A Bend in Time: Never Without Her Book 1 by Anne C. Maxwell was a love story with a science fiction/time travel twist. Elena Villiers is a beautiful, determined young woman who is an Agent working for MI6 in counter-terrorism. Very successful at what she does, she is shocked when she is sent to infiltrate a Saudi Bank in London that is suspected of laundering money and funnelling it to terrorists. The CEO of MGB just happens to be her childhood companion and major crush, growing up in Riyadh, Omar McGovern. Struggling to keep her priorities straight Elena finds herself deeply drawn to the now grown-up Omar and the feeling is clearly mutual. How can she carry out her spying activities when she is falling in love with the man she is spying on? Whatever happens, neither Elena nor Omar are prepared for the weird and wonderful time trick that is about is to be played on them as they are both thrown into alternate time universes, one into seventeenth Century France to the court of King Louis XIII and one to a rural Baron’s house in nineteenth Century England. How will they return to their own time and their real lives?
I was impressed with the premise on which A Bend in Time: Never Without Her is based and was keen to see how the author would handle three different stories essentially with the same characters. Author Anne C. Maxwell did an excellent job of keeping the reader on-track throughout the narrative. The characters, Elena and Omar are both overachievers and extremely successful at what they do and it could be assumed readers may have some difficulty with identifying and empathising with them. This was certainly not the case and Maxwell gave both characters enough flaws to make them vulnerable and recognisable as ordinary people. I particularly enjoyed the passionate love scenes in the story, of which there were a number. Her poetic word choices and deeply descriptive passages gave the scenes a sense of beauty and magic, rather than any tawdriness or crudity. What Maxwell has done here, in what I am assuming is a debut novel has beautifully set up her series with these characters. I cannot wait to find out where the “Bend in Time” might take this pair next. For me, I can pay no greater tribute than that to this author.