Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Published: 2-1-11 by David C. Cook
Get the book: Amazon
What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaeologist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds…until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
Design – Gearbox Studios, David Carlson Images – photoshoot, istockphoto Rating – 3/5
This cover isn’t anything amazing, but it’s not bad. There’s a lot going on, but I like the blue color and how it makes the deep red of the girl’s outfit pop. Everything flows nicely so it’s nice overall. One complaint is that the font used to say “The River of Time Series” is hard to read. I know it’s meant to look old fashioned, but that can be done in a way where people can still read it.
I really liked this book. It’s under Christian fiction, but don’t be put off my that. The only religious stuff in the book is Gabi wondering if God meant to send her back in time for some profound reason. This is a great historical novel, full of PG-rated sexual tension. Ugh, now I’ve made it sound dull. The sexual tension between Gabi and Marcello is excellent and I recommend this novel for fans of slow romance.
- Gabi – Gabi is a truly excellent character. Naturally, she freaks out when she’s unexpectedly transported back in time, but Gabi is definitely not one to sit back and let the knights go out and do the searching. She is dead-set on getting her hands on a sword and forging that path on her own terms, regardless of what Marcello or anyone else says about it. Gabi consistently tries to do the right thing, whether it’s risking her life to save someone else’s or avoiding the hot knight so he can carry on with his arranged marriage with no complications. Plus her focus is always on her sister’s safety, often at the risk of her own – she is the least selfish person ever.
- Marcello – It’s pretty clear that Marcello is accustomed to everyone following his orders without question, so it’s fun to see his reactions to Gabi, who refuses to do what he tells her. Marcello has a ton of responsibility on his shoulders as the only 100% healthy member of his family. He must defend his castle and land from the Florentines, marry Lady Rossi in order to secure the support of her powerful family, and now he has to deal with Gabi landing in the middle of all this with one goal on her mind. Any scene with Marcello in it is electrifying. He’s constantly finding himself going head-to-head with Gabi while he tries to squash out his growing curiosity about her. Marcello is always trying to keep Gabi safe despite her uncanny ability to find danger, while also attempting to remain true to his fiancee.
- will they/won’t they? – This isn’t one of those books where there’s one tiny obstacle in the way of the relationship. Lady Rossi has grown up playing political games and using everything she can think of to get her way – the girl is no pushover. Plus, there are multiple parties trying to kill Marcello at all times, and no one will dwell over killing Gabi if she gets in their way. Marcello and Gabi are both so honorable that they keep you guessing throughout the entire book. They argue, then retreat when they sense the tiniest inkling of sexual tension and avoid each other for days. They are making themselves miserable while trying to make the situation easier for the other person. I honestly didn’t know if Gabi and Marcello were going to end up together.
- Luca – Marcello’s best friend, fellow knight, and righthand man, Luca is mostly comic relief but proves himself to be a friend to Gabi. Luca is like the self-deprecating sidekick that has watched girls flock to the hero, but truly has no ill will toward his buddy. He keeps an eye on Gabi whenever Marcello is busy running things and becomes something of a mentor and confidant for her.
- details – The details of a story’s setting can be dull, but Gabi’s adjustments to the past are presented as funny obstacles. Between the clothes, the lack of indoor plumbing, and her hair refusing to stay put, Gabi has trouble fitting in. The thing I really appreciated was the jokes that were made out of Gabi using modern words or slang in front of Marcello and other people from his time.
- Lia – The main character is clearly Gabi, and while her main concern (you know, other than not getting killed) is finding her sister, Lia comes into the story quite late in the book. When Gabi finds her, all Lia does is whine that she wants to go home, which would ruin Gabi’s romance. So, despite this book being full of characters out to kill Gabi or Marcello, Lia is cast as the villain aiming to force them apart. She gets little real characterization, other than being an awesome archer. I just wanted to be happy that Gabi found her sister, but it was hard to do so when Lia had little concern for the life Gabi had established in the past.
- back + forth – There’s a fair amount of traveling from the castle to someplace to look for Lia, then traveling back to the castle, then rinse and repeat. It makes sense, obviously, that Gabi has to search for her in different places, but it gets repetitive because traveling by horse takes forever and a day. Gabi’s stubbornness spices traveling up quite a bit, but the bouncing back and forth between the castle and various locations constantly got a little confusing and old.
- My breath left me in a sigh of disappointment, but I forced a smile and shook my head as if it was no big deal. I cursed myself for my stupid romantic teenage fantasies. This guy was not in my league. By six hundred years, at least. – pg. 161
- “But wouldn’t they expect me to come after you? Or at least send some men?” “Not if you want her gone,” Luca said softly. “She is coming between you and Lady Romana. You are unaccountably drawn to each other. And you cannot let anything break this union with the house of Rossi.” I held my breath and kept my eyes on Marcello. Luca spoke nothing but the truth. We both knew it. – Marcello, Luca, Gabi pg. 216
Acquired: bought (ebook)