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A Tale of Two Centuries

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

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    A fantastic 2nd book, even better than the first in the series!

    A fantastic 2nd book, even better than the first in the series!





    Ever since I read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century I've been dying for this book. I love the Renaissance era (so much so that I had a Ren. wedding) and so enjoyed MSSSC, that when it ended on it's, ahem, slight cliffhanger I kind of wanted to hunt Rachel down and steal this manuscript.




    ATOTC picks up (at least for Less) two years after Cat's visit to the past. Alessandra is mostly content in her life as she waits for her upcoming marriage, but missing her cousin. Events occur that leave Less feeling rattled, and frustrated and longing for something more when our favorite gypsy appears to grant her wish.




    Less and Cat are reunited and a story concocted to explain Alessandra's sudden appearance at the Crawford house. Disguised as a foreign exchange student, Less must attempt to fit into a world very different from her own. She is reserved and has unusual speaking patterns. She dresses conservatively and finds it difficult to stand up for herself, but when the cute (but annoying guy) who sits next to her in American Government is disrespectful to the teach Less reaches her limit.




    Now, she and Austin--the epitome of surfer boy, laissez faire attitude--have to complete a project together, and he's having none of it. He works a deal with Less. If she'll come on "adventures" of his choosing then he'll help with the project. This is when the fun really begins and when Less finds out what she's made of.




    Cat plays a big part in this book as Alessandra's "guide" to all things 21st Century. We also get more of Lucas who we met at the end of MSSSC (WOOHOO).




    This was such a fun read, and I read it one sitting. Harris does a great job of maintaining Less's formal internal dialog and transitioning it to less formal as she becomes more comfortable in her new century. Less was sweet and funny and I really enjoyed watching her, eventually, fully embrace the freedoms she had available.




    Austin is a great foil for Less--her formaility and rigidness vs. his complete laid back attitude--and it's great to see him reconsider his choices the more Less rubs off on him and vice versa as well.




    A Tale of Two Centuries, had me smiling at the end and on a bit of a book high. If you're looking for a quick, light, easy, fun read I highly recommend you check it out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    A Tale of Two Centuries was an enjoyable read. I was pulled more

    A Tale of Two Centuries was an enjoyable read. I was pulled more quickly into its pages than I was with the first novel. And as I hoped, the gypsy magic was more enticing, though I still don’t understand the big picture in why Renya is changing both Cat’s and Less’s destiny by taking them through time. Only Isis knows.

    I loved Less in the first novel, and I still love her character! She’s bold and adventurous. But it was Austin whole stole the show in A Tale of Two Centuries. I loved him! Even more than Lorenzo from My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Every time Less was without him, I just wanted to skip ahead to the next scene where she and Austin were together again.

    Also, though it focused around Less’s awesome adventures, I greatly appreciated that Cat and Lucas were still very much a part of the storyline. I hate when the first characters of a companion series are completely dropped from the storyline. That wasn’t the case here. Cat was still very much a part of the novel as was Lucas and their blooming relationship.

    I only wish there was a stronger antagonist, like Niccolo in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Niccolo, at times, gave me shivers at how cruel he could be to Cat. Kendal, on the other hand, was more just an annoyance, really. Her part as the school mean girl wasn’t that strong.

    In all, I adore this novel. Less was an awesome character to follow, and Austin was an awesome character to swoon over. I would definitely recommend this series.

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  • Posted August 9, 2013

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    Interesting Take on Time Travel

    I really enjoyed reading A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. Harris presented an interesting take on time travel. Even though I didn’t read book one, the book contained sufficient background information so I could fully understand the characters and the overall storyline. I liked how Harris presented the differences between societal norms and teens of today versus those of the past. The descriptions were vivid and it was easy to become engrossed in the book. The only problem I had with A Tale of Two Centuries was the underage alcohol use in a setting that wasn’t appropriate for teens. And it didn’t really seem realistic for a California Bar. I understand the fact that Alessandra traveled from a time period in which there were a lot of restrictions and she went a little wild with her new found freedom. However, there were references to using alcohol to relax, and the characters were only 16. In my opinion that just sends the wrong message to young adults. Yes, underage drinking is an issue in society, but I would love to see more YA books moving away from the inclusion of this behavior. Rating 4 I received an e-arc of A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris from the publisher for an honest review, thank you.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

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    This book was really cute and it was a lot of fun to read. It¿s

    This book was really cute and it was a lot of fun to read. It’s a real fish out of water story in many ways, with Alessandra coming from the 16th century and having to adapt to all things modern. It also contains an adorable romance which starts out as an antagonistic relationship, but quickly becomes mutual respect/admiration. This leads to a lot of very cute scenes as Austin introduces Less to things like amusement parks and surfing.

