Yesterday's Flame
by Elizabeth Hallam, time travel (2000)
Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12750-7


Isn't the cover gorgeous? I could just look at it for hours. And good thing what's inside is worthy of the droolworthy hunk on the cover. Yesterday's Flame is a great story with a wonderful hero, a feisty heroine, and a great romance. I've reached a stage where time travels give me the Ugh thing, but YF restores my faith in the whole subgenre.

Annabel Lowell is a firefighter who is trained to put out forest fires. One fine day in 2000, while doing her everyday job of tackling a large forest fire outside Sans Francisco, she realizes she's lost and is in danger of being roasted crisp. She seeks protection in a cave and when she finally pokes her head out, it's... 1906.

Oh my God. Annabel faints dead away.

Luckily for her, hunky part-time firefighter Cole Brady (he is actually a rich bloke whose hobby is putting out fires - go figure) is there to catch her. He is not quite sure what to make of this woman who claims to be a firefighter and dresses up in firefighter costumes he has never seen before. But he is a nice guy, so he takes Annabel in and tries his best to help her adjust.

Soon the Daring Duo are off putting out towering infernos and putting the Chinese mafia out of commission. And somehow they find time to snog too. But watch out - isn't 1906 the time of the San Francisco earthquake?

Yesterday's Flame's greatest strength lies in the two main characters who demonstrate great chemistry. Cole and Annabel click from the moment they meet. They're smart, brave, courageous people with big, noble hearts. It's very hard not to like them. I root for them and cheer for them, and all in all, it's great knowing them. The plots fast-paced too, with lots of excitement skilfully weaved with quiet moments to keep me reading. What the earthquake strikes... oh my.

But one quibble really: if the earthquake isn't mentioned, I would have no idea 1906 is 1906. I mean - most of the time there is little indication of the time era. 1906 in Yesterday's Flame reads a lot like 2000. In fleshing out the 1906 era, the author fumbled a little.

Oh well, no matter. It's been fun reading Yesterday's Flame. When it makes me tune out Sabrina and the gorgeous Harrison Ford playing on the TV during my plane trip, it definitely is a great read.

Rating: 86


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