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Reviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers' Favorite
Thistle & Stone by Linda J Pifer is an unconventional love story with a haunting twist. While on vacation, Shelley Lindquist, a decorator, stops at a warehouse to look at old reclaimed items in the hopes of finding a treasure for one of her clients. While looking at old doors, Shelley finds a pair of large, wooden medieval doors with iron lion’s head knockers. The ancient doors intrigue her and as she touches the iron lion’s head, a blue spark shoots out and Shelley finds herself in another place and time, in a foreign land, in a large, cold, dark castle with a man who does not seem pleased to see her. Nicholas Wodehouse was the caretaker of Wodegate Castle and he had had interruptions like this before. They discuss how Shelley got to Wodegate Castle and why she may have been brought there.
Due to a land dispute and some family dishonesty, this family home had been stolen from Nicholas’ family and his Uncle Edward was determined to set things right. Edward’s problem was that he had died hundreds of years before and now he procured those that he thought might be able to help set things right. Shelley does what she can before returning to her own place and time to her two sons, Mark and Jason, who are at home with her mother, Janet. Once at home, she continues her research with her mother’s help and returns to Scotland a few weeks later, which in Nicholas’ time is five years or more. As they work together to save his family name and property, the unlikely pair find more than ancient history.
Linda J Pifer has delivered an interesting love story with mystery and intrigue. The characters are well developed and certainly multi-dimensional. As Edward orchestrates the recovery of his family name and the reclaiming of his family home, he is also hoping to leave his nephew, Nicholas, with more than just a family home. He wants him to finally have a family to go with it. Whether he will succeed at any of this remains to be seen. Linda J Pifer’s story rings of nostalgia without trying to copy an old tale. This story reminds me of two classics, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and I Married a Witch, both of which are sentimental and charming, as is Linda J Pifer’s love story with a twist. I enjoyed this book and look forward to Linda J Pifer's next offering. A job well done, this is a delightful story.