I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Mine by John A. Heldt
In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE is a love story that follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
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I was pleasantly surprised by The Mine. It is rare to read a book with a romance plot that is both written by a male and with the featured character a male. I don’t think there are enough male leads in books not of the mystery/spy genre so when I do come across them I always find it refreshing. The Mine features a college senior, Joel, who goes through a mine shaft during a temporal anomaly and gets sucked back to 1941. With no cash, a cell phone that doesn’t work and no one to turn to Joel must figure out the past. Since this is a time travel romance of course we have a leading lady, Grace, and a great cast of supporting characters, including Joel’s grandmother. The world building and pacing were spot on and I appreciated the attention paid to the historical details. My main issue with The Mine is that for quite a bit of the story I didn’t like Joel. The way he was portrayed came across to me as cocky. He bet on sporting events he knew the outcome to (and no judgement, I would do the same) but he was super arrogant while he did it. Grace was engaged when they met and he did not care at all, romancing her all while planning on returning to the modern age. I did particularly like his interactions with a Japanese-American women in the past, that helped redeem Joel in my eyes. That being said, this was still a cute story with a few nice twists.
Favorite lines – “Barring a failed physical, he would soon be without a housemate, a colleague, and a best friend – a friend who had taken him off the streets, found him a job, and introduced him to two women who were now the center of his life. He thought about Ginny, the wedding that would never happen, and how she would cope with a loss that was all but written in the stars.”
Biggest cliche – “I know more than you, so I shall be dickish to prove it.”
Have you read The Mine, or added it to your TBR?