Heat level: N/A
Time travel/Humorous historical fiction
Publication date: 05/15/2020
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
I'll admit that I downloaded this one based solely on the title. I'm a bit of an asshat myself, so the title just spoke to me on a gut-deep level, you know? The fact that it was MaryJanice Davidson read was icing on the cake.
Plot Overview: After a medication mishap, Joan finds herself saddled with the ability to time-travel to the time of Henry VII. She eventually uses her inconvenient super power to help recover fellow "Losties" (accidental time travelers) from the current century.
I'm going to start right off by saying that while I loved this book, it is not a romance. If you go into this book thinking you're going to get an Outlander-like, sweeping, angsty, dramatic romance, you're going to be disappointed. There's no happily ever after (although, I get the idea this is a series, and I have NO doubt that it will eventually include a happily ever after, because that's just the kind of awesome author that MaryJanice Davidson is), and the heroine and "hero" don't interact with each other nearly as much as one would expect in a romance. But if you go into this with realistic expectations, here's what you CAN expect:
Tough, smart heroine
This author never fails to give good heroine. Joan is funny, thinks fast on her feet, and isn't afraid to dive into danger to help her fellow man.
MjD is a MASTER of witty banter. The back-and-forth between characters is hilarious, but also sounds totally real. There's no awkwardness or moments where I thought, "Wait...no one talks like that." It all has a very nice, natural flow to it.
Female friendship portrayed beautifully
This is not the type of book where female secondary characters exist merely to get the heroine talking about the hero. Joan and her bestie Lisa are true ride-or-die friends who would do anything for each other. I don't think MjD is capable of creating anything less than well-rounded, likable, relatable characters.
I know just enough about the time of Henry VII to keep up with The Tudors tv show (which was fabulous, by the way). So hearing a little bit about the history of that time as seen from Joan's unique perspective was super interesting to me.
The way that Joan ended up time traveling was something I haven't heard of before. Coming up with unique logistics can't be easy when there are SO many wanna be Outlander stories out there.
There's a twist at the end of the book that I didn't see coming. And I'm pretty much used to ALWAYS seeing plot twists a mile away--so surprising me is quite an accomplishment.
Long-story-short, this is a fun, hilarious, time travel, historical fiction romp that I can't recommend highly enough.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Well, it's not really romance, so the stigma doesn't apply. But if it WAS romance, I'd say this book was well-written enough to heartily kicks the crap out of the stigma.