Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"healer of carthage" by lynne gentry

When I heard The Carthage Chronicles described as a cleaner Outlander, I knew I wanted to read the series. I mean, I'm kind of crazy about time-related plot devices, so a series about a modern woman who ends up in the 3rd century sounded like something I'd love!

A twenty-first-century doctor. A third-century plague. A love out of time.

First-year resident Dr. Lisbeth Hastings is too busy to take her father’s bizarre summons seriously. But when a tragic mistake puts her career in jeopardy, answering her father’s call seems her only hope of redeeming the devastating failure that her life has become. 

While exploring the haunting cave at her father’s archaeological dig, Lisbeth falls through a hidden hole, awakening to find herself the object of a slave auction and the ruins of Roman Carthage inexplicably restored to a thriving metropolis. Is it possible that she’s traveled back in time, and, if so, how can she find her way back home? 

Cyprian Thascius believes God called him to rescue the mysterious woman from the slave trader’s cell. What he doesn’t understand is why saving the church of his newfound faith requires him to love a woman whose peculiar ways could get him killed. But who is he to question God? 

As their different worlds collide, it sparks an intense attraction that unites Lisbeth and Cyprian in a battle against a deadly epidemic. Even as they confront persecution, uncover buried secrets, and ignite the beginnings of a medical revolution, Roman wrath threatens to separate them forever. Can they find their way to each other through all these obstacles? Or are the eighteen hundred years between them too far of a leap?

Healer of Carthage would be a fascinating story if it was solely about Christians in Roman Carthage. When you throw in the added element of a 21st century woman sent back in time, the result is simply spectacular!

I've enjoyed many time travel romances in the past (especially Tamara Leigh's fantastic Dreamspell), but Healer of Carthage is different. The romance is certainly there, but the main focus is on a small band of Christians and their quest to survive—well, that and Lisbeth's quest to return home! Gentry brought the time period to life for me in a way that not even movies like Gladiator have. (Of course, that could be due to the fact that I spent much of Gladiator with my hands over my eyes!) There is one scene with Christians in the arena that so vividly described the horror—without being too graphic—that I almost wanted to skip over the pages. We in America really have no idea what it means to be persecuted for Christ, that's for sure!

While I completely loved this novel, parts did seem to drag a bit—particularly the time before Lisbeth and Cyprian got to know each other. Overall, though, I couldn't fly through the pages quickly enough!

The book ends with quite a cliffhanger (which, I'll admit, I anticipated), so I'm very eager to get my hands on the next book! Fortunately, it's already waiting on my bookshelf. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.

Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer. She loves spending time with her family and working with her medical therapy dog.

Find Lynne online: website,Facebook, Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and reviewed it because I wanted to. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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