Review + Giveaway: Forged in Dreams and Magick

Thanks to AToMR Tours, we're pleased to present a review for the brand new time travel/paranormal romance, Forged in Dreams and Magick, by Kat Bastion.  Keep scrolling to check out our review and then enter to win a copy for yourself! Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more.

By Kat Bastion
Published on September 23rd 2013
Published by: self-published
Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.
If you're looking for a romance story that spans history, look no further.  Isobel is reeling from the loss of her beloved grandfather when she discovers a mysterious, ancient box that piques the curiosity of her academic side.  She gets more than she bargained for, however, when she finds herself repeatedly being transported through time, drawn towards men who are supposed to be her soul mates.

Isobel is a fun, sassy main character, and I enjoyed getting to read about her transformation as she adapted to the different eras that she found herself living in.  She never allowed herself to wallow too much over things, no matter how upset or confused she was by her involuntary time traveling.  Instead, she made the best of the situation, and made herself right at home, adapting to the ways of the times she found herself in, but never exactly losing herself.  There are different expectations of women in these eras, but Isobel makes it pretty clear to Iain and Velloc that she's not about to let them control her.  She learns to fight and take care of herself, and is able to work out several compromises that keep everyone happy.

And of course, Isobel's romances are epic! Paired up with two strapping, alpha-type men, she still manages to hold her own against them.  I don't think either Iain or Velloc had any idea what they were getting into whenever they first met Isobel!  I liked watching Isobel open herself up to the possibility of romance, which she had been pretty dead-set against at the start of the book.  And both of the men truly, tenderly care for her, and aren't using her or (really) trying to deceive her.  They're protective of her, sometimes overly-so, but I think that's in character for the time period Iain and Velloc are both from.

I do wish we'd had a chance to get to know more about Iain before Isobel is transported to the past.  Even though she wasn't involved with him at the time, we only got a little bit of information on their friendship.  Isobel insisted that she only liked him as a friend, so the sudden shift to makeouts was a little jarring.  I also feel like we skipped over some of the bonding/get-to-know you time between Isobel and Velloc, especially considering that at first, they don't even share a language.  I can see why we didn't get those scenes -- the book is already long, and pages of Isobel-learns-Pict-and-falls-in-love would have gotten old -- but I feel like I could have benefited from a little more relationship building, despite the fact that the whole premise of the book is kind of "fated to be together".

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and although the ending sets things up for more books in the series, the book stands on its own fairly well.  There are lots of steamy parts, so this is definitely recommended for older/mature readers.

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