A Token of Time


Title: A Token of Time
Author: Ethan Day
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Historical (1950’s) Romance/Time Travel/Paranormal
Length: Novel (428 PDF pages)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: A beautifully written romance between a 1950’s closeted movie star and a contemporary man with supernatural powers, that I couldn’t find fault with and simply couldn’t put down.

The Blurb: The murder of Zachary’s lover and a mysterious connection to the recently deceased legendary matinee idol, Marc Castle challenged everything Zachary knew to be true – to believe that the impossible, was possible. On the run from his family, Zachary Hamilton was cursed with a gift he neither wanted nor asked for. The recent murder of his lover unleashed a chain of events revealing Zachary’s connection to the recently deceased legendary matinee idol, Marc Castle. Attempting to unravel the mystery behind the movie star, Zachary encountered an ancient relic shrouded in history and folklore, leading to a discovery so shocking it altered his very existence — challenging everything Zachary knew to be true — to believe that the impossible, was possible.

The Review: Some writers find success with a certain formula, and tend to stick to that recipe when crafting many of their books. I am fan of several writers who do this, and am quite happy that they do. But there are others, who take that initial success and build upon it, spreading their journalistic wings and taking us on a glorious journey. Ethan Day has quickly become one such writer, who I have eagerly followed from his early romance/comedy successes. For me, Mr. Day’s Sno Ho will always stand as the pinnacle of what a romance/comedy should be. Despite my love of the comedies, to my delight Mr. Day tread new ground in the more serious At Piper’s Point, which has maintained it’s place as one of my favorite books, one which I have reread many times.

In his latest offering, Mr. Day has again proven to me that he is far more talented than even I realized. Don’t be fooled by the angst ridden opening scene in A Token of Time, it is merely an opportunity to meet our protagonist Zachary, who is numb with grief and guilt over the murder of his lover Nick, for which he takes full responsibility, knowing that his own sister is behind the murder. We quickly learn that Zachary and his sister share supernatural powers, which she believes are her legacy and will stop at nothing to reclaim. Nick and Zachary have been on the run trying to stay one step ahead, but inevitably were caught. Consequently, Zachary has lost the one person that he loved in the world and if not for his assistant/friend Dave, would probably drink himself to death. And fate has other plans for young Zachary that will take him on an unbelievable adventure.

Mr. Day’s recipe in A Token of Time includes a large helping of historical romance, a pinch of time travel and the supernatural, and an interesting bit of suspense with a subplot involving disappearing young gay men. I enjoyed the details about the mid century that Mr. Day focused on – from the very formal way that everyone dressed, even at home, (I loved the reference to “Grandpa” pants) to the stark fact that gay men could not ever be out in public and risked ruin or possible imprisonment if even a hint of being gay surfaced. And the vivid description of the breath-taking estates that the wealthy and powerful inhabited makes me wonder about Mr. Day’s research. Might he have spent some time with some very wealthy friends? I’m quite envious, I’m sure. These details really brought the time period to life for me.

At the heart of the story is a wonderful romance between a closeted 1950’s movie star Marc and the modern day Zachary. Their connection is one that spans time and surprises them both from the moment they meet. This is not insta-love, but rather Mr.Day makes it something that if we’re very, very lucky, we may experience once in our lifetimes – that feeling when first meeting of “I know you” that can’t be explained. It’s these kind of well thought out nuances that make the story so compelling.

The characters are quite likable in their individual ways, but very real. Zachary struggles with his guilt over his feelings for Marc so soon after Nick’s murder. Marc struggles with his attraction to Zachary, despite not knowing anything about his past, and not wanting to pressure him into something that he may not be ready for. There are also some really enjoyable secondary characters in the person of Dave (the hunky assistant, who is unfailingly loyal) and Jonathan (the one person Zachary can confide in) as well as Marc’s snarky friend Leo and Jonathan’s gruff lover Max. They all had unique qualities that brought them to life for me.

