Faye Barlow is drowning. After the death of her beloved husband, Will, she cannot escape her grief and most days can barely get out of bed. But when she’s offered a job photographing South Carolina’s storied coast, she accepts. Photography, after all, is the only passion she has left.
In the quaint beach town, Faye falls in love again when she sees the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and becomes obsessed with the legend surrounding The Lady of the Light—the keeper’s daughter who died in a mysterious drowning in 1921. Like a moth to a flame, Faye is drawn to the lighthouse for reasons she can’t explain. While visiting it one night, she is struck by a rogue wave and a force impossible to resist drags Faye into the past—and into a love story that is not her own.
I will admit from the very beginning, I am not a fan of the time travel trope. BUT, I am a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz and I went into this read hoping my intense love of the author would heavily outweigh my dislike of time travel.
What I didn’t like:
You guessed it, the time travel! You would find this super-ironic if you knew me in the “real” world and understood my intense and deeply abiding love for Doctor Who ☹
What I liked:
Literally everything else about this read! Here’s the skinny:
The Lighthouse: The Bride Island lighthouse is a brilliant setting for a story. It has a wonderful if tragic history that provides an excellent backdrop for Faye’s own tragic story. In fact, the lighthouse becomes as much a character in this read as Faye and her boys.
Faye: From the beginning and with good reason, Faye is a miserable creature! She had one blissful year with her soulmate before he was brutally killed while trying to help. Since, her second marriage has failed miserably and she has sunk into a deep depression. It isn’t until she finds the Bride Island lighthouse that absolutely everything in her life changes including the time she’s living in.
Carrick Morgan: What. A. Man. Carrick is strong, sweet, caring, sexy, and bound and determined to do right by Faye (or her 1921 counterpart!). He’s the lighthouse keeper, retired military, and saver of lost souls. He also looks strikingly like Faye’s deceased husband which causes all kinds of mixed feelings and loads of confusion.
The problems: There is just one problem after the next including the fact Faye isn’t from 1921, Carrick thinks Faye is someone completely different, Carrick is not an earlier version of Faye’s husband, the love square (because a triangle would be too easy!), Faye has issues in her own time she hasn’t dealt with and needs to deal with, and there is real danger and threats toward Faye and Carrick in 1921 which must be dealt with.
The writing: Tiffany Reisz is one of the most polished contemporary writers and I never find any flaws with her writing. Not one, not ever! Slipping into one of her books is always so easy to do simply because of the quality of the writing.
The Bottom Line: Quite literally the only thing that kept me from loving this read is the time travel element. Even my intense love of Tiffany Reisz and her stellar writing couldn’t get me past the time travel. I firmly believe everything and everyone in this read could have been set into any other non-time travel setting and this would have been another 5-star read for me.