The Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan

the-ruby-broochAnd the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

This quote from Anaïs Nin is one of my favourite quotes, and it’s also aptly featured in this novel, because this is the story about a young woman’s painful and emotional journey of finding herself and searching for her true identity.

Kit McKlenna, is a paramedic who survived a horrible accident that killed her parents and friend, who I also believed she had a romantic interest in. After the accident Kit discovered that her parents were not her biological parents, via a letter that her father left her. In the letter he reveals to her that he found her abandoned on his doorstep wrapped in a bloody shawl, a locket with a portrait of a man and a Celtic brooch.

Using these clues, as well as a 19th century journal that she managed to get hold of, Kit decides to search for who her real parents are.  She discovers that the brooch has mystical powers that allow you to travel backwards and forwards into time.  She uses the brooch to travel to Independence Day 1852, Missouri to continue her quest.

In 1852 she meets a man, Cullen Montgomery, who surprisingly resembles a man who has haunted her since she was a child. A ghost perhaps?  Kit finds that Cullen, a Scotsman and a lawyer, has similar interests as she does – classical music and Shakespeare and she finds herself irresistibly attracted to him.  It comes as no surprise that later in the novel she falls in love with him.

The Ruby Brooch is a historical romance, set in the 19th and 21st century. As you know, I don’t enjoy reading romance novels, but when I read the description I was quite interested in reading the novel. Historical fiction – check.  A celtic brooch – check.  Old letters – check. Mystery – check.  A lot about the description indicated that I would like this novel, and I surely did.

The writing was beautiful, the read itself was a pleasure. The romance in the novel is not the sugar sweet tale that I mostly try to avoid reading about.  There is the unlikely couple: Kit, a woman from the 21st century and Cullen, a man from the 19th century, both stubborn and intelligent.  They fell in lust before they fell in love and reading the love that blossomed between them, was quite enjoyable.  I feel that the romance, although suppose to be the focus point of the novel, wasn’t the only element that made the story interesting. The author did a nice job of describing the 19th century atmosphere and how I loved Kit’s resistance to what a woman should and shouldn’t be allowed to do, but I mostly enjoyed  Kit’s journey of finding herself. In loving Cullen she finds healing and in the end she has to choose where she wants to live. In the 21st century or with Cullen in the 19th century? Where does she mostly feel at home? In the end, her choice allows her to find out who she is. If she didn’t make that choice, she would still be wondering. I think that’s the best part and ending to the novel!

I really would recommend this to those who don’t particularly like romance novel, because this story is not just about romance. I enjoyed reading it. Have you read it?

I read this as part of a joint reading that was organised by Isi.  We even had a facebook group for discussions. A lot of Spanish bloggers participated, and even though they (and I) had some difficulty with the Scottish dialect, we all pretty much enjoyed the story!

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