    I loved seeing the Cat/Less dynamic back in place in this book, and also seeing what's been going on in Cat's life since she returned home. I loved how much Cat supported her cousin and encouraged her in her acting. This book is really about finding your passion, and the things that makes you you.

    If you’re looking for a fun read, I would definitely recommend this one. I always look forward to reading Rachel Harris's works, and I already can't wait to check out the next book written by her.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

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    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** A Tale of Two

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***



    A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
    Book Two of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Publication Date: August 6, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from the publisher



    Summary (from Goodreads):



    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?



    What I Liked:



    You all know I have sequel terror, right? No? Well, I'm totally afraid of sequels. First books in a brand-new series? Bring it on. Sequels? Not so much. Sequels terrify me for so many reasons: what if I wasn't wild about book one? What if I don't remember most of books one? What if the sequel sucks, and is one of those sophomore slump novels? What if, like most sequels, the sequel ends in a heartbreaking cliffhanger? Should I just wait for the third book (assuming it's a trilogy)? That's actually what I've been doing recently... waiting for the series to finish, then binge reading.



    Well, I am thrilled to say that this book did not fall victim to the sophomore/sequel slump! I loved this book - maybe not as much as I loved My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century - but I loved this one nonetheless. Ms. Harris does an excellent job of bringing us back into the series, but keeping us interested in an entirely different world.



    Alessandra - "Less" - has been brought to Cat's world, the modern world of Hollywood. The beginning of the novel starts with Less in sixteenth-century Italy. Something absolutely heartbreaking happens, and eventually, Less finds her way to Reyna, and appears in Cat's world. The thing is, in Less's sixteenth-century world, it has been two years since Cat arrived, making Less sixteen. But when Less arrives in Cat's world, to Cat, it's only been two months. So, they're the same age.



    In my opinion, Less assimilates beautifully. It is HILARIOUS to watch a girl from the sixteenth century try and become a modern girl. She has to learn to dress herself, to wear more revealing clothing (oh, the thong scene), to go to high school, to avoid falling in love with hot, temperamental boys...



    Less is really into acting, if you remember from the first book. She lands the part of Juliet in this play, opposite another swoonworthy guy that doesn't stand a chance. But that's basically what this book is about: Less assimilating, Less going to high school Less hanging out with Austin, Less matchmaking (I'll explain), and Less acting in the play.



    I love how Less tried her hand at matchmaking - basically forcing Cat and Lucas together. Cat and Lucas already wanted to be together - especially Lucas - but Cat was scared of being with him, because of her Hollywood status. Thanks to a few nudges from Less, they do start building a more intimate relationship. YAY for that!



    Less and Austin is the romance of the story, and I love the two of them together. Austin is temperamental and moody, but he genuinely tries to help Less with high school and work and surfing (oh my gosh...) and the play. He hangs out with her, and eventually, the two of them grow to care about each other. I love them together!



    This book has a fantastic ending! I had a feeling it would end the way it did. But Ms. Harris spun this story beautifully, and you could only feel that the ending is perfect, especially for Less. I'm very happy with this book!



    What I Did Not Like:



    Hmmm, I liked basically everything about this book, because it was an all-around good book. But I feel like it was a tad predictable, in the plot, the romance, the ending... maybe that's just me though. When a new scene unfolded, I knew exactly where it would lead, and exactly how it would fit into the plot. This is nice, but I was never surprised. I like being surprised. Not being surprised can make a story... kind of boring. Not so with this book, but it could have been.



    Would I Recommend It:



    YES! You can read this book without reading the first book. But I recommend you read both! Ms. Harris's books are fantastic, and this book is no exception. Anyone can enjoy and love this series!



    Rating:



    4 stars. YAY for an awesome sequel! I can't wait to read the next book - back to Cat!

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    A super cute edition to the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Ser

    A super cute edition to the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Series!  A Tale of Two Centuries, is the story of Cat's (the main character from MSSSC) cousin, Alessandra, who is now also 16 (time goes by faster in the past), and wanting an adventure of her own.
    When she travels to the future to see her cousin Cat, and finds there is more to life than doing the expected; Alessandra's world is put upside down. 
    Austin, Alessandra's "infuriatingly handsome" partner for a class assignment turns out to be more than just the bad boy that he tries to portray for everyone around him, but possibly the boy of her dreams.
    Will things work out for Alessandra? Will she solve the quest that Reyna (her sort of fairy-God-Mother, who made her time traveling wishes come true) gave her?  And will she be able to find a way to make herself and the people around her happy?
    Overall rating:


