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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 infuriatingand infuriatingly handsomesurfer 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?
The My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
Book #2 A Tale of Two Centuries
Book #3 My Not So Super Sweet Life
About the Author
Rachel Harris is also the author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, A Tale of Two Centuries, and the Love and Games romance series for adult readers. When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath...next to a pile of chocolate.
Read an Excerpt
A Tale of Two Centuries
By Rachel Harris, Stacy Abrams, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Rachel Harris
All rights reserved.
I close my eyes against the gentle breeze and twirl, my green silk surcoat swishing around my ankles in glorious abandon. The warm sun seeps into my skin, and it is as if the very air I breathe is saturated with happiness. Fourteen years of grooming to become a wealthy merchant's wife, two years toiling to suppress my sinful desires, and it all culminates in this moment.
Pray let it be today!
Five long days ago, Matteo—as he allows me to call him in private—asked me to meet him here so we could discuss our future. A future I am eager to begin. Every prayer and every thought since has been spent in anticipation.
The scent of freshly cut flowers from a merchant's stand fills the air as Mama's wise words float in my mind: Nature is but a sign of Signore's provision, Alessandra. My eyes open to the vibrant blue of the iris petals, a certain premonition of good things to come, and a giggle springs from my throat.
"The sun's light holds not a candle to your radiance today, Less."
With a delighted smile, I turn to the sole person besides my beloved cousin Cat who refers to me by that peculiar name. "You and your flattering tongue are agreeably met, dear friend," I tell Lorenzo, maintaining one eye on the crowded piazza. "Care to keep me company while I await Signor Romanelli?"
My brother's best friend sets down his easel. "It would be my pleasure." He props his foot against the sandstone building behind us and rakes a paint-stained hand through his golden curls. "Last week you believed he had intentions of betrothal in mind. Have you seen each other since last we spoke?"
An inkling of disquiet blooms, but I whisk it away. "No, but it is my suspicion he has spent the time in preparation to meet Father when he returns."
Lorenzo nods, and we fall into a companionable silence, taking in the bustling life around us. The Mercato Vecchio is as noisy as ever, a cacophony of yelling, laughter, babies crying, and donkeys braying. A group of children races past, bumping into a nearby servant and jostling the basket she carries. A single red apple rolls to a stop by my feet.
A vision of our fairy-tale performance that day in the countryside plays before me, unbidden and poignant. The poisoned apple, the evil hag, the chance to shuck my dutiful daughter role and become someone wicked. I adore my cousin Cat for many reasons, but the gift of that afternoon most especially. Despite the church's strident opposition to female actresses, she gave me the opportunity to experience the rush of performance. To live the dream I once thought sinful.
Unfortunately, it was after my dear cousin departed that sadness adhered to the memory as well. When Cat returned to the future, she left three powerful words in her wake: passion, equality, and freedom. Maidens of the twenty-first century may hold these ideals dear, but they are most unacceptable in the sixteenth—as much as I wish it otherwise. As a result, I have spent the last two years in turmoil, battling between my expected duty of propriety and my newfound desire for passion.
Lorenzo kneels to pluck up the apple, and I meet his gaze.
He, too, is remembering.
As he returns the apple to the woman, mouth set in a tight-lipped smile, I marvel again at the impossibility of it all. For a reason neither of us has come to understand, fate left Lorenzo and me alone in the ability to perceive the noticeable differences between Cat, my future descendant, and Patience, my sixteenth-century cousin—the girl Cat temporarily took the place of. Of course, there are the similarities that come from being blood relations. Hair near the same shade, lips just a touch wide. But gone are all the unique qualities that made Cat so wonderfully vibrant. There is no denying that the true Patience is lovely in her own right, but who could ever compete with such a dynamic, time-defying person?
I have never explained all the details surrounding Cat's implausible tale, but then, I have never needed to. With the fiery passion that only a true artist can understand, Lorenzo just knows. Eventually, he discovered an outlet for his misery, using the pain of Cat's departure to fuel his art, studying under a variety of masters, earning public commendation and creating masterpiece after masterpiece.
I stuffed mine into reinvigorated attempts at marriage.
Lorenzo gazes over the bustling piazza, and his previously sad smile becomes genuine. "I believe your suitor has arrived."
Giddiness bubbles inside me as I follow his gaze.
He has yet to spot me, so I take the opportunity to drink in the sight of him. The broad line of his strong shoulders displayed in his dark doublet. The enticing tilt of his mouth I can see even from this distance. Absent are the lines of stress that far too often mar his handsome face, and I watch as he laughs with someone to his right. My heart hammers.
He is truly yummy, as my fair cousin would say.
At twenty-eight, Matteo is eleven years my senior. He is a bit young for marriage, but our families are old friends, and a union will bring increased prosperity. We will make a good match. Being with him will quiet the rage inside me, the need for more. It has to.
The crowd between us parts, and I spot a young woman beside him. I tilt my head and squint.
"Novella d'Amico," I say, my voice barely above a whisper. Formerly Novella Montagna, daughter of one of the wealthiest families in Florence. Courted and desired by all the men of marriageable age last year, she married a Venetian nobleman and moved away that winter. I turn to Lorenzo, my ribs an iron vise around my lungs. "Why has she returned to Florence?"
He shakes his head, his eyebrows furrowed. "I am not sure. But I shall find out."
Lorenzo marches over to a band of women pretending to shop, obviously using the pleasant fall day as an excuse to prattle incessantly. As he approaches, Signora Benedicti, Signora Cacchioni, and Signora Stefani pause their chattering to gaze over his features as if he were an expensive piece of Venetian glass or a new onyx cameo. Completely undignified, but sadly, not uncharacteristic.
If gossip is desired, Lorenzo could not have chosen a better group.
I look away in disgust and fix my gaze on Matteo, willing him to glance my way. A few minutes later, I get my wish. My insides squeeze, but I force a smile, pushing every stolen moment and whispered promise into the gesture.
He does not return it.
Matteo reaches to clasp Novella's hand, his once-warm eyes now emotionless stones.
All excitement and hope drain away. Air ceases to be a necessity. Time stops, and cold dread washes over me. The market fades away as my gaze locks on their interlaced fingers.
From the corner of my eye I see Lorenzo turn away from the gossiping horde, his amiable face etched with pity. But I already know.
When he reaches me, he looks down and scowls. "Signora d'Amico returned home a widow last week, her full dowry intact." He inhales sharply, and I close my eyes, steeling myself for the truth to come. This is not how I envisioned this day unfolding.
"They met with the notary just yesterday."
