Joint Review: Overseas by Beatriz Williams

Publisher: Putnam Adult
Where did you get this book: Purchased
Release date: Out now

A passionate, sweeping novel of a love that transcends time.

When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.

Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: I had seen Overseas mentioned a few times on my twitter stream-line, but I held off because of the fade-to-black love scenes. But, Has told me to read it because of the sweeping epic love story it had going on, so I caved in. Overseas definitely stands out to the rest of the romances I’ve read. It had time travelling and what I would call wibbly wobbly timey wimey as the Doctor from Dr Who would say *grins*. But whilst I liked the story, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Has did. I liked the initial story-telling of Kate being swept off her feet by this mysterious and gorgeous british bachelor, and how it fitted in with Kate being in the past (that was told in alternating chapters) with a younger Julian. Unfortunately, towards the middle of the book, I found Kate’s attitude in the present time to be irritating. I also found myself getting a little bored in how the time travelling actually worked. In essence, I didn’t have a ton of patience waiting for the big reveal.

Has: I adored the sweeping romantic tone which reminded me a lot of the Classic Hollywood movies of the 20s/30s because Julian was the epitome of that kind of romantic hero. I actually didn’t have an issue with the time-travel aspect, even though I am not a huge fan of this premise. But it really added to the epic romantic tone between Julian and Kate because their love story transcends time and space, and it was their desire between them that really brings them together.

I also have to disagree with Kate being the modern day heroine and Julian being the
quintessential traditional hero from an age where manners and honour was part of the parcel. I loved that dichotomy between them and it added another element to the romance. I can’t say enough how romantic this book felt because it was there with the way Julian interacted with Kate from his feelings, words and gifts – big and small that he gave her. I had a silly smile throughout the book whilst reading their romantic moments together.

Lou: At times I found Julian to be adorable, especially when it’s revealed he’s sexually inexperienced and it’s Kate that does the chasing in that regard. It was fun, and Julian was very romantic in her regard towards Kate. I just wished that Kate wasn’t so snarky and mean towards him at times. I felt that she was pushing this whole I’m Miss Independence when at times she should have taken Julian’s help. She should have done when it’s revealed that she was stitched up badly in her job. It’s towards the middle and latter stages of the book that the story lost its way. It got too messy with the plot, and I didn’t understand a lot of character motivations, such as Geoff and why he had such a raging hate hard on for Kate. I also didn’t understand the reasoning behind the time travelling when it was revealed how it came to be. It all felt very rushed and not well thought out.

Has: Ironically enough, I thought it was the opposite at times with Julian being all alphamale on Kate at times and I didn’t find she was too obstinate because she didn’t need his help when things got tricky for her. And it was understandable because he even though he was living a modern setting – he still retained a lot of thinking and views of his time, so I could see why they would clash. But I loved it never got too angsty or heavy with their differences and they did work them out when it became a huge issue between them.

I totally agree with the hate that Geoff had for Kate, especially in context with the ending which I found was the weakest part of the book. It was definitely rushed and a bit anti-climatic as well confusing because it was a convoluted ending. However, the time-travel aspect and the reasons behind it, even if it was timey wimey wibbley wobbley :D, definitely helped to cement the epic nature of the romance that Julian and Kate had.

Lou: At certain times Julian acted like he was still stuck in the 1910’s, though in most regards he was very caught up in time. I had to suspend belief that he was able to become this super duper finance hedge fund guru in the space of time he was transported to the 21st Century. For me, the book didn’t live up to its premise and by the end I found myself spacing out on the reasonings because there was no backbone or meat to the conclusion. I was also left disappointed that a personal loss that both Kate and Julian had was glossed over in a page, and it felt very artificial. I give Overseas a C.

Has: Despite the weak ending and the reasons behind the time travel aspect, I felt this was a wonderful and sweeping romantic story. It felt much like a fairy-tale in a lot of ways and I loved the element of the epic love story which really made the book for me. If the ending was much stronger I would have felt that this would become one of my all time favourite books, but for me this was an immensely satisfying and enjoyable romance. Despite its flaws, the romance between Julian and Kate is sweet, passionate and tender. This old tone feel made this a refreshing book to get sucked into. It is intrinsically romantic and I totally loved that because I don’t think I read that kind of romance in a very long while! I give Overseas a B+

3 thoughts on “Joint Review: Overseas by Beatriz Williams”

  1. I liked this one quite a bit but the circularity of time travel often does my head in. My thinking goes something like this: Julian loved Kate in the now because he had loved her in the past. But Kate loved Julian in the past because she loved him in the now. And then my head gets all explode-y.

    I loved a lot about the book but thought the explanation for the time travel was thin at best and the Geoff hating wasn’t very well explained. I spent the first part of the book wondering if Julian was a stalker – it was only that I knew Kate loved him enough to somehow go back in time for him that convinced me he must be a good guy. But – it was epic and sweeping and dramatic and I did enjoy so I’m more on Team Has on this one. 🙂

  2. @aurian: I think this is a book that people will be torn on.

    @Kaetrin: Glad you enjoyed it! I would have enjoyed the story more if the second half was as strong as the first. I did think that the chapters told from the past were a lot more emotive.

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