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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  • I like your review, but I am always skeptical about these books that have time traveling romance…you know the modern woman vs medieval man type of books, which is why I never read Outlander. I somehow don’t have enough of an imagination for these, I think.

    • Thanks Nish. I never read Outlander, so I can’t compare. I am not a romance novel fan, but I did enjoy this one. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it.

  • Isi

    I’m glad you participated and liked the book!! I do like romance, but also other genres, and I think the part about the journey with the wagon train was quite interesting, with all the pioneers and families that wanted another life in the West. And I also liked how the time travel thing was developed (at the end a lot of people know it, and it’s great!).

    • I’m glad I did! Romance is not my favourite genre, but this surprised me, I really enjoyed the book!

      Yeah, I forgot to mention that the journey on the wagon train was enlightening. How things were in those days. Ilnesses, which are now easy to cure and sometimes seen as “nothing” were life and death in the 19th century!

      PS: I also enjoyed reading the love scenes, it was tastefully written 😉

  • It must be wonderful having a fave quote featured in a nice book. I’ll see if I can find the Ruby Brooch in bookstores near me.

    • Thanks for stopping by Hazel. Yes when I read the quote, I was strangely excited, having that quote there was a good sign. The Ruby Brooch was actually free for only one day on amazon, and that’s when the group “purchased” it and decided on a joint reading!

  • A lovely review, Melinda.

  • I’m glad you liked the book in spite of being romantic. I also enjoyed the book and I think that the end is really perfect

    • I also liked the ending! It was great. Thanks for stopping by Nube and participating in the book club. It was fun, wasn’t it?

  • This sounds like a book I would enjoy. I love historical fiction and time travel books! Thank you!

    • You might enjoy this one! Thanks for stopping by, Susan.

  • This book sounds amazing! Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  • I’m about to read Outlander and see some of the other commenters mentioned it as well. sounds like an intriguing premise and I haven’t heard of this book before. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

    • Thanks Trish. I never read Outlander, let me know how you find it!

  • The story sounds very interesting. Also, I love that quote!

    • It’s a nice quote, makes you think. And it sounds good to say it 🙂

  • The quote is very nice, and the book sounds like it had a lot going on! I am sorry that I wasn’t able to participate in it with you, Isi, and everyone else!

    • Love that quote. It’s okay, atleast you have the book and can read it once you have time.

      • Very true! I’ll pick it up at some point, since I grabbed it when it was free thanks to Isi!

        • Don’t be put off by the romance factor, you know I don’t like it as much as you do. You might find it a nice read 🙂

  • This book sounds really interesting, thank you for your review. Historical fiction is my favourite genre of literature and I’ll definitely be putting this on my must-read list! I also don’t particularly gravitate to romance novels, however when there is so much more going on in a book (asides from the romance) it can work well- this book sounds like a good example!
    (I’ve recently set up my own book review blog, I’d love to know your thoughts if you get a spare moment! )

    • Hi Amelia. I enjoy literary fiction, especially historical fiction and I’m glad you do too. I don’t particularly enjoy romance novels, but this one was nice because as you say there was a lot of other things going on in the novel that made me enjoy it. I’m glad my review encourages you to consider this book!

      Thanks for stopping by and I’ll check out your blog, for sure!

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  • As you know, I am not really into historical fiction but I do love watching historical movies more than reading them (with the exception of preferring some historical novels over the movies). However, I love reading your historical reviews more than reading the books 🙂 Also, The Ruby Brooch, has a beautiful storyline though.

    • The Ruby Brooch was a nice read, definitely. The historical elements were kept to a minimum. I don’t like romance novels, but even this wasn’t too much, and although I thought I wouldn’t like that part, I ended up enjoying it.