Good leads to good. Somehow, the lesson from my childhood does not fit this new reality. I always do—have always done—the right thing, the proper thing. I do my duty. There should be a reward.
He is supposed to love me back.
Lorenzo clears his throat, and I know he is waiting for me to meet his gaze. With burning tears threatening to escape, I compel my eyes to open.
He places a gentle hand on my shoulder. "Alessandra, Matteo and Novella are married."
The click-clack of footsteps on the cobblestone road muffles my sobs. After pleading with Lorenzo not to follow, I make my faltering escape from the piazza, away from the prying eyes of Mama's friends and the smirk of triumph on Novella's contemptuous face. Tearing through the streets of my beloved city, my gaze blurred, I pray my feet will somehow find their way home. And as my eyes alight on the familiar four-story, tan stone building, my knees nearly buckle in gratitude. Fate may not have ruled in my favor in matters of the heart, but it appears to have taken pity on my sense of navigation.
My toe catches on the cracked stone floor, and I stagger through the arched opening of our courtyard. I set myself to rights and press on, the quiet solitude of the garden beckoning me onward, and sink to my knees in a corner covered in shadow. But today, the darkened retreat does not soothe. The scent of fragrant flowers and the melodic bubbling of the nearby fountain do nothing to ease the stabbing pain of Matteo's betrayal.
I still cannot bring myself to believe it. Months of secret assignations and declarations cannot end in such a way. Surely I must be in the midst of a nightmare. At any moment I will wake up, get ready again, and leave to meet Matteo, where he will whisper words of our future and how much he loves me.
I blink rapidly, but nothing changes.
With a trembling hand, I wipe at relentless tears. I cannot help but think that Cat would be stronger. In my place, she would have stormed across the crowded piazza, flung a cutting remark at Novella, and demanded an explanation from Matteo. Then she would have kicked him.
The image of my near betrothed's eyes popping out of his head eases my spirits a little, and I hiccup a laugh. Cat had been a storm of unquenchable strength, challenging the rest of us to either match her in vivacity or be left in the dust.
But alas, I am not my dear cousin.
In Cat's world, in the future, a girl is free to live with passion and blatant disregard for propriety. She can ignore the rules of etiquette and society and follow her dreams—even when they led her here, five hundred years into the past. Fate, mixed with a little gypsy magic, granted Cat the opportunity to experience the impossible. She glimpsed another way of life and, for a short while, was given rest from the worries of her own.
Crumpling to the ground, for once not caring if my surcoat gets soiled, I close my eyes and let fresh tears fall onto the damp earth beneath my cheek. "How I long for a gypsy adventure of my own."
As I lay there, unmoving, willing the world to end, a faint tinkling sound rings near my ear, yanking me from my despair.
A slow shiver creeps from the base of my spine. It quickly gains speed before bursting across the rest of my body. My eyes spring open to branches and petals dancing around me in a sudden breeze, a few snapping and fluttering away as the winds grow stronger. Ribbons of my auburn hair blow across my eyes. I clamber to my feet, fighting against the abrupt gust stealing my breath, and hold down the hem of my gown. The wind shoves me forward, and the storm swallows my shriek.
Then, as suddenly as it began, everything stops.
When I find my voice, I ask the stillness, "What, in Signore's name, was that?"
Unsurprisingly, the now calm and quiet courtyard does not reply.
Glancing down, I brush away the debris clinging to my surcoat—but the sharp crack of a twig behind me causes me to freeze.
"Buna ziua, Alessandra."
I spin around, and my gaze lands on a girl near my age. Her long raven hair is unruly and tousled, her costume one of bright-colored skirts and sheer veils. Her arms are bare, as is a slice of bronzed skin around her midsection. I avert my eyes as a whisper of a memory taunts the edges of my mind.
How does she know my name?
A small smile, unnatural and amiss on an otherwise somber face, plays upon the girl's mouth as she says, "The stars have heard your plea."CHAPTER 2
The whispered name passes my lips as recognition slams into me. I shake my head, unable to comprehend what my eyes are seeing. For months after Cat's return to the future, I imagined the young gypsy appearing before me. I held tight to the belief that one day she would come back, perchance with a message or sign from the future. A clue as to how my fun-loving cousin is doing or, selfishly, to grant me a magical adventure of my own. And now she is here. Standing a mere foot away, no longer in the drab servant frock she wore during her stay but looking just as she did that brief moment I last saw her, when Cat followed her into a mysterious green tent and disappeared from my life.
Reyna's magnetic gaze twinkles as she takes a step back and waves her arm in the air, sending the dozen bracelets wrapped around her slender wrist clanking in unison. Poised like one of Michelangelo's statues, she hitches a pointed sable brow heavenward as if waiting for a response to an unasked question. Confused, I shift my gaze beyond her ... and my breath seizes.
There stands that same green tent—the portal that sent Cat home.
I jerk my gaze back to my cousin's gypsy girl, a wild stirring of hope building in my veins. She nods, and her feigned smile turns devious. Then she disappears inside and crooks a finger through the open flap for me to follow.
My previously halted breath escapes in an audible whoosh.
All of the servants are upstairs. Mama is traveling as companion to Patience on her journey to London, and Father is returning from visiting my uncle in Venice. My brother Cipriano, the one person who could truly dissuade me from such a course, is in Milan, having left a few short months after my cousin. There is no one here to stop me. I am depressingly alone, even more so now than this morning.
The chance to be as audacious as my fearless cousin, even if it is just for a moment, propels me forward. I fly across the cracked stone ground, throw back the folds, and boldly enter the darkened space.
But once the canvas doors seal closed behind me, apprehension dawns. Darkness is everywhere.
I lift my palm an inch from my nose and cannot see it. The only thing I can see is a curved path of sporadic candlelight, seemingly with no end. The reassuring fountain from the courtyard no longer bubbles, and the harsh sound of my labored breathing escalates to fill the void.
A word my cousin taught me from the future springs to mind: creeptastic.
Taking a trembling step, I tentatively call out, "Reyna?"
I squint, then widen my eyes, lean forward then back away, hoping to see the space before me better. But my efforts do nothing to illuminate my surroundings. Or to comfort me. I take another step, and a cool hand closes around my wrist.
"Chavaia." The low, rough hiss in my ear sends my already galloping heart into my throat. "First you must remove your slippers."
My slippers? Pressing a palm against my chest, I glance down at my feet.
It is not right for a lady to walk barefoot—a suitor could see her ankles. Since Reyna masqueraded as a servant in my home during Cat's stay, she would know the rules of propriety, but a glance at her shadowed yet stern expression confirms she does not care.
