Time travel romance
© Patricia Crossley. Nothing may be copied from these pages without the permission of the author
A time-travel romance novel
As she makes ready to leave London at the end of the twentieth century in order to fulfill her dream of practicing medicine in the third world, Dr. Kari Lunne and her dog are catapulted four hundred years into the past. .
Somewhere in the twenty-fourth century, Aidan Torrance realizes what he has done and plans to make good his mistake by picking up the annoying woman - and her dog - and depositing them back into their own time, like a wrongly directed parcel.
Aidan does not reckon on Kari’s strong will. Kari does not expect to have to make choices that threaten her whole future. Neither of them expects to fall in love with someone far removed from their own space and time.
Journey’s End culminates in lovers meeting after a wild ride through time. Can a doctor from the twentieth century find love and happiness with a maverick historian from the future when they meet in Tudor England?
Let's skip the reviews, I want to go right to the chapter
What are they saying about this book?
Ms. Crossley has written an exciting story of fantasy. Chock full of history,
modern advances and future possibilities, it compares how far we have come and
how far we can go for love. The storyline is believable, the pacing just steady
enough to keep the reader engaged. I enjoyed reading this book.
Journey's End is a fabulous time-travel romance simmering with passion, intrigue and romance. Patricia Crossley draws her readers into her story from the very beginning and the story's twist and turns will keep you engrossed until the very end!
ECataRomance Reviews www.ecataromance.com
Four Stars from Romantic Times:
JOURNEY'S END is an excellent time travel romance with a "you-are-there" feel. The depiction of medieval England is realistic enough to make one glad that it is history. The hero and heroine are intelligent and likable and the villains provide enough suspense to keep this a page-turner without taking over the story. (Susan Mobley, January 2001)
Imagine this...You're minding your own business, walking the dog when you bump into Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious. The next thing you know, you open your eyes and you and your dog are 400 years in the past. What happened? Are you simply a raving lunatic as the people around you seem to believe? That is what Dr. Kari Lunne would like to know, because it has happened to her. . .
A JOURNEY'S END is both historical and futuristic romance in one delightful package. If you like reading time travel romances then this is a book for you.
"Platinum! Journey's End is indicative of the imaginative and engaging storytelling ability found in writer, Patricia Crossley. Her adventures and character development pulled me right into a world of entertainment. . . JOURNEY'S END bridges years of human frailties with the same ingredient that makes us all continue on our journeys. . .love. I got lost in my own time and joined the lives of Aidan and Karina in this platinum adventure. . .Sassy!" Bridges Magazine
"Journey's End. . . offers the reader great characters and wonderful settings. . .The author does a good job of handling both past, present and future settings with skill. . . the characters are so vivid that you will turn the page to see what happens next. Journey's End. . .a book that says, despite all the horrors we may encounter and survive, sometimes the most frightening thing of all can be discovering the desires of your heart. . . " FUTURES magazine
"In this time- travel romance the author is in charge of the remote control …the scene is set for a traditional romance as Kari and Aidan overcome their differences …(and)…fall passionately in love…Writing in a clear concise style the author makes this contemporary type of entertainment fun to read as she whisks the reader back and forth in time. Her knowledge of Elizabethan England's social history is impressive. Her descriptions of life in sixteenth century and twentieth century London accurate yet full of color and life and the love scenes are romantically and tastefully depicted." Reviewed by Flora Kidd, reviewer and author of "Until We Meet Again" and "To Hell or Melbourne", both available from New Concepts Publishing and over 60 Harlequin romances
"Four Stars! The time-travel premise in this story was believable and the futuristic world Aidan lived in was drawn just enough to be interesting without interfering with the story. The historical detail was very interesting and the attitudes toward women and the paupers of this period were clearly defined. There is action from the first paragraph and the love story between Aidan and Karina is developed throughout the whole. The story is fun and entertaining from start to finish." SimeGen.com Reviews