    I enjoyed this one!  I thought it was cute easy read, and a great continuation to the series.  I'm curious to see what Harris does for the third book in the series, My Not So Super Sweet Life, which does not have an official release date yet.  I think people who like a bit of renaissance history, with modern elements will truly enjoy this series.  The characters are extremely love able, and will have you routing for them from beginning until the end!  Plus they always learn a life lesson by the end of the books, which is always a great edition to any story! :)

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    So I have not read the first book in this series, My Super Sweet

    So I have not read the first book in this series, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. I have wanted to for a while now, but just haven't ever gotten around to it. But when I got this eARC and looked for MSSSC and the library, they didn't have it. Now the author said that this was technically a companion, not a sequel, and could be read without reading the first one, so that's what I did. Therefore, without that first perspective, my review may be slightly different than others'.




    First off, let it be said that I usually do not like time travel books. I don't know what it is. They just never work out. However, I don't know what it is with this book, but it worked. Not only did it work, but I enjoyed it. A lot. 




    It's been two years, and still Alessandra is trying to get over Cat leaving to go back to her world. When the man she has been seeing in secret and hoped to marry, Matteo, ends up marrying someone else, Less is left shattered. This provides the last straw for Less. Then Reyna, the gypsy girl who was responsible for Cat's journey, sends her to the 21st century for Less's own adventure.




    Less is not as outspoken as Cat. She is quite, reserved, more concerned with pleasing others. This is not surprising considering the time period she lives in. I enjoyed her transformation from this shy, perfect girl into the courageous and outspoken girl she becomes in the end. The transformation was believable. Less is at that age where she is finding and coming into herself, no matter which century she happens to do that in. 




    I also liked how the author kept Cat as one of the main characters. I don't know her complete story, obviously, but I learned enough to keep my in the loop. The author continues her love story, with Lucas. Cat is still guarded, not wanting to give herself over to the feelings she has for Lucas. But she learns to open herself up, and ends up with her own happy ending.




    And okay, let's talk about Austin. Totally swoon-worthy. Hidden behind his tough guy exterior, Alessandra and he do not get off to a great start. In fact, Less thinks she can't stand him. But as they both open themselves up to each other, they both begin to find themselves. Less becomes more daring and adventurous, and Austin thaws out. Now, I'm not one for much romance, but I loved Alessandra and Austin.





    I loved the whole dynamic of this book. A Tale of Two Centuries is such a cute, fun read. Although it does probe into deeper issues, it is still light. I've found that a lot of YA books can be superficial, but this one isn't. Although at first it didn't seem like my kind of book, I loved it. I will definitely be trying to get my hands on My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. I would definitely recommend this book. And guess what? It comes out today. So go get it ;)

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    I loved My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. And when I sat down to

    I loved My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. And when I sat down to read A Tale of Two Centuries, I was super excited to find out what was on the agenda for Less and Cat.

    Sometimes I find when reading a series; the second book is not always as good as the first book. At least for me it's that way. But it's not the case with this one. I really don't know what to say except that I loved it. And the story is just as good if not better than the first. Though I think I am more partial to the first book still.
    ATOTC takes place two years after Cat's 16th century trip. Cat has more a story in this book as she is the main voice. Alessandra (Less) is beginning to feel like she wants more from life and she misses her cousin Cat a lot. After having her heart broken by a boy, Less encounters the Gypsy and makes her an offer. Perfect timing. Just like magic, Less is transported to Cat's home.

    Cat tries to help Less acclimate to her new 21st century surroundings as best as she can. But it isn't until Less meets Austin, the typical high school bad boy, that things really become fun. Of course things aren't always smooth sailing. Austin is intrigued by Less and he also pushes her buttons on numerous occasions. But in the end, I think they are perfect for each other.

    "I have never-never-held myself with anything other than complete decorum, public or otherwise, yet spending less than five minutes in Austin Michaels's presence has led to complete and utter depravity."
    -Rachel Harris (Arc copy of ATOTC)

    Rachel Harris did an awesome job of writing the story and further developing the characters. I got to see different sides of Cat and Less this time around. It was nice to see Less be more open to taking adventures and exploring the possibility of love. I was also happy to see Cat get more opportunities to pursue her dreams and have her spend more time with Lucas.

    A Tale of Two Centuries was a fun, light and entertaining story to read. It was just what I needed to put me in a great mood. And even though time traveling really isn't my thing, I don't mind it one bit in this story. Even though this book might lean more on the younger side of the young adult spectrum, anyone who enjoys young adult fiction reads with time travel, romance, and a little fantasy will like this.

