A gripping dual-timeline tale of love, death and redemption set in beautiful south-west France.
Languedoc, south-west France
Madeleine Winters discovers ancient female bones under her kitchen floor. How did the woman end up buried, all alone, in that particular spot in the Cabardès hills?
And why was her back broken?
Septimania, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
Seventeen-year-old Nanthild must marry Count Bellon of Carcassonne, a Visigoth, as part of his peace agreement with Charlemagne. As a wise-woman, she continues to visit those in need of her help during Bellon’s frequent absences. Not even her children stop her from following her calling.
But dangers lurk on her journeys, and one day, Nanthild doesn't return home…
In Charlemagne’s time a young woman named Hilda has been betrothed to Count Bellon of Carcassonne, a man she barely knows. She is nervous about her wedding to a man who lives a so far from her home and helps protects Septimania for Charlemagne, a position coveted by others. Despite their rocky start, she comes to love Bellon. Her new position as countess doesn’t stop her from following her calling as a wise-woman, but Septimania is a dangerous place and she can’t escape her enemies forever.
In the present, Madeleine has moved back to France following her mother’s death to renovate the house and sell it. Madeleine isn’t thrilled about the prospect of staying in the area, but that begins to change when she meets her handsome neighbor. Then strange things start happening in the house. When she searches for the cause of the events, she discovers bones under her kitchen floor. Madeleine sets out to determine what happened to the dead woman and bring her peace. Along the way she learns to find her own peace.
The interweaving stories of the present and past work well together. Hilda’s story gives more weight to Madeleine’s mysterious discovery and Madeleine’s story helps tie up the end of Hilda’s. This will be a great match for those who like stories that shift between the present and past. While there is mystery and intrigue, the romance helps lighten up the story to keep it from getting too tragic as does the happy ending. I can see this appealing to romance and historical fiction fans. Madeleine’s story adds a contemporary touch for those who don’t like stories too heavy on the history, giving this book wide appeal.
I gravitated more toward Hilda’s story than Madeleine’s, but I tend to favor historical over contemporary. I personally found myself favoring the excitement of the dangers Hilda faced over Madeleine's contemporary romance. The paranormal elements in Madeleine’s story were also accepted rather quickly, which meant I had to suspend my disbelief a few times.
Overall I recommend Love Lost in Time to those who love stories that intersect the present with the past with a dash of intrigue and romance.