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New Release and Review: Christmas Past by Susanna Fraser


Title: Christmas Past
Author: Suzanna Fraser
Genre: Historical/time travel holiday romance
Published: 2013
Pages:  50
Format read: ebook
Rating: B-


Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.

Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.


I loved the concept behind this story–using the ability to time travel to study history. As a junior high social studies teacher, I’m always telling my students that we’ll never know the truth about (fill in one of history’s mysteries here) until one of them makes a time machine (a long-standing extra credit opportunity for them all; haven’t gotten one yet), goes back to that time period, finds out the facts, and reports back to the rest of us. If only! 🙂

I liked the characters in this one as well–Sydney, who loves her work and her family, and tries so hard to do the right thing; and Miles, the rifle captain who is able to look beyond the surface and is open minded enough to take on a 21st century woman. Together, they make a fantastic couple. Great stuff!

Where this one falls short, though, is in the execution. The novella is much too brief to really do the subject or the characters justice. Sydney’s revelation comes very quickly, and to be honest, I wasn’t really quite sure exactly why her reasoning worked so well for her. I wanted to know more–more about the time traveling program (which I still don’t exactly understand the logistics of), more about how they were going to make their relationship work, more about how Sydney would adjust to her new reality, maybe even find out what–if any–implications the events of the novella would all have on the future.

In all, it was a pleasant read and an entertaining way to spend a lazy morning, but ultimately it left me wanting more.

Rating: B-

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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