Book & Film Pairings, Edition 7

Welcome to another post where I pair books and films with similar themes or content! This week it’s time travel from contemporary times to a Medieval setting + romance, with a hint of an archaeological hunt in the mix. All of these elements combine in the 2003 film Timeline (starring Gerard Butler *heart eyes* and a young Paul Walker) and in Jody Hedlund’s “Waters of Time” duology, books Come Back to Me and Never Leave Me.

Timeline (2003, Paramount Pictures)

With an ensemble cast and an archaeological-centered task, the players in Timeline travel to 14th century France amidst dangers of war to fetch an old friend they believe to be there. A nefarious group in the present tries to antagonize and foil their plan to return home, while an impending siege on a castle looms. A couple threads of romance play out in the story, but Gerard Butler’s heroic part is my favorite — with his Lady Claire.

The Waters of Time duology by Jody Hedlund

Come Back to Me and Never Leave Me

These two novels follow the adventures of two sisters, one on a quest for holy water for healing and the other for closure. Both involve scenes and characters from the 14th century in England, with rivalries of knights, romance, and adventures. These novels echo the film in their clever plots and elements of the past influencing — and sometimes changing — the present. Both feature daring heroes and strong heroines, with happy endings and some interesting archaeological treasure hunting that has its basis in real history. And, if you’re like me and your FAVORITE part is usually the romance, Come Back to Me features an intelligent pairing of a heroine from the present and a gallant (swoony) knight from the past. Never Leave Me‘s romantic pairing is a long-established friendship-to-lovers situation. I would recommend reading these in order for the full arc of the story and the important sister dynamic.

Are you a fan of time travel or Medieval stories? Do you have book or movie recommendations similar to these? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Review: “Never Leave Me” by Jody Hedlund

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I’m reviewing the latest release from author Jody Hedlund and Revell Publishers, Never Leave Me, the second book in her contemporary-and-medieval time travel Waters of Time series.

About the Book

In the last stages of a genetic disease, Ellen Creighton has decided to live out her remaining days at the estate of her longtime friend Harrison Burlington. Harrison cares deeply for Ellen, but as a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, he’s never allowed himself to get serious in a relationship. However, he’s desperately trying to save her by finding the holy water that is believed to heal any disease.

When he locates two flasks, Ellen refuses to drink one of them because she believes the holy water killed her sister and father. In an effort to convince her to take it, Harrison ingests the contents first, and when Ellen witnesses the effects, she can no longer deny the power of the substance in the bottles. Dangerous criminals are also seeking the holy water, and Ellen soon learns they will go to any lengths to get the powerful drug–including sending her back into the past to find it for them.

Bestselling and award-winning author Jody Hedlund plunges you into the swiftly flowing river of history in a race against the clock in this breathtaking, emotional second Waters of Time story.

Goodreads | Amazon

Review

Never Leave Me is a riveting sequel with a romance I was rooting for. While it could be appreciated on its own, I feel that the full arc of the story begins in the first book, Come Back to Me, and I would recommend reading it first to understand the characters and concepts.

The story is quick paced and intriguing from the very beginning, with Hedlund taking a smart concept and building on the time travel tenets of book 1, further drawing Ellen and Harrison into a search for holy water — along with a nefarious group seeking the same. By story’s end, I was happy to know a little more about Ellen’s sister, Marian, part of the main couple from book 1. The inclusion of the middle ages elements into the story is interesting to me. I like the link of the holy water to a Biblical beginning and historical legends and healings.

While I was really eager for the friends to lovers (long-unrequited on the part of Harrison) situation between Harrison and Ellen to play out on page, I thought the romance progressed in stops and starts. Some key moments happen early on (understandably given the plot), yet I thought some of their relationship felt forced because of this. I did appreciate the lessons they learn because of their friendship and the selfless love each of them exhibit for each other. And they had some wonderfully romantic moments in the midst of the action, too.

Thank you to the publisher Revell for the review copy. This is my honest review.