Patricia Crossley has created a fabulous Time Travel Romance. You'll find mystery, suspense and exquisite romance all wrapped up in "Journeys End." Everything goes amok when time traveler, Aidan, discovers he's transported an unknowing young woman to Elizabethan England. As Aidan tries to rescue his innocent accomplice, Kari, and send her back to the twentieth century, danger and turmoil force them into situations where the heart takes flight. Will they be able to deceive time and hold true to a love that seems fated to last through the ages? Read "Journeys End" and experience a love that longs to exceed all barriers. Reviewed by Kim Gaona and posted at Kim's Reviews
masterfully creates a convincing time-travel romance,
blending past and future seamlessly. With a talent for realism and attention to
detail, she presents a fascinating and original plot that the draws the reader
into a remarkable world. Her account of the sixteenth century when women are
property, not allowed to read, or even think for them selves, becomes quite
pointed when encountered by the female doctor from the future. Impossible to put
END is highly
recommended. Cindy Penn Senior Editor: WordWeaving
Patricia Crossley has created a very realistic and sometimes frightening look at our future and past in her time travel romance "Journey’s End". Both the hero and heroine immediately grabbed my attention and I found myself extremely captivated as to if Kari and Aidan can defeat the odds to be together. Journey’s End has a sparkling romance, exceptional characters - both main and secondary, and a great story line.
This was my first time travel romance and a joy to read. I’m now hooked on the genre and I look forward to reading more fine works from this talented author. Reviewed by Jan Springer Road to Romance
page 5 of THE LONDON ENQUIRER, July 11, 1999
Police Continue Search for Missing Doctor
LONDON. The Metropolitan Police are still following every lead in the case of a thirty-two-year-old medical doctor missing since July 8, but so far haven't been able to locate Karina Lunne, a police representative said yesterday.
"There's nothing new--she's still missing," he said. "The one other hope now is that perhaps she went to visit a friend."
Although police have checked the businesses and shops in Camden that she used to frequent, as well as followed up numerous leads from the public, they have yet to find a clue as to her whereabouts.
Dr. Lunne had resigned from her position at St. Mark's Hospital and was last seen on the evening of July 8 with her dog, an Irish wolfhound, in the vicinity of Hampstead Heath. The spokesperson confirmed today that the Metropolitan Police have been unable to trace any of Dr. Lunne's movements after she was seen in a street leading to the Heath.
She is five feet, six inches tall (165 centimeters) and weighs about eight stone (fifty kilograms). She has shoulder length, curly auburn hair and normally wears glasses or contact lenses. When last seen, she was wearing red shorts, a pale shirt and a dark jacket.
The family of Dr. Lunne has offered a substantial reward for any information leading to the solution of the mystery still surrounding her disappearance.
"They both vanished off the face of the earth," said Dr. Lunne's brother, Michael, announcing the reward. "Kari had no reason to disappear. She was planning to take up a position with Doctors without Borders. She was happy and excited. We pray that she is alive somewhere. Her family will never lose hope."
Dr. Lunne's parents, opera singer Elena Rizzardo, and the eminent medieval scholar, Dr. Eamon Lunne, are planning to return from Rome to assist in the search for their daughter. So far, there has been no trace of her. Her mother is said to be suffering from nervous exhaustion. The authorities are asking anyone with information to contact any police station.
JUNE 26, 2399
"Aidan! There's a picture due to go missing."
Monika scooted breathlessly up to his station and Aidan reluctantly turned his eyes from the rows of data on the wall screen. The familiar prickle of excitement started at the back of his neck, but he made himself remain motionless.
"Thought you might be interested," said Monika, with an airy wave of her hand. "It's a good one."
God, how he wished sometimes that he’d never confided in her about the "lost" works. She had a lot to learn about discretion. He turned to her slowly and glanced around the lab. No one was looking their way. He took a deep breath. "So, tell. But keep it down, for God's sake." He smiled in encouragement.
Monika grinned and leant forward, pressing buttons on his console. "Can do better than that. I set it up already. Look." At least she lowered her voice when she spoke her instructions to the computer.
Then he saw which screen she had activated. "Not that one!" he said sharply and hit the cut-off pad.
