Author on Author Book Review ~ The Thornless Rose by @AuthorMONeill

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancĂ©e—Anne Howard's grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul.... Anne wonders if there isn't something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into the England's dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn't even know.  It's just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining...

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I've always fancied the theory that time is like a ball of string. It can be all tangled up at times and different time periods are separated by only a thin veil. The Thornless Rose explores that theory as two people from two different time periods travel back to Tudor era England during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Jonathan Brandon disappeared from a pub only days before his wedding in 1945. Sixty-nine years later, the granddaughter of Jonathan's fiancĂ©, Anne Howard, slips through a veil as well. Anne had one advantage, her grandmother prepared her with a cloak, medication, and a few other necessities needed to survive in the Tudor era. 

This was my first time reading a novel by the duo that makes up Morgan O'Neill. I am so glad I took a chance on this 500+ page adventure into history. There was something new to make my heart race in every chapter. The vision of the era was truthful and at times hard to imagine how those people survived at all.

Modern woman Anne was able to slip into Tudor life fairly well, but she was shocked by some of the customs of the era. How one bathed, dressed, and even spoke was a new experience to her. Making her way to Jonathan once she appeared on a dark night was no easy task. The two men who witnessed her arrival cause trouble that turned deadly. Once Anne is safely ensconced in Jonathan's care, it becomes obvious why the two ended up in the time they did. Separated by decades, the couple was fated to love one another in a time foreign to both of them.

I applaud these authors for their creative vision of several historical figures. Elizabeth I plays a big part in the story of Jonathan and Anne's survival. I loved her plucky spirit and charm. It gave me a new vision of the young Queen, one I quite liked. The villain of the story, Norfolk, seemed much too devious for a man of only twenty-four years. He was truly evil and a formidable foe. At times, I believed he would be the victor, but one twist and another turn put Norfolk in peril himself.

The Thornless Rose is a time-traveling, spine-tingling, romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and hungry for more. I can't wait to sample more adventures from Morgan O'Neill. Thanks so much to Entangled Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Thornless Rose in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Authors

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance - with a time travel twist. They are the award-winning authors of the medieval Italian time travel duo, The Other Side of Heaven, and its sequel, Time Enough for Love, and the forthcoming Elizabethan time travel series, which will debut with The Thornless Rose, from Entangled Publishing, LLC, in late December, 2014. They are also the authors of the Roman time travel series, which will be re-released in 2015.



  1. Dear Lindsey, Thank you so much for your kind words about The Thornless Rose! Deborah ~ The O'Neill half of Morgan O'Neill


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