Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Hands of Time by Irina Shapiro

Four star Read
*Received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest opinion. 
“Hands of Time” by Irina Shapiro was an enjoyable story! At first I was worried about how convincing the time traveling would be and how effect it would make the story.  Ms. Shapiro handled it very smoothly.  It wasn’t hocus-pocus or anything that I found myself doubting.  Ms. Shapiro presented a very complex story.  She has Valerie Crane heartbroken and distraught.  We learn that she is coming from a failed marriage and worst her ex-husband is getting married to his very pregnant girlfriend.  Valerie’s situation is heartbreaking.  She travels to a little village in England with her older sister Louisa.  When Valerie is transported to 1605 and finds herself in the middle of an England that is dealing with religious persecution.  She also meets two very handsome brothers-Alexander and Finlay Whitfield.  
The love triangle between the two brothers Alexander and Finlay Whitfield was well played out! Both brothers were fantastic and even though I was hoping she would pick a certain brother, ultimately the correct choice was made.  The love triangle added to the suspense of the plot. I will say that I was a little surprised with how well Valerie took her time travel.  She was more analytical then emotional about it.  The Whifield brothers were also very accepting of a random stranger showing up at their castle door.  They welcomed Valerie into their home and into their lives.   
Although the main focus is Valerie, Louisa still remains a large part of the story.  It is evident how worried she is about her sister and her sudden disappearance.  Throughout the story I kept wondering how the author is going to resolve this conflict. Either she has to time travel back to the future or her sister somehow has to make her way to the past.  Ultimately, the author handled this situation with a cleaver solution.    
The tension of the time due to religious persecution was very subtle and the author didn’t minimize its significance to the time period nor did she focus on it too much on it.  It was an obvious conflict during this time.  It was interesting to see how a present day character finds themselves observing life in the past. I thought it was particularly funny when she was offered tea and she was hoping for a cup of Starbucks. This story was very original all the different aspects of the plot moved very smoothly.  This is a definite enjoyable read and the cliff-hanger at the end left me wondering what would happen next and how the author will resolve that conflict.  Overall, this was a fun and interesting story.  The plot was original and the characters were interesting. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.  Ms. Shapiro is both a convincing and engaging storyteller.  

The Hands of Time (Hands of Time, #1)
Tuesday, January 7
Guest Post & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, January 8
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, January 9
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, January 10
Guest Post at Broken Teepee
Monday, January 13
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 14
Guest Post at A Bookish Libraria
Thursday, January 16
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, January 20
Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, January 21
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, January 23
Guest Post at Closed the Cover
Tuesday, January 28
Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Friday, January 31
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed
Tuesday, February 4
Review at Hardcover Feedback
Wednesday, February 12
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Link to Tour Schedule:
Tour Hashtags:  #HandsofTimeTour #IrinaShapiro #HFVBT

About The Hands of TimePublication Date: December 7, 2011
Merlin Press

When a young American woman vanishes without a trace from a quaint fishing village on the coast of England only one person knows the truth, but he remains silent, allowing the authorities to search for her in vain, safe in the knowledge that she will never be found.  As Valerie’s bereft sister returns home alone, she struggles to understand what happened and come to terms with her terrible loss when she suddenly stumbles upon a clue that might finally shed some light on her sister’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, Valerie Crane finds herself transported to the year 1605. Terrified and confused she turns for help to the Whitfield brothers, who take her in and offer her a home despite their misgivings about her origins. Both Alexander and Finlay Whitfield fall in love with the mysterious woman who shows up on their doorstep, creating a love triangle that threatens to consume them all.  Valerie must make her choice, deciding between the brother who will lead her down the path of destruction or one who will give her the love she couldn’t find in her own time.

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About the Author

Irina Shapiro was born in Moscow, Russia, where she lived until she was eleven.  In 1982 her family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York.  Due to her love of reading, Irina was able to pick up English very quickly, and was an honor student throughout her school career. 

After graduating from Bernard M. Baruch College in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Irina worked in advertising for two years before shifting her focus to Import/Export.  She worked her way up to the position of Import Manager in a large textile house before leaving the work force in 2007 to focus on her autistic son. 

It wasn’t until Irina had been at home for some time that she began to write.  Eventually the characters began to take on a life of their own and have conversations in her head, and once she started writing her musings down the stories came easily enough.  Irina incorporated her love of history and travel into her writing to create a rich and detailed background for the characters.  Since then Irina has written eight novels.  She is currently working on book five of The Hands of Time Series.

Irina Shapiro lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

For more information, please visit  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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