I yank my bottom lip between my teeth and gnaw like a rabbit. My head rocks back and forth, the vexing tug of war beginning again between what I want to do and what I know I should do.
No gentlemen are present, I tell myself, even as a voice sounding suspiciously like Mama's whispers, A lady must always follow society's expectations.
But Reyna and I are alone. No one would ever have to know.
I stare at my slippers again, and a new, more daring voice joins the festivities in my crowded head. Just think of it as a simple experiment, Less.
And that decides it.
Smiling, I lift my chin in the air the way I imagine my cousin would, kick off my slippers, and wiggle my toes on the cool, gritty stone. The sensation is scandalously splendid. And deliciously wicked. I wiggle them again and giggle.
Reyna's snort of amusement snaps me back, reminding me where I am. She bends to place my slippers on the bottom shelf of an elaborate wooden structure, dusts her hands twice, then gives a curt nod. "Come."
Excerpted from A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris, Stacy Abrams, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2013 Rachel Harris. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beautifully Told Wow, Rachel Harris' long awaited A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2) does not disappoint! I must admit that I did not read the first in the series, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, but that being said, I don't believe that the two are dependent on each other. ATOTC is strong enough and complete enough to stand on it's own...I am sure however, that if you are reading the series this just adds that additional layer of information! So what am I saying? Well basically, whether or not you have read the first in the series do NOT hesitate to pick up A Tale of Two Centuries! Let me start off by saying that I was instantly drawn to the cover art. I am a sucker for a pretty book and this one is absolutely gorgeous! I seriously love it when a cover can sweep you off your feet. They say you eat with your eyes, and like a good meal I think a well thought out book cover can set the tone before cracking that first page... Yes, this is a story of time-travel. No this is not Sci-Fi by any stretch of the imagination. We find ourselves in the 16th Century with Alessandra (Less) longing to marry for love and yearning to become an actress but in a situation where neither seems possible and to top it off she finds her heart broken by betrayal, but alas that is what sets events in motion... I cannot even start to explain to you all how much this story absolutely made me blush and fall in love all over again! The characters are wonderfully developed throughout the novel and they continue to grow and mature right in front of your eyes. It's so wonderful to see the exterior of the "Hot Bad Boy" fall away into the wonderful leading man we love to see as well as to see our main heroine, Alessandra's (Less) adventure being as she becomes more comfortable in her own skin and really be allowed to show who she really is inside (a wild and free spirited) as she's introduced to the modern world. I highly recommend this book to all of you who are looking for adventure, love and a twist that, I tell you now, you will NOT expect!!!
Okay so I loved the first book in the series, so I was super excited to read book two. There is always that concern the second book won’t be as good as one or three since it’s the middle child.. Definitely no concern here, I think I might love this book even more, which is difficult to do. I felt like it would be hard to take Alessandra and plop her into modern times, even more so than it was to take Cat and put her in the past. With Cat Rachel was able to keep her voice modern; with Alessandra she had to think like a sixteenth century girl. She absolutely pulls it off. I love the characters that Rachel creates in her books. They have so much depth and you can see them change and grow. Less starts of a little more timid and tries to fit into the society that she was born into. It’s not easy being a girl in the sixteenth century. She has this flame that burns inside her though of passion and yearning for something more. She wants change but she is also hesitant to grasp it. I loved seeing how she molded into the Less she is supposed to be. I love Austin, oh my goodness do I love that boy. He is such delectable character. I loved how he kind of had a little hate for Alessandra in the beginning. I really enjoyed the banter between the two of them. It’s easy to spew things at someone you can’t stand but not so easy when you get butterflies in your stomach every time you speak to them. Austin has this way of challenging Less that makes him even more swoon worthy. Who doesn’t love the cute brooding guy that actually has a soft heart underneath it? I could probably go on and on about my love for the dashing Austin. We see a good amount of Cat in the book as well. I’m always leery of including a character from a previous book when I’m no longer in their head. I’m curious about what has happened to them ya but I just get weird about it. I found myself reabsorbed into Cat’s life again. This book is very much based around Less but I’m happy to say that I loved continuing to read about Cat too. It was the perfect mix. Rachel has a true strength in creating rich characters and I’m not just talking about the swoonable guys. Although I do love you boys...Austin, Luke and Lorenzo. There is also a great plot with this series. I love the idea of time traveling with the help of gypsy magic. Reyna may be the same in both books, but the experiences of the girls is unique to them. The series is a great read that makes you smile and swoon. I’m not sure how much more I can gush about it but I could probably go on all day. So pick it up!!
**I was given an ARC of this book by Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.** Another fabulous Rachel Harris book! I am in love with this series. If you haven't read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century yet, do it! Then grab a copy of A Tale of Two Centuries and settle in for another exciting, time-traveling ride. I love Less and Austin, both individually and together! And of course it's fantastic to still be able to see what's going on with Cat and Lucas. :-) As we know from My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, Alessandra (Less) is Cat's cousin from the 1500's. After Cat leaves to head back to the 21st century, Less has resigned herself to the life of a girl her age in her own century, although she at least hopes her marriage might be a love match, rather than one of convenience. Soon, however, she discovers she may never be happy living in a time where women cannot be actors, cannot do what they are passionate about. After a very hard, very sad occurrence, Less prays harder than ever that Reyna, that crazy gypsy, might come and send her to her cousin's time...and that crazy gypsy delivers! After being transported to the 21st century, arriving in scandalous clothing, and being driven in a horseless carriage to Cat's front doorstep, Less is, needless-to-say, feeling a little overwhelmed. However, she decides since she has no idea how long she has to stay in the 21st century, she is going to make the most of her time. When she first enters this new world, she has a really hard time dropping her 16th century prim and proper ways. But then, she meets Austin Michaels. And let's just say, he rocks her world, shakes it up, and flips it upside down! Austin is a devastatingly handsome, bad-boy surfer, and he dares Less to climb out of her shell and enjoy what life has to offer! And while he is busy helping Less to change and grow, Less is helping Austin to learn some things about himself as well. Can Less deal with being something more than friends while she's here, if she returns to her own time without Austin? Less knows that Cat did it with Lorenzo, but going back to her own time also means shutting herself back up in her prim and proper box. How can Less go back to being less than happy, when she's experienced so much joy and passion since arriving in the 21st century? Even though having to choose between two different centuries is not something we would ever have to do, Less' situation is extremely relatable. We all have to make big decisions in our lives...where to go to college, (or whether or not to go to college) what we want to do for a living, who we want to be friends with, who we want to be more than friends with...the list is endless. And these are all similar choices to those that Less has to make throughout A Tale of Two Centuries. To find out what Less does when Reyna comes to take her back to the 16th century, pick up this fantastic book and read it! It is such a fun read, and you will love these characters!
