Review: The Heart of the Alchemist by Penny Wells

October 30, 2017

The Heart of the Alchemist by Penny Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release - August 13, 2017
Genre - Historical Time Travel Romance
Heroine POV - 3rd person
Heat - 2.5 out of 5
Length - 242 pages

When the love of her life dumps her, Katie spends three years living with a broken heart.
Seeing him with his new fiancée prompts her to make some changes, but before she can, Katie is torn abruptly from twenty-first century Chicago.

Landing in Elizabethan England, she finds herself in a room with a handsome alchemist named
Robert. Unable to send her home, Lord Robert assumes the role of her guardian and helps her learn how to live in 1566 London. Robert’s father, the spymaster to Queen Elizabeth, sees the value in Katie’s knowledge from the future and allows her to come to court. Plunged into a world of scandals and secrets she doesn’t understand, Katie risks her life to earn Lord Robert’s trust.

As a man with questionable intent begins to pursue her, stirring Robert to jealousy, Katie discovers she may feel more for Robert than she thought. Being a woman in the sixteenth century where she may be disciplined, married off, or locked away is fraught with perils. But has Katie found love despite these dangers?

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Three years ago, Katie was dumped by the love of her life. He’s moved on to the beautiful woman wearing his ring on her finger while Katie is stuck in her dead-end life at her dead-end job. The day she sees him with his new love, she has a mini breakdown and somehow she ends up in the year 1566. There she meets Robert, the son of the spymaster to the Queen, who studies alchemy. Somehow one of his experiments brought her to the past and he has no idea how to send her back. He’s tasked with helping her assimilate to her new life. A person of suspicious intent enters the picture and the situation between Katie and Robert becomes more intense. The chemistry between becomes hard to resist despite the perils they may face.

Anyone who loves Back to the Future has to love anything to do with time travel. I know I do. Combine that with my love of historical romance and you’ve got a recipe for success, at least in my eyes. However, this wasn’t a total winner for me. This is owed to the fact that I lacked any sort of connection or interest in the heroine. I didn’t feel like I knew her that well. So it was impossible for me to care deeply for her. Another reason, which is related to the first, is that I needed Robert’s POV to add dimension to the story. Maybe his perspective would have made me more invested in their story. Regardless, the tone, pace and plot were on point and the story held my attention right through to the end.

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