A Stitch in Time (2020), by Kelley Armstrong, is a time-slip romance with ghosts. Bronwyn Dale has just inherited the old family home on the English moors. When she visited the house as a girl, she discovered she could pass back and forth between her own time and the Victorian era, and fell in love with a boy, William, who lived in the past version of the house. But her uncle died tragically, and Bronwyn was institutionalized for talking about William, and she went on with her life thinking she’d imagined him.
Now she’s thirty-eight and widowed, and needs to decide what to do with the house. When she returns to take stock, she finds that the time-slip and William are still there and very real. Meanwhile, she’s also having some eerie encounters with ghosts in her own time, hinting at suspicious deaths in William’s time that Bronwyn will need to solve to lay the spirits to rest.
The blurb suggests that William is angry about Bronwyn’s long-ago desertion, and he is for a little while, but that isn’t really the central plot here. That’s resolved pretty quickly. The romantic plotline is more about reestablishing their relationship on an adult footing and figuring out whether it’s possible to make it work — especially since Bronwyn doesn’t want to give up her modern life, and the time-slip only works on her end (William cannot travel to the present).
The mystery plot is perhaps a bit too convoluted and too back-loaded; we get to the second half of the book and suddenly multiple missing women are introduced, whose backstories sometimes run together in my mind. But it adds some weight and eeriness to the proceedings, without tipping into horror. I was never really scared reading A Stitch in Time. The haunting element was more tragic than terrifying to me.
Overall, this is a sweet, sexy romance with a really effective black moment and some seasonally appropriate ghosts. Also a cute kitten and a cozy village. Curl up with a cup of tea for this one.