*I received an e-arc of this book free in exchange for my honest review. When I reviewed the first book in the series last year, I gave it a 5/5, sadly for this book.. there isn't a higher rating than that to give! This book was just as good as the first, and as I'd already built a relationship with a few of the characters, it may have even been better! There are many obvious similarities between MSSSC and ATOTC such as the characters, the time travel, and the sexy men, but where the first book focused on Cat, this book's main characetr was Alessandra who just so happened to be my favourite character from MSSSC! Alessandra was such an amazing person and character and it was so much fun watching her grow and change in this book. In this book, we watched Alessandra try to understand and fit into the 21st century, five centuries later than when she was actually born. It was amusing watching her try to grasp concepts that just come naturally to us, such as contractions ('I'm', 'isn't', 'couldn't', etc.) and you could feel her joy when she managed to achieve something new. The scenes between her and Austin were thick with emotions, and I think I found myself blushing just as much as Alessandra did! I think a factor in why I enjoyed this book so much was that I've gotten to know how sweet and kind Rachel Harris is, through various social media interactions so I can really feel all the effort and time she's put into her books. Her darling personality coupled with the fantastic story & writing, makes for a wonderful, wonderful book! The only real problem I had with it was that it was too short! I mean it's 320 pages, so fairly decently sized, and the story was perfectly paced and was wonderful and everything, but I was so entranced by this book that anything less than 10,000 pages is too, too short! (Seriously, if I could live in this book I would, and not just for the hot guys ;) ) I could go on and on about this book, it's just so good! But I don't think I could really do it justice. If you like the first book then you will definitely love this, in fact, I can't think of anyone who would not enjoy this book! It is just a joy to read, filled with so much emotion and a strong message about finding yourself and following your heart. This is just a terrific book with the perfect amount of romance, fun and magic. Simply put, I loved it.
Fantastic Sequel. *Please Note I was given an ARC by Entangled Teen in return for an honest review* Right from the moment I finished the first installment in this series I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. For one who really doesn't like historical novels I adore this series. Rachel Harris really does the impossible in this series and makes a unlikely genre for YA fiction into a must-read series. Alessandra hasn't been the same since her cousin Cat barged into her life from the future. Now stuck in the 16th Century Renaissance Italy with dreams that could only come true in a time other than her own Alessandra is stuck. But when Rayna, the mysterious girl in the gypsy tent who brought Cat to the past appears she knows she is about to get an adventure of her own. Whisked away to the twenty first century Alessandra can live her dream of being an actress. But how long will she be there? And when she meets the infuriating but gorgeous surfer boy Austin, does she want to go? Time is running out for Alessandra and she may have to leave the only place she has ever fit in. I love love loved this book. I admit that in the beginning I didn't find it as endearing as I did with My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. There was just something more relatable and endearing about a twenty first century character in a sixteenth century time. You could relate with Cat and understand why she was the way she was as it is what we would have been acting like if we were suddenly whisked off to the past. However once I got a few chapters in I couldn't put it down. I loved reading Alessandra's story and her actions, especially at the beginning of the book, really made me laugh. I absolutely adore her and her story was full of awkward humor and who doesn't love that? I adore Austin. As much as I loved Lorenzo in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century but Austin is my man. I adore him so much. He is arrogant and infuriating and damn right drop dead gorgeous. He is the epitome of the bad boy and I loved him right from the very first moment he came into the book. He is the guy that every girl will want to give him a slap upside the head while wanting to throw themselves at him at the same time. One thing that I adore about Rachel Harris' books is that her writing style is just so refreshing and great and it makes them such an easy read. You can just get lost in the story without having to think too much about it. I love her writing style and have adored every book of hers I have read, including her Adult Romance novel. I have to say that this is my favourite of Rachel's work so far. It was so easy to just forget the world and everything around you and just get lost in the incredible tale of two times colliding. A Tale of Two Centuries is a must-read for everyone. It has everything you could possibly want. Time travel, a clash of two centuries that makes it hilarious, a super hot surfer dude, heart-stopping romance and a race against the clock to see what happens. When you are nearing the end you seriously cannot turn the pages... or click the ereader button fast enough. I loved every single moment for it and I cannot wait for the third installment in this series. I want it now!
A Tale of Two Centuries is such a delightful read! I love Rachel Harris's books. They're light and fluffy, and yet they also have such well-developed characters and storylines. Plus, there's time travel! It doesn't get much better than that. :) Less is an amazing heroine. She's very sweet and kindhearted, and I felt so bad for her as she struggles to adjust to living in the modern world. And I love the friendship between her and Cat - I love how they both come from such different lives and yet they're so close to each other. And Austin! Eep! He and Less were so cute, and I loved watching their relationship grow. But A Tale of Two Centuries isn't just about romance. I also enjoyed the way it deals with important decisions in Less's life as she tries to figure out where she belongs - the modern world, or the world that she's lived in all her life. And the ending is so very perfect and satisfying. I was hooked until the very last page! I'd recommend this book for anyone looking for an addictive summer read. I'm so excited there's going to be a third book in this series! Favorite quote: "I have learned that our world is filled with two kinds of people: old souls, and people who were born before their time."
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.
A Tale of Two Centuries is like experiencing the twenty first century from a whole new perspective. This amazing tale was written by Rachel Harris, who is an amazing YA and adult romance author. When I heard about this new book I knew it was going to be fantastic and a great addition to the series. Before I got my ARC, being apart of the Flirt Squad, I got to see snippets and teasers of the book before the release, every time I read one it left me wanting more. In the first book they introduced you to Cat who is still a big apart in this book and Alessandra a.k.a Less whom is the main point of view in this book. Cat who is Less' great, great, great...cousin from the twenty first century met a gypsy who sent her back to the 15th century renaissance period. There she spent a week getting to know Less', finding who she is, and falling in love. She told Less magical stories about the future that Less wished she could see and experience. In this book we time travel with Less to the future after the man she thought she was going to marry married someone else leaving Alessandra heart broken and lost. Until she the gypsy girl found her again telling her she was going to go on a trip of wonder with many adventures. Of course Less was excited but once she cot to the twenty first century she was lost she didn't know where to find Cat or how to get there. Threw the story you see how Less learns the simple things we do or say everyday, struggling with who she is and what her time wants her to be. Now for love interests Rachel Harris does it again with her swoontastic and flirtatious book boyfriends. First up is Austin he is first introduced as the bad boy in school who really pushes Less' buttons. He "challenges" her in this new world, and they bring out the best in each other. As the story goes on the two fall in love, Less helps Austin break down his walls and find his true self again. Now for Lucas he is a sweet and sensitive guy who is crazy in love for Cat. He sticks by her and keeps trying even though she keeps pushing him away, so she doesn't get hurt again like she did with Lorenzo. With Lucas' persistence and determination Cat may finally open her heart and let him in. I love how this book is about following your dreams and finding who you are and what you are supposed to be. Less is a big example for that theme as she dreams of being an actress, this book opens up opportunities she can only imagine for her natural talents in acting. Who knows I think she would make a great Juliet. Will Alessandra and Austin be together forever? Will Less get to follow her dream as an actress? What will happen with Lucas and Cat? - This is a book you don't want to miss.
