Mercer Street by John A. Heldt
Title: Mercer Street
Author: John A. Heldt
Series: American Journey, #2
Genre: Time Travel Romance (Science Fiction)
Era: contemporary and 1938 (pre-WW2)
Setting: United States (Princeton, New Jersey)
Publisher: John A. Heldt
Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars (1 star removed for content)
Mercer Street by John A. Heldt
Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel.
Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties.
Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, Mercer Street gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.
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I’ve decided to make this a brief review as I didn’t enjoy the book a lot and I’m short of time today.
Mercer Street wasn’t a bad novel, but the content was simply too much for me to enjoy it (causing me to remove a star).
I really enjoyed much of the plot, especially the ending, which really surprised me and was the perfect resolution. It was a little slow-paced at times.
I did find it a little unbelievable that Bell would choose to share his secret with strangers, even considering the background check. Still, I see why he would do that, and I don’t find it too unrealistic.
The characters in this book were all fairly well-developed and interesting. I especially liked Amanda (though I can’t support some of her choices) and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was so sweet … and yet really fun!
I love the late ’30s, but I felt like there just weren’t enough historical details in this book. We spent a lot of time focusing on character development, etc. … and I would have just liked more ’30s!
I really do like Heldt’s writing style, and this did not disappoint. I did feel like there was a lot more innuendo/etc. in this book, though.
Forgiveness, not judging people by outward appearances, etc. were well-portrayed. However, I felt like the whole adultery thing was just glossed over. It’s not a ‘mistake.’ It’s a sin. Of course, I’m a Christian reading a secular novel, so …
Language: a couple instances of ‘d*mn’ and ‘h*ll.’ Not frequent.
Violence: mentions of gunshot wounds, dying, a car crash, etc. Nothing gory.
Sexual: a character in the book committed adultery (which I felt wasn’t dealt with seriously enough) and it is mentioned many times. Sex happens off-page once, and there is much innuendo/etc. Susan is a ‘steamy romance’ writer and she mentions her books a couple times. A mention of strippers. Men ogle Amanda and try to ‘seduce’ her.
Not recommended for younger teens. Older teens cautioned.
A four-star book with two-star content, I took the middle ground. It had a good plot (though perhaps a little slow) and interesting characters, but I would have liked more historical detail.
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Have you ever read a time travel romance (or any time travel book at all)? Do you enjoy them?