And delightfully, Mr. Day also managed to sneak in a little of his trademark humor in some of the lines that pop out of the characters’ mouths, or thoughts kicking around in their heads, such as:

“Could you drop me off at 2008, please and thank you.”

“Quite selfish of me, not wanting to die.”

and one of my personal favorites:

“You’ll make a really good friend for some lying, cheating ho-bag some day.”

The romance builds slowly and the consummation is delayed until they are well on the way to being in love. But don’t despair, the sex is hot and well worth the wait. And even more importantly, the love that these men feel comes vividly to life, allowing the reader to truly feel that they would each do anything, even risk their lives to be together. And for those who need it – yes, there is a happy ending.

As much as I wanted to fulfill my promise to him years ago and give Mr. Day a one star review for using too many words, I can not. Every word was needed to tell this beautifully written story. I highly recommend A Token of Time.

28 comments

  • I took the afternoon off work intending to do Spring cleaning… instead, I innocently started this novel (4 hours ago!) and can’t put it down. Love the characters; and I’m on the edge of my seat most of the time.

  • I read this yesterday on the strength of the review. It was quite a departure from Ethan’s other works but a worthy addition to his repertoire. I do miss his trademark humour and wit but kids need adult supervision some of the time 😉
    Thanks Tj for a great review and thanks Ethan for a great read. Compared to some of the formulated stuff I’ve read recently, this book was very refreshing. It got an extra + + for originality and I did not tear up in certain parts… That was someone else, honest 😉 :bravo:

    Tish

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed the book, Tish. And no worries, I’ll not be running away to emo-land forever. There’ll be plenty more fun and laughs in the future.

    • That’s so great to hear Tish. It is a departure from Mr. Day’s earliest works, but for me it also seemed like a natural progression following At Piper’s Point. That book had me tearing up too, but also laughing at times.

  • Dear Ethan

    I did hear the thud all the way in Missouri that was Wave collapsing after opening the file and seeing the word count, lol. I’m sure she’ll make me pay for the concussion! 🙂

    You will definitely pay – I’m not sure how yet but I’ll think of a suitable punishment. 😎

    Tj worked very hard on this review and I think you should be nice to him even though he now calls you “Mr. Day” rather than “That Day Boy.” 😆

    Great job on the book Ethan :bravo: and I’m sorry I made fun of you.

    • I dunno, I think I should be nice ’cause he does call me Mr. Day now. That’s kinda hawt! ; )

      I shuddered significantly over your threat for payback as well…should you enjoy hearing that sort of intel. LOL!

  • That was a lovely review, TJ! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book, and to hear that you’re already re-reading it! I love hearing that people re-read my books. It’s like being asked out for a second date – such an amazing thing to me.

    I did hear the thud all the way in Missouri that was Wave collapsing after opening the file and seeing the word count, lol. I’m sure she’ll make me pay for the concussion! : )

    Thanks again for the very thoughtful review. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! That TJ could probably talk the pants off just about anyone, I swear. ; )

    • Thank you for your kind words. It was my pleasure to both read and review this book Ethan. You know that I have reread many of your books – SnoHo always cheers me up whenever I’m down and At Piper’s Point just makes me laugh and cry every time.

      I’m glad I could give you the warm and fuzzies. I love a fuzzy man. 😉

  • TJ – thanks for the great review. Ethan and I worked hard on this one. Glad to see our hard work paid off.

    • Hi Kris,
      You’re quite welcome. All of your hard work is evident in the finished product. You (and Ethan) did a great job. As I said to Hannah above, I don’t remember coming across a single typo in the 400+ pages. That’s impressive.
      The book was so good that I’m reading it all over again after having just finished it. I think I’ve only done that once before. For me, it was well worth the price of admission.
      But also I’m quite selfishly motivated with regards to book prices – I want to ensure that my favorite authors earn enough so that they can continue to write, and that includes the illustrious Mr. Day.

  • I really want to read this, but I balk at the $8.99 ebook price. I never spend that much on an ebook unless I know it’s going to be good and will keep me occupied for a while. What is the word/page count?

