Book Review, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Series, Time Travel

Intertwine (House of Oak #1) by Nichole Van


Time is not a river. It is a vast cosmic sea. Where each life exists as rippling circles on its surface, past and future being eternally present. And occasionally, one expanding ring intertwines with that of another, weaving the lives of two people together. . . .

In 2012, Emme Wilde can’t find the right guy. She wants to feel that swept-off-your-feet dizziness of true love. But so far, her dating life has come up short. Star Trek geek? Nice but too serious. Hippy artist? Cute but too vulnerable. Instead, Emme obsesses over the portrait of an unknown man in an old locket. Granted, a seriously dreamy guy with delicious, wind-swept hair she just itches to run her fingers through. But still. Dead men may be great listeners, but they are not exactly boyfriend material. Emme travels to England, determined to uncover his history and conquer the strong connection she feels.

In 1812, James Knight has given up on finding the right woman. All he wants is someone to share his love of adventure. Instead, his life has become a Shakespearean drama. His brother languishes in a tragic star-crossed romance. His beloved sister clings to life, slowly dying of consumption. But then he finds a beautiful mystery woman, dripping wet and half-dead, beneath a tree on his estate. Now if he can uncover her history, perhaps adventure—and romance—will find him at last.


I am pulling from my TBR pile again with a new author for me. It starts with a memory, a locket, and a research assignment. It concludes with a storm, amnesia, and a beautiful love beyond time.

Intertwine is the first installment in Nichole Van’s historical time-travel romance House of Oak series set in Herefordshire, England in 2012 and 1812. This storyline follows Emry “Emme” Wilde, a 21st-century history professor and disaster magnet, and James Knight, a Regency gentleman with a hankering for adventure in his boring and responsible life. 

The story is told in dual perspectives with an impish alter Emme giving her two cents at the most hilarious and inopportune times. Emme finds an antique locket with the portrait of a gorgeous man whom she finds familiar. A man literally of her dreams who her best friend and cosmic guru Jasmine believes is Emme’s soulmate. As a historian, Emme discovers the locket found in Oregon has a provenance in England where she follows the clues to an old house that magically leads her to the very man in the locket. But there’s one thing…she has amnesia. When she falls for James and gets her memory back, she has to decide whether to stay or go back home. Unfortunately, fate makes the decision for her.

I loved the playful banter between Emme and James, I was intrigued by how the whole relationship panned out, and I was delighted with everything falling into place with a happy ending.  James is lovely. He sticks to his guns for the first time in his life by letting Emme stay in his home when the opposition insists on him sending her away. He doesn’t hesitate to believe her bizarre story and stands by her decisions for the future. Emme’s hilarious 21st-century references to zombies and ninjas are unique to a historical romance and somehow worked for me, especially with James’ easy acceptance. The only issue I have with the story is that it starts out slow and is a little repetitive. So much so, that I almost DNR’d it. However, once Emme and James start to click and I meet the supporting characters, the story had me captured until the lovely ending.

James’ charming sister Georgiana and her illness are key to the story and the author gives the reader another star-crossed love story between James’ uptight brother Arthur and the meek Marianne Linwood who is being controlled by her creep of a brother.

If you enjoy sweet romances with characters who have a comfortable and loving rapport and interesting and funny time-travel dialogue, give this book a try.

House of Oak Series:

1. Intertwine (2014)
2. Divine (2014)
3. Clandestine (2015)
4. Refine (2015)
5. Outshine (2017)



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Nichole Van is an artist who feels life is too short to only have one obsession. In former lives, she has been a contemporary dancer, pianist, art historian, choreographer, culinary artist, and English professor. Though Nichole still prefers the label ‘adaptable’ more than ‘A.D.D.’

Most notably, however, Nichole is an acclaimed photographer, winning over thirty international accolades for her work, including Portrait of the Year from WPPI in 2007. (Think Oscars for wedding and portrait photographers.) Her unique photography style has been featured in many magazines, including Rangefinder and Professional Photographer. She is also the creative mind behind the popular websites Flourish Emporium and {life as art} Workshops, which provide resources for photographers.

All that said, Nichole has always been a writer at heart. With an MA in English, she taught technical writing at Brigham Young University for ten years and has written more technical manuals than she can quickly count. She decided in late 2013 to start writing fiction and has loved exploring a new creative process. Nichole currently lives in Utah with her husband and three crazy children. Though continuing in her career as a photographer, Nichole is also now writing historical romance on the side. 

Follow Nichole on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest