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When Lightning Strikes Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994

3.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romance author Alaina Costanza is propelled backward in time to the Wild West by a lightning bolt and comes face to face, not with the hero of her work in progress, but with its villain, Killian. Sexier than she'd imagined him to be, Killian is in the midst of holding up a bank in a town Alaina knows only too well, for she created it. Certain that she's dreaming, Alaina soon realizes she's trapped in a world of her own making-with a man who refuses to keep to the script she's written for him. Unfortunately, Hannah takes this promising premise and, after a hilarious first few pages, goes nowhere with it. Alaina's tough-talking, wise-cracking jibes quickly wear thin, especially since they're centered around 20th-century references that miss their mark with Killian. The author misses a golden opportunity to make the most of her setting and plotline by ignoring the history going on around her characters. Surprisingly, Alaina, author and history buff, never once comments on 19th-century life or costumes, which would have intrigued historical romance fans much more than the uninspired love story offered instead.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tough, outspoken, and deeply lonely, romance writer Alaina Costanza collapses over her computer one stormy night only to wake up 100 years earlier in Fortune Flats-a cow town that she has created in her latest novel. When she ends up being kidnapped by the outlaw villain and falls in love with him rather than with the sheriff "hero," she realizes something is terribly wrong-and then the fun begins. Hannah (A Handful of Heaven, Fawcett: Ballantine, 1991) has combined straightforward dialog and realistic description with a poignant, timeless love story and tied it all up with a healthy dash of magic. Well written and involving, this book should appeal to all romance readers. Hannah is a writer to watch. Readers who enjoy her work might also like to try the historicals of LaVyrl Spencer and Dorothy Garlock.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449149080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449149089
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, Night Road, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane which sold over 1.2 million copies.

Her novels Home Front and Night Road were among the first novels to appear in the #1 spot on 5 New York Times bestseller lists simultaneously. Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct.

Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Nightingale, will be published on February 3, 2015 (St. Martin's Press). The novel --an epic love story and family drama set in France at the dawn of World War II--is a profound and compelling portrait of two estranged sisters, living in a city under siege and a country at war, where sometimes surviving means doing the unthinkable.

www.kristinhannah.com


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very few romance authors are willing to venture this far into the territory of psychological darkness. Even fewer competently navigate all the way to a believable ending. Kristin Hannah gets five stars from me for coming through on both counts. Both her hero and heroine are in a world of pain from their pasts. They are relationship cripples. The story revolves around their halting steps toward wholeness and each other. Their process is psychologically complex and believable. Add to that a nifty time travel element and a little magic - and you have a compelling story. As an author, I was especially fascinated by the book's theory on writing and reincarnation. It gave me goose bumps! A word of warning: this book is dark. If you're looking for a light, bubbly read - forget it. Rape and abuse are not subjects for the squeamish. But for those readers looking for depth and compassion in a storyline, this book is worth it!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"When Lightning Strikes" definitely struck a chord with me.
The basic plot of the book is as follows. Alaina (Lainie) Costanza is a romance writer, but she's no wimpy, frou-frou darling. Nope, she chain-smokes, drinks on occasion, wears tacky outfits, and is generally a hell-raiser. There are reasons for her behavior I'll get to in a moment; suffice it to say that only two things are keeping her together at this point: her writing talent, and her teenage daughter, Kelly.
John Killian is an outlaw, a former Texas Ranger who feels like he's lost everything. His wife died years ago and he couldn't save her; once that happened, he felt his soul rip apart, and decided to live down to his reputation. Now he's the leader of a notorious bunch of outlaws.
How do these two relate? It's not as simple as it appears at first. At first, Lainie gets thrown back from her time (early 1990s) to Killian's time (late 1800s); Killian isn't exactly overjoyed to see her. Lainie is in a state of shock at first, thinking it's all a dream.
But it's not.
Instead, Lainie finds out slowly that Killian is her soulmate. And that she, in an earlier life, was the wife that left him alone. And as she and Killian learn to trust each other again, they overcome nearly insurmountable problems.
Item 1: Lainie was gangraped at least once. Used to do drugs. Her parents abandoned her, and the foster system didn't work. Her daughter is the result of the rape; she kept her daughter and loves her, which shows enormous strength of character. (As if being creative and reaching for her dreams wasn't enough strength for anyone; well, this is a romance, and I suppose this is a bigger "hook" to grab the reader.
Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have really liked all of Hannah's books and I couldn't get through this one fast enough. It was awful. The subject was good, but all the rest just seemed like she was trying to fill pages. I am still a big fan of hers, I just didn't like this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read many of Kristin Hannah's books and enjoyed most of them. This was a total flop, in my opinion. Trying to be serious, it was almost comical and I had a hard time finishing it. Hannah has a very unique style, but missed the mark with this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Lightening Strikes, is a great time travel/fantasy romance story by Kristin Hannah. Alaina Costanza is thrown back into time, captured into the latest romance story she is writing. Unbeknownst to Alaina, her villain character, Killian, is actually her soul mate, reaching across time and space to Alaina to rectify the loss and love in both of their lives in the late 1870's.
I thought the concept was ingenious and really enjoyed this book of time-travel! I also found it interesting that Hannah picked out several elements from her book, The Enchantment, and used those elements in this book! I thought it very clever!
Hannah once again paints a heroine who is strong and determined, with supporting characters that are as equally believable. The reader is immediately drawn into the story, and I thought that the story line moved great! This is the last book of Hannah's that I had left to read, and it, too, did not disappoint me.
Kristin Hannah has quickly become one of my favorite authors due to her ability to draw the reader intensely into the heart and plot of the story, with believable and true to life characters. Her love stories are warm and sensitive, with the heroine able to overcome obstacles in her life, and embrace love once again. I have found that all of Hannah's books contain messages of struggle, hope and love. And as always, once you fall in love with the characters in her books, you are dying for a sequel!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is beyond crap. I felt like my IQ dipped while reading it. As much as I love Kristin Hannah's more recent novels, When Lightning Strikes was issued in 1994 and, unfortunately, is NOTHING like her thought provoking, intelligent recent works. This book by Hannah is pure 100% romance novel and as such is full of the kind of mindless obtuse drivel associated with that genre. The narration throughout is a confusing mind numbing endless torrent of wishy washy back-and-forth thinking, and obsessive compulsive analyzing and over-analyzing on both Lainie and Killian's part. The female protagonist, Lainie, was freakishly schizophrenic, unsexy, unattractive and, frankly, it concerned me that this woman was a mother. This book is full of W-T-F! such as Lanie is a 35 year old woman who underwent years of therapy yet has no self esteem and is still an emotional cripple. She is supposedly a survivor of rape yet she has slept with "thousands of men." That doesn't sound like a victim of rape to me. She is supposed to be street smart yet she attempts an escape by "walking" out into the blistering desert instead of taking a horse. I honestly wished Lainie's character would disappear and leave poor Killian (the male romantic interest) alone so he could be a regular guy and ride off into the sunset free of all the female crazy that was imposed on him. In the literary romance genre the male romantic interest projects what the author (and reader) wants him to think and feel. Having a female author "describe" what a man is thinking can be a tricky task which if not handled with a degree of realism can insult the reader's intelligence. Unfortunately, such is the case here. Killian is unconvincing and blatantly contrived.Read more ›
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