Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2
Published by Entangled Teen on 6th August 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.
With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
REVIEWED BY KELLY
*An eARC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
If you’ve read my review of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century you’ll know how much I was looking forward to reading A Tale of Two Centuries and it didn’t disappoint after waiting a year for it to be released.
A Tale of Two Centuries is Alessandra’s story. We first met her in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, as Cat’s cousin who lived in Renaissance Italy in the 1500’s. In that story she was a sweet but naive 14 year old who was feeling stifled by the expectations and rules of her society and era. Then at the end of MSSSC we had *that* cliffhanger and as much as I loved reading about Cat I was suddenly desperate to read Alessandra’s story.
A Tale of Two Centuries was a sweet story of love, self discovery, and learning how to live and adjust when you’re magically transported 500 years in to the future!
Although at the end of MSSSC we find out that only 2 months have passed since Cat got back to L.A. it’s a different story in Renaissance Florence. Alessandra has been pining for Cat for 2 years and is now a restless 16 year old who is desperate for more out of life. Right at the start Less is left broken hearted when she sees Marco, a man who has made promises of a future together, married to someone else. She feels humiliated and wants to get away. As if by magic the mysterious Reyna and her gyspy tent appear to answer her call for help. Alessandra suddenly finds herself in 21st Century L.A. and faced with a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities. How will she cope? Will she learn anything about life, love, and herself? Most importantly – will she want to return home?
OK, let me get this out there – I LOVED ALESSANDRA!
Alessandra had me giggling to myself so many times throughout the story. All the things we take for granted in our lives were completely new to her. Toilets that flush?! Transport that moves without the aid of a horse?! Ladies wearing trousers?! Less definitely had a lot to learn about the progress that had been made in 500 years! It was fun to try and imagine how these things must have seemed to her as she was discovering them for the first time.
The thing that I loved the most was that in the 21st century Less was free to be whoever she wanted to be, she was able to spread her wings and find out exactly what it was that would make her happy. She began to see that pinning all her hopes for a better life on Marco wasn’t the thing to do. She needed to make herself happy, not have a man do that for her, especially not one as cruel and cold-hearted as Marco. Seeing Less grow in confidence and life experience was just what I had hoped would happen.
Austin … Austin … Austin. What can I say about this hot, moody bad boy? Well, looks and attitude can definitely be deceiving for a start. Once Alessandra cracked that tough exterior she found that he was a sweet guy who’d suffered a huge loss and had been hurt by those he cared about. I loved Austin and thought he was perfect for Less. He was there to push her boundaries and get her out of her comfort zone and that was exactly what she needed to help her embrace her 21st century adventure.
I was thrilled that in AToTC we also get to see lots of Cat, she’s a secondary character since this is Less’ story but there was still lots of Cat all the same. I loved seeing how things developed for her as she came to terms with what she’d experienced during her time in the 16th century. I was definitely happy with how things ended for her …
… but what I wasn’t sure about was how things would end for Less and that had me on the edge of my seat! She had such a difficult decision to make, one that would affect so many people. What I can say though is that the ending was perfect and just right for Less.
I know this review has turned in to a loooong one and if you’re still reading it THANK YOU! To finish up all I have to say is that I LOVED this story and you should definitely read it. In the meantime I will be sat here waiting *another* year for My Not So Super Sweet Life, book #3 in the series. I *think* I might just be able to wait that long but it definitely won’t be easy!
**For anyone who orders either the ebook or paperback of A Tale of Two Centuries this week Rachel Harris has a gift for you! If you forward your purchase receipt and address to rachelharris1 (at) gmail (dot) com Rachel will send you exclusive swag including an Austin trading card, a ticket to Alessandra’s play, and a signed bookplate.**
Being a member of Rachel Harris’ Flirt Squad Street Team has lots of perks
and here’s one of them that I’m delighted to share with you all …
EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENE
“Anything with you is exciting, Princess.” He moves his hand beneath my thick hair and plays with the wisps at the nape of my neck. Brushing his lips against mine, just a tease, he then lifts his head and grins. “And, it just so happens I like pizza”—another light brush—“and movies.” His mouth presses more firmly this time for a prolonged, lingering touch, and then he shrugs. “And I guess the company is decent enough.”
