A Shadow in the Past – Reviews

Reviews for my debut novel…

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4 starsLife in Victorian Scotland with its superstitions and expectations is well written. It was interesting to be able to step back in time and experience the medication and life in an asylum! I also learnt something about Scottish customs …rituals celebrating death and betrothal. The kistin was written so well I felt as if I stood alongside Sarah. (Sharon Goodwin)

4 starsThis is the debut novel from new author Melanie Robertson-King. The story is a nice light read, with a good storyline. I like a story set back in history, a period drama and I also like time travel stories and there is a touch of romance too. So I really enjoyed reading this book. A great first novel and I will look forward to reading more books by Melanie Robertson-King in the future. (Nikki Bywater)

5 starsI devoured this book. It’s been a long time since a book called me to pick it up again, when there were other things I SHOULD be doing. This one did. Do you remember the things you dreamt of as a child? Being a princess, or a wizard or what you would be if you lived somewhere else? This tale takes a normal teenager, the day-dreams of a child, adds a little magic and stirs the pot. And what a great story developed. I’ve never been to Scotland but I could see it through the author’s eyes and hear it in the brogue. A lot of research must have went into the setting and social customs. It felt very real. I could feel the confusion Sarah (the main female character) felt over finding herself in the past, the dismay over confining Victorian practices and the fear she felt in a far-less forgiving era of social mores. I could feel the growing attraction between Sarah and Robert and the instant surge of protectiveness Sarah felt for Jenny. Great research, great characters and great imagination equals a great story. Well done. (Dorothy Bush)

4 stars A Shadow in the Past is a romantic YA novel that transports readers on a compelling time-travel journey to rural Scotland in 1886. The story begins in the present with teenager Sarah Shand struggling with typical parental and peer issues in her modern life. An unexpected fall near the mysterious stone circle in the same vicinity as her home, delivers her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. Robertson-King deftly weaves imagery with authentic detail as the reader is drawn into the heart of the story and easily visualizes the settings. It is obvious that extensive research was done into life in Victorian Scotland and the history and superstitions of this country for which the author demonstrates a true affinity. The character and plot development are gripping and believable for adult as well as YA readers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would welcome a sequel. (Patricia L. Sands)

5 stars Sarah Shand is a teenager with low self-esteem, a sister who gets all the attention and an ex-boyfriend who dumped her for her best friend. Life is dealing her a bad hand and she wants out! Little does she know that the stone circle near her home she is so drawn to, will transport her not just to another time but to a whole different life path. Meet the Robertsons! Grandad who’s still pining for his late wife and gorgeous, young Robert! Sarah has to deal with finding herself in a strange house in another century! A charming time-slip love story with vivid description and authenticity throughout! (Mandy Baggot)

4 stars A Shadow in the Past is a well-done time-travel book set in Scotland. The 19 year-old heroine returns to the same place she lives in present time, only about 130 years prior to her birth. The research had to be fantastic for this book. Being a Texas who has never visited Scotland, Ms. King put me there in present and past time. I occasionally got lost with the accents and terminology since is was so foreign to me, but she painted a vivid picture of the geography and the people while at the same time, she portrayed very real up-to-date problems. This coming-of-age novel is a romance, first, and most of all, a very enjoyable read. I recommend purchasing a copy of your own. (Janet K. Brown)

4 stars I just finished a romance novel, A Shadow in the Past, by Melanie Robertson-King. It was certainly a page turner and one I won’t forget for a while. According to the short bio in the back, this is Ms. King’s first novel, although she has written nonfiction articles and been published in the UK, the US, and Canada. For anyone leaning toward clean but heart pounding romance A Shadow in the Past is the book for you. It can be ordered from www.4rvpublishing.com or from Amazon. (Galand Nuchols)

5 starsA Shadow in the Past is a good book. I am fascinated how the author, Melanie Robertson-King had young Sarah to go back in time to the year 1886, yet get back to her present time of 2010. You will wonder as you’re reading: Will she be able to get back to her present time of 2010? Will she be stuck in 1886 for her whole life? How can things get worse? Can she get out of this predicament alive? The author’s descriptions help me get right in the past with her, fear for her life, and cheer for her when she wins. It is incredible how she weaves in each character with the story to help or harm Sarah. I loved Jenny, the young child, that Sarah protects and who protects Sarah, too. The author did much research into Scottish life and dialect during the Victorian times. Each character could easily branch out in a book of his own because of the depth of description, action, and emotion in the book. (Joan Y. Edwards)

4 stars Take a stone circle and a boy and girl dressed in old-timey clothes playing at the circle. Mix with an old mansion that has a history. Add a surprise or two. Stir, and you end up with a mystery, a girl’s dream, and a seemingly impossible romance.

Sarah Shand loved the stories her grandmother told about Weetshill mansion. She knew that someday she would live there. The problem was, the mansion was old and falling down and no one had lived there since the 1950’s. Sarah still believed, however, as only a nine-year-old could believe.

Fast forward ten years. Distraught over her breakup with her boyfriend, Sarah runs away to the mansion, where she swallows sleeping pills, passes out, and awakens in a different time and place. Author Melanie Robertson-King’s debut YA novel, A SHADOW IN THE PAST, is not only a time travel story, it’s also a story of love, family, and making choices. The author takes the reader back to a simpler time period, the Victorian era, where people dress and talk differently, and where Sarah certainly does not belong. Or does she?

