The Hourglass - Barbara Metzger

*Book source ~ Many thanks to Untreed Reads for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Coryn, Earl of Ardeth is really Ar Death and a reaper, a minion of the Devil. After centuries of reaping souls he wants a chance to be mortal and takes steps to that end in case he wins his gamble with the Devil. Win he does and the Devil has to put up or shut up. Making Ardeath mortal and then adding the caveat that Ardeath has to find his humanity and his hourglass (the brooch symbolizing his office) in six months or he will serve the Devil for all eternity. Ardeath is put down in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo and immediately sets to work easing the pain and suffering of the soldiers. While there he comes across a penniless widow, Imogene Hopewell Macklin, who has been cast off from polite society. His solution to both of their situations is for them to marry before heading to London. The problems before them seem insurmountable, but Ardeath has been a reaper in Hell for centuries. He’s not about to give up now especially when his mortal future is beginning to look so bright.


Well, this is the second historical romance with a paranormal twist by Barbara Metzger that I’ve read and I have to say I loved it. Her stories are always so entertaining and light-hearted even when the characters seem as if they will never rise from their problems and despairs. The romance part takes a bit of a back seat in this until towards the end while the paranormal part is the majority of the story. However, it all comes together beautifully. The writing carried me along and I didn’t want to put it down. Ardeath is one interesting dude and Genie has some spunk. I quite enjoyed how she tried to ignore her new husband’s *cough* eccentric behavior. And Olive the crow is hilarious. I would not have been so forgiving of her family as Genie is, but other than that I love how she’s trying to go with Ardeath’s flow. A sigh-worthy romance that also entertains is a rare treat and this one fits the bill nicely.