This is the 8th book in Paranormal 13.
Such an enchanting and charming book! I know! That sounds kind of cliché but those are the words that keep sticking in my head. I didn’t think I would like this book when I first started reading it because it was obviously targeted towards a younger audience but I kept reading and found myself enjoying it.
Petra Baron and her best friend, Robyn and Petra’s younger step-sister, Zoe, are at the annual Renaissance Fair that her school puts on every year. From the description, this fair was pretty elaborate for a high school fund raiser, obviously not on school grounds since beer was being sold. Petra had received an anonymous note telling her to meet them at the fortune teller’s tent. She believes it is from her boyfriend so he can ask her to the prom in some grand gesture. But when she enters the tent, the fortune teller tells her some sort of nonsense and basically cackles at her but she doesn’t get a chance to hear more because there is an earthquake. When she exits the tent, the world has changed.
It seemed to take forever for Petra to realize that she had traveled back in time to what the author kept calling “Elizabethan Times” but to be accurate, it was just after Elizabeth 1 in the time of King James. Petra left the fortune teller’s tent and everything was different; dirty smelly people with rotten teeth, a cock fight, and everyone spoke with a British accent but it took her more than a day to realize or convince herself that she had traveled back in time. For such a smart girl (the author kept repeating that Petra had high SAT scores and took advance courses), it took her long enough to figure it out.
Petra thinks she sees Kyle, her boyfriend, riding away on a horse, looking arrogant and ignoring her so she picks up a turnip from a vegetable stand and chucks it at his back. She missed so she picked up another but was stopped by a guy who she recognized as someone she had seen just before she went into the fortune teller’s tent who her friend had called “cute horse guy” because he had a horse with him and he had winked at them. He explains to her, when she insists the guy on the horse is Kyle, that it is not Kyle but the Earl of Dorrington.
She ends up wandering around what she finds out is Dorrington, England where everyone seems either poverty ridden or mean like the men who keep looking at her lecherously. Cute horse guy or Emory as she becomes to know him, takes her under his wing and tries to help her find her way home even though he is reluctant to do it because he is entwined in his own problems and he believes that her home is nearby, not 200 years in the future and on another continent.
Emory’s problems soon become Petra’s problems. She knows he has secrets and when he gets stabbed through his stomach with a sword and then miraculously heals, she knows something weird is going on but the more important thing is to help him with his mission which is to stop a man named Chambers from ruining King James’ plan of distributing the Holy Bible to the masses. Chambers, like many people back then, thinks only priests should be able to read the Bible but his motive is greed not religion. Emory and a few of his friends are secretly following Chambers to expose his plans.
Meanwhile, Petra is trying to find a way back to her own time but is also falling in love with Emory. I like the way the author portrays Petra as a little spoiled and how through living the hardships of existing in 1610 England, helps her grow up a lot and how she realizes that she really never liked Kyle for himself but she liked him because he was popular. I also liked the slow development of her feelings for Emory. Some authors try to do the love-at-first-sight romances that don’t usually work for me but this author worked out the romance perfectly. She had me wanting Petra to stay in 1610 and not go back to 2014 because that meant she had to leave Emory but at the same time, I knew she needed to go back to her family.
Although I enjoyed the book which true to all the books in Paranormal 13 so far ended with a cliffhanger, I probably won’t read the rest of the series. It’s tempting but it is a bit young for my taste. I think it would be great for young adults though.