by Beverly Long

January 2005
ISBN: 0-425-20062-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Wyoming Territory, 1888

Burned out social worker Sarah Jane Tremont was walking along a California beach lost in thought about a difficult case, when a huge wave came crashing toward her. Sarah thought she was about to die. Awakening, Sarah is amazed she survived but when she stumbles upon a small farmstead she realizes she is no longer on the beach, and even more shocking is the fact that it is not where she is but when she is. Somehow, Sarah has been transported back in time to Wyoming of 1888. Even more astonishing is the fact that the rancher who rescues her has taken her for his not to likable sister-in-law, whom he had paid to leave several months ago following the death of his brother. What a mistaken case of identity!

Embittered rancher John Beckett cannot believe that his witch of a sister-in-law, Sarah Beckett has the audacity to return after swearing to him that she was going for good. Bleeding, and looking like a lost soaked soul, John bends a little and takes the confused Sarah in, telling her it will be only for a few days until she is better. Something is a bit off here though, as John begins to see a different side to the Sarah who has returned to Cedarbrook. This Sarah is kind, gentle and giving, and the unthinkable begins to happen to John, he wants her! Sarah believes John is the reason she was thrust back in time, perhaps in the few days she has before she can start to try to make her way back home she could make a difference in his life. If Sarah can only get John to see her for who she really is and not who he thinks she is.

I am screaming this out loud folks, “What a find!” New author, Beverly Long comes soaring on to the time travel romance scene with a sure-to-be bestseller, Stay with Me! This book will keep you turning the pages, as it did with me. John can be a bit condescending at first, but as the story develops, you are made to understand his animosity towards Sarah, or who he thinks Sarah is. Sarah is lost and alone in a past time with only her wits and the good sense to keep quiet that she isn’t Sarah One. A hard thing to deal with especially when everyone's memories of Sarah One aren't too fond and are quick to judge even with the noted differences. Sarah does her darndest though to make amends to those hurt by Sarah One; starting with the man she knows she was meant to help - John. There are some giggles in between the tense times of the story where the 21st century woman comes crashing through, and Sarah lets out a strange catch phrase or makes reference to modern things she normally had taken for granted. I loved the masterful interaction of the secondary characters. John’s friend Fred, and Fred's children, who Sarah helps come to terms with the loss of their mother, the soiled dove with a heart, Suzanne, Pastor Dan who sees the good that Sarah truly has in her, and slightly "off" newcomer to town, George. I smell a sequel (hopefully) on the horizon for George who leaves his newfound friends to find his own destiny.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Bonnie.

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