Connecting Obsessions Review

Mavrick’s heartwarming debut neatly combines time travel and romance. Environmentalist Richard Stevenson decided to travel from the 22nd century to 2010 after seeing a picture of Rachel Starr, a beautiful actress who committed suicide in 2017 due to trauma from being raped in 2012. Richard, who takes the name of Paul Lander, interrupts the rape and helps Rachel launch a successful acting career. They begin dating, get married, and enjoy an idyllic life with their twin girls while Paul works tirelessly to protect the environment. After Paul disappears in Australia, Rachel is devastated. Then she meets journalist Allan Dupre, who reminds her of Paul, and is happy with him until he too seems to vanish into thin air. Though Rachel suffers significantly from these losses, she finds the strength to go on with her life and enjoys the support of her daughters until Richard’s secrets are finally revealed.

       Readers who love tales of grand passion will be drawn to the romantic concept of a man abandoning his life to travel back in time for a woman he’s infatuated with. The tender romance between Rachel and Paul is enhanced by Mavrick’s clear, concise writing and even pacing, continually holding the reader’s interest. The characters are solid, though Mavrick focuses on their actions, leaving their thoughts and feelings more obscure. Paul’s quest to save the environment from destruction, and Rachel’s determination to survive Hollywood with her spirit intact, help to round out both their personalities and the story.

     Though the novel is set primarily in California with American characters, Mavrick sprinkles the dialogue with British vernacular such as “I reckon” and “Hollywood mums.” Readers will easily overlook this small flaw as they get to know the warm, affable protagonists and hope for them to finally find happiness. Richard’s impulsiveness and Rachel’s steadiness are perfectly complementary; they are truly a couple for the ages.

     Takeaway: Romance fans will quickly become immersed in this tale of time travel, Hollywood fame, environmental activism, and profound love.

         Great for fans of:   Audrey Niffenegger, Diana Gabaldon

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