I knew what Rachel Harris would come up with for “A Tale of Two Centuries” would be awesome, I just didn’t know how awesome. I was excited to get back to the world that Harris created for her readers in “My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.” Where we met Cat, and her Renaissance cousin Alessandra, also known as Less. “A Tale of Two Centuries” focuses on Less’ journey, rather than Cat being the main focus. Cat is still a big part of the story, though, so for those readers, like me, that fell in love with her, we still get to see her. Less is given a chance to go on her own time traveling adventure with Reyna. This time Less is going to Cat’s modern world. As you can imagine the big city was a few shock for Less. She didn’t know what “bucks” were or how to get to Cat’s. Less goes on a journey to find out who she really is and what she wants in life. She has to learn plenty of lessons that I learn every day. How to be comfortable in your own skin and break out of your shell? Now that Less is in modern times, she is able to act without it being improper for woman. Alessandra, “Less” for short, is such a great character. She is so easy to fall in love with just like Cat. It has been two years since Less met Cat. Less is 16 years old and waiting to find out when she will be getting married. When Less finds out that the man she has fallen in love with decided to get married to someone else, she is devastated. Than magically Reyna shows up and offers Less an adventure of a lifetime, so of course she isn’t going to pass up this opportunity. As Less has to learn about life in Hollywood and how she can follow her dreams. With a new novel, there is always a new male lead. Here we have the swoon worthy Austin. Austin is very much a bad boy, he skips class, does what he wants, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Less and Austin don’t hit it off at first but with a male’s persistence. They strike a deal and then fall in love. I think Austin was the perfect male lead to Less. He fits perfectly with her. What is a bad boy without a rocky complicated past? Austin seriously has it all. Lucas is my book boyfriend. No, I don’t plan on sharing, so back off right now. I love how persistent Lucas is in trying to win Cat over. He is definitely interested in her and he felt a connection with her at the end of “My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.” Lucas just wants Cat to give him a chance; he wants to show her what he has to offer in a relationship. He is such a sweetheart. I am really hoping that we get way more of Lucas in the third installment of this series. Then we have Cat. Same old spunky Cat. Cat seems to be very excited to have her cousin around but very worried for her too. Less begins to disappear without a trace, not informing anyone of where she is going. I think ultimately Cat missed her cousin very much. It has been two years since Less has seen Cat but it has only been two months since Cat has seen Less. Both girls have done plenty of maturing since they last saw each other. I absolutely loved “A Tale of Two Centuries.” I enjoyed being pulled back into these characters stories that are very dear to my heart. Rachel Harris’ books are definitely ones that I look forward too. I think Harris out did herself on this sequel. This book was amazing and I hope that others truly enjoy it.
Rachel Harris has written a touching and heartwarming love story with this sequel to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. It is beautifully written, both vivid and descriptive. Alessandra's voice feels authentic, making the reader feel as if they truly have time-traveled to the sixteenth century. Alessandra is everything you can possibly want in a main character. She is a proper young lady who yearns for more, but feels trapped in her own time. She wants "passion, equality and freedom," all the things women in her time period cannot have. All she has to look forward to is a loveless marriage and a life of propriety and society rules. Until fate intervenes and sends her to the twenty-first century, where her distant cousin, Cat, lives. There's definitely an adjustment period for Alessandra. Her exploits in the twenty-first century were hilarious. My favorite moment was when she identified a Hooters as an owl shop. It's amusing seeing how Alessandra's sixteenth century mind views the twenty-first century technology, dress and ideals. She's adorably clueless, and so fascinated by simple things - it makes her seem humble and lovable. So... Austin. Ahhh, Austin. Normally, male characters as cocky as Austin would turn me off. He's just so full of himself in the beginning, thinking he's some kind of bad-boy rebel. But, he's so adorable while teasing Alessandra and her absolute cluelessness makes it that much funnier. So, despite my reservations, Austin won my heart almost immediately. Alessandra's outrage over Austin (she call's him the "embodiment of evil" and likens time with him to the symptoms of an illness) only make you root for Austin even more. He takes the prim and proper lady and turns her into a typical outraged teenager. The whole time I was reading, I pretty much alternated between laughing hysterically and crying (Sometimes just a few tears, and sometimes lip-trembling sniffles). Honestly, I wish I could go into greater detail here, but I don't want to accidentally go into spoiler territory. Just trust me and make sure you have tissues by your side at all times! The other couple to take note of in this book is Cat and Lucas. I know you Cat and Lorenzo fans are probably ready to egg my blog for this, but trust me, you'll love how it all turns out for Cat! The ending was absolutely perfect. My heart was in my throat for most of it, and I was pretty much close to tears the whole time, as well. But it was awesome, amazing, and perfect. Overall (if you couldn't tell from my gushing review), I loved this book so much and I would highly recommend it. Honestly, before I began reading Rachel Harris' books, I wasn't a huge romance fan. It kinda bugged me... It was too mushy and rainbows and kittens for me - I prefer science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, etc. I liked romance that had vampires in it... Does that count at all? Anyway, I won an advanced eBook of Taste the Heat, Harris' adult romance (published July 8, 2013) from Foreward Lit. Not only is she an amazing and talented writer, but she really pulls you into a world with characters you care about, who feel real and relatable. The romances are always genuine, and the plots are well thought-out. For those reasons, among others, I would recommend Rachel Harris to anyone and everyone - especially to those who want to read romance, but aren't sure where to start.
