Review of "A bend in time" by Anne C. Maxwell - quite promissing but needs a bit of work in my opinion

This is one of those books that I find hard to rate. I have the feeling that it can be a lot better as the material is there but sometimes things seem to stutter. I also wonder what the author was aiming at by this structure as if you are reading three separate books. But maybe that is something that will be explained in the later instalments in the series.

Elena was raised in Saudi Arabia as a child of diplomats. Her parents were good friends with a couple. The woman a Saudi national and her husband a Scotsman who converted to Islam and  married her and moved to Saudi. This couple have a son named Omar who is a few years older than Elena and her best childhood friend.

Now we fast forward a few decades and Elena works as a counterterrorism specialist for MI6 in London. As the bank of her childhood  friend comes under suspicion as a place that is used by terrorists to launder money she is send as a spy to see if that is true and how deep the CEO, Omar, is involved. It is no surprise that the two friends immediately strike a cord again even when there are some grown ups problems as him being an over controlling man and now far above her in the picking order.. Elena is afraid she will stumble upon information that gets him in trouble. This part is very realistic written.

Then all of a sudden both Elena and Omar seem to be travelling in time to two different eras.

The result is us reading 3 different novels: a billionaire romance / spy thriller, a tale inspired by The Three Musketeers and a regency romance that reminds me of Jane Eyre.

Why? I have no clue. Maybe that Omar realises that love can also be there when you are the powerless one in a relationship? But what is the use of Elena being in that other era? To realise that men you are not in love with can still be friends? And it kind of interrupts the story arc.

I understand that the author is like me someone who is near native English but not a native. Maybe that explains some of the sometimes special way to phase things. I also found the sex-scenes in the beginning of the novel odd as it feels like suddenly your kindle starts to whirl pink stars and other psychedelic things because from the moment they start having sex the story goes into metaphorical descriptions. Later on that alters.

There is also an all-seeing commenting voice. UGH

Maybe because I got an ARC version but the editing is seriously wrong. Some parts repeat each other. Best check that quickly dear publisher.

So my verdict: I did like the story but maybe would have preferred it as a straightforward novel or three.


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