Gwyneth Shepherd has spent her life watching her beautiful cousin Charlotte being prepared to travel through time. Charlotte (by virtue of her birth date) is supposed to be the last in a long family line of travelers – the one who will usher in a new era. But everything changes when Gwyneth, without warning,  is the one who travels off to a past era. Gwyneth now faces the task of learning 16 years of history, dancing and etiquette in just a few days as well as figuring out why her mother lied about her birth date. She also meets Gideon, the current time traveler from the other side of the family, who just happens to be a gorgeous teenager. Together Gwyneth and Gideon must travel through contemporary London and the London of the past in order to find out who they can trust and who is still keeping secrets.

Bubby: I must admit I have a soft spot for anything related to time travel. Wouldn’t it be so cool to be able to just pop back into the past and get to, oh I don’t know, maybe meet William Shakespeare? Or be at your parent’s wedding? Unfortunately for Gwyneth and Gideon, they don’t get to choose where or when they are going. It’s all determined by the “society”, a bunch of egotistical misogynists.

Sissy: I too like books about time travel however I have serious misgivings about stinky breath, smelly body odor and the lack of flush toilets so prevalent in exciting periods of the past. And for all us backwater hillbillies, what is a misogynist?

Bubby: A misogynist in backwater hillbilly terms is a he-man woman hater. Don’t worry – your dictionary is on order!

Sissy: I really liked this book and I was so happy to have book two (Sapphire Blue) right there next to me to dive right into. However, book three (Emerald Green) does not come out until fall of 2013 because it is being translated from the original German. What I would have given in the moment I came to the last page of Sapphire Blue to be able to read German! And they are also making a movie of it in Germany. I have a sister-in-law who speaks German so maybe I’ll have to hop a plane to Connecticut and watch it with her and make her translate.

Bubby: Or maybe you can find a version with subtitles – cheaper than a plane ticket, yes? One of my favorite parts of this book is the period fashion. The society employs a French seamstress, Madame Rossini, who takes great delight in costuming Gwyneth and Gideon in perfect attire. The descriptions are just scrumptious – makes me want to strap myself into a corset, pop on a few dozen petticoats and a lovely frock in watered green silk and head off to a tea party.

Sissy: Substitute some Spanx for the corset and I’m in. Like I said before, these books are very readable and I’m amazed that good writing can be translated into other languages. The one thing I’m hoping for in the third book is that Gwyneth grows a spine. Her Aunt Glenda and cousin Charlotte plus all the stinking male chauvinist pigs say the rudest things to her and she does not fight back. If someone told me  that I was brainless, underdeveloped or inferior, I’d be on my soapbox so fast they wouldn’t know what hit them! Of course, that is my mature and wise, non-sixteen-year-old self speaking. If I could go back in time to age 16, there are certainly some things I would say to some people.

Bubby: I agree. I understand that Gwyneth is way in over her head with all the new developments in her life but I sure hope that Kersten Gier gives Gwyneth more self confidence in the final book. I also hope all the secrets are revealed; what happened with Lucy and Paul? What is going to happen when the Chronometer is filled? What side is Gwyneth’s mom really on? What’s Gideon’s role in all of this and how does he feel about Gwyneth?

Sissy: Actually I read a review from an Austrian blogger who says that it is all wrapped up very nicely in book three, which just made me jealous of the bilingual Austrian blogger. I also want to know what happens to that nasty piece of work, Count Saint-Germain, aka Darth Vader (you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean by that). If I ran into Count Saint-Germain, I would whack him over the head with Bubby’s very heavy anodized aluminum frying pan. Yes, I would!

Bubby: Not with my pan you wouldn’t! You know how much good frying pans cost these days? Just pelt him with one of those overgrown hockey pucks you call muffins! He’d go down and stay down!

Sissy: Wow. Bubby the Patron Saint of Gourmands has truly hit below the belt this time. I’m speechless.

Bubby: If I’d known that all it took to make you speechless was to insult your muffins, I’d have done it long ago! Ha! *Rimshot!* I’m here all week!!!

Sissy: Okay, you should go on tour. You could call your act “Bubby! – Queen of the Exclamation Points! Live!!” (Or “Queen of Refuse”, to quote The Princess Bride). Back to the book. You will really like it. Yes, it is another YA book but these days it’s hard to find adult audience books that are not steamy bodice rippers. I give it 3 1/2 bubbles.

Bubby: Nothing wrong with YA books. Helps us to pretend we still are young adults. 3 1/2 bubbles from me as well.

© Bubble Bath Books 2012