I was a huge Beatriz Williams fan after reading a few books last summer: A Hundred Summers, Tiny Little Thing, and The Secret Life of Violet Grant. I happily bought Overseas, ready for another great read.
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations.
Let me begin with the synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Amiens, France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julian’s never seen her before, but she has information about the reconnaissance mission he’s about to embark on. Who is she? And why did she track him down in Amiens?
New York, 2007: A young Wall Street analyst, Kate Wilson learned to rely on logic and cynicism. So why does she fall so desperately in love with Julian Laurence, a billionaire with a mysterious past?
What she doesn’t know is that he has been waiting for her…the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life.
There were a couple of reasons that I wasn’t very pleased with this book. First of all, I really don’t think I’m dropping a major spoiler when I tell you that this book obviously involves time travel. Time travel is not the problem; I’m a diehard Outlander fan. What really bothered me about this was how easily the characters accepted the time travel. I felt like it should have created much more conflict than it did; there was practically no conflict at all when one character mentioned time travel to the other!
Beyond that, I had a hard time relating to the main character, Kate. Part of that could have been that her job as an investment banker was completely foreign to me, so I was absolutely lost when she would discuss banking matters. I definitely felt that she was just too much in certain situations – too bold, or too crass. Obviously this is just a matter of opinion and is based on my own personality. I just know that I would never be able to walk into someone’s kitchen and begin going through their cabinets and refrigerator on my first or second visit.
The main reason I had trouble with this book was the relationship between Kate and Julian. The best way I can think to explain it, and I hope that this will make sense, is that it was too much like Anastasia and Christian in Fifty Shades. Too in love, WAY too fast. To me, there was no actual basis for Kate to have fallen in love with Julian within weeks. I felt like her main reason for falling for him was his looks. I know it’s fiction, but I have a hard time accepting adults falling in love with each other before they truly get to know each other. Besides that, Julian was extremely protective of Kate – just like Christian Grey. He had his reasons, which were never given until late in the book, but it still reminded me too much of Fifty Shades. AND there was the fact that Julian wanted to shower Kate in his money and lifestyle: get her a new phone, give her a credit card so she can go shopping for new clothes, etc. I feel like I’m giving too much away, so I’ll stop there.
I hate to bash the book, because it wasn’t terrible by any means. I was able to push through the parts that frustrated me, and I’m glad I finished it. I rated it three stars on Goodreads, which to me is “pretty good.” Bottom line, though – I am very happy that this was NOT my first read from Beatriz Williams. I’ll be buying another book or two of hers, and I have complete confidence that I won’t be disappointed.