He lowered his voice again. "Not the big screen, Monika. Do you want the whole lab to see? Put it on the monitor."
She shrugged. "No big deal. They think you're researching for me."
For a moment, he thought she would defy him and flash the picture on the wall over their heads, but she gave the instruction to feed to the small inset on the counter top. The screen filled with a swirl of blues and greens, and then there was a quiet pond, surrounded by flowers and greenery. Aidan caught his breath. An Impressionist. Exquisite. This could be just what he needed.
Monika was still talking. "Only a repro of a primitive twentieth-century photograph," she said. "Poor color definition, of course. But it gives an idea."
"What happened?" he whispered.
"Usual. Fire in London, late 1990's," she answered in her matter of fact tone. "Could have covered a robbery or could be legit. You know how it was back then. They never recovered the painting."
Aidan feasted his eyes. The longing surged through him.
"So?" she said. "Want to add this to your secret hoard, goodfriend?"
"When is it due to go?"
"In five days."
He moistened his lips. The timing had to be just right, and that added an extra bonus of excitement. He was beginning to suspect he was as much hooked on the adrenaline rush of snatching these priceless treasures from oblivion as he was on his historical research.
"Can I get it?" He ran his hand over his jaw to hide the clench of his muscles that threatened to spoil the mask of composure.
"Thirty seconds," Monika said in triumph.
She grinned, irrepressible. "Last time it took you nearly a minute to decide." She bent closer. "Well, Howard says no more FLIPS." Monika ran her hand teasingly down his back. He moved away gently but firmly. She must be coming up to an R&R. For once he was thankful that he was on a different cycle.
He was still drinking in every glorious detail. "I know what Howard said." The Force Field Line Intercept Program, or FLIPS as it was usually known around the lab, was Howard's baby and he guarded it with fierce jealousy. He was wary of Aidan's enthusiasm, thought it might make trouble. Too bad. Howard was paid to worry, Aidan wasn't. He tore his eyes away to glance at Monika again. "Can you do it?"
Monika smiled mischievously. "I can do it, if you can convince Tanis. It's not a hard one. Bring me back some good data for the project."
"So that's it. You need something."
Monika shrugged. "Just a few details you could check out," she said. "Nothing much. A couple of images, some speech patterns--. I'd like some football fans for the sport hologram. Not megabig."
He chuckled. "You serious about me mixing with soccer hooligans?"
She punched him lightly on the shoulder. "You can take care of yourself. You know how the Outers like the exciting stuff when they're on vacation. Your dry old palaces and churches bore the kids out of their tiny skulls after two days."
Monika and her opinions. He sometimes wondered what stopped her applying for the Outworld circuit, but he’d never wanted to ask. Best to keep his own counsel and allow others to keep theirs. All of them in this lab had some reason that kept them Earth bound rather than facing the challenges of the space colonies.
But they had a good team, he with his careful research and she with her creative interpretations. The Twenty C Hologram project could maybe use a few more authentic details. It was tempting.
If he went, he would be doing the department a favor.
"Wouldn't mind giving the research a rest. It would be good to go back on another trip, get some real stuff again." He could use the time to check some information on the secret services after the end of the Cold War. And pick up another painting. The department wouldn't lose, and if things went well as usual, no one would inquire too closely as to how the data was acquired.
"Do it," he said, standing up. "I can handle Tanis. Let me know what you want."
Two days later Tanis was fussing around him.
"Here's your medical kit and your responder," she said. "Don't lose it, and keep it activated. Look at the countdown screen. Watch out. It's different from what you used before." She pointed to a display on the rectangular black box. "A bit primitive, but it's a prototype. With this one, we need a warning of your return to calibrate the field. A bit more prep for you, but more accurate. You have to beam in your coordinates, wait for us to signal back that we can receive you. So don't get into any trouble that needs a fast getaway. After ten o'clock at night in ten days time, be on Hampstead Heath. No second chances. Understand?"