“Oh, is that right?” I ask, trying to feign insult, but mostly succeeding in sounding breathless. “Only decent?”
He glides the tip of his nose against mine. “Mmm hmm.”
I pinch the taut skin at his waist and he chuckles. The sound does glorious things to my insides. Then, finally, Austin strengthens his hold around me, crushing me to his chest, and tilts his head, capturing my lips in a long, searing kiss that has me clinging to his shoulders.
“Oh yuck,” a disgusted voice says a little later. “No offense, Alessandra, but I really don’t want to see my brother doing that.”
With an abrupt laugh of embarrassment, I pull away and bury my head in the crook between Austin’s neck and shoulder.
He sighs. “Jamie, your timing is excellent as always.”
“Hey, it’s a gift.” At the spirited tone in her voice, I look up. Jamie scrunches her nose. “But seriously, it should be illegal for big brothers to make out in public. It’s traumatizing.”
A ghost of a smile plays on Austin’s slightly kiss-swollen lips. “Well, you know, next time you could just walk away and not interrupt.”
“But where’s the fun in that?” she asks with a mock-frown. Then she grabs my hand and tugs me away from Austin’s arms and into her own—the enthusiasm of her hug nearly knocking me over. “And dude, why didn’t you tell me the two of you were hooking up? You do realize we’re practically sisters now. Sisters spill the deets.”
“Uh,” I say intelligently, more than a little confused on how to proceed. I lean back and look at Austin. “Well—”
“Because maybe some people have class?” Austin softens his words by rubbing the top of his sister’s head. Jamie rolls her eyes and slaps his hand away, but the apparent affection between them makes me smile despite my previous mortification.
“Whatever,” she says. “For real, I’m just glad you finally wised up. You’re lucky my girl put up with you until you did. Are you done with rehearsal?” This last part she directs at me, swinging her eyes back to me as swiftly as the topic change.
“Just finished,” I confirm. Though my head still spins from her chaotic way of speaking, I can’t help feeling proud of my ability to keep up. If I can navigate the muddy waters of Jamie’s conversation with ease, there’s no doubt I’ve become fully acclimated to this world. “And my driver is waiting outside, or else I’d stay for yours. I am sure you’ll be wonderful.”
She licks her finger and makes a sizzling noise as she touches her shoulder. “You know it.” She laughs again and gently shoves my shoulder toward Austin. “I’m gonna let you two say your mushy good-byes in private, ’cause seeing that once in a lifetime is more than enough.” Wiggling her fingers in a wave she says, “Laters, bro.”
I watch Jamie walk away and turn to find Austin doing the same with a tender smile on his face. Something in my chest squeezes and I fall for him all the more.
When the stage door closes shut behind her, he turns and locks his hands around my waist. “My sister’s nuts, but she was right about one thing.”
“And what is that?”
His forehead dips down to mine. “I am lucky you hung around until I wised up.”
“Well, it certainly took you long enough.”
I loop my arms around his neck with a grin, and Austin laughs. “What can I say? Guys aren’t exactly known for being quick on the uptake.” On the stage behind us, the shuffling sounds of the crew laying out another scene hints at the busyness to come and I exhale a frustrated breath, knowing it’s time to go. Austin rubs his hands up and down my arms, almost as if he’s hesitant to let me. “I have to stay and bring Jamie home after her scene, but I’ll come by your house after.” His eyes grow serious. “And you better save me some pizza, woman.”
I shrug. “I shall try. But I am feeling awfully hungry. Rehearsals take a lot out of a girl.”
He gives me one of his devilish grins and kisses me again, and a minute later I walk away with my own wide smile, backside tingling from the playful swat he gave it for daring to tease him about something as important as food. As my driver closes the door behind me and takes off for home, I watch the theatre grow smaller through my back window and decide that Jamie was wrong. I am the one who is lucky. Thanks to Signore and a little gypsy magic, I’m experiencing an opportunity of a lifetime. I have a cousin who is more like a sister to share it with, a handful of caring friends, and a boy who makes me feel more special and loved than I ever have before.
Regardless of what the future holds for me, Fate has been unbelievably kind.