    **I received this book on behalf of the Author/Publisher in exchange for nothing but my own opinion.**

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was quite possibly one of my fa

    My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was quite possibly one of my favorite reads last year. With the way the book ended, I was dying to get back with the adorable characters from the first book. Whenever I step into a sequel, there's always that nagging question somewhere in my mind as to whether the sequel would live up to the brilliance of the previous installment. With this book it seems, I might have been delusional to even have such doubts because Rachel Harris rocked it with A Tale of Two Centuries.

    While My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was Cat's story, A Tale of Two Centuries tells Alessandra's, her dear cousin from Renaissance Italy, story. Less was such a nice and naive girl in the previous book and it was a delight to watch her grow in this one. Behind all that prim and proper exterior lay a girl who craved a wild adventure. Luckily for our dear Less, she meets Reyna, the mysterious gypsy who has the ability to help people magically time travel. Less was such an endearing character. She had this sweetness to her that made her completely loveable. I found myself rooting for the girl from start to finish because she was just too adorable. When she first stepped into the 21st Century, she took some time to adjust to the new culture, technology and lingo. Her trying to learn modern English lingo brought about some hilarious moments in the book. A Tale of Two Centuries was the story of Less growing up. Like I said above, she was shy and naive at the beginning of the novel and Less wanted to mature. Gradually, the reader witnesses her blossoming into a young woman who wasn't afraid to stand up for herself, follow her dreams and voice out her feelings.

    Of course, Less didn't grow up all by herself. She had the support of Cat and Austin! Ah Cat! It was so good to be back with this girl. No matter what the situation was, she supported Less and was always there by her side. Their friendship was one of the highlights of the book for me. Plus, we also got to see some revelations concerning Cat in this book which will undoubtedly be developed in the next installment. Austin, the love interest, was such a charming and devilish hero. He sure made me swoon. At one point, I wanted Less to go back to 16th Century Florence, just so I could have him for myself, but then it dawned on me that I wasn't a fictional character and you can imagine my disappointment. Seriously though, the romance between Less and Austin was laden with chemistry and pretty much gave me butterflies in the stomach (Go read that first kiss! I might have combusted because of the swoon-factor!). But sweet kisses and swoon-worthy dialogues weren't the only aspect of their relationship. I loved how the two of them helped each other recognize the people they were hiding behind their surfaces. Austin helped to materialize the passion in Less while Less helped him realize that his life wasn't as bad as he thought it was. So yeah, in a nutshell, I thought their romance was all sorts of adorable and managed to draw a huge grin on my face.

    I've mentioned this is my review of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, but I'll mention it again in this review as well because it's worth talking about. Rachel Harris has a beautiful writing style. She has the talent to describe scenes in such a way that it's easy to visualize it and feel like you yourself are in that scene. That strength of hers was very much prevalent in A Tale of Two Centuries. Her description of Less' first experiences on the jet-ski, on the roller-coaster and on the theater stage were so vivid that I felt like they were my own experiences. Plus, her writing was fluid, flowed beautifully and held my attention throughout the whole book. There was never a boring moment in this book and it was all very exciting and entertaining. In addition, the book had a lot of humor in the form of Less adjusting to the modern world and Cat's sarcasm. Everything about this book just screamed fun and trust me when I say that you're going to love reading this book. I'm more than excited for the next installment in the series. It's bound to be yet another thrilling read.

    Characters that are beautifully crafted, a romance that will have you swooning, a picturesque writing style and a plot that is entertaining from start to finish, A Tale of Two Centuries has it all! If you're glum and having a bad day, read this book and it will immediately cheer you up!

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

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    If one was to look up sixteenth century girls in an encyclopedia

    If one was to look up sixteenth century girls in an encyclopedia, (oh wait do they still have those? Maybe Google images then) you would most likely see someone like Alessandra. On the outside, she is like any other 16 year old from that era. She is willing and exited to be united in marriage to a man many years older than herself. Less is the picture of perfect bliss. She is proper and dutiful, but there is an adventurous side just waiting to get out. That side of her escapes when her dream of a perfect future is destroyed by the very man who inspired it. Alessandra needs an escape from her reality, and quick. If only her cousin, Cat, were here. She could help her make sense of all this. But alas, Cat had returned home to her own time in the future 2 years prior. 




    Enter Reyna. That quirky, always there at just the right time, riddle giving gypsy. Just as Alessandra felt as if she was as lost as could be, she is given an opportunity of a lifetime. Reyna sends her to stay with Cat, in the future, but is clear that she can only stay until the 3 riddles she has given her have come to pass.




