Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
For the past three years, thirty-four year old Tessa Barnum has had to come to terms with the disaster that was her life. Her husband left her, a scandal put her painting career in serious trouble, and her maintenance fee for her co-op hasn’t been paid in all that time.
Finally after all she has been through, she finds herself able to paint again. However, her super is advising her that she will be evicted if she doesn’t come up with some money for the board, her part-time job working at the Church in their Eldercare program pays barely enough to eat, and on top of all that, her day is going to become something unimaginable.
While going to the church, Tessa is confronted by a man whom she assumes is homeless because of his clothes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The man, Brian, knows Tessa’s name and insists on following her. He tells her he only has five days, four hours and twenty-two minutes before he has to leave. Convinced he is insane, Tessa does everything she can to avoid him, only he manages to somehow show up where ever she is.
Brian is a brilliant Physicist from an alternate universe and in that world, Tessa is his wife. Trying to convince Tessa of who he is proves to be quite difficult. Whenever he tries, she becomes more convinced he has escaped from a mental institution. If Brian is married to Tessa in his alternate world, why is he here trying to be with her? His Tessa is a brilliant cello player, just as this Tessa is a brilliant artist, but personality wise they are night and day. Why leave his Tessa?
Now that Tessa is able to paint again, she wants to find a gallery that will show her art. That endeavor proves to be a disaster. When she sees the art for sale and the prices being asked, she goes ballistic. She hates art that is ugly, especially a head by renowned artist, Cliff Bucknell. The head is selling for one million dollars, and Tessa becomes livid. While carrying on she manages to put the head in her bag. She justifies what she did as a good thing because she will donate the money to the church to continue their programs.
It is not long before Tessa and Brian find themselves in bed together. He knows about the head and hides it, trying to convince her that she should give it back. Why would she take a million dollar piece? Why is she so angry about the piece and the artist who did it? What will happen to Brian when his time is up? What future is there for them? How can he be married to one Tessa and want to be with another?
This was a very interesting story that went back and forth from one universe to another. We learn Brian’s story, then we go back to this universe and Tessa’s story. There are secrets, romance, art, forgery, and interesting characters.