"Check, Tanis," he responded. No point in getting her more agitated. She always acted nervous before he traveled. Aidan shifted his weight once more and hitched the leather belt around his hips. He took a deep breath and slipped into still watchfulness. He did not waste movement or words.
He checked the time. Only ten minutes since the Director's personal transporter had left. Back on the ground, they’d all watched on the line feed as Howard pulled away from the vehicle deck, and then Tanis and Monika had moved purposefully to set up the FLIP. Aidan had slipped into position behind the protective screen. What Howard didn't know wouldn't hurt him. This was the FLIP that they’d been waiting for, according to Monika, the one that would provide the insights and final authentic details they needed for the project, with or without permission. It was as good a reason as any.
The machinery hummed discreetly, ready for the impulse that would trigger the Force Field Line Intercept Program. Even this morning Tanis was still insisting that the Director might have authorized this fourth FLIP, had he received the request in time. But Howard had said only three FLIPs this summer and, all things considered, Aidan had preferred not to ask.
They were targeting London, England, at the end of the twentieth century. Aidan had his moves all planned out.
He shifted uncomfortably in the strange clothes, working his shoulders and loosening the muscles. Although this would be his fourth FLIP, the adrenaline still pumped before each trip. He loved the rush of energy and tension. Why else would he be doing this? That and the artworks, of course.
They had kitted him with stiff, scratchy, black jeans. The denim clung irritatingly around him when he moved. Some bureaucrat must have decided on a standard color, because even the changes of clothes in the canvas bag were black. Monika had packed pleated pants in a softer material with a clumsy front fastening and cuffs on the bottom.
"Are you sure these things are right?" he called to her.
She glanced up from stuffing colored paper into a flat leather pouch. Monika, the expert on costume and artifacts, would have been insulted by the question from anyone else. She pulled a face at him and then gave her usual sunny smile. "I choose to ignore that and put it down to pre-FLIP nerves. Besides, you should know," she retorted. "You've read nearly as much as I have about it."
That was true. He always did his homework.
Tanis turned from the bank of machines where she was checking readouts and examined him critically. "Looks good on you," she said. "What was the word back then? Sexy."
Monika strolled towards him and stood, hands on hips, cheeky grin in place under the smooth cap of black hair. Nonchalantly, she ran her hand along his shoulder and down the muscles of his arm.
"Mmm. They liked to show what was underneath without revealing. Clothes were a statement--tight jeans, molded shirts." Her hand continued downwards.
"Monika, enough," Tanis interrupted. "Save it for someone on your Relaxation month. Time to start up."
With a last lingering look at his lean frame, Monika sighed and turned obediently back to her list.
Tanis checked Aidan's position on the platform. A timer had begun the countdown. Synthesized speech intoned the seconds.
Monika's voice intruded. She never could resist giving last minute instructions. "The money is in your pack," she said. Aidan nodded and lifted his hand to show he had heard.
.Tanis slid behind the console and began the log for the trip. Aidan could hear her clear voice starting the tape, checking his vital signs. Finally, "June 28, 2399," she intoned. "Preparations complete. Ready to transport."
The FLIP went without a hitch. Aidan materialized on Hampstead Heath at the end of June 1999, just before dawn as planned. His black jeans and shirt blended well into the shadows. In the distance a few cars swept by, headlights briefly revealing their presence before they disappeared. His pack had come through unscathed and lay by his feet. He shivered in the cool air and dug into the side pocket for a jacket. It, too, was black. No one seemed to catch even a glimpse of his tall shadow as he left the Heath.
JULY 8, 1999
Kari heard the church clock down the street strike eleven. Damn! She hadn't meant to spend so long on the letter to her parents. She was bone weary after all the last-minute packing, not to mention the full day in Casualty at St. Marks and the farewell party, but she was too strung up to sleep. She had to walk Ben and it would be the last walk here for a long while. One last time. She wouldn't short change him. The long summer dusk had melted into darkness, but no matter. They would be back in an hour.