Thank you to Ms. Harris and Entangled Publishing for my ecopy of this book… Cover: It’s really beautiful!!! Alessa: It must have been really hard for her to live in the 16th century… She has a wild and free spirit but because the society that time doesn’t condone such things, she was forced to suppress it… That’s why it was such a relief for her when she was offered a chance to go to the 21st century, where she can be who she really is… Austin: I am very grateful to him… Without him, Less might not have enjoyed her time in the modern world… She might not have the courage to do those crazy things… Austin is such a great ‘teacher’… And he’s very possessive, but I understand his situation… I also feel bad for him because his father is such an a*****e… Story: At the beginning, I really wanted to punch the guy who betrayed Less… She’s such a sweet girl! How could he do that? Anyways, what I’m telling you is that, from the start the book captured my attention… Did you know that when I started reading ATOTC I was drowsy and ready to sleep? But then I suddenly woke up because I wanted to read more, and that’s what I did until 2:30 in the morning… That’s how good the book is… It’s actually comparable to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, though I really can’t tell if which one is better… Yes the sequel is very beautiful but the first book in the series always holds a special place in my heart… You know what I mean? Anyways, I felt that the book was kinda fast especially when you will look at the signs… They appeared quickly, it was like a blink of an eye… Though, if you will look at the whole story it’s not really that fast… I’m not making any sense, am I? Maybe it’s because I wanted more of it… And then lastly, when they were looking for loopholes, I wanted to cry… I was nervous because I thought that they may not make it in time or they might not see anything… It was such a relief when the story ended happily… Who doesn’t like happy endings anyway? Overall, I really love this and this is one of my favorite books this year…
I didn't think it was possible, but I seriously love this book even more than I did the first one! Less was adorable and fun in the sixteenth century, and I didn't want to let go of her when Cat came back to modern times. (I was so terribly excited when I saw that Less was going to come visit for the second adventure!!) Who knew that she would be freaking amazing in the "future?" This girl was totally born in the wrong century, guys! I wanted her to come hang out with me for a few days. As for the romance, I thought Lorenzo was a swoon-worthy love interest in MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY, but Austin, the boy who steals Less' heart and teaches her how to be her best self in A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, totally blew him out of the water!! This boy has layer upon layer of awesomeness, all wrapped up in a beautiful package and sealed with a smirk. I'm not usually a fan of the "bad boy," but Austin had so much depth to his character that I could immediately see the diamond shining beneath his rough exterior. And the way he pushes Less to follow her dreams and to be more than what she dreamed she was capable of becoming? Yep, he totally captured my heart. Hook, line and sinker. The best part about this book? Even though it's totally Less' story, Cat is very much there, and we get to see the continuation of her story as well, in the aftermath of her trip to the sixteenth century. I have to admit, in reading book one, I wasn't sure how I felt about Lucas. On the one hand, I knew Cat couldn't stay in the sixteenth century with Lorenzo for the rest of her life, and I didn't want her to be forever heartbroken and alone, but on the other hand, the whole "finding a true soul mate in the descendant of the love left behind" is a total time-travel cliche, and I wasn't sure if I liked it. But he totally won me over in book two, and I can't wait to see more of Cat and Lucas in the next book!! (I was lucky enough to get an advance review copy of this book. I loved it so much that I had to go buy a real copy for myself as well!!)
I LOVED This YA Time Traveling Romance!!!!!! Alessandra (Less), a young free-spirited ingénue in the 16th century, longs to be an actress and to marry for love and not duty. She never knew those dreams were possible until she'd met her cousin, Cat, in the 1st book in this series, Super Sweet 16th Century. After she was crushed by a suitor who dropped her for an heiress, Less visits Reyna, the time traveling gypsy, at the Fair. Less asks Reyna's help in fulfilling her dream to be more than she can be in the 16th Century... and before Less knows it, she's whisked through time gypsy-style. (LOL! I want to do this too!) Less meets up with Cat... and then has a run-in with gorgeous hunk Austin at school... he's the persona of the bad boy. Somehow the two are wonderful together... and they each become better people by being together. This is the 2nd installment in Rachel's time traveling YA series... teeming with romance and guys to swoon over and steal our hearts. I love how the author interweaves characters from the 1st book like Lorenzo, Cat and Reyna into the 2nd book. I found myself identifying with Less yearning for things that seem out-of reach. I also caught myself more than once laughing out loud as Less adapted to the 20th century. In hindsight, present day behaviors we don't give a 2nd thought to, would certainly appear to be zany and irrational to someone from an earlier century. I'd like to extend a special thank you to Heather from Entangled for including me in the list of people to receive an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review and thank you to Rachel for writing such an enjoyable read. Bottomline: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the ending... a totally unexpected twist! A Tale of Two Centuries is a wonderful YA tale that also holds appeal for older readers as it transports us to places we can still remember. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys time traveling romances.... 5 Stars!!!!!!
Where do I even start? I first saw this book quite some time ago (I think it was when the cover was first revealed) and I instantly fell in love. I loved the cover, but even more- I LOVED the blurb! All of my favorite elements are in this book: Time travel, magic, Italy, romance, and a hot surfer boy just to name a few. This book is absolutely a bunch of preciousness. Seriously I absolutely adored it. I am so proud to be on Rachel's FlirtSquad because I love helping promote her awesomeness. I also loved reading Taste The Heat, Rachel's adult novel. SO good. So: let me simplify this for you. Rachel writes it? I read it. End of story. Hands down. It could be about alligators in Taiwan falling in love with monks. If she wrote it- I'd read it. Why? Rachel is a fantastic storyteller for one. She does such a great job with setting- she knows how to give us readers the perfect amount of description, she doesn't overload us with it, and she doesn't skimp on us either. I always feel so attuned to the scenes and I love when I as a reader feel like I am an imaginary character standing right with the others. Secondly, Rachel does a great job with character development. By the end of the book I felt a connection with each of her characters and I was heartbroken it was over because I wasn't ready to stop experiencing their journey with them! So, A Tale of Two Centuries! I will admit, I hadn't read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century before this so I was a tad bit confused at the very beginning. So note to those of you who are still with me after me talking about alligators and monks: READ THAT ONE FIRST! It just helps clarify some things. I was still able to jump right in and understand the magical elements, but I was confused when the book was referring to Cat as Patience, etc. Our main character this time around is Alessandra, or Less. We first meet her in sixteenth century Italy and she is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Matteo, the man she is in love with. Their rendezvous does not go according to plan, leaving Less absolutely heartbroken. However, Less is very non-confrontational. Instead of marching up to Matteo and giving him what for, she simply flees, succumbing to her emotions. I really loved Less- she is sweet, caring, and dreams of acting. She is SO much fun to watch once she time travels to modern times. She not only has culture shock, but she has complete century shock! She