    Cat is absolutely shocked to see her sixteenth century cousin at her doorstep, in trousers none the less. For her, it has only been 2 months since she had arrived back from her own adventure, not two years as Less suggests. She immediately sets forth explaining dress, slang, and boys to Less. Now it is Cat's turn to help Less and she is going at it full throttle. She even gets Less enrolled as a foreign exchange student from Italy in her high school for the semester. Should be an educational experience. I mean, what can happen? Less is only here for a short time.




    Surprises are just that, a surprise. Cat could not have imagined that in just one day, Less would be flabbergasted over a boy. Well, not just any boy, Austin! From the first time he tapped his fingers on the desk, Less was hooked, even though she didn't know it herself. What was happening to her? Austin was all wrong. He was trouble! He was also, all she could think about.




    A Tale of Two Centuries is an imaginative, butterflies in your stomach, leaving you wanting more, read. I easily give it 5 stars and can't wait for my daughter to get just a bit older to read it herself. Rachel, you've done it again, girl! What talent! Congratulations!

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    In 16th century Italy, Alessandra is still dreaming of her cousi

    In 16th century Italy, Alessandra is still dreaming of her cousin Cat’s visit. Two years have passed though, and she feels that that magic has since left. But when things go wrong with her engagement, she sees the gypsy who helped Cat again, and it’s so long 16th century Italy, hello 21st century Beverly Hills.
    What first drew me into this book was the main character, Alessandra, or Less. Being from the 16th century, she was raised to be the perfect lady: prim, proper, and calm. Her encounter with her cousin Cat is the only real adventure she ever had. Because of that, naturally she yearns for more, for something outside her limited life. Yet even with that, she is still hesitant. She still has to gather up courage to accept an adventure, any adventure, when it is offered to her. She’s struggling to become herself, someone she hasn’t had the chance to know yet. Rachel Harris taps into that that uncertainty clearly and realistically and makes Less not only believable, but easy to relate to as well.
    Someone comes along to help her figure herself out: Austin a.ka. Mr. Swoon. He’s a combination of surfer, bad boy, mystery, hottie, and potential sweetheart all at once. He sees through Less’s attempts at being perfect and demands she change her I-MUST-be-a-lady ways. He was a wonderful male interest for Less. But with time travel, one never knows how those relationships will work out until the very last pages.
    The wonderful now secondary character of Cat got her own little subplot that made the story even more enjoyable. She left Less’s best friend Lorenzo when she came back in time, but now, there is a boy who looks just like him in her time who won’t stay away from her…and she can’t stay away from him. I liked that we get to see her side romance there and how Cat and Less help each other out.
    My favorite part of this light-hearted, fun, and flirty story was that though it was all those things, it still had moments when things weren’t so light-hearted, moments real and touching and deep. When you’re trying to find out who you are, you never get it right the first time. Or even the second. Less is no exception to that. Sometimes when trying not to be perfect, she just ends up being out-of-control wild, which though that may be the opposite of a do-gooder, is not the solution. It gave the story a surprise depth that I really enjoyed it.
    Overall, if you’ve read other Rachel Harris works, you certainly won’t be disappointed! If you haven’t and you like fun and flirty and swoony things, I would highly recommend A Tale of Two Centuries. I received an ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

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    A Tale of Two Centuries begins similarly like My Super Sweet Six

    A Tale of Two Centuries begins similarly like My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century did. Alessandra wishes for an adventure of her own to get a break from her troubles. And Rachel Harris, being the mind-reading and kind woman she is, threw a glimpse of “someone special” our way too.

    Reyna, our beloved gypsy is the hero of the day and whisks Less away from her duties. Our dear Less starts being brave and daring and manages to find herself at Cat’s 21st century doorstep.

    Alessandra’s transition from 16th to 21st century was smooth. This book maintained the same level of fun, swoon, cuteness and romance as the one before.

    One thing that bothered me was that Alessandra spent more time with Austin, a scrumptious young man whose arrogant smile signals trouble and challenge, than with Cat. It was different in MSSSC, but then again, Less and Austin’s relationship was more significant than, though as adorable as, Cat and Lorenzo’s.

    Enter Lucas. I know you didn’t forget about him! Less sees her time in Cat’s world as the perfect opportunity to help her cousin move on and find happiness. Another awesome band of friends was made, only Lucas and Austin took place of Lorenzo and Cipriano.

    But this time, Less is not ready to leave. How can she, when Cat and Austin have become to represent everything she wants in her life? Will she make the right choice, or the one that she deserves and craves with all her heart? Go run and get this book immediately to find out!

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