She’d made a cup of tea at six when she’d arrived home and then forgotten it. It had acquired an unpleasant, grayish film. She pulled a face and left it on the counter with a half-eaten biscuit. Tomorrow would do for clean-up. She rubbed her eyes. They stung, gritty with fatigue, and she popped out her contacts, blinking hard with relief. She could do without corrected vision for this activity as long as she could see not to fall over anything. One of these days she’d probably take laser surgery to correct her nearsightedness. She grinned at her slightly fuzzy reflection in the bathroom mirror.
"You're really going," she said. Mere words were too simple. She tried them as a song, like one of her mother's operatic warm-up exercises. Her voice echoed in the half empty flat, and she giggled as the little bubble of excitement popped to the surface again. It was true. Two weeks vacation and she would be flying out. Farewell to road accidents, drunken brawls, domestic disputes. Now she would find out what kind of doctor she really was. She would face real issues of nutrition, child care and disease control with people who desperately needed her help through no fault of their own. She shook back her hair and pulled on a thin jacket.
Ben sat waiting at the door, quivering with anticipation. He was a big dog, an Irish Wolfhound, and walking him twice a day gave her more than enough exercise. An hour before she went to work, and an hour when she came home, no matter the time. When she was unavoidably delayed by some emergency, there was the fourteen-year-old boy next door who was always glad of the excuse to put aside his homework and earn a pound or two. She only had to call. She loved to see Ben run on Hampstead Heath, stretching the long legs and sturdy muscles bred centuries before for hunting animals nearly as big as himself. The breed could be protective to a fault and his gray, shaggy head came easily to her waist. She had never worried about being out alone at night with Ben close by her side.
.She grabbed the leash from the rack by the door and struck up another tune, trying the Toreador chorus from Carmen, using silly words like she and her brother had done to irritate their mother, Elena.
"Toreador . . . can't stand any more . . . don't care a bit . . . mind you close the door." Their mother had never shown much of a sense of humor.
Out on the narrow landing, Kari fixed Ben's leash and started down the stairs, finishing them with a skip and a jump. It was almost too good to be true.
She and Ben had a favorite route from Camden across Rosslyn Hill, down Pond Street, over the intersection by the tube station, and onto Heath Road. They usually came back by Keats Grove, so she could admire the poet's house. Tonight it would be too dark.
The shaggy wolfhound pulled impatiently at the leash, forcing her into a half jog. She had been right to come out, the air was doing her good. She felt clearheaded, ready for anything. A few drops of rain struck cold on her face and hands. Hopefully it would hold off for a half hour or so. They needed the rain, the London parks, usually so green, were parched and yellow. She zipped up her jacket.
The road was quiet at this time in the evening. She caught the scents of cooking and conversation that drifted from open windows of the old houses, now converted to flats. The full-blown roses sent a heady perfume through the gardens. Most had been planted long ago by the careful merchants who had built the solid terraces. Neglected and forgotten, besieged now by tricycles, motorbikes, and baby prams, a few hardy bushes continued to flourish and bloom against all odds. The brief summer shower had brought out their scent in the night air. An aroma of spices floated from the Indian takeaway on the corner.
The wolfhound took the lead on the familiar way into Hampstead, where the houses grew more spacious, sitting serenely in carefully tended gardens.
Once on the Heath, they slipped into the cool, dusky areas under the trees. The thick foliage screened the buildings, and the rumble of traffic on Willow Road grew fainter as Ben plunged on round massive and ancient rhododendron bushes. The rain fell harder now, and Kari inhaled the damp, earthy smell of the leaves.
At last, she stooped to unhook the clasp of the leash, and Ben bounded away eagerly to the open grass, seeking his own delights and smells. The gray shape blended into the shadows, and Kari followed slowly on the gravel path. Her one regret at leaving London was deserting Ben. They’d been together a long time. He’d been an adorable puppy, all feet and legs topped by a lolling tongue and a big grin. He was a good dog, he wouldn't cause Mike any problems and her brother had better take good care of him. She caught the blur of movement in the distance--it had to be Ben again, covering the space between them with long, determined strides and she smiled in anticipation. He would come back, check in briefly with her and be off again in a flash. She braced herself for the size and weight of him as he made straight for her.
