Today I present Scarlet Woods by Brooke Passmore
Book 1 in the Scarlet Woods Trilogy
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About the Book: Modern and independent seventeen year old Morgan Westbrook thought she had seen all there was to her home town of Scarlet, Georgia, but one day while walking in the woods behind her house she discovers a mysterious door masked behind the trees. After admiring the door’s timeless beauty she walks through its entrance to venture into more woods, but what she doesn’t know is that the door is a gateway through time that takes her back to the year 1863 during the days of the Civil War in Scarlet.
Without knowing that she had traveled back in time, she stumbles upon Danny Carson, an attractive young man who is appalled to see that Morgan is wearing skimpy modern clothes instead of a nineteenth century dress. Although they find each other completely different than anyone they’ve ever known, they cannot help but feel drawn to one another. After spending time in another century, she discovers that she’s time traveled back to the year 1863 and that the door took her there. For months she and Danny journey back and forth through the door to experience the joys of traveling to both of their centuries. When dilemmas of unwanted marriage, slavery, and war are thrown at them, they must face the perils that time travel has delivered them in both the future and the past.
This was a book with a fantastic concept, well defined and developed characters, and an interesting twist with the addition of time travel. Unfortunately, there were also far too many errors in the construct of the story for me to be over the moon about it.
I will start with saying that the author has an interesting twist on time travel, as neither character at first realizes they are not “in their time”. Using the horse as the common element that initially brings Morgan and Danny into contact is a unique and clever addition, and the author has imagined a horse’s reaction to thunder and lightning quite nicely. The characters are well developed, both with clear voices at the start of the story, which fix their personalities into the reader’s mind. Unfortunately, as we travel deeper in the plot, the voices start to lose their clarity, and there are several points of confusion that muddle both reader and story.
Historical detail, research and word choice are all important aspects of this plot, and sadly there are far too many instances when the author has missed the mark. Word choices in conversation must be appropriate and relate to the era. Additionally: one does not laid on the floor, or be thriving for food, nor is a corky personality. All of those issues could have been sorted with a good editor. Actual research into the proper words for “saddle belt” or “riding two legged”, as well as other missed facts would have also been resolved with either a good set of beta readers or an editor. I cannot over-emphasize the beneficial effect of a beta reader that is A>Not a friend or family member and B> willing to ask for clarification or even highlight simple questions and ask them of the author. With those simple issues resolved, and a round of professional editing, the book would have delivered on the very promising premise put forward by the author.
I received an eBook copy from author for purpose of honest review on my blog I am, Indeed as part of my Indies Rock promotions. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.