is not used to how girls dress, how people speak, and how boys and girls don't have chaperones to be together. In turn, Alessandra is very proper and polite, which leads others to believe she's rather uptight. "Ah. That would be the ill-mannered coachman of my yellow horseless carriage. He requires payment for escorting me from the chaotic theater of etched handprints and strange creatures, but I am afraid my new trousers did not come lined with money." He beeps again. "Any chance you have a deer or a goat lying about?" A squiggle appears on Cat's forehead. "Deer or goat?" "Hmm, is that not right?" I ask, pulling on my ear. I was almost certain that was what he said. "He informed me the ride was twenty something- I thought he said bucks. Could it have been ducks?" I scrunch my nose. "Are waterfowl a popular currency in the twenty first century?" Enter Austin. Oh, boy. Alessandra meets Austin at school and he is a bit of an ass to start. He is condescending and rather rude. School is also not at the top of his priority list. Alessandra is forced to work on a project with him. I think what I love most about Alessandra and Austin's interactions is that they challenge each other. He can see that she longs to let loose and have the courage to express herself. He calls her out on it and for the first time, we see just how passionate of a reaction he gets out of her. She in turn, calls him on his crap- telling him that she doesn't believe for a minute he's as nonchalant and uncaring as he makes himself out to be. Austin then decides to issue her a challenge- he'll do the project, if she agrees to let him show her how to loosen up- to be more like him. However, the more time spent together, the more Austin's carefully crafted façade starts to fall apart. Less gets him to open up and there are times she can see the glimpses of vulnerability in his eyes. Austin is resentful of his father due to a rather large event involving his mother. There was a point where Austin used to take care about school, doing well, and pleasing his family. Those times are long gone, and I think Austin sees a bit of the old him in Alessandra. I love the change we see in Alessandra. She is no longer the timid, shy, non-confrontational girl we met at the start. However, Alessandra has trouble finding the right balance between becoming a bit more assertive and going wild. Austin realizes this is partly his fault and tells her that he has fallen for who she is already, not the girl she's trying so hard to be. Alessandra however, has never felt more alive than when she has spent time with Austin and she loves that he respects her. Whew do these two have some serious chemistry! The buildup between them was absolutely delicious and when it finally happened I think I squealed. However, Alessandra's time is not permanent- she was told by the gypsy that allowed her to travel that she would see three signs: at the end of the third she would be back to take her home. Her cousin Cat, gave her a warning about spending time with Austin. Cat has been through this once and knows that her time is limited. Cat, who you may have already met from My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, is such a fun character. She is still hurting over what happened at the end of the first novel and is afraid to let someone new in. She clearly has a connection with the new guy, Lucas, but is afraid to act upon it. She is afraid things won't be permanent and that he won't stick around. I can't blame her for one minute for guarding her heart. However, this is Less's tale of self-discovery and how she realizes that strength doesn't come from others, but lies within. Overall, this book made me smile so many times- Rachel has created such strong, impressionable characters, a fun and exciting plot, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
This was a great time travel tale with an interesting twist at the end. You wont be sorry reading this one!
I totally enjoyed the first book but I loved this even more. The time travel destiny moved on to Alessandra, Cat's cousin. Alessandra or Less was a sweet, naive, prim and proper sort of girl in the first book. The one thing that got her really excited was acting. But alas, that was forbidden in her time. Acting was known to be for men and ladies who acted forward were deemed promiscuous or are courtesans. As much as she was fascinated, she couldn't explore and was tied to the laws of the Renaissance era. With the help of Reyna, the gypsy, she poofed and came to Cat's world, the 21st century. This story is not only funny as we read how Less tries to adapt herself into the 21st century, but also touching when she starts falling in love with Austin. The relationship with Austin felt genuine in every aspect and she saw Austin beyond the facade he portrays. It was inspiring as we see how Less matured and when you're racing against time, every moment count. The bond she had with Cat also deepened. Besides focusing on Alessandra, Cat was not forgotten and we read her growth to maturity too in this story. The lessons she learnt from her own time travel followed her and you see a softer look of her in this story and of coz there's also Lucas. 2 gorgeous males in a story is definitely swoon worthy even though it is a YA genre. Once again, Rachel has written beautifully with lots of details that weren't overpowering but made the plot felt entertaining, complete and satisfying. I'm definitely checking out the next book in this series and the rest of her books.
This was a perfect sequel!! A Tale of Two Centuries is the second book of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series but this can be read as a standalone. But I suggest you read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (MSSSC) first because you are going to fall in love with these characters! I often worry with sequels because there is always the chance they don’t live up to the previous book. But this did not happen with A Tale of Two Centuries (ATOTC). This series is about teens that travel in time so I was worried there might be repetition. But each story is so well-written and unique that I loved every minute of it! Of the two books I loved ATOTC the most. This is because of Alessandra (aka Less)! Ever since Less met her cousin, Cat, she realized she wanted more for her life. But because of the 16th century society treatment of women, Less doesn’t have the freedom to follow her dreams. Everything changes when the mysterious and magical gypsy Reyna (from MSSSC) grants her wish for an adventure. Less is magically swept to present day Hollywood. With Cat’s help Less slowly adjusts to our modern day, which added so many humorous scenes. When she meets the high school bad boy, Austin, Less is at first attracted to his hotness but quickly disgusted with his arrogance. Less goes so far as calling Austin the “embodiment of evil” which I loved, because it showed that Less is a smart girl that wants more than a hot guy. She wants to be respected, which again is something she probably would not find in the men back home. I really loved the chemistry between these two characters, it was a hate-love relationship that builds up to some really hot moments. And not only is Less smart but she is also so sweet and caring. Even though she’s on the adventure of a lifetime she still wants to make sure Cat is happy. I JUST LOVED HER!!! Rachel Harris has become one of my favorite authors. Everything I have read from her has been amazing! I love the humor and heart-warming emotion that comes across in her books. I am a Mom with a teenage daughter, so some people have been surprised that I love young adult books. Some adult readers may be turned off on the young adult genre because they think the characters and stories might be too immature for them to enjoy. This may be true for some books, but NOT for books by Rachel Harris. With the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series the author has created young characters that are dealing with the growing pains of being a teenager. But this isn’t a series about two teenagers trying to get a boyfriend or be part of the popular crowd. This is about two young ladies that have been struggling with their identity and having to live up to other people’s expectations. Less and Cat have to find the courage to make choices for themselves, and that is a hard lesson everyone can relate to, no matter how old you are. Add some drama and hilarious scenes of Less adapting to modern day, and you have a fun and charming story! I recommend this series to everyone!!
