Three years ago, Rosalind Courtenay stumbled from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first, where she has been trapped ever since, leaving her husband and infant son behind. Now she’s found her way back.
The problem, of course, is how to explain her absence to her husband. Does he think she abandoned him? Has he remarried? Is he happy in a new life? Rosalind decides to don a disguise in hopes of answering her questions before showing up on his doorstep. Instead, a twist of fate has her mistaken for her young son’s new governess.
Rosalind has every intention of revealing herself as soon as August returns home from business. Until then, she’ll get to know her son, a quiet child who has inexplicably been abandoned by an endless stream of governesses. That’s when the hauntings begin. Rosalind has finally come home and something—or someone—doesn’t just want her gone. They want her dead.
Armstrong's erratic sequel to A Stitch in Time surprisingly subverts both gothic and time-travel romance tropes, but an inconsistent protagonist and contrived plotting undermine the story. When baker-turned-nobleman's wife Rosalind Courtenay sneaks into neighboring Thorne Manor to retrieve her forgotten wedding band, she's transported from 19th-century to 21st-century Yorkshire. She remains trapped away from her beloved if often jealous husband, August, and their infant son for four years, until a sighting of their time-traveling neighbor, William Thorne, leads Rosalind to find a way to return. She arrives home only to discover that August is convinced she deserted him and her son believers her to have drowned. Rosalind disguises herself as his governess to rebuild their relationship and stumbles into both a tangle of family secrets and a ghost warning her away. To save her family, she must overcome her fears. Rushes of backstory, manufactured obstacles, and overly summarized action undercut the gentle romance. Plucky Rosalind's ultramodern mindset, attitudes, and skills, meanwhile, are difficult to believe in a displaced Victorian, and the lack of psychological realism undermines the novel's tension. Despite a satisfying climax, loose ends leach the joy from this gothic, making it one to skip for all but diehard fans of the first installment.