Suddenly there was movement between her and the dog. A crouched figure rose up, ghostlike, from the grass, giving the bounding animal no chance to veer away. Kari heard the soft thud of the impact as the animal and the stranger met, and both went flying back on the turf. The dog recovered his footing first and barked a warning; the hair on his neck bristled. Kari hurried nearer. The shape rose more slowly and she distinguished the outline of a man, a large man, dressed in black. Beside him lay a bag and a package. Was he a burglar? A drunk? A drug addict maybe, looking for any source of ready cash? Or preparing to shoot up?
She stood close to the dog, laying a hand on his collar. The man had risen to his knees, shaking his head. She could make out broad shoulders and dark hair that shone with the misting of rain drops. She pushed back her own damp mane. Ben had quieted, and she stepped closer to the stranger. She peered at him, trying to see him better.
"Look, I'm sorry. Are you hurt? Can you stand?" Kari thought of all the warnings she had disregarded about walking alone at night on the Heath. Prudently, she decided not to go too near in case he made a grab. "I'm a doctor. Can I help you?"
With a grunt, he pushed himself up on his feet and brushed the grass from his side. He was not merely wide in the shoulders, but tall and well-shaped in the black T shirt tucked into black jeans that hugged slim hips. His silence added to her wariness until another thought struck her. "Do you speak English?"
Without her glasses and in the dim light, his features were still a blur. She tried narrowing her eyes to bring him into focus. For once she should have left her contacts in. This time he seemed to have heard her question and stopped the movement of his hands to glance at her. She had a flash of strong features and luminous gray eyes, and then the brief impression was gone. The muscles in the pit of her abdomen tightened. She put it down to the apprehension caused by stopping to talk to a stranger in a lonely, dark place. She had been warned.
They both stood, frozen in time, caught in a cocoon of darkness and misty rain. The distant sounds of the city faded, drowned by the pounding of her blood in her ears. Her quick breath sighed in the still air. Ben pressed against her side, his damp fur rubbing her bare leg. She felt the wiry hair against her palm as she laid her hand on his head. She could smell the wet grass where the collision had released spores from the bruised stalks.
She was no longer afraid. Her senses were sharp, taking in every detail that she could see, every scent, every touch on her skin. "I shall remember this moment," she thought.
The stranger broke the spell as he spoke at last. "I do indeed speak English." He bent to pick up a black jacket. "I apologize if I spooked your dog." He turned away so she could no longer see even the pale oval of his face.
"No problem, he'll live. Ben doesn't frighten easily." She dragged her mind back from its reverie. She was still in a lonely place with a strange man doing God knows what. "But you seem pretty suspect to me," she said to herself. "There doesn't seem much the matter with you. Maybe you can be left."
He ignored the ironic emphasis on the dog's name. Didn't he have any manners? He stood still again. She felt his scrutiny, but his back was turned to the distant light. Damn, if only she could see his face properly. The memory of her mother's cat, a sleek, black creature, came unbidden to her mind. The animal would watch patiently for hours, willing to out wait wary birds and mice. She cleared her throat.
"I hope there's no damage." She wanted to add: "Although it was your fault for rearing up like that right in front of poor Ben."
Instead, she stepped forward and picked up the bag. "Don't forget your shopping." She held it out, although it felt empty.
He gestured impatiently. He was holding something in the waving hand. "Please," he said curtly. "Go away! You shouldn't be here. Take the dog and go."
Her eyebrows rose in reaction to his churlishness.
"I most certainly will." She dropped the bag. Let him pick it up himself. She turned her back on the rude stranger, Ben at her side. The dog sat for her to attach his leash.
Behind her, the man cried out. "Go, go, get back! Why are you waiting? No, Tanis, no, not yet!" His voice rang with despair.
It was the last thing Kari heard as something hit her full force between her shoulder blades, and she fell, spinning endlessly through a deep, black tunnel.
End of Chapter 1
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