to go back to 1861 to find her roots. While she is on a treck through the Midwest in route to Oregon she learns how difficult and fragile life was then and against all her defenses falls in love. I enjoyed the main characters story and the history. The author did a good job showing how brutal and rugged trail travel could be back in that day.
"Enjoyable historical romance."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It transported me from my current day to day to a new and different world. The plot had a lot of twists, and by the time I got to the end, I knew I'd missed some important elements. It would be fun to go back and, knowing the ending, reread again to pick up the bits and pieces I need to fill in the gaps.
The performance was good. Teri Schnaubelt's voice is very pleasant, and the reading was well paced. Creating different voices for the characters gave them more personality and individuality, even if those voices weren't perfect as was pointed out in other reviews. I do agree with others that Ms Schnaubelt's pronunciation of various words could be much better. The most glaring issue, as already pointed out, is that the composer Hayden's name is pronounced "high-den" (not "hay-den"), and I was very surprised that a narrator of this caliber would make such a faux pas. But, overall, this was a very engaging performance and has prompted me to look for other books narrated by Ms. Schnaubelt.
The book is not perfect. The story is advertised as historical, though I don't believe the historical aspects were researched as carefully as they could have been. It doesn't give a very accurate presentation of how difficult life really was in the 1850s. And I wondered at the easy acceptance of the concept of time travel by 1850s characters. Furthermore, I agree with other reviewers that the hero and heroine are too perfect, and their the sex scenes were a bit clumsy and gratuitous. HOWEVER, this book is entertainment. I don't believe it was intended to be a high class, well polished historical drama, so a few lapses are acceptable.
On the positive side, the plot was interesting and unique. The characters were enjoyable people who met their problems squarely and had to make tough choices, but eventually came through in good order. The writing pulls the reader into the story, and you feel the highs and lows along with the characters. Plus, there is a smattering of US history thrown in for good measure. If you like historical romances and are willing to forgive some of the rough edges, then this is a book to consider.
"Great romp through time"
There's not much I love more than time travel stories. I love how all the details and personalities came together at the end. The descriptions of the Oregon Trail reminded me of my time working archaeology sites near the Santa Fe Trail. It made it easy to picture the story under a sky that spread forever, with so much hope and so much fear wrapped up in every day to day choice. Having seen many rock outcrops carved with names of those travelling the Santa Fe Trail, I especially liked the scene at Chimney Rock. I've read other reviews bashing the lack of minute historical detail, but as this was billed as a time travel romance, I wasn't expecting a doctoral thesis on pioneer life.
I really can't choose - I liked all the characters.
Ms. Schnaubelt has a nice voice, nice range for voicing both male and female characters and is good at making characters' voices distinctive. She reads with a cadence and flow that are easy to listen to. There are readers who you listen to reading, and then there are readers who make you forget you aren't there in the story. Ms. Schnaubelt is of the latter population.
No, but that's due to my own memory problems - I always have to go back to the beginning a few times to get everything straight. Once I had details firmly in my mind, I did listen to the whole book over a period of two days. Great book to garden to.
Loved it & am getting ready to start book #2 of the series.
"Exceptional Time Travel Story"
The best time travel book I have listened to. Great entertainment!
The Ruby Brooch is a very unusual story about a 21st Century heiress who learns upon the death of her father and mother that she was not their natural daughter but left on their doorstep wrapped in a bloody shawl, along with a magical brooch and a locket with the picture of a man inside.
Kit had lost her fiance in the same car crash that killed the parents that raised her. Feeling like she had nothing to live for Kit travels back in time through the power of the brooch to try to find her birth parents. She takes a well stocked covered wagon, including medical supplies, pulled by 6 oxen, a thoroughbred horse she has raised since he was a colt, and her stowed away dog and cat with her.
She has quite an adventure as she joins a wagon train heading for Oregon; following a clue from a journal from the 1800s, that her birth parents may have been on a wagon train that was attacked by killers along the route they were taking.
The wagon train faces a cholera outbreak, buffalo stampede, storms. Kit falls in love for the first time in her life with Cullen Montgomery. After she loses Cullen she goes home to the 21st century until she receives a letter written 160 years ago; the content sending her on another quest.
The narrator gave an excellent performance.
I highly recommend "The Ruby Brooch" for anyone who likes historical romance and time travel.
"What? No Editor?"
There are so many things wrong with this book. The inconsistent used of vocabulary and then used incorrectly - and believe me I am no English scholar. I think the one about "descending up to the veranda..." was almost the last straw, and oh so many more. It was something like an Outlander wanna-be - and no dice. I listened to the end so I could see if it turned out like I thought. It was a bit different only in one aspect.
The narrator was just okay, but she didn't have much material to work with. This book would not affect a purchase narrated by her.
I will not be taking on the other two books. This one will go back.
"Time Travel Tale That Is Refreshingly Wonderful!"
I simply loved the Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan! It is an old-fashioned time travel tale, much in the vein of the Outlander series by Dianna Gabaldon. I’ve been disappointed by so many other attempts to replicate the feel and “heart” of that story and none have come close until now. [How many time travel highlander books do we need?] It is refreshing and a breath of fresh air to finally have an epic story that is hard to categorize, but tells the tale of two souls entwined through time in the United States.
The story starts off soon after paramedic Kit MacKlenna loses her parents in a tragic car wreck in the 21st century. She’s been seeing a harmless ghost ever since she was a child, and she eventually meets up with her ghost, attorney Cullen Montgomery, in the 19th century. Both characters are portrayed realistically with hopes, dreams, fears, and flaws. I especially enjoyed how the story comes “full circle” at the end and I felt that all loose ends were resolved to great satisfaction.
I listened to the Audible version of The Ruby Brooch, narrated by Teri Schnaubelt. Teri’s narration is simply fantastic. She really brings the characters to life, using a variety of accents and giving each character their own distinct voice. She is also able to switch genders and generations with ease. Her reading was nicely paced throughout and she kept me enthralled listening late into the night. Bravo!
"Good story "
This was a good story, alot of sexual parts. I could not understand some of the concepts of the time travel parts, even for a advid time travel reader; it was hard to follow. Over all I would mind listening to the others in the series.
Listenable but didn't grab me,too much like Outlander, (handsome,strong,brave highlander, time travelling female with medical background and no living relatives ) and not as good.
first time I've heard a Scottish highlander with an Irish accent too !
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