I have to say that The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich is a DNF book for me. It’s my nomination for the Worst Book of the Year award. I forced myself through 50 pages before I moved on to my next review book.
The first thing that annoyed me was the use of names that have so many letters and accent marks they were nearly impossible to pronounce. They seem Celtic in origin, but I’m not sure. Regardless, it jars the reader every time a name is stumbled over.
I was further annoyed at the repetition of a character’s whole name every time he was mentioned, even when the main character was thinking about him. I understand why she used his whole name in their interactions since she is the Queen, and he’s her bodyguard. However, we’re supposed to believe that she’s enamored by him (more about that next), so why the whole name in her thoughts? If you do decide to read this book, make it more interesting by taking a drink every time you read “Aidrean Ó Deághaidh”. You might get drunk enough to enjoy the book.
Next, the “love interests”. Yes, there is more than one. First, she falls in love with her bodyguard. It’s not explained other than as time passed he was loyally at her side, and she’s suddenly in love with him. However, she couldn’t possibly take him as a lover because he’s a servant. This happens over approximately 2 pages. Even if I could get past the “forbidden love” trope, I could never get over the vagueness and absence of a reason for falling in love. The second love interest happens even more suddenly with even less explanation. One moment she’s talking to her scientist about his experiments, and the next they’re ferociously making out in his laboratory in front of his assistants. I was so stunned that I went back a couple pages to reread because I thought surely I had missed something. No, I didn’t miss anything, not even a look of longing or a flirtatious comment from either one of them.
Somehow I continued to read, in the hopes that it would just as suddenly get better, but no joy. I can’t recommend this book to anyone. I’ve read trashy paperback romances better than this book.