Copy of Add a subheading 11 - Borrowed Time by Russell Dean - REVIEW
Romantic Historical Fiction

Borrowed Time by Russell Dean – REVIEW

Borrowed Time by Russell Dean
Published by Bryn Coch Publishing on 8 July 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ+
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
five stars - Borrowed Time by Russell Dean - REVIEW

Tom Jacob is bored with his life.

He’s stuck in a job he doesn’t like, his love life is non-existent, and he’s tired of being seen as boring and dependable, so when his wayward twin brother convinces him to spend a night partying instead of doing paperwork, Tom reluctantly agrees.

The following morning he wakes up in a field.
In Wales.
In 1889.

Stranded more than a century in the past, Tom has to overcome language barriers and suspicion as he attempts to adapt to the world around him and find a way back to his own time, but with two people from the sleepy village of Cwm Newydd now missing, one local resident seems hell bent on pinning the blame for their disappearance on the strange Englishman who appeared out of nowhere.

Determined to find his way home, the discovery of a long hidden family secret will change Tom's life forever, and when romance comes knocking he'll be left wondering in which timeline his heart truly lies.

Borrowed Time is masterful. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book through the haze of tears. Russell Dean delivers laser-focused prose with a beating heart that will impact the coldest of readers.

Borrowed Time is by far my favourite book of the year, and I’d struggle to envision anything topping it – it wrought emotion, a feeling of longing, and the need to read the next instalment like yesterday. Russell Dean is locking up for a battle, he tackles heavy subjects without ever shying away, and he carries it out with ease and tactfulness. So, if I haven’t already managed to convince you to read it, then what else will pull you in?

A Time travel story with a difference

Well researched village communities in the 1880s.

Hard-hitting topics such as sexuality and misogyny.

A story with grit and raw emotion.

Strong relatable characters.

Tom Jacob has just lost his father. He ruled with an iron fist, stubborn and unrelenting. He wishes they had been closer, but it was hard with his brand of parenting, and witnessing how his twin brother, Lee would get the brunt of it was hard. He has a longing that resides within the pit of his stomach. His life is nothing but eat, sleep and work. He wants something more, but he doesn’t know how to reach for it. So, when Lee suggests going out for a drink after sorting through their father’s belongings, he reluctantly agrees, keen to shake off that boring descriptor that he seems to wear like an item of clothing.

Right from the beginning, I felt a crack in Tom. Who can’t relate to feeling lost in their world at some point or another? The regrets of the past can weigh heavily on the psyche. Dean captured this perfectly, I was overcome with emotion. Little did I know that this would only be the first wave of a rather large tsunami that would knock me on my arse!

Tom finds a ring within his father’s belongings. An unassuming ruby ring, he puts it on, a signifier of his father he keeps it on him. Things are still raw. Tom and his brother party and Tom, unfortunately, gets thrown out of the bar. He is very drunk and passes out and wakes up in a field and discovers it is 1889 and he is in Wales, where the spoken language isn’t English but Welsh. It was a massive culture shock, but that’s only the start of the twists and turns.

Tom will come across characters that relate to his past future. Mair was an absolute favourite. It was her family’s field that Tom woke up in and I was instantly in awe of her badass behaviour. The time never stopped her pointing a gun in men’s faces, the time never stopped her speaking her mind and the time didn’t get to decide that she belonged in the kitchen, I freaking loved her.

What comes next is a man’s desire to find out his family’s secrets. How does the ring fit into his ability to time travel, and can he find a way home? After discovering just how freeing it can be to live without the stress, technology, and living with less, and now that he is falling in love, will he decide to stay in 1889 Wales after all?


image 3 - Borrowed Time by Russell Dean - REVIEW

I hate writing in the third person. It gives the impression I had someone else doing all this for me, when in reality I’m the one who has been tearing my hair out trying to get it all sorted. The amount of coffee I got through…

So anyway, where do I start? I’m Welsh to my bones, and despite living and travelling all over, Wales is always where I come back to and what informs the bulk of my writing. The rich histories and formidable characters of my childhood, and even my adulthood, have weaved their way into the pages of my books and, I hope, into your minds.

I’ve been writing since my teens, but the Covid pandemic gave me a lot of time to come back to the dozens of stories and manuscripts I’d started over the years and begin to pin them down into finished works, resulting in my debut novel, Borrowed Time, being completed and released in July 2022 and becoming an instant Amazon best seller. I didn’t see that coming!

I’m currently deep into the editing process of the next novel, but when I’m not writing you can usually find me sleeping or gaming, surrounded by takeout cartons and empty coffee mugs. It’s a hard life.

Russell Dean

five stars - Borrowed Time by Russell Dean - REVIEW

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