A SHADOW IN THE PAST has it all: good guys and bad guys, hope and despair, a gentle romance challenged by others. Of course, that’s what makes an interesting story, someone causing trouble for the heroine and hero. Sarah faces many challenges to discover who she is and what she wants, and the choices she makes affect not only herself but those she loves as well. Melanie Robertson-King has written a delightful story for teens and older readers too. So pick up a copy for yourself and another for your favorite teen and settle down for a good read. (Beverly Stowe McClure)

4 stars I thought the storyline was quite unique and interesting to follow. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Sarah to suddenly be trapped in the wrong century. I especially liked the little “snippets” from ancient Scotland that Melanie mentioned. I never knew that being left-handed was seen as a devilish gesture. (Heidi @cosmochicklitan) You can read the entire review here.

4 stars I must admit I was a bit out of my comfort zone with this book, because my usual diet of reading is dark crime. However I found the story interesting and intriguing. It is a time shift novel where the heroine goes back into the past. Her modern views are looked on with suspicion, and she not only confronts danger because of this, but she also finds romance. This places her in the dilemma of whether she will return to her own time or remain in the past, and I found myself quite anxious at the end, expecting her to be whisked off just when she’d found true love. And no, I’m not going to introduce a spoiler her, you’ll have to read it to find out. (Chris Longmuir)

4 stars I could imagine this book being acted out on a TV screen on perhaps a Sunday night drama. The author describes events well and the imagery is very believable. The story of Sarah being whisked back to the past was something I knew I’d enjoy and this book didn’t disappoint. (Kathryn Brown)

4 stars A Shadow in the Past is the ultimate romance fantasy that every girl has dreamed of at some point in her life. (Nikki @BestChickLit) You can read the entire review here.

3 stars A Shadow in the Past is an enjoyable historical, time-traveling romance novel set in Victorian Scotland. I won a signed copy from the GoodReads FirstReads program, along with two lovely bookmarks! (Nikki Goodreads Giveaway Winner) You can read the entire review here.

5 stars The book was very well written. It pulled me in and I didn’t want to stop reading because I wanted to find out the ending. It had all the key elements i look for, a good fiction story with romance, secrets and action. Anyone who likes fiction especially time travel should love it. (Hellkittie)

5 stars A 19-year old student in 2010, Sarah Shand, in northeast Scotland, is miserable. Her beau cheated on her with her best friend. Her sister has a date with a hunk, and her parents are in her face. She storms from the house, heading for the circle of stones, her refuge, to do the unthinkable. She’ll show them!
She fails.
Stumbling around in the dark, she’s struck by a car. Suddenly things change.
Found on Robert’s doorstep, injured, and confused, she wants only to go home. But, ‘home’ isn’t where it’s supposed to be, leaving her even more confused.
In denial over what has to be the only reason everything is so strange, she finally comes to terms with her new reality. It’s 1886 and she’s alone in this strange world. Robert, the young, handsome Laird, her host, is the only reason she’s even still alive.
As her memories of her old life fade, she’s caught up in her new, and different life amidst changes in Robert’s life that affect her. Suddenly, she’s gone – kidnapped and sent to an asylum. She and a new friend – a child – escape, while Robert searches for her.
Separated, they each realize they love the other, but don’t yet know how the other feels.
Finally reunited, their love grows.
Later, after numerous dangers and trials, Sarah is given a chance to return to her time? Will she? What about Robert? And, what of the child?
A well-written, well-researched, time-travel romance, this is an excellent debut novel. Ms. Robertson-King and A Shadow in the Past receive a 5-Star rating. I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel. (Dayna Leigh Cheser)

5 stars I just read an enjoyable book for young adults by a fellow 4RV author, Melanie Roberston-King. Here’s my review:

A Shadow in the Past is an enjoyable read for young adults! Set in Scotland in both the present time period and the late 1800s made for an engaging story. Sarah, left heartbroken by her boyfriend and her best friend, longs to escape her life. Well, she gets her wish, sort of… You know that saying,”Be careful what you wish for”? Well, initially that’s how it feels to Sarah, who is now stuck in the 1800s and has no idea why. Then her feelings start to grow for Robert, the handsome, kind, wealthy young man who opens his home to the confused, hurt, and scared 19 year old Sarah.

The old-fashioned brogue, the settings, and the customs are artfully drawn by Melanie Robertson-King. I felt like I was transported to that time period, just like Sarah. The characters are well developed and the story is exciting and full of drama. One of my favorite parts was Sarah’s relationship with and devotion to little Jenny. That was an unexpected, touching part of the story. This is a refreshing, not cliche’, love story. The reader is left guessing until the end what will happen to Sarah. I highly recommend A Shadow in the Past. (Shawn Marie Simon)

4 thoughts on “A Shadow in the Past – Reviews”

  1. I just finished reading A Shadow in the Past while on my trip in Maui. I really enjoyed it and will be writing a review for you soon… The story kept me guessing until the end! 🙂

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My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King