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Guest Review: A CASTLE IN THE AIR by Kelley Armstrong


Portia Hastings has spent her life rescuing her younger sister from one scrape or another. Now, she has to step through time to do it, following Miranda from the nineteenth century to the eighteenth. Almost immediately, Portia is beset by highwaymen, which might be the most exciting thing to happen to her in a long time, even if she’d never admit it. When one of the highwaymen is injured, Portia makes the inexcusable mistake of helping him—she is trained as a doctor after all. Her travel companions abandon her, and she’s left at the mercy of a highwayman who demands she continue tending to his compatriot’s wounds. Portia soon finds herself at a crumbling castle inhabited by the destitute Earl of Ravensford. Benedict Sterling is in desperate need of money, and his solution is a ball, where a wealthy bride will win the title of countess, even if it does come with one thunderously ill-tempered earl. Portia agrees to a scheme to help Benedict look like a slightly more appealing bridegroom, while she continues to search for Miranda. Then there’s the small matter of the castle, complete with a ghost intent on driving her out. But once Portia sets her mind on something, she’s not going anywhere.


GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

Opening Lines:

“I am about to step through time, and I am terrified.”

Time travel paired with gothic romantic suspense is a heady temptation, and I wasn’t about to resist the pleasure of the latest in Kelley Armstrong’s "A Stitch in Time" series of standalones.  A Castle in the Air is the fourth book, but only my second venture into the series. I read book two, A Twist of Fate, and I was able to appreciate the story perfectly fine because Ms. Armstrong filled in the story background nicely.


A Castle in the Air follows Portia Hastings introduced as a side character in the previous book who now gets her own adventure through the stitch in time hidden to all but a few. I enjoyed how the author doesn’t keep hitting reset with each new person who uses the time stitch. In the beginning of the series, of course, it was a scary new thing, but now a small circle knows of it. The action-packed plot is about a combination of relationships, and the intrigue is atmospheric and suspenseful, involving ghosts, crumbling castle, and a mystery needing solving rather than focused on the time travel element.  

Portia’s match is reluctant though attracted with his focus on his troubles. I love that she is most definitely an older sister in nature and has chosen nurturing work as a doctor, too. She faces down highwaymen, ghosts, and someone not excited to have her riling up the earl; and she faces down that cranky man, too.


As to that ghostly, atmospheric part, like past stories, the ghosts are real enough, though the villains are flesh and blood. I enjoyed the bit of thrill that made me a little nervous as Portia navigated through her adventure, hitting surprises and twists. Series fans will enjoy seeing familiar faces, though this is very much Portia and Benedict’s story.

Another series hit! I can recommend it to those who enjoy a mashing of genres in a historical setting.

A Castle in the Air by Kelley Armstrong

#4 A Stitch in Time

Time Travel Romance

Publisher: KLA Fricke Inc.

Published: October 31, 2023

Pages: 389

Rating: 4.5 stars 

smiling white woman with reddish brown hair wearing a pale blue pullover
Kelley Armstrong, author


Kelley Armstrong believes experience is the best teacher, though she’s been told this shouldn’t apply to writing her murder scenes. To craft her books, she has studied aikido, archery and fencing. She sucks at all of them. She has also crawled through very shallow cave systems and climbed half a mountain before chickening out. She is however an expert coffee drinker and a true connoisseur of chocolate-chip cookies.

You can connect via her website.


Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.



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