A WAY BACK
Rating: 4 Cups
Amber Mathis, a 21st century investment banker, steps into a modern elevator and alights in another era: The Depression, 1930. Seeking the offices of Wellman Hathaway, she finds him standing on a ledge about to take a dive, “making a hit on Broadway” or Wall Street in this case. Her natural instinct is to grab the man away from the brink of death. He’s indignant, claiming she has misunderstood his intent and stepped out for a smoke. But he confides he has lost his clients’ money in the Crash and must find a way to earn it back.
Wellman is a man of his time with a moral sensitivity. He is more formal than we are used to. He has not had his consciousness raised. LaRogue makes him real by keeping the language of each of their backgrounds in their time periods. He is abashed by Amber’s brash vernacular vocabulary. She is annoyed at his backward thinking, especially where women are concerned.
They travel together to East Texas to find the oil well Amber knows will come in that year. All the while the attraction builds, though not without a few conflicts. Their marriage, in name only, forces them to work through their distrust and shock until they can help Wellman’s clients regain their investments. Amber’s wild west is even wilder and more inconvenient than she knew, but her sentimental journey into her own family history is worth having stepped into the past.
More detail in the outdoor scenes in New York City would have shown a clearer contrast in the hero and heroine’s backgrounds. The scenes in East Texas were more visual than the scenes set outdoors in New York City in the 1930’s. The indoor scenes in both New York City in the 1930’s and East Texas, then and now, helped this reader suspend disbelief, but a trip in the charmed elevator might have given Wellman a better understanding of Amber’s more modern life. Although we know time travel is not possible, Ms. LaRoque makes it believable.
Reviewed by Maggie
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More