Book Review -Time Travel Romance

Kimberly Packard
Time Travel Romance / Contemporary Women’s Fiction / Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Abalos Publishing
Date of Publication: June 11, 2024
Number of Pages: 286 pages 

Book cover: This Time Around by Kimberly Packard.

Most of us would jump at a chance for a do-over of our teenage years…but what if our worst mistakes lead to our happily-ever-after?

Josie Gardner’s life revolves around her amazing children and her career. But, when her husband threatens to take her kids in their divorce, and the business she’s put most of her passion, time and money into building is at risk of failing, a panic attack shatters her grip on reality… and the present.

Josie wakes up in her teenage bedroom, thirty years in the past. She’s forced to relive her emotionally devastating senior year of high school — the year she cut her father out of her life, caused one of her best friends to sever ties, and turned away the boy she loved.

Determined to get back to her children in her own time, Josie tries to fix the mistakes she made, in the hope that righting wrongs will send her back to the present. But when tempted by her high school crush Josie faces the real possibility of losing her future for good.

Would you take a second chance for love…even if it meant losing everything?




Perfect for a summer beach read

First off, I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of time-travel stories, but “Back to the Future” was one of my favorite movies, and this story has the same kind of feel. Young people solving problems. Lots of humorous moments, like when words just tumble out of Josie’s mouth before she can stop them. Her friends are shocked, primarily because of the references to things in the future.

I laughed when she let slip that in the future she could just Google time travel and get some answers as to how she can get back to her future life. One of the geeks she’s with says something like, “While you’re goo-ling we have work to do.”

She’s asked the three nerdiest boys in her class to help her, and they determine that the cause of her trip back in time could be one of three things; medical, philosophical, or physics. Josie decides the philosophical path might be the quickest and easiest way to undo the phenomenon, so she makes a list of wrongs she can right that will solve her dilemma.

This is a multi-layered story that goes deep into the angst of difficult decisions to be made, among them how much should Josie try to alter things in her teen life. Can she save some friendships and her parent’s marriage? Can she keep the librarian from falling and breaking her leg? Should she? And what about Ian and the lake? Can she keep him from drowning? Should she?

Choices is the theme of the book. The ones we make and the ones we don’t. The ones that propel us down the path we’ve chosen and the ones that don’t. And the toughest choice teen-Josie must make is whether to tell Daniel that she loves him. She loved him first time around in this teen life and continues to love him as the 47-year-old adult.

She has never told him that she loves him and throughout most of the story she wonders if she should. And what would happen if she did? Her life would go down a different path and she knows she couldn’t live without her children. The ones she has now with Peter.

What a conundrum that is rich in angst and suspense.

At one point in the story Josie muses that perhaps she was sent back in time to learn life skills that will make her a better person, a better mother, and a better wife when she gets back to her future life. She is determined to be that better person if only she, and her three cohorts, can find a way to send her through time once again.

Kimberly Packard does a terrific job in blending the mom-Josie with the teenage-Josie. Writing about the same person at different ages can be challenging, and Packard met that challenge splendidly. I especially enjoyed the push-pull between the mom and the teen in Josie’s contemplations about decisions that she has to make.

With the exception of a few awkward metaphors, as well as a penchant for using them when perhaps they weren’t necessary, the narrative flows smoothly. The tension is always high as Josie flip flops between the present and the future, and will she be able to get back to the future?

And does she even want to.

This is a terrific story, and I highly recommend the read. Kudos to the author for giving readers characters and a story that is so entertaining.


Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of women’s fiction.

Author headshot. Smiling woman with light hair, wearing a red and white patterned shirt.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found planning her next trip, asking her dog what’s in his mouth or curled up with a book. She resides in Texas with her husband Colby, a clever cat named Oliver and a precocious black lab named Tully. 

Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of a Christmas novella, The Crazy Yates, and the sequels to Phoenix, Pardon Falls and Prospera Pass, and her stand-alone titles Vortex, Dire’s Club and This Time Around. She was honored as one of the Top 10 Haute Young Authors by Southern Methodist University in 2019. Vortex was the 2019 winner of the Pencraft award in Women’s Fiction, and Dire’s Club, was awarded the 2021 General Fiction of the Year by the North Texas Book Festival.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review -Time Travel Romance”

  1. Great review! I definitely noticed that the author used a lot of figurative language (for me, noticed the similes more than the metaphors), but I really enjoyed them and a couple even made me snort laugh. I can’t wait for the next installment to see if we get some skinny on how things turned out for Josie while watching Emily’s adventure.

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