But lo and behold, I found it in The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. This book takes all the things I love about a few different genres and puts them together in one story. And for a first time author, I am pretty impressed!
I don't want to give a lot away, so I'll give you a brief overview of the plot: Lord Nicholas Falcott is fighting in Spain in 1812 during the Napoleonic Wars. Just as he's about to be killed, he finds himself lying in a strange room with a man telling him he's now in 2003 and has "jumped" through time.
Move ahead ten years. He's now Nick Davenant, it's 2013, he lives in Vermont, is incredibly wealthy, and part of the Guild. The Guild is a group of people who can move through time--jump into the 'river'. They help others who jump, giving them money to live on, acclimate them to their new lives, and have a few rules: you can never go back to your place of origin, you can never go back in time. For Nick, that means he can never go back to England.
Until he gets a letter from the Guild.
The letter says "catch a plane to England NOW."
So Nick's adventure begins. He finds out that yes, you can jump back in time, and he's being recruited to jump back to 1815 in order to find out who is manipulating the future--with dire consequences. He returns to find Julia Percy, his neighbor--and the one vision he has kept to himself from his old life. They reconnect, and the passion is white hot from the first moment they meet again.
But Julia has a secret of her own, and her secret is part of why Nick has returned. Can he save her from those who are searching for her? Can she learn to protect herself before others can harm her?
There is a lot to this story. Romance, of course; action, adventure, and time travel. But there is also the struggle Nick has of returning to a life he thought was long gone, and people he has mourned as long dead. Now suddenly they are there, fully alive, and he's mysteriously returned from Spain after being presumed dead in battle. His conflicted feelings at returning to his old life as the Marquess of Blackdown and his new life as a modern man in 2013 give a depth to the character that could have easily been left out--but it would have left a lack of empathy for Nick's character. But in keeping this inner conflict a part of Nick's return to 1815 he is definitely a fully sketched character you root for all through the story. And his love for Julia is quite lovely--deep and lasting over two centuries. Nick's sisters are great additions to the storyline and pull Julia into the family circle, which moves the plot along.
I certainly enjoyed this novel. What a nice change of pace from the usual historical novels. This has a great twist, memorable characters, and an ending that leaves you hoping for more. There's a lot of questions left unanswered about the Guild, the future, and where Nick and Julia will end up--in 1815 or in 2013. I could definitely see this as a trilogy.
Rating: 7/10 Great idea and mix of genres. Nick is a well drawn character; you can sympathize, laugh, and cheer him on in this novel. And Julia's growth from a clueless young lady to a tough cookie is also part of what makes this a great story.
Available in hardcover and ebook.