Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Based on the premise and some reviews I've read, I knew this book had a bit of "everything": romance, sci-fi, time travel, suspense and, of course, sizzling love scenes. With a combo like that, I was sure this would be at least a fun read - and I was right. :D
Baran Arvid is a 24th century Warlord(*) who's sent back to the 21st century in order to kill the time-traveling Jumpkiller Kalig Druas before he murders his next victim Jane Colby, the owner of a small town local newspaper and crime reporter.
(*) Warlords are genetically engineered humans, much stronger than the strongest "normal" human and unbeatable in hand-to-hand combat. A neuroweb combat computer woven through their brain gives them access to a vast data bank and information from sensor implants scattered throughout their bodies. In sum, Warlords are highly intelligent killing machines, with well-deserved and ugly reputations. Baran is no exception.
Baran knows that the only way to catch Druas and prevent the Jumpkiller from murdering Jane is to stick to her like glue. But first, he needs to explain her who he is and convince her he isn't an asylum escapee. That takes some time, but once Jane is convinced, she has practically no qualms about having Baran accompanying her everywhere - including the bathroom and, guess what, her bed - until his mission is completed and he travels back to the future.
Do I really have to say that they get down and dirty right on the 1st night he spends at her house, on her bed? I didn't think so, LOL. Despite all the sex they have - which was a lot, if I may say so - they don't forget that Druas is still out there and need to be stopped... At least, I guessed they didn't, because it was hard to tell with all the moaning and panting they did. As expected, Baran and Jane manage to fall in love with each other while tracking Druas, but there's no future for them because he'll be gone as soon as he eliminates Druas, right? Hmmm, time travel can be so confusing...
I had a great time reading this book. It was fun, fast-paced, with lots of steamy love scenes and very likable (but not exactly three-dimensional) characters. Ms. Knight could have dedicated more effort to develop her characters, IMHO. Baran was OK, but I felt like I never got to know Jane that well. Didn't she have any friends besides Tom Reynolds, the detective in charge of the murders commited by Druas? The few scenes she had at work didn't make me see any connection between her and her employees. What about her missing mother? Why drag that mystery all through the story, only to drop it with no explanation at the end? Druas' case was worst, as he was pretty much a one-dimensional villain who didn't seem that smart to me. Anyway, the fast pace of the story prevented me from dwelling on that too much.
My biggest issue with this book was the time travel theory developed by Ms. Knight. I spent a lot of time trying to understand it - and almost gave myself a headache in the process - but the truth is, it didn't make sense!
Exhibit A: If traveling back in time and changing past events creates a paradox that destroys the universe, why wasn't the universe destroyed when Druas traveled back the 1st time and committed those murders? Before he traveled back that 1st time, those murders had been non-existent.
Exhibit B: Considering that Druas was originally from the 24th century, he knew what happenned in the past. So why didn't he anticipate Baran's actions and avoid them? The same could be said about Baran, but Ms. Knight gave a flimsy excuse for Baran's being in the dark about what happened in the 21st century.
Oh well, time travel by itself is a hard concept to understand, so I cut Ms. Knight some slack. And once I stopped trying to understand it and accepted it in blind faith, I really enjoyed this read. This was fiction, not a Physics Essay. Sometimes I'm too smart for my own good, LOL.
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