    • Hi Hannah,

      I know $8.99 seems like a lot, but there are over 400 pages in the book, and from my POV it’s very well written and edited. (I don’t remember seeing a single typo) I had to read it in 2 days because Wave was cracking that whip again! (kidding – Hi Wave!). I wasn’t supposed to review this book – I had purchased the book on my own because I’m an Ethan Day addict and have zero self control (there should be a help group for that). But you should get many days of enjoyment.

    • I thought I’d start with this one, as I see this comment from time to time. I agree that it does appear to be a lot for one book. But when you consider many 40k to 60k books are priced $5 to $6 per book(and this is looking at multiple publishers). 120k for $9 becomes a bit of a bargain. Your getting the equivilant word count for less money in the end. Three 40k books at $4 each, costs you $12 – same for Two 60k at $6. That’s $3 less in the end when compared word for word.

      I do understand that for some folks it’s still going to be too much to fork over, but I personally don’t feel like it’s overpriced considering the amount of content – it’s more book for less money. But that’s just my opinion, I respect that not everyone will agree. : )

  • I had the honor of beta reading A Token of Time for Ethan – and I’m really happy to read this great review. It is SOOOO different from his other writings – loved it!

    • Wow, you got to read this before the rest of us, I’m very jealous JP! I agree, it’s different from what Ethan has done before, but the writing has a familiarity to it that is unmistakably Ethan Day. As I said this built upon the foundation of his previous works in an impressive way. And thank you JP. The review was a cinch for such a well written story.

  • I´m so looking forward to reading this book :yes: :yes:
    Thank you very much for your review 😎

    • You’re welcome Helena. You’re in for a treat. I’m actually in the middle of reading it again – it was that good.

  • “You cheating ho-bag”
    Good Lord woman! I nearly spewed coffee all over my office computer! If I didn’t think readers wouldn’t know that I was joking I would’ve given him one star. But I couldn’t. The book is just too good to joke about. I tried to treat our Mr. Day with the same respect that I would any other author, despite his occasional insanity.
    I’m glad I was able to keep you from OD-ing on chocolate and red wine. That’s a recipe for a massive migraine! It was a pleasure to read and review this story. Once I got past the angst filled opening I was swept up in the mystery of what was going on and couldn’t put the book down. I sorely wanted to cancel my Saturday night date and just read straight through. I didn’t, but I was tempted.
    As for GRL, I’d love to go, but I’m not sure yet if I can this year, but if not, then I’m really going to try for next, especially if they end up on the east coast again. And I would have serious reservations about being locked in a room for 4 days with Ethan Day. 😮

    • And I would have serious reservations about being locked in a room for 4 days with Ethan Day. 😮

      I hear it might be 6 days. Would that change your mind Teej?

      When you told me earlier that you were thinking of canceling your Saturday night date where you had a chance to get lucky, :blush: :sex4: I really thought you were losing your mind. No book is that good. 🙂

      Anyway I’m so glad that you still have eyes after reading E.’s 430 page book.

      BTW he asked me to tell you that he’s doing a 12 hour shift but he’ll be thanking you tonight. (Sorry, I meant to say he will be commenting on your review tonight, but I couldn’t resist.) :).

      • 6 days?! I, I, I… There are no words. And no, I haven’t lost my mind, but those 6 days in a hotel might push me over the edge.

  • Tj

    You “cheating ho bag.” You promised me that this would be your first 1 star, especially in view of that damned first chapter which had me running to my hidden stash of chocolate.

    Seriously, you outdid yourself. This is a beautifully written review and I enjoyed the respect you showed “Mr Day”. Is he no longer “That Day Boy” now that you have a new admiration for his writing ability and talent in a different genre (or genres)? 😆

    All kidding aside Teej, thank you for coming to my rescue and writing this wonderful review so that Ethan won’t send poisoned darts my way. Fabulous job!!

    BTW you really should go to GRL 2012 – I hear “That Day Boy” has a suite. :sex2:

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