In one devastating night, Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles but years from home.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods - a powerful family in the Colonies - and the servitude he's known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can't escape and the family that won't let him go. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveller who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods' grasp. But as they get closer to their target, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.
When I picked this up, all I knew about it was that nearly everyone loved it, and it had time travelling pirates! Well, luckily the hype lived up to expectations for me! Etta didn't have any idea about her time travelling gene - in this and quite a few other respects it reminded me of Kirsten Gier's Ruby Red trilogy, but it had this whole other feel to it. The time travelling was, of course, super complicated but so much fun, seeing history happen right in front of you
Etta and Nicholas were pretty incredible, both as characters and as a couple. Etta was this musical prodigy and was worried about getting home so she could play her debut; she was also worried about her mum and the secrets that she was apparently keeping from her, and Rose, the adopted grandmother and violin teacher that Etta might not be able to save. She was a fantastic heroine, smart and quick and considering she was literally dropped in a pirate ship in 1776, she handled it all rather well!
Nicholas was born in the 1760's and is of African descent, so he has very different concerns to Etta. Being literally owned by the Ironwoods hangs over him and he will do whatever it takes to leave this family, even spy on Etta. But of course they grow closer and Nicholas can't see what is so dangerous about this girl that the head of the Ironwood family cannot trust her.
There was also a great and complex relationship between Etta and Sophia, an Ironwood and the guardian sent to bring Etta to back in time. They don't like each other and Sophia will, and in fact does, throw Etta over to get what she wants but it was all about girl power, and sticking together in a tough situation. That is until they are both out of it and Sophia can stab Etta in the back again!
This book had everything from heart-wrenching romance to heart-in-your-throat action and it was all kinds of amazing! Definitely lived up to expectations and I cannot wait for the next book; that cliff-hanger needs sorting pronto!
Published 7th April 2016 by Quercus. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.