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Three Wishes (River of Time California Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I have a whole group of readers at our school who absolutely adore Bergren's original River of Time series and can't wait to get their hands on this one. (And no, they aren't related at all except in time travel.) They won't be disappointed. Bergren knows how to write great time-travel romantic fiction. I like how she makes the main character seem authentically from the present and realistically struggling with adjusting to life and customs in the past. The past also reads with plenty of convincing evidence that Bergren has done her research on that time period. You get transported with the main character, and anachronisms that the character throws in get pointed out. The romance elements are "clean steamy" in that it'll make some readers swoon or squeal with excitement, but it stays PG. Recommended for anyone who likes clean romance or time travel or historical fiction with memorable characters.
The book has the same feel as the originals so fans will be happy. It just has a much more lighter feel than the originals. I think that’s mostly because we aren’t dealing with the harsh times of Medieval Italy this time. Don’t get me wrong, frontier-life surely wasn’t easy, but it was much lighter and more romanticized.
Zara was an instant character that I fell in love with immediately. Isn’t her name unique and beautiful? I love it! When we first meet her in the book, she’s grieving the loss of her abuela. She was the only family and person she had in her life. Her three wishes were adventure, love, and family. Except she didn’t expect to happen the way it does. It was so much watching her learn to adapt to life and culture in the 1840s while still battling with wanting to get back to her own time.
Javier was also a super fun character. He’s the mysterious, rough but gentlemany gorgeous Mexican ranchero. He is the man who had return home from college and his dreams to take over the biggest and richest ranchero and to take care and protect his family. We don’t really get to learn much about his character, although bits and pieces are hinted at. Hopefully we’ll learn more in the sequel.
Whether or not you’ve read the originals, you won’t want to miss out on these. While these are much lighter and somewhat different from the originals, you’ll still find adventure and the swoon-worthy romance with a dangerous premise that we all love and adore.
Can’t wait to the next novel in store which is Four Winds.
Disclaimer: I purchased a paperback copy of this novel. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own
That being said, this book didn't work well overall. It was simply too slow. It was really a foundation for where the story will go. I actually think it's important material, but the problem was that it never went anywhere until the very end. The relationships built well and took time, which was great, but the plot of this book is not a standalone novel. If she called this Part 1, and immediately released Part 2, making it clear that this story is half of one book, the issue would be solved. The other R.O.T. series, book to book, lleft you hanging to a point, but there was serious plot that was resolved in each story as well. I see she says Volume 1 in the title, but for me, that doesn't make it clear. Perhaps that's what she means???
The only other critique I have is that Zara was in her head too much. I was pulled out of the story more than I should've been. It felt more common in this book than the other River of Time novels.
I can't wait to read more and I'm betting the plot issue gets resolved in the next story. Very pro Zara and Javier.