My Review: As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, I think I loved this one even more! This installment focused in Alessandra, Cat's "cousin" from 16th century Florence, Italy. Less dreams of a life of less restriction and more freedom, something that is hard to come by in her own era. Through a touch of gypsy magic, she skips forward to visit her cousin Cat and to find her own answers in the future. A future that contains a swoon-worthy boyfriend in the form of bad-boy Austin. In reality, we have not one, but two, swoon-worthy Book Boyfriends in this book. Lucas, whom we met in the first novel, hopes to become Cat's modern-day Lorenzo and he is all that one could want in a romantic hero. And then there is Austin, the epitome of the bad boy, but one with a lot more depth than most would give him credit for. He has been hurt and it has damaged him. In a lot of ways, this novel isn't just the story of Alessandra, but Austin's and Cat's as well. Less is thoroughly endearing and a lot more complex than we knew from the first book. She has spent her entire life behaving as she was expected to, with little thought to her own dreams. In her heart, she was a bit of a rebel in the 16th century and frustrated with that. Her journey was about letting go and being strong, recognizing her own dreams and wishes and accepting that it is okay to pursue them. That is a pretty universal journey, and one I related to as a reader. I think that is the underlying thing about this series that draws me in... the universal themes and struggles that we all experience in some form or another in our own lives. These characters are rather deep, something that I really love. Less' inner dialogue as she grows from the shy and prim Renaissance girl to the confident girl she becomes is often very wise. I am not generally a "sweet romance" or "time travel" kind of girl, but these books are so engaging that is impossible for me not to love them. The romance is there, sure, but the story itself is so engaging and the humor is hilarious. One of my favorite book lines of all time came from the first book, and this one was no less hilarious. As for the time travelling, it is done so well. Placing a 16th century girl in contemporary Hollywood is a culture shock, to say the least, and the results are often hysterical! She sees the world through 16th century eyes and that new perspective is fabulous for the reader. Some Quotastic Goodness On encountering a taxi for the first time... --Determined not to give way to feelings of desertion, I stare at the door and wait for the coachman to come around and help me in. When he merely settles deeper into his seat and a footman fails to appear, I realize he expects me to get in by myself (Loc. 401). On trying to pay for a taxi... --I am certain that I do not have any bucks on my person as even one such animal would hardly fit in the carriage with us, but perhaps fate has left me with something (Loc. 435). On discovering indoor plumbing... --Truly, out of all the modern inventions I have encountered thus far and wish I could bring back with me, the glass box shower is my favorite— even better than the marvelous toilet (Loc. 669). On public displays of affection... --Several couples openly engage in scandalous embraces, and exposed skin is everywhere (Loc. 694). On discovering the "bikini"... --I cautiously take down a pink bikini and hold it against me. Fear and an intense loathing for the man who created this form of clothing churn in my stomach (Loc. 1782). A little bit of swoon... My first kiss is not the slow, sweet build-up I witnessed between Cat and Lorenzo. This is aggressive. This is passionate (Loc. 2444). Some wisdom... --I am not without fear, but courage is taking action despite the fear. Knowing what you want, what you are meant to do, and proceeding despite any knots in your stomach or rocks stuck in your throat. It is walking boldly into the unknown with your chin held high… even if it quivers (Loc. 3725. --True happiness is something we create ourselves with our own choices: whom we want to be with, whom we let into our worlds, and how we choose to spend what little time we are given in this world (Loc. 3916). My Recommendation: This is a fabulous read! The deep moments will pull you in and the humor will keep you there!
A wonderful read. Did I enjoy this book: I really did. It was such a good read. I couldn’t put it down. I loved so much about this story. To start, I felt bad for Less and what she discovered before she left. I liked her traveling to the future. What I really liked was that time wasn’t parallel. Less had aged two years, while it had been a mere two months for Cat. That was different for me and I really loved that the “little” cousin was now an equal. Austin. A great match for Less. I loved that he showed her what life could be like–with adventure and passion. I know they are only 16 or 17, but still. These two. My favorite line: “This is Austin.” Tells you everything from what we learn about Austin throughout. I liked the pace of A Tale of Two Centuries. It moved. It had me hooked. It made me happy, giddy, anxious. I’m sorry if this review is a bit jumpy, cryptic, not thorough, whatever. I don’t want to spoil anything as many of my favorite parts would spoil the most wonderful parts of the book. Bottom line: A Tale of Two Centuries is a wonderful read that I will definitely revisit again in the future. I can’t wait to read My Not So Super Sweet Life. Would I recommend it: Absolutely! Be sure to read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century first.
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.
Absolutely delightful The year is 1507. Alessandra (Less) D’Angeli was forever changed two years prior when her cousin from the 21st century, Cat, came and spent a week with Less and her family in Italy. Alessandra's life was forever changed from that point on. Cat taught her so many things about life, love, passion, and fun, and gave her a fleeting and exciting glimpse at what she dreamed of doing, becoming and actress, something that is never going to happen in her time. She longs to see Cat again and visit the 21st century, and it just so happens that Alessandra gets her wish. Suddenly, she finds herself in Beverly Hills knocking on Cat's door. Needless to say, Cat can't believe it. They formulate a cover story and Less soon finds her self thrust into the center of what it means to be a teenager in the 21st century, drama and all that goes along with it, and it is a little harder to accept than she thought. On the first day of school, she has a run-in with the school's bad boy, Austin Michaels. She is completely infuriated with him, yet strangely finds herself extremely attracted to him at the same time. Meanwhile, Cat is helping her to realize her acting dreams, as well as teaching her how a 21st century teenager would act. Then when Austin makes her a deal she can't refuse, things really getting interesting. There is one big problem, however... can Less and those she has come to care about handle things when it is time for her to go back home? A Tale of Two Centuries is absolutely a delightful story. I loved getting to know the characters in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and it was also great meeting the new characters in A Tale of Two Centuries. I loved Alessandra's character and it was so much fun watching her adapt to life in the 21st century. I also really enjoyed seeing what what going on with Cat, and how things were progressing with the Italian hottie, Lucas. Then there is the new hottie, Austin Michaels, who is just my kind of guy. He's cocky, has the whole bad boy persona going on, tends to be smug, and just oozes with hotness, but he also has his his own secrets and hurts from the past that have colored his choices and made him the way he is. It was great watching the relationship between Alessandra and Austin develop. He's a pretty take charge guy to, and very protective of Less, while at the same time challenging her to be and do all that he knows she is capable of. Rachel Harris did a great job of writing the different scenarios that this group of friends found themselves in, which were funny, entertaining and romantic. A Tale of Two Centuries is a wonderful sequel to this enchanting series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the way the book ended to, which I thought was was very well done. I am looking forward to seeing the direction that Rachel Harris takes these characters and their story in with the next book in the series, My Not So Super